All the Comforts of (a Tiny) Home

Still thinking about the Hotel Leyland. That milk truck wasn’t enormous, but it never felt small. Roger and David had outfitted the living space with a kitchen — sink, stove, fridge, and cabinets — and a small dining table with seating for four. The dining area was surrounded with bookshelves (and, as I said in the Leyland post) most of those shelves were full of Dick Francis novels. At the back of the truck there were long, cushioned benches with storage beneath.

A bathroom would have made the Leyland perfect and self-contained. But our camp grounds had bath houses, so we were just fine.

Thinking about the four of us living in that truck for two weeks — and the men living there for a couple of weeks before meeting me — made me think of my fascination/future-fantasy of tiny-house living.

I flat out LOVE the idea of a tiny house.* I admit that, greedy-for-space girl that I am, the idea is a challenge, even knowing that the footprints of the tiny houses I’ve designed for myself are all bigger than the standard. Still, this is a way to approach living in the world that pleases me enormously.

Part of me always backs away from the tiny house idea precisely because I know how greedy for space I am. But remembering how comfortable I was in the Leyland makes me wonder. Yes, of course, that was a couple of weeks while I was on vacation … when I was 22. But I am intensely claustrophobic (surely at least some of why I am obsessed with space), and I never had one twinge of that in the Leyland. I just felt comfortable.

Naturally, when I went online (consulting Dr. Google, as Roxane Gay says), I found plenty of people who have made homes — not just vacation homes, but full-time, this-is-where-we-live homes — in old buses and various kinds of service trucks.

I don’t so much see myself in a converted bus, but I like seeing that other people have made that work. My fantasy is an amalgam of the Cal Earth dome houses and a tiny house. And again, a larger footprint, probably between 750 and 1,000 square feet. (Yes, basically the size of three tiny houses! Look, I told you I was greedy for space.)

Of course, it’s a long way from thinking about small-house living and actually living in a small house. Never mind just how much I don’t know about building a house, about plumbing, about wiring, about anything that has to do with construction. There’s the equally large question of where would this house be built? I don’t happen to have a random piece of vacant land in my back pocket. So, clearly this idea is going to stay a fantasy for some time. But writing out the story of the Leyland makes it seem much less an impossible dream, and that makes me happy.


It’s the annual Slice of Life Story Challenge, hosted by the wonderful people over at Two Writing Teachers! Every day this month, hundreds of writers will be posting their stories. Head on over and check out the other slices!

SOL image 2014

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* If you haven’t heard about this itty-bitty-abode movement, you can find excellent examples of tiny houses all over the internet.

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4 thoughts on “All the Comforts of (a Tiny) Home

  1. Tiny house living is my one day dream. From a big home full of stuff to a tiny space with just want I need. I really don’t know how I would fit seven litter boxes into a tiny home. Nor four cats or two dogs and two birds. One day. We can always dream right Stacie?
    Now to check out the Cal Earth Dome Houses. Maybe three tiny houses all stuck together is more reasonable. We need room for our cats.

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    1. I’ve been loving the dome houses for a long time. They’re part of my storm-resistant-housing-for-living-in-Jamaica fantasy. Now that I’ve discovered tiny houses, my fantasy plans are expanding! 🙂

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  2. Oh gosh no, no, no. I don’t want a spacious mansion, there is such a thing as too much space, but I could never do tiny house. I have semi-permanent bruising for constantly bumping into things in my smallish room as is. Heck, the foot print of my dream closet would be larger than most tiny homes lol. I admire the wonderful people who can and happily do the tiny homes.

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    1. Oh yes, this is another reason that tiny-house-living is still but a fantasy. I really am greedy-for-space girl. I could live in a three-bedroom apartment — alone — and not feel that I had too much space!

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