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Sweet Pea Tiny House Plans: Big Enough to Start a Family?

I thought I’d let you know that Dee Williams and her team at PAD Tiny Houses have made the Sweet Pea tiny house design available to the public.


It’s a design that was created for their friend Gina who wanted a tiny house that she can maybe start a family in. What do you think?

Can you see yourself starting a family in this tiny house? There’s a sleeping loft up top that’s able to accommodate mom and dad. Then there’s a pull-out bed below that would work for a child.

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Photos by Chris Tack

Do you think this tiny house is spacious enough for a young family who enjoys simplicity? I encourage you to tour the rest of the house below then share your thoughts in the comments at the bottom:

Sweet Pea Tiny House Plans: Do You Think it’s Enough to Start a Family In?

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Exterior – Hitch Side

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I love the little bump out that gives you just that little bit of extra space. Okay. Let’s go inside.

Interior of the Sweet Pea Tiny Home

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I really like how there’s a lot of open space when you come in. The french doors are awesome too. Such a perfect way to make it feel spacious in a tiny cabin like this, don’t you think?

Looking Towards the Sleeping Loft and Kitchen

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Pretty Big Kitchen for a Tiny House, Right?

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Closet Space

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I think closet space might be one of the biggest challenges for a family living in a tiny house like this. What about you?

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Bathroom in the Sweet Pea Tiny House

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Bedroom Sleeping Loft

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Photos by Chris Tack

More photos and information available here.

Learn how to build a tiny house on wheels using Dee’s book, Go House Go.

Get the plans for the Sweet Pea tiny house & others from PAD, too, right here.

If you enjoyed this little house on wheels you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 134 comments… add one }
  • LaMar Alexander LaMar September 23, 2013, 4:25 pm

    OK the subject headline made me chuckle- you can “start” a family anywhere including in the seat of a pickup truck as I found out lol!

    Yes you can raise a family in a tiny house and children don’t feel cramped they like closeness and the outdoors is their living room. I raised kids on the road n campers and vans before I had a house and my son who is now 21 and 6’2″ 230 pounds still stays with me and the girlfriend when ever he visits.

    As long as you have some privacy curtains for bathroom and bedroom and a place for their stuff kids thrive in tiny houses.

    My parents raised 9 kids and never had a house with more than 3 bedrooms. They spread the kids out so we were not all little at the same time and this encouraged the older kids to get a job and get their own place if they wanted more room.

    LaMar

    • Cassie September 23, 2013, 6:33 pm

      LaMar I knew you’d chime in eventually. I’m still patiently waiting for the A frame house. Anywho until you decide to do that I absolutely love this house. In fact I love it so much I’m considering taking it to a wonderful amish builder and let him work his craft! My goal is to build a lovely yet small cabin in the blue ridge mountains. Until then I just can’t see myself paying a large sum of cash to rent somewhere (1500+ monthly in the DC area). However my grandparents (God rest their souls) left behind over 130 acres to our family many years ago. Thankfully we still own about 100 acres. There’s a pond and a free water spring already flowing…thanks to God and grandad. I’m thinking maybe just having this cutie built roll it down to grandad and grammy farm and live there rent free for the next 18 to 24 months while saving for the cabin. My only bill would be a electric and sewer. Heck I could get my uncle to hook me up and system to the spring for water. Oh my I’m happy happy joy joy right now. I feel the need to purchase this plan right away. Hmmmm Its perfect for me and when I’m done I can just hitch it up and roll it out to the Blue ridge for a cute and cozy guest house for my company.

      • Cahow September 28, 2013, 10:41 pm

        Here’s a toast to Alex.
        Mr. Pino, you faithfully send us emails several times a week. Sometimes they garner nary a response. Then, there’s topics that generate an amazing variety of conversations, such as THIS one.

        Thanks, Alex, for broadening ALL of our horizons and helping us embrace each others diverse definitions of H.O.M.E.

    • Virginia La Monica September 23, 2013, 6:50 pm

      I love your last paragraph LaMar: ” …this encouraged the older kids to get a job and get their own place…” LOL

    • Sherry September 16, 2014, 4:16 am

      Subtle………. and too funny. Good one LaMar.

    • CindiAnn May 6, 2015, 12:53 pm

      LOL! LaMar, I liked reading of your past experience’, I too believe that families can get through with what they have. I do like this Tiny House and would love it for myself as a lone senior. I have a very big family though and thought that a nice big 4 season room add-on would do for entertainment . Just love ‘Tiny & cozy’.

    • Peter Piper May 6, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Hey, LaMar… nice to “see” you here! Love your website and your tiny house!

  • RevW September 23, 2013, 4:29 pm

    This tiny house is not ‘baby-proof’ or ‘child safe, plus , baby and toddler “stuff” takes a LOT of space. Children don’t just arrive the right size for a toddler bed LOL!

    • Cahow September 26, 2013, 8:31 pm

      I’m very curious to know if Gina, who is thinking of raising a family in this house, has read any of these posts?

  • Julie September 23, 2013, 4:42 pm

    I think anyone can make anything work if they have the right mindset. It definitely won’t be easy but I imagine this family will have to develop some exceptional communication skills which is always a good thing. I would prefer a tiny house with two sleeping lofts if you plan to have kids so they can have at least a LITTLE privacy. But if this is all a kid has ever known then I imagine they’d be well adjusted to the lack. I’d go for a baby hammock or a hanging bassinet to save floor space on a massive crib.

  • David Ridge September 23, 2013, 5:39 pm

    Uh, ok, to start a family maybe but there comes a time when each “kid” deserves/needs privacy and a whole room of his/her own.

    • Paul August 16, 2014, 4:40 am

      Whoa, whoa, whoa… like WHAT???

      Why does a kid deserve/need a whole room of their own?

      Plenty of people have grown up with multiple kids sleeping in the same room. One of the reasons bunks were designed.

      They DON’T “need” privacy.

      They may WANT it but that’s ‘nother whole issue.

      • DAVID ALAN JONES RIDGE August 16, 2014, 4:20 pm

        Uh, no, no, you slow down. I guess that I may have been reacting according to a middle-class sensibility, but the conditions that you are talking about were either in the slums, in the ghetto, or some sod hut or igloo somewhere. The other side of the tracks as we used to say. Ok, lets compromise; at leasts put the gals and the guys separate somehow.
        And, although I am 67, single, never married I do recognize that there is a whale of a difference between wants and needs. And, I did have a slight chuckle over your response, chuckle. I rarely give a full LOL.

      • jonnie May 6, 2015, 2:01 pm

        Amen!!! My great grandparents raised 12 kids in a 3 room house. My grandmother, ( the oldest), raised six. I grew up with a house full of people, grandfather, uncles, aunts, mother, and me. At one time, I lived in a single apt., with my 3, a friend, and her 4, it can be done, has been done and continues to be done, all around the world. Now, we have a lot less people, and a lot of stuff, everywhere. The house is packed, the garage is full of stuff, and we are not nearly as happy.

    • Claudia May 6, 2015, 12:57 pm

      I grew up in a very compact house with a sister and three brothers. I was thrilled when I got my own BED, since my much younger sister wet the bed for a LONG time. To get my own room I had to leave home. It does encourage independence!

  • 2BarA September 23, 2013, 6:12 pm

    It’s a lovely little house, but no place for a baby, IMHO. For the first couple of years a baby needs a crib, change table and the mandatory car seat, and a dresser for its clothes, which require more frequent changing than an adult’s. Bathing a baby in the kitchen sink would be awkward, in
    the bathtub, backbreaking. Where would one keep the stroller and toys and what about laundry? I can’t imagine a new mother going up and down that ladder at night if the baby needs attention. THs are fine for singles and close couples but adding a baby to the mix would not be fair to anyone.

    • Patricia September 23, 2013, 6:49 pm

      Babies don’t need strollers if they have a sling or a carrier to ride in on Mum or Dad. When they’re little they sleep with mum and dad for ease of night feeding so no crib needed. However I wouldn’t like to tote the baby up and down that ladder especially straight after giving birth.
      Their clothes are tiny so they don’t take up much room. Most people have far too much stuff for their children. Toys are overrated. Children much prefer to play with real things, like those found in the kitchen.

    • Cahow September 23, 2013, 7:45 pm

      2BarA: “Word” on 100% of your comments. I had to chuckle at Alex asking “Can you see yourself starting a family in this tiny house?” As LaMar pointed out, you can “start” a family (fertilized zygote) ANYWHERE…from a park bench, the grass near the park bench, an alley tryst or this tiny house. ~snort~

      Now, as to RAISING a family here? Hey, I know there’s a group of people that have raised 20 kids in the back seat of a Dodge and all the kids are now PhD’s and helping to cure cancer, but could the MAJORITY of people raise children in something this limited? Nah, maybe as the child’s playhouse but NOT for raising a child in.

      First, if you’ve EVER had a colicky baby, you’re in for week’s of hell, trying to sooth the poor thing. It’s perfectly normal for a newborn to cry a lot. During their first 3 months of life, babies can cry for up to 2 hours a day. Now, take that normal crying time and times it to 4 to 6 hours…in a house with NO doors and NO place to get away from the screaming except outdoors. Not too great a start for Mum & Dad, is it?

      Then you have breast feeding, which should be done for the first month by nursing eight to 12 times per day, or every two to three hours. If you’ve known nursing Mums, getting up at 2:00 am and 4:00 am on a one-level house is a bitca, imagine stumbling up and down the ladder to appease the hungry tyke? I nursed three children and if I hadn’t have had the bassinet in the same room as us, they would have died of starvation as Mummy needs 8 hours of sleep to survive.

      Now, as to the practice of “Co-Sleeping” or a baby sleeping with it’s parents: in the U.S. , it’s highly controversal, but in non-Western countries it’s common practice. According to the CPSC, at least 515 deaths were linked to infants and toddlers under 2 years of age sleeping in adult beds from January 1990 to December 1997:
      •121 of the deaths were attributed to a parent, caregiver, or sibling rolling on top of or against a baby while sleeping
      •more than 75% of the deaths involved infants younger than 3 months old.

      They warn that if you drink heavily or smoke dope heavily to the point that you pass out, sleeping with a baby is NOT sound advice. And, even if you don’t do either but are a really sound sleeper, are you REALLY going to have an active mite in bed with you that can take a header over the loft and die when it’s crawling about? After carrying a life inside of me for 9 months, the last thing I’d want to do is lose it to something as foolish as sleeping with my baby in a loft.

      The ladder is dangerous enough for an adult; having a small child clamboring up and down a ladder each time it wants to go to bed just seems like an accident waiting to happen. We had a hayloft in the barn that I used to play in but I was only allowed to climb up and down it when my Granpa was beneath the ladder to catch me if I stumbled. Is a parent in a tiny home going to be inside the home 100% of the time with the child, making sure that she/he doesn’t climb up?

      If I was dead-set on the tiny house experience, I’d live in one as a single person or as a couple up to the first trimester. Then, I’d either rent it out or use it for storage, move into another tiny home with only one level, and use the tiny house as a play house for the kids, turning it into an independent bedroom for them in later years. Then, when they bugger off, sell or rent the larger tiny home and move back into the tinier home if you’re still jonesing to live in less than 200 sq.ft.

      • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 12:40 am

        Cahow, you just put in a good reason for birth control, I think I will get a vasectomy, oh, wait a moment, I became a capon 43 years ago, guess I am safe. And as for LaMar’s scenario, I nicknamed my oldest daughter 55 and my oldest son Citron, when they ask me as adults, why, I told my daughter she was manufactured in a 55 Chevy, when my son ask me why I called him Citron, my daughter told him he didn’t need to know that, but she thought Mom and Dad must have been France when he was conceived.

      • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 4:17 am

        Not really sure what I am reading here, the pros to this tiny house seems to be somewhat ignorant about the actual facts of having and raising children as I understand children and living some romantic notion that everything goes like clockwork. The cons seem to have already raised children and write with a little more experience on the subject of chaos and reality. I hear all the time about closeness in space bringing families closer together. It maybe will but tripping over each other is a pain also. I am not trying to be crude here but do you actually give up intimacy after you have children? Or am I selfish, I am sure happy I missed that movement. I moved our first child into her own bedroom after noticing her peeking between crib rails quietly concentrating on what daddy was doing with mommy at 2 am. And daddy and mommy were trying to be quiet as not to wake the baby, it defiantly ruined the moment, babies wake up when they want to, there is no set rules on that and they notice what they want to, you may not know it but little people are crafty little suckers. Sleeping with an infant or small child, never in a million years, having them in bed for a bit in the morning is fantastic loving and cute but it would terrify me over night and I couldn’t rest thinking of rolling on a child.
        No toys, hell if you just let them play with pots and pans, cardboard boxes or even plastic containers, a child spreads whatever over a large area and there are no large areas in a TH like this. Just lay a blanket on the floor and put an infant on the blanket to see how much room that takes up. A hell of a lot and just think about tripping over something and landing on that child, “oh perish the thought”. I would love to see a curious toddler in a space like this when they can reach up and grab thing give their parents a work out in a space this small and things within reach. Oh yea, that would be funny.
        What happens if one works shift work at an actual job, or for that matter a steady shift, when they can get enough sleep to be rested enough to perform a job safely and effectively is sketchy. Is the whole family going to get up at 5 am while the provider gets ready to be at work at 7 or 8 am or whatever time to eat, shower or even get dressed for work? Having someone say, for goodness sake Ralph can’t you be a little quieter, I was up with baby half the night and then me responding yes darling I know, I woke up when you did my priceless darling. Oh yea, that conversation would take place. Actually it probably would, and get a little more sarcastic as time went on.
        No equipment for baby??? Where are you going to change the diapers, on the counter or kitchen table or eating area, when, while making coleslaw, guess what, babies need to be changed when they need to be changed, or are you going to leave them dirty, not my children you aren’t and I don’t know about many people but my wife wouldn’t let that happen either and guess when bowels work, anytime, often and they toss their tummies at irregular times once in a while. Nothing needs more room, attention and space than an ill little person and that happens. Someone said their clothing is small, yea, what a joke, to be liberal, they dirty 3 to 4 times as many as an adult and how are you going to do the laundry or where are you going to store it, and how, and for how long. (I can’t even go there)
        Now with that said, this scenario isn’t the same as if you are on an anchorage, can live an unconventional life in year round warm climate, raising chickens and selling eggs and let the little suckers run around the field naked, I had one that was perfect for that, she hated clothing and took them off the moment you were out of sight even for a second. I am amazed she didn’t become a stripper. No one could peel as fast as that kid.
        It would be interesting to know who has had and raised children and those who haven’t in this debate. It’s a cute little house as shown in the photos but in reality, just too small and would never look like this when being lived in. I am with the ones who do recognize we do not live in a 3rd world society. Two distinct personalities would have to really be organized and understanding to live here and guess what, you never know what that child is going to be like after a very short time they do have personalities all of their own. I had four children as different as day and night, well behaved, respectful but when they were little buggers, they were a hand full, nothing hard to deal with but a hand full just the same. I did meet a perfect child one time; she had to be perfect her mother told me she was. Yep, a real gem she was. A small space like this would be excellent to raise that child in; you wouldn’t have to reach too far to choke the hell out of her.

        • coffeewitholiver September 26, 2013, 10:30 am

          To answer your valid question, I am a parent, and with some safety issues being addressed, I’d be able to do it in this home.
          Parker

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 11:06 am

          Yes, coffeewitholiver, but THINKING you can and DOING it are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I visited your site and you’re living with and helping your Mum, so I’m guessing that your child is living with running water, heat and more than enough square footage to survive child raising issues. You also mention a camper and an apartment so I’m not sure in which unit your child is being raised. Your blog doesn’t mention the age of your child nor if you’re a single parent (one less body to cope with), but if she/he is older than toddler stage, it becomes significantly easier to raise a child once they learn commands such as “No!” and “Don’t Touch That!” and diapers are no longer in play. But, if you believe that you could raise a newborn in this house, my hat is off to you and your ability to be inventive and resourceful. I know my husband and I could not have done what you propose.

        • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 5:36 pm

          Good for you Parker, I judge you as a determine fellow who knows a thing or two about this lifestyle, many don’t so any advice I give should be considered by them as newbie’s and I am sure you would agree that it isn’t for everyone, I couldn’t do it and wouldn’t even try.

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 10:42 am

          Dear Ralph Sly: You’ll never know the sheer unmitigated JOY and gigglyness I was overcome with, having read your above response!!! Sing it, Brother Ralph, as your post was filled with 1) Delicious Humour; 2) The absolute TRUTH about raising children under ANY circumstance; and 3) righteous scoffing at the Utopian mindset of how perfect and ideal raising a child/children in 200 sq.ft. will be…because Mummy & Daddy “wish it to be so.” Only someone who’s had kids and known the Very Ups and Very Downs of raising them to fledging stage can understand how difficult they are making it for themselves in such an unconventional structure.

          Your comment that really hit home for me was when you referenced “while making coleslaw, guess what, babies need to be changed when they need to be changed…”. I had thought of that occasion from the GitGo and how absolutely unsanitary it would be to have a baby with Death Smells emitting from it’s nappy and WHERE you’d change the runny fecal matter that is caked on the babe’s bum and then washing her tidy to put her into another nappy. And then there’s the question of nappies: if you’re Off Grid, as so many Tiny Home owners love to be, are you using disposable diapers and cluttering up the planet you care for so fervently? Or collecting cloth diapers to be washed and sanitized HOW? Unless you live in Arizona or some other permanent Sunshine State and plan to hose off your befouled babies outdoors using a solar shower, you’ll need access to more water than a car wash, to keep them clean and sanitary.

          Oh well, you and I, Ralph, have done our duty and both of us have been taken to the Vet and “fixed” so now the ordeal of raising Baby is someone else’s problem. How I wish I had had such tidy and neat and absolutely controled children that we could have accomplished everything in 200 sq.ft. with a smile on our face and a spring in our step.

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 10:50 am

          BEST LINE I’ve ever read on Tiny House Bogs: “A small space like this would be excellent to raise that child in; you wouldn’t have to reach too far to choke the hell out of her.” Bwhahahahahahahhahhaaaaaa!!!

        • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 3:59 pm

          Hey my adorable friend, want to see one of my projects, http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/rv-fire-lessons/ check this one out. It was with great skill and intelligence how I turned my latest RV into a full blown open air streamlined concept liberated home.

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 6:29 pm

          Ralph: it was this line>”I was in a hurry..” that telegraphed what was to happen for the rest of your blog post…OMG, I’d ask if you were “okay”, but having read that story and read your current posts, I feel relieved that you ARE okay! Yes, the “I was in a hurry” syndrome: THAT is why I tell every.one.of.my.employees…”.NEVER hurry! Ask first! Check to make sure things around you are “okay” to do the task at hand!” And it’s not just a “Guy Thang”…I stumbled upon a post from a female tiny houser who slid off of the roof of her home and broke several bits & pieces: another Morality Tale in the Making.

          I’m sorry this happened to you but I’m glad you were surrounded by your two Guardian Angels, had your meds close to you and a female friend to provide a wee cuddle and comfort at the end of the day. 😀 Blessings to you and all future endeavors!

    • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 1:28 am

      I see that you think there is One True Way of baby care. Not so.

      Instead of a crib, we shared a bed. In this home, I would probably do it “japanese style” where I would keep the bedding up in the loft during the day, and at night, put it on the floor in the lounge. Then we would all sleep there. No need to check on the baby at night, you’re right next to the baby anyway.

      We didn’t have a changing table. I changed him on the floor when he needed to change, but the real trick was practicing Elimination Communication. DS went in the toilet from the time he was 1 month old. We used diapers as “back up” — in case we missed a toilet need — and so we basically changed them once a day (like undies) because they were clean. But, if we did miss, then we would simply change his diaper on the floor, and then hand-wash the diaper right then and put it on the line to dry on the sun. That takes care of the diaper-laundry issue, too. We used cloth diapers and cloth wipes, for the record.

      In terms of clothes, DS had 12 cloth diapers and 12 wipes; 5 onesies; 5 sets of socks; 2 overalls; 2 sweaters; 2 hats. This is not a dresser full of clothing. I would hand wash his clothes every third or forth day, and line dry it. It was no problem. Admittedly, because his potty was caught in the toilet and he didn’t burp up much or anything, he was a very clean baby.

      Typically, I sponge bathed him each morning before dressing him, which I also did either on the bed or on the floor. He didn’t really need much more than that, honestly, though sometimes I would bathe him in the tub with me (both of us in the tub — I needed to bathe, too, after all), so it was no trouble. He often showered with me, too. He prefers to shower now (he’s 5).

      We never had a stroller and still don’t. We did baby-wearing until he was 3 using a Moby Wrap. He wasn’t always wrapped, though. When he was walking, he would walk as long as he wanted and then we would wrap him up. Once he was 3, we just walked him everywhere, and now he can pretty much do pretty tough (labeled as “moderate/difficult” 2-3 hr trail walks. That’s a 5 yr old doing that, mind you. He’s quite good at it. And enjoys it.

      The car seat that we had stayed in the car. Why would it be in the house? We never used one of those “bucket” ones that you see now — with the baby sleeping in it. We never used one of those. We got a car seat that was designed to work from birth to . . .well, present. He hasn’t exceeded the weight/height limits yet (though he’s close, and we’ll move to a booster seat, next, which will also be kept in the car since that’s where we use it).

      Finally, toys — babies don’t need much. DS mostly played with a spoon from the time he was holding toys until he was 1 or so, when he got interested in blocks and his african drum, ukulele, and harmonica. Currently — at age 5 — all of his toys fit into an antique army trunk — it’s probably about 1/3 the size of the little seating area in the lounge space of this place. Every six months, we go through his toys/books to see if there are any that he can release (doesn’t play with any more), and then that makes room for new things. He’s great at deciding what he needs, and he knows he only has so much space for his things (just as we only have so much space for our things).

      So, basically that’s all the various problems solved simply by going with simplicity rather than being alarmist and asserting that a baby Needs All The Things.

      I don’t live in a space this small, but I could. And that’s with homeschooling and working from home. I love these tiny homes. And now, DS would LOVE to share a loft with us. 🙂

      • Cahow September 28, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Jenifer wrote, “DS mostly played with a spoon from the time he was holding toys until he was 1 or so…”.

        That must be one HELLUVA spoon! You should market it as the “Ultimate Baby Occupier” and I’d buy one for each of my adult children when they start to breed!

        Jenifer also wrote, “And that’s with homeschooling and working from home.”

        Two questions come to mind: 1) What if you CAN’T or don’t WANT to Home School and your job takes you away from home? I couldn’t imagine myself or my husband having slung our 3 babies all around a construction site or landscape site! 2) If your child sleeps with you, is homeschooled by you and you’re a work-from-home parent, has your son EVER been out of your sight? I’m just wondering how he’ll react, being away from you, in the future.

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 5:40 pm

          Foremost, I’m not dictating to anyone else how they should live, but rather asserting that based on the choices that I’ve made, I can live in this space. And, that I feel it would be enough space for me to live, work, and homeschool. It’s not an assertion that anyone else “needs” to do things this way.

          My son loved a normal, metal kitchen spoon. No clue why he preferred this over the toys available (two rattles, two stuffed toys). He basically ignored toys and preferred things around the house. Also, we were out of the house most of the day, so between my work (teaching yoga), and the other ways that I’d fill our time (hiking, mostly), DS spent a lot of time out-of-doors, and once he could crawl, I’d just let him crawl around while I sat nearby and read or would walk with him. So, I guess, in a sense, there wasn’t a need for toys.

          And yes, my son has been out of my sight many times. When he was a baby, he was breastfed exclusively — so in the first 6 months, I couldn’t leave him for more than 2 hrs, but that would happen about 3-5 times a week because friends and family would watch him while DH and I went out for a walk and some “us” time. As DS got older, the amount of time I could spend away got older (because he didn’t need me for food, obviously).

          At age 1.5, we moved overseas and started a business with offices. DH and I split our schedules between home and office to provide the care for our son, and as we made friends (largely in the AP community), we were able to trade child care with friends (they would do one day, we would do one day). We also joined a playgroup.

          Due to the nature of our work, we put DS into steiner preschool 3 days a week when he was able to go during that time, and then traded with friends for the additional 2 days (usually taking their kids on Sat/Sun, when DS went to their homes on Mon/Tues). This past year, DS and his friends started doing over-nights at each other’s houses. DS has one coming up this week.

          We are returning stateside in a couple of weeks. I’ll be reforming my business to work-from-home; DH has decided to take on a (paying/benefits) job that is work-from-home. We were looking to put DS into the local steiner school, but they currently don’t have any space for him. They do have an active homeschooling group that is associated with the school, and so we will be joining that group.

          We are considering what will be best for our family, but for the remainder of the school year, DS will be homeschooled, and we will see how we feel about that for the future once we are in the rhythm of it. I think it will work well for our family, as we already “unschool” him outside of his schooling experiences.

          We are moving from a 480 sq ft cottage (one bedroom) to a 500 sq ft one-bedroom apartment. The plan is for the live space to be the lounge, dining, kitchen, and for the work space to be the bedroom (DH’s work from home job; I can do my work anywhere, but DH often needs a sense of quiet and ‘awayness’ from DS’s constant singing. That boy sings ALL THE TIME.).

          Also, I looked for smaller apartments (say, 250-300 sq ft one bedrooms), but they just didn’t exist in the US. And studios of that size didn’t allow our occupancy numbers (3).

          So, that’s us.

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 5:56 pm

          Thanks, Jenifer, for your indepth answer. Your family lives a rich and interesting life. And that’s not “snarky” interesting, that’s “Wow!” interesting. I’m still intrigued by his love of the spoon; perhaps he’s destined to be a chef? Or metal worker? Or just a kid who loved a spoon. LOL 😀 Good Luck moving Stateside, again.

        • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 6:40 pm

          Wow, see how hard it can be to know intent? Jenifer, your comments are absolutely NOT the ones I referred to as “snarky”. I’m really glad you showed up to explain another way of living that several people here seem to look down on as “third world”, a phrase that can only be meant as insulting.

          I found that having little money gave me the incentive to live my beliefs – I had my son in bed with me from birth til got too kick-happy, lol. He was breastfed, I mostly used cloth diapers, and when he started on solid food, I made it myself instead of overpaying for food with too much packaging and suspect ingredients.

          My child enjoyed simple toys, and even though we lived in the Pacific Northwest – err Northwest, we spent a lot of time outdoors. One day while out wandering the woods with him on my back, we ran into a herd of moose! I quickly backed out of the area, but what an experience!

          What I’m trying to say is that choosing to make the most from having few resources is not something I’m ashamed of. In fact, I rather think that people who make fun of my kind of life should feel ashamed.

          Jenifer, thanks for chiming in, so that others who might be reading but are afraid to comment can be reassured that living in a Tiny Home, or any other tiny space can be a rewarding and life-affirming experience.
          Parker

        • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 6:54 pm

          Bah, I was trying to make a rain joke by calling this area the Pacific NorthWET…oh well.

          Parker

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 10:25 pm

          The kid does love to cook (he’s been helping us cook since he was 2). And he is a serious foodie. But who knows what he will be. He also likes building, playing with his lego/meccanos (building machines), art, acting, archery, playing the ukulele, etc etc. He’s a bright little thing. 🙂

          He’ll figure it out. He has time. 🙂 He has already run (and closed) his own business. 🙂

      • Bridget May 23, 2014, 8:53 pm

        Beautiful idea with the Japanese style bedding solution. We parent our 2-yo much the way you describe and in considering moving into a tiny home, I’ve been wondering how to handle the sleeping loft issue. We are currently drowning in a house 3 times as large as we need and I am DONE.

        I’d still love to see a serious half wall or the like at the edge of loft as a toddler and open edges terrifies me. Hell, I’d want it up there for me, too!

  • Victoria September 23, 2013, 7:25 pm

    I’m wondering what they lined the tub/shower with…..looks like some sort of metal…..anyone?

  • Ruth Vallejos September 23, 2013, 7:44 pm

    Yeah, the going up and down the ladder with the baby or to tend to the baby would be a challenge. I would be tempted to have a baby hoist, LOL!

    Having lived with a ladder between me and the bathroom, its not my first choice of lifestyles. I would also be worried about toddlers, coming up the steps in the middle of the night to snuggle … that loft needs safety rails or some way to keep the kid from climbing the ladder.

    I think when the baby is crying, the only time it’s really a challenge is in winter, when you can’t walk the kid outside comfortably. Even in a typical house, the walls won’t keep the babies cries quiet. Years ago we had a neighbor with twins who cried all the time. It didn’t make too much difference if they were in the house or in the stroller outside. My cat was in the habit of leaving mice on their front porch… I think as a way to shut the babies up. It takes a village to get over colic….

  • Molly September 23, 2013, 7:51 pm

    I do like this house a lot, but if I had a baby or a small child I would absolutely want to sleep on the same level as them. That ladder would get very tiresome on nights with multiple trips up and down, and possibly even dangerous depending on how sleep deprived you are while climbing. If this house had a bed nook on the first floor then I would love it.

    • Cahow September 23, 2013, 8:02 pm

      Molly: LOVE the idea of a bed nook on the main floor. Alex has featured many tiny home designs with this feature and it makes perfect sense for a young family. The loft could become a designated storage/play area with ONLY adult supervision by removing the heavy ladder away from the loft so the wee babe couldn’t move it.

      • Molly September 24, 2013, 8:47 am

        Exactly! Then as the kids get older, either the parents or the kids can move their room up to the loft for more privacy. Adding another 5 feet to the house would provide plenty of space for a bed nook on the other side of the kitchen, and then there would be some privacy and separation between the living space and the sleeping space. With a baby or napping young one, that separation can make all the difference between successful naps and interrupted naps.

  • Susan September 23, 2013, 8:25 pm

    The baby could sleep in a bassinet in the livingroom. A toddler could sleep on the little couch, perfect size bed. Children are small, their clothes are small, they play with small things. As having a room of their own eventually, I never did and I turned out fine.

    • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 1:35 am

      My husband and I have been thinking about this a lot. We have always bed-shared, and DS is 5. There’s lots of pressure on us that he needs his own room.

      I suspect that he will want his own bed in a while, but I don’t know. Currently, we do things “japanese” style — bedding is in the closet during the day, and then we put it out at night (after dinner, after tidy, before bedtime stories!). It’s warm and comfortable and we love to cuddle!

      I imagine as DS gets older, he might want his own bed (which is fine), but I wonder if he wants/needs his own bedroom. From an expense perspective, a multi-purpose room (how we use our place now), is actually very functional. During the day it’s office, classroom, play room, dining room (kitchen is a bit separate), and at night it’s bedroom.

      I’m glad you’re not broken for lack of your own bedroom growing up. 🙂

      • Cahow September 28, 2013, 10:22 am

        If anyone wants to know more about this method of raising a child, I found loads more information by searching “Attachment Parenting”. It describes this philosophy in great detail and there’s an official website dedicated to it. But, wikipedia did the best “Reader’s Digest” version for me to learn about it.

  • EmmaJ September 23, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Sweet little home!
    The only element of practicality that comes to mind with the question of adding a little person to this picture is the aspect of putting a little babe to sleep… and then needing to walk around and have lights on and stuff. It’s really nice to be able to put a baby to sleep in a darkened room. But lots of people around the world don’t have the luxury of separate rooms for different family members and make it work. You work with what you got.

    Maybe when the time arrives this will work for Gina, maybe she’ll want to modify her plans. But here’s to enjoying her little home at least for now!

    • 2BarA September 23, 2013, 10:13 pm

      It would appear, from most of the comments, that a TH is not conducive
      to starting a family (i.e., during the pregnancy and after the birth, Lamar). However, if Gina still wants to do this, I say straighten out the kitchen to include the stove on the long wall, put a door at the end and add 6 feet onto the TH to make a room for the baby, or baby and parents, but PLEASE, put the baby in its own bed. Sleeping with a baby is dangerous and not recommended. Maybe people in many parts of the world have no choice but to do this, but what is the advantage in forcing a third-world standard on yourself and your family if you don’t have to?

      • Cahow September 23, 2013, 10:28 pm

        2BarA wrote, “Maybe people in many parts of the world have no choice but to do this, but what is the advantage in forcing a third-world standard on yourself and your family if you don’t have to?”

        Thanks, 2BarA, your comment is my #1 Pet Peeve about a very few tiny house owners. I keep reading about how “…3/4’s of the Earth’s population doesn’t have running water or heat or a door or bread or….”. And do any of us think that those people wouldn’t trade in a kidney to get access to all of that? Regular clean running water, hygienic washing conditions, refrigeration and more than one room for 15 people to live in? You can be Earth-Friendly and still have a door in your house and a regular source of water that doesn’t fall from the sky. If you HAVE a choice, WHY duplicate conditions so many in the world would give up in a heartbeat? I’ll never understand vows of poverty and deprivation by choice. SMH

        • 2BarA September 23, 2013, 11:44 pm

          Thanks, Cahow–it seems you and I are on the same wave length. My late husband and I spent three years in an African country. I know that the Western world has gone overboard in many respects but if we don’t think it’s acceptable for people to live in poverty and squalor in the
          Third World, why would anyone think there is some virtue in duplicating those conditions in North America?
          Back to the TH philosophy, it shouldn’t be something one does to be “holier than thou”. I like Lamar’s idea of living tiny in order to have more freedom and less worry. He is not depriving himself of anything and is able to use his time to develop ideas for the benefit of others. At the end of the day, if I choose to live without certain creature comforts, that is not going to have a positive effect on people who do not have that choice. Amen!

        • Cahow September 24, 2013, 9:24 am

          Exceptional answer, 2BarA.

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 1:44 am

          Foremost, I don’t think that people are “replicating” the conditions of poverty or the developing world. Many people are simply noticing that there is another way to get these resources that don’t necessarily involve “the grid.” And there’s nothing wrong with this as a process.

          Secondarily, I personally take a lot of inspiration from how other people live. I love, for example, how mongolians live, traditionally. It doesn’t mean I want to live in a yurt or exactly as they do, but they — like traditional japanese living — have their main living space function as a truly multi-purpose room.

          I decided to start utilizing our space similarly, and I noticed how *efficient* it is. I am “on grid” by the way and thankful for it.

          But, we are a family with a modest income who is also looking to create financial security long-term. One way for me to save money is to rent a smaller place where we can still meet our family’s needs. By transitioning to living more simply (less stuff) and also utilizing space more effectively (rather than having a room for each purpose — here’s a dining room, here’s a living room, here’s a tv room, here’s a bedroom for each person, here’s an office, here’s a play room, here’s a crafting room, etc). I could rent a space with 10-12 rooms. Or, I can rent a space with 4 rooms (bathroom, kitchen, lounge, bedroom). We use the bedroom as an office (sometimes we need to close the door), and the lounge is the “everything else” room — dining, sleeping, play, crafting, homeschooling, yoga/fitness, etc. It works out great.

          And, it cut our rent down from $1500/mo to $350/mo. This allowed us to purchase better health care insurance for our family, better life insurance policies, to save more money into our retirement accounts, and spend more on DS’s activities (ie, get a Y membership so we could do all of those fun things together).

          Now, we are 12% saved up toward a live-income property. It’s an old victorian divided into two apartments. The bottom apartment is a one-bedroom that opens out into a nice yard. The top is a two bedroom. We will rent out the top (cover the mortgage), and live in the bottom. Why? Because we learned how to live differently.

          We aren’t “recreating” the third world. We don’t think that other people don’t want other things (it’s fine to want a room dedicated to each activity you do if that’s what you want). We just know that we can create a better financial future for ourselves and our son if we live simply.

          And it gives us the freedom to have our own businesses — which means more time together, more freedom to live our lives our way, etc. We’ve been blessed by this process of living with less.

      • coffeewitholiver September 24, 2013, 1:20 am

        Well, actually, saying that it is dangerous to have your baby in bed with you is merely an opinion. Many studies show how much better mom and tot do when sleeping together.

        It’s hardly a “third-world” thing.

        Parker

      • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 2:01 am

        Actually, it is recommended by infant-mother sleep specialists at major US universities: http://cosleeping.nd.edu

        It is — when practiced properly — not only safe, but *wonderful*. I have slept with my son (bed sharing) since he was born. He still sleeps with us now, and we aren’t in any hurry to get him out of our bed. It’s truly *the best* thing. I can’t even tell you how much we (my husband and I) love it.

        In the coming years, DS may want his own bed, but we still may share a sleeping room (since we use the main room as our sleeping room at night). Or, we might make arrangements for him to have his own room, if we (as a family) feel that it’s required.

        DS isn’t really neglected or harmed in any way by our choices for simplicity. He is a bright, happy, and well-adjusted child. He’s playful, he has lots of friends, and he has lots of play dates and even sleep overs.

        I know that bedsharing isn’t for everyone, but for those who want to do it, it can be perfectly safe and completely wonderful. 🙂

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 9:44 am

          I can’t be the only one thinking this: “How’s your sex life with your husband?” 😉

          Where is Jr. stowed when you want to create Baby #2 or just “practice” for another child?

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 3:51 pm

          Many people ask this of bed-sharers. You’d probably ask the same of a family living in a yurt where you have three generations sleeping in one room. 🙂

          I’ll give you all of the sordid details.

          First, we have sex 1-2x a day. This is to meet my particular appetite, since DH says he could do with less. This excludes menses, though, because I”m not fond of the mess. Luckily, that’s only 4 days a month.

          Second, we have opted not to have other children. This is just based on how we view our family life. We are careful with birth control. If we were to have more children, no big deal.

          Third, in bed and at night are not the only times/places in which to have sex — though, it certainly is an enjoyable time and place to have sex.

          Finally, we also have times when DS is not in the house with us — he’s visiting friends or relatives either for part of the day or overnight or for several nights (longest so far away from us has been two consecutive nights). We are more likely to have more than our usual amount of sex during these times, and we are more likely to use the bed because that is more rare. Sometimes, we go to a cabin or B&B about 40 minutes away from where-ever DS is staying, too, just for fun.

          How’s your sex life?

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 4:01 pm

          You’re a real trooper, Jenifer. I laughed my way through your answer with a nod and smile on my face. I admire your honesty and creativity and natural sex drive!

          My sex life? I’m married to a Braveheart and the kid’s have been gone for years. 😉 He loves when I play his Scottish bagpipe!!!

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 10:19 pm

          Way I figure it is that DS is only in our personal space for a short time. The last five years have been *fast* — and we really only have 13 left. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I mean, you know, because you’ve been through it.

          We had 10 years together before DS joined us, and after he leaves our home, we’ll have many more years besides. If I want to encourage DH up to 3x a day at that point, I probably could.

          I didn’t get that much before we had DS. I wasn’t very vocal about my level of interest until after we had him. So, we made it work. And I figure, you know, there’s going to be many years when he’s not in our house, not cuddling first thing in the morning, and not looking for his mom to hold him in the long night anymore.

          Might as well enjoy this special time with the kid while I can. He was only a baby a short while, and now he’s a little boy. Blink, he’ll be a man.

          I feel blessed to just take our time with him.

        • Ralph Sly September 28, 2013, 10:22 pm

          Cahow, you are such a bugger I can’t be the only one thinking this: “How’s your sex life with your husband?” 😉 Of course you were the only one thinking this…

        • Ralph Sly September 28, 2013, 10:24 pm

          Great accomplishment here today Jenifer, I received your first post and inclined to give everyone the benefit of the doubt I thought “ok, so there is one almost perfect scenario going on out there” (I will also admit that my first thought was oh ya, not in your wildest dreams girl, not that I would say that…) but Lady, you are one in a million. Enjoyably, I read all your comments, and you certainly removed my doubt as to your abilities to achieve what you have, and a 5 year track record. Admirable, however, very rare. As you explained you entire person, “thank you”, processes and systems, more of your first post became so respected. As for the rest, well, I am impressed and want to say, DH is luckier than he knows and I ask you girl, if your mother is anything like you, is she single… (Come on, I couldn’t be too serious here) I for one am also a person who believes physical contact and lots of it with another person is very important not only for pleasure but success in a relationship and many don’t factor that in with their designs let alone talk about it. I only ask about your mother because, Mr. Cahow is in good shape so chasing the missus is out of the question! But I did score; I’m getting on the Christmas card list. By the way Jennifer, you preformed all of this in more feet than this house in question provides. I do think it would give even you a few tense moments on a daily basis. I am in 250’ and could do much more here than I could in that little house and if I still had small children and was married to my first wife or second for that matter who were much like you and I more than eager to accommodate at a moments notice, then I would simply purchase harnesses for the children and put coat hooks in the entrance, dip their little fingers in honey and give them feathers to play with and problems solved for at least an hour a couple of times a day, (hum, maybe that is why my older children are cross eyed)

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 10:48 pm

          I’m a firm believer in making things work. I think these folks — if they want to live in this way with a child — will figure out how. People are different.

          One of my good friends is a walker. She carries a simple pack on her back, and she hiked through northern africa. She met her partner in Turkey, and by Portugal, they were divorced and she was pregnant. She walked all that way.

          She went to south america and decided to hike from south america to north. She gave birth in a small village in the andes. No midwife, no baby stuff. The villagers cared for her, helped her birth, fed her and let her rest. A month later, they gave her some baby clothes and a wrap, and she wore the baby and hiked.

          By the time her baby was a year old, she was back in the US, and stayed with her mother for a year. She decided to get a van, which she kitted out for seeing the states. She — and her now 7 year old — drive around the US, Canada, central and south America. That’s just their way of life.

          I have another friend who — with her partner — basically live in hostels and find work where ever they go. They live on the road. Their son is 2. He’s a happy fellow. They just passed through town on their way to a rainbow gathering in Australia, apparently.

          So, here you have a family who. . . this is how they want to live. They will make it work. They’ll figure it out.

          And if they discover that it doesn’t work, they can can simply do something else. No big deal.

          I’m a firm believer in positivity. I believe in “live your dreams” — in supporting people in what they are doing and providing resources for them to do that — even if that resource is “you don’t need a crib.”

          From there, while I might be quite “fringe” for other people, I feel very normal. I have lots of friends who live in a lot of diverse ways — some live in camper vans/RVs — many of which are not much bigger than tiny houses. Some have 3 or 4 children in these homes.

          I have friends (as I said) who don’t even have that much — they literally just travel. And, you know what? I think that’s pretty darn inspiring.

          BUt it’s not my way of life. And you know what else isn’t my way of life? A big house in the burbs. These are just different choices — different strokes for different folks.

          For me, I think I *could* live in a space this size, but I haven’t had opportunity to try it for more than a couple of weeks (camper-vanning). But, I enjoyed that process so much that we are considering it going forward. We just don’t know.

          Moving stateside, there’s a lot we don’t know right now.

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 10:52 pm

          And no, my mom isn’t single. But i’m quite different from my family of origin. 🙂

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 10:55 pm

          “…and was married to my first wife or second …”

          Ralph, darling…you remind me of that notorious flirt, Dr. Ian Malcolm from “Jurassic Park”. I’m only ever so slightly changing one of his best lines: “I’m always on the lookout for the next ex-Mrs. Ralph Sly.”

          You cheeky devil, you! LOL

        • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 11:25 pm

          I truly appreciate the responses to my question!

          Ralph and Cahow, thanks for your comments. :-). It’s too easy to get entrenched in a narrow mindset, something neither of you apparently are. We may disagree about (whatever) but can still joke, tease, and respect each other. Totally made my day!

          Jenifer, you know some fascinating people! I might have had trouble believing their stories, but for knowing some incredible folks myself who live adventurous and unusual lives…. They literally live their lives as they see fit, and I view them with awe. Most are travelers who are unafraid to take a chance, and somehow they always make things work out. Yes, that means reevaluating a path sometimes, but no regrets are ever mentioned.
          Amazing.
          Ralph, hopefully I’ll make huge progress on my TH next year. Thank you very much for your encouragement. 🙂
          Parker

        • Ralph Sly September 29, 2013, 4:36 am

          LOL, you crafty word smith you Cahow, you would make a class a interrogator as you have that way of just candidly drawing things out of people. With Jenifer is by asking the question directly and with me it was through respectful gleeful insinuation. Truth be known, my rhetoric on ex-wives is a self reprimand for being so stupid actually legally marrying a 2nd time to the lady I chose. My 2nd marriage to a best friend and playmate lasted only a month of the 4 year relationship and now both are lost and I knew better. My first marriage of 8 years was destine not to succeed but we were young, with child and in those days we did what was proper, do I regret that, not for a moment, I have two great now independent children from that union. I lived with a fantastic lady for 34 years, 30 excellent years and four not so great, she is a good friend who I care for dearly and speak to on a regular basis; wish her only the best in life because she deserves it. I do refer to her as my 2nd wife in general conversation. Neither of us figured the paper meant anything to what we had and just didn’t seal the arrangement. I am actually a very dedicated person to a relationship, full believer in monogamy and putting my mate ahead of me with everything in life. A priceless aunt told me not long ago that the Sly men put their ladies on pedestals and being married to one for almost 60 years she should know. I must admit, I am having some fun in my research for a lady to spend the rest of my life with and filling the void if one is to settle, is not the problem but figuring out the games many people play today certainly is. One of the other sites had a subject of relationships with TH dweller focusing on whether they should date each other or not. My problem is, I have such fantastic roll models in a couple of Sisters, Mother, Aunts and yes, my second relationship, and no, I am not hung up on her but she was “a lady” and I will not deny her that, ever. Where I do not compare, a new lady would have to have quality worthy of sitting on that pedestal and the qualifications are not high, just self respect and truthful dedication, “uninhibited desires would be nice” (now, you just knew I would have to toss that in didn’t you LOL”) it is hard for singles in our age group because past experiences play a large role in trust issues by those who have been hurt and can’t put those experiences where it should be, in the past and also the economical situation of both parties certainly have to be brought into the equation. For example, at this particular time in my life, financially I am far from a good catch, four years ago I was an excellent catch but have done some foolish investing and had some poorly placed trust which I hope to rectify somewhat, how much time is left, hopefully a bit but truthfully, that’s in the big guys hands. On that subject, I am from the old school, it wouldn’t bother me if I was on the upper financial ladder and found someone who had to struggle in life if she had, as mentioned, self respect and dedication but I think I would have a problem if the tables were turned. I just couldn’t see me being a kept man or boy toy. LOL. Yep, a 65 year old boy toy good god, I get more foolish every day but for now, I am having fun playing with this life, trying to complete this little project. I am having tons of laughs figuring out the absurdities of life that I am far from equipped to deal with in the avenue of relationships and proven lies people tell as if there is some gain in telling them. Good lord, we are talking a dedicated relationship they are looking for so you hope some smidgen of truth should be told. I have investigated incidences all my life and can spot a lie before it comes out of a mouth and I am very trusting. Oh, I have great sport with Bull S— and stringing people on but make the clarification before we are finished, sling it with the best of them and love story telling, I forget very little and have had some fantastic experiences with very good people whose memory I cherish. And as usual, we get off the original subject. We are going to have to find a chat room for these conversations but coming back to the subject in hand, where you and I are not in the situation to raising kids in this small of a home or see where the majority could succeed in doing so, I do not see elderly who as you earlier said have heirlooms and grandchildren to visit in a dwelling this size of space. They would have fun for a few days but I know it would drive me over the deep end. Yes Parker could probably do it because she has been researching and living the TH admirably for a long time. Jenifer, well, I think Jenifer could race Christ across the red sea if she took time to research it which she probable would. And that brings to mind possibly there may be plenty younger people out there of the same quality and determination who could make this happen. I certainly could not have done it even with 1 child and would not even give it a shot. Too much to invest and loose in both time and finances. Hey bud, your research and even the fact you did it impressed the hell out of me, to come up with those stats, I would have to take off my shoes and socks but then would probably forget what I was doing and trim a toenail or two.

        • Jenifer September 29, 2013, 4:54 pm

          Racing Christ across the Red Sea. I’ll have to look into that. I was planning on visiting the old timer’s grave in Kashmir, of course, but that might be another viable option for a holiday.

          I think what excites me about these strange economic times is that the generation just behind me (under 30s) really have fewer options in a lot of ways. As such, they are more vibrant in terms of their creativity and resourcing.

          Without adequate jobs, they take basic jobs to cover some costs and live/work their passions. I’ve been teaching a lot of these younger ones entrepreneurial skills so that they can then leverage their passions into products/services that other people want.

          With this, they have to live simply. And they do this creatively. A lot of them get into tiny houses, camper vans/RVs, and the like. Others go mobile like my friends above. And others choose to co-house.

          Before deciding to return stateside, we were invited by a lot of young couples wanting to start families. Most of them are doing the “work a menial job; create a business out of your passion” thing, so money is tight. They also want do to things like have gardens, raise children in community, etc.

          So, they discovered a camp just outside of the city that the owner was selling. They set up a cooperative and were able to purchase it. It has a kitchen/dining block and an ablution block, and then several little one-room cabins with wood burning stoves all around those main areas. It’s surrounded by “bushland” but the main grounds are cleared and grassy, with some flower garden borders. There’s also a playground on site.

          Several of the families have decided to have one person “stay at home” — and so they’re planning veg and fruit gardens, chickens, and goats for much of the land, plus keeping the playground. They also set up a communal kitchen process (I helped organize this, as well as a local chef who taught them about how to keep a kitchen working-clean) where several people cook each meal for the whole group — and it goes on a rotation. And, it accommodates vegan to omnivorous diets (and how to do that — that was an interesting process to facilitate).

          Luckily, the camp is close to the train to get to town, close to some decent schools (though some are home schooling), and the main ‘offices’ of the camp are going to be used as a work space for those hwo work from home.

          It’s pretty cool, actually. It’s creative. It’s powerful. It’s communal.

          They are getting a lot of crap from their parents — who still believe in the “get your own house and. . .” but these people don’t want to hold off on having children until they ‘get’ those things. THey want a full, real life. And this is a way that they can create it.

          I findt hat powerful and inspiring.

        • Ralph Sly September 29, 2013, 5:28 pm

          Your statement –Most of them are doing the “create a business out of your passion” thing, so money is tight. – is dead on the point for success and I have advocated that to my kids and students for years. I never made much of a success with anything I just invested in but build monsters with passion and no money. I have a problem mustering up the passion to toss into any project these days, seems like I more or less wore that out because it used to be so powerful. Work 20, 30 hours on it, sleep for a couple of hours and wake up with a new system to make the unworkable workable and have to get to the shop or office and prove it can be done. People think I am a pain in the ass now; I was a pain in my own ass back then. Now I just irritate myself a bit and many often. Lots of luck to you Jenifer, but for some reason I don’t think luck has much to do with it. Determination and pride in self is something I feel you do not lack. Unfortunately we just toss comments back and forth here, you are someone I would like to watch as time goes on, I am sure you have a very interesting future ahead of yourself. Don’t ever take pitfalls to heart; no one achieves success without a few perceived failures. I don’t even like that word, I prefer, times for re-evaluations.

        • Jenifer September 29, 2013, 8:51 pm

          One of my young friends is a costume and prop designer (day job: works at a big box hardware store), and he told DS — when DS showed him his home-made, paper bat man costume and was pointing out the errors — “that’s all good. this is just your first prototype!”

          So, yes. It’s mostly just prototypes of life.

  • alice h September 23, 2013, 9:22 pm

    You definitely want a baby to have their own room with a door, unless you’re prepared to sleep whenever they do or only do things that are really quiet, or go out on the porch at nap time. Sure there are some babies that won’t wake up when you sneeze or rattle pots and pans or whatever but many more will. I spent several months living in a converted short school bus with a baby, a pre-schooler and a husband. The stuff you really need to take care of a baby doesn’t have to take up an awful lot of room but having the space to give them a quiet napping place while you get caught up on chores sure makes life a lot nicer. You don’t need more than a small drawer full of toys either, no need to fill the place to the rafters with bright plastic junk. You can make a play mat that doubles as a toy bag, just toss everything onto it and pull a drawstring to close it up then hang it on a hook. Some common kitchen stuff makes good toys too (presumably a person will be able to figure out what’s dangerous and what’s not).

    • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 1:47 am

      I baby-wore when doing chores, and he usually slept through all manner of madness. I wore him when I worked, too (teaching yoga classes). It was pretty awesome.

      But, I admit, I had (and have) a very easy going boy.

  • JackieRuth Koson September 23, 2013, 9:43 pm

    This is a beautiful tiny house and I love it! I think the concept of living tiny is something that can help bring families closer together which is something that was lost in the internet generation. Living tiny can not only help to bring us closer together, but is of utmost importance to teach the children to play outside as our environment has so much to offer us as the full agenda of learning. Think about history! Large families would live and gather in one small cabin and now, each individual person is being taught to have a desire to have more space for oneself than what a whole family used to have only drawing people apart when we need each other for love, comfort and support during times of emotional trouble. History repeats itself and it is truly a time to step back in time and relive where our ancestors left off as we find what is truly important. Love and peace to all of you ~

  • DavidofNC September 24, 2013, 9:49 am

    I’ve noticed the biggest safety issue and reason for not getting a tiny home seems to be climbing into the loft. It seems the loft only has about 2.5 feet of clearance with a mattress in there, and your kitchen about 6 (I’m not giving numbers that add up to 13.6 limit well, variables…).
    Why not build your kitchen/bathroom on top of your “bedroom?” Has anyone seen this done? that’d be a whopping 3 ft ladder. or Steps. Yes it’d be awkward entry/exit, but so is the standard.

    • Julie September 24, 2013, 2:27 pm

      that is a really interesting concept David. I think it’s probably more likely that throughout the course of the life of a tiny house you’re much more likely to go in and out of your kitchen/bathroom area many more times throughout the day than you are your bedroom. Even if you have a baby that requires constant feeding, that phase is only going to last a certain amount of time. It seems like it would make more sense to have the space for a temporary sleeping area downstairs during that time than to permanently create an inconvenience for yourself by having to climb a ladder in and out of the kitchen. Not to mention the roof line would seriously cut into head room and cabinet space in there, which is much more easily dealt with in a sleeping loft where you are lying down and presumably sleeping when you’re up there.

    • Cahow September 24, 2013, 3:09 pm

      DavidofNC: even if you’re completely Off Grid, you usually have plumbing channeling the grey water outside. Heaven Help You if there was a leak above your mattress in either your grey water or composting toilet! :0

      • DavidofNC September 26, 2013, 9:05 am

        Cahow and Julie, good points. It would be a solution with it’s own problems, but if it could work… I don’t see a TH as a ideal or safe place for kids as permanent housing, I’m not married or have them in my current chapter of life. Addressing the “third world act-a-like mentality” issue; children raised in a TH may grow up respecting their stuff more, but would they face ridicule (and emotional damage, etc.) dealing with other children at school? Big questions to consider.

  • Tiny House Systems September 25, 2013, 8:58 am

    Does this TH have a smoke detector? How about other safety devices?

  • james mckoy September 26, 2013, 12:02 am

    Does anybody know how many square feet this house is?
    There is no information at all about dimensions on the PAD website.

    They only thing really missing for me is a washer/dryer combo

  • di September 26, 2013, 11:51 am

    Lofts are impractical for the injured and elderly as well.

    Kids get into everything. The open storage areas are not suitable.

    Floor space could be expanded by eliminating all the excess storage areas. For example, a small wardrobe easily fits beneath a daybed. A portable stove top and set of stackable pans, dishes and dry goods easily fit under a kitchen sink or a lower corner kitchen carousel cabinet.

  • di September 26, 2013, 11:55 am

    Built-ins are constricting. I’d rather be able to add or subtract furniture as needed.

  • RevW September 26, 2013, 1:15 pm

    I’m definitely with the nasayers who’ve raised children from day one +9 months! Just realized that we started our family in a Very Small House; if the living room had been removed it would have been a Tiny House with enclosed porch for the washer and dryer. Even without the open shelving, many corners, ladder/loft, and micro-kitchen that the Sweetpea has, it took a LOT of babyproofing. .. and the prior owner had already worked it over to raise FIVE kids there ( he did NOT think it was big enough, and those kids had ‘normal’ size houses) . We had a tiny woodstove that required a safe-distance barrier ; I see no heat source in the Sweetpea. ?? Hot things up close are potential disasters with a baby crawling or toddling; you have to keep them away from each other. Toddlers run into EVERYTHING and hang onto everything else! Everything must be safely anchored or non-tip or nonspill, that the little one can get to. I see no way that would work in the Sweetpea.

    We also spent considerable time occupying Very Small Spaces as the ONE kid grew up, but all of them – except when camping – had real plumbing, small real stoves and refrigerators. Without those things, using those very small dwellings would have been miserable because a child generates way more mess and cleanup than an adult, food needs to be kept at proper temperatures vs going to the store every day with the baby (a time consuming adventure every time ), even little children have playmates and need floor space – having just two toddlers playing underfoot back and forth through a narrow kitchen is another potential disaster – and YES! children need way more clothes because they need to be changed often and – there’s the growing heap of laundry that you seriously don’t want to wash by hand in the bathtub and try to dry indoors (where?) in winter.

    Anyone who thinks this dwelling would work should first move in with somebody with a new baby, and take over ALL the care of the baby for a month. With access only to the amount of space in the Sweetpea, no private space, and no closable doors. Then repeat the experiment with another family with a toddler.

  • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 3:50 pm

    The TH dreamy fantasy is a blast and then reality sets in but meanwhile a lot of a sometimes meager budget is spent in an OMG what we have done is a dumb situation! That can be devastating to a young relationship and unfortunately not fair to a child. The only seriously thing I ever did was raise children, I dropped way down on the priority pole with their fist cry announcing their arrival. All the fortune in the world left behind in a person’s life is how well they prepared their children to cope with their own personalities and make it independently in this world as it is of their structure and experience. I am proud of all my children, if I was to die tomorrow, they will be just fine. It wasn’t easy with two divorces to ad to confusion. I may have always desired the Tiny House and the laid back lifestyle, my history says much different, but it was my dream, not theirs, one child is embracing it somewhat after having to experience it and found under her present circumstances very appealing but her children are also raised living successful lives of their own volition. Now is my time and where my presence in life still effects theirs, my lifestyle doesn’t. Daddy can be the crazy old fool living in the shack spending their inheritance, (meager as it now is) on wine woman and song. Yes, introduce and educate them to common sense and this lifestyle but don’t force it, that’s not fair, they will make their own choices. Give them the education they want, (if you can, I got lucky, none of them went on to university, saved me a fortune) or get them into a good paying trade and they will take it from there. You may even have to love a dam fool, my mother did, and I do all right but what the hell, you raised it, love it to death in spite of itself. I have heard people say, I don’t live for my children, well guess what, if that’s your attitude, you’re not the brightest light in the park. Until they are adults, you are responsible for what you place out in there in what can be a cold old world.
    Take a baby, borrow one, preferably a brat and the parents will thank you and spend a week or two, I recommend at least 3 in a open concept kitchenette motel, don’t cheat, cook and clean. Then hopefully the same parents have a toddler, borrow that one, hopefully another brat (chances are pretty good) and spend another couple of more weeks (3) at that same motel, make it home in your head. Now, the brat thing, you know your child will not be a brat (of course not) but who knows, maybe there is a freak brat gene in your pool and you just end up with one. Oh yes, why you are there, try to conceive a child of your own or even just practice, practice is fun. You think this exercise is too expensive, cheap at twice the price. My last divorce cost me over $40,000 when the smoke cleared and that was really cheap. I used to tell her I hated to see her leave but loved watching her walk away. Not the last time, I loved both but wasn’t so fanciful about the way she walked away, it just wasn’t the same, kind of gleeful.

    • RevW September 26, 2013, 4:11 pm

      Sly, you do a wonderful job of being funny while being real!

      • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 5:49 pm

        Thanks Rev, some say I’m pathetic but what do they know? LOL, you were generous. I just try to shoot from the hip and if we all agreed then that would be pathetic. I sure don’t want to rain on anyone’s dreams or belittle them, I am a pro at making mistakes and they are costly. Sorry, I more or less echoed your last comment and had I read it before posting mine I would have just acknowledged yours. Good comments.

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 6:11 pm

          Sly, so aptly named…can I adopt you? Or at least, place you on my Christmas Card List?

          Sir: you have one incredible wit! I don’t associate Tiny House Talk with laughter, but >you< have made my day, many times over, with your posts today! 😀 <still laughing!

        • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 6:23 pm

          Cahow, you know I love you, how is your hubby’s health by the way. Heart good is it?

          You only laugh at my comments because I agree with yours so often.

        • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 6:35 pm

          By the way, I sold real-estate with that name, had some good memorable slogans going on with it,
          Before you list or buy, be Sly, think Sly, buy Sly, Call Ralph Sly
          And the most memorable I am quoted with years later is my response to the name and that is.
          “Sly by Name not by Nature”. (And if they were gullible enough to believe that then I would sell them swamp land)
          Did you check out my fire, that was one hot moment in this old dogs life I will tell you.

        • Ralph Sly September 26, 2013, 6:45 pm

          Woops I just read your comments on the fire, yep, that’s one experience I don’t want to repeat. Loved the tenderness afterwards but dinner and wine will be easier and cheaper for that action. Joking aside, I have a lot to thank her quick whit and observations for. You would have thought she was beside me in the unit, her voice was so clear concise and calm. I also was indeed heaven blessed and can use the thumb once more for hitchhiking. (is that still a mode of transportation?)

        • Cahow September 26, 2013, 6:53 pm

          LOL “Hubby” is Hail & Hearty, drinking an aged Scotch on the porch as I type. Being Scottish and all, his regular imbibement of Scotch and Haggis will insure him being around for a long, long time.

          Sly…you ARE sly, indeed! 😉

          I laugh WITH you, not AT you, friend! And you’re utterly welcome to disagree with any and all ramblings that come forth from my brain to this page. 😀

  • RevW September 28, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Day’s old posts are showing up now in my inbox, prompting ” … and furthermore!”. I’m fairly certain that the perfect baby who doesn’t pee all day long, mom with no back problems, no adult privacy needs situation can work in a tiny house. Or a tent for that matter. But what if “perfect” is not what gets dealt to the couple with a new baby? What if it isn’t reasonable to hand wash more than one diaper/day and hang them out to dry, because it isn’t sunny every day in your locale? What if your crafts include sharp pokey things or need a big horizontal surface? What if one of the adults is ill, or sprains something? What if the child has special needs? Expect the best and plan for the worst is a good adage regarding having kids.

    • Cahow September 28, 2013, 1:08 pm

      Didn’t you get the Memo, RevW.? If you desire to live in a tiny house of this ilk, you will be naturally Blessed by having perfect children that put all others to shame! You can be guaranteed of NEVER needing a C-Section that will prevent you from ALL climbing and heavy lifting for weeks/months; your child will NEVER need a doctor; will NEVER be ADHD-ADD, have asthma, need medication that requires real refrigeration vs. a beer cooler; and that ALL days will be Sunny & Dry to hang that one nappy outside.

      I’ve yet to read of anyone on any blog about tiny house living to experience anything the rest of us mortal fools suffer through such as sprained ankles, migraines, toothaches, cranky children/spouses or pet’s that howl constantly and shed even more. If those people DO exist, they aren’t blogging about it!

      • RevW September 28, 2013, 1:25 pm

        Obviously, I not only missed the Memo, but I and all the people I know who have reproduced also missed the sign-up for the Glitch-free Child Production workshop.

        I read that as ‘cranky children, spouses and pets that howl constantly’ … all of them, in unison, interminably.

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

          OMG, RevW!!!! I think my run-on sentence was more telling than I had intended. ~blush~

          Good catch! ~blush, again~ You’d make Freud proud. 😉

          Yeah, I feel like a ‘dang fool’ for not hitchin’ my wagon to the tiny house movement 45 years ago! I could have avoided my C-Section with my last child; our dog would never consider to plant a turd on the carpet for bare feet to find; my youngest son wouldn’t have broken his forearm climbing a tree; and my husband would never snore nor fuss after a hard day’s work in 105 degree heat in the shade.

          Alas, I must suffer in one of the addendums to Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell by living in a home attached to the soil with running water, flush toilets and electricity. Woe is Me! 🙁

        • RevW September 28, 2013, 5:04 pm

          It’s not unusual for someone who is 6 mo pregnant or more, or ‘wearing’ the baby in a sling or backpack to discover that getting in and out of a small bathroom is very difficult, and that reaching things, in particular the stove and other dangerous appliances has become very difficult by virtue of being off balance and twice as wide front to back. That’s with building code mandated 3’+ clearances between things to start with. Even spending an extended amount of time in a standard motel room with fridgette & microwave, legal size bathroom, no ladders, a baby &/or toddler can be difficult.

    • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 5:53 pm

      I can’t seem to reply to specific people on my Nexus 7. Oh well 🙂

      I’ll try to clear up my own current Tiny living situation. I live on my elderly mother’s property in a small camper while slowly designing and building my TH Olivers Nest. My son is almost 25, and technically lives in my mother’s house but actually is rarely there – he has a very serious relationship and it wouldn’t surprise me if they get married soon.

      I will eventually move my completed TH to a remote wilderness area, completely off-grid. I am not off-grid now, but I’m learning needed skills for my future.
      I am a single mother, and my income has been so small that my boy and I often found ourselves having to share very small spaces since he was a baby. I know by experience how to raise a child in a tiny space!

      It’s interesting to read the snarky comments by people who apparently strongly feel that if they wouldn’t/couldn’t do something, then nobody should/could. Given the nature of this website and people who desire to live a simplified, less consume-driven life, I have to ask what’s your goal? It is a wonderful thing to express ideas and opinions, as we can all learn from each other. But it’s clear that some comments aren’t geared towards sharing information and helping one another, instead seeming only to have fun deriding those if us who live differently.

      Am I right or have I missed something? I can be sensitive, I realize. 🙂
      Parker

      • Cahow September 28, 2013, 6:20 pm

        Parker wrote, “It’s interesting to read the snarky comments..” and “Am I right or have I missed something? I can be sensitive, I realize.”

        I like doing research, Parker, so I made a Tally Sheet of all 68 comments on this topic. There were 15 PRO raising a child in this specific house. There were 26 Non-PRO or those that had many reservations about this specific house. There were 27 comments that had NOTHING to do with either for/against/or about this house but just general questions, comments or random silliness.

        So, it’s about 1:2 against raising a family in THIS house, not ALL tiny houses. I think the majority of concerns are about sharp corners/lack of safety doors; lack of running water/laundry; loft space and ladder dangers; and no door for privacy for baby or Mum & Dad.

        Humour is subjective and I found some of the snarkier responses about the messier side of raising kids truthful and hilarious. Your mileage may vary. 😉

        • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 7:15 pm

          Yeah, I agree there are some sharp, funny folks who hang out here! I definitely got a giggle too. 🙂
          I like humor, for sure – But some things said just appear ignorant, and derogatory.

          I’m positive that many people read but don’t comment – hey Alex, what about putting up one of those anonymous polls?

          I love the design of this particular TH, and as I said before, I could make it work with a child after making some adjustments. I’d definitely block access to the ladder. Heck, I’ve had to modify “normal” homes for safety – you do what you have to.
          Parker

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 8:02 pm

          Hi, Parker. 😀

          You wrote, “But some things said just appear ignorant, and derogatory.” And I couldn’t agree more with you but that blade swings both ways, with a very few tiny house zealots mocking and hatin’ on anyone that isn’t into off-grid micro house living. There’s times that I’ve read blog posts or watched youtube videos from some tiny house believers that would beat you bloody, if they could, for owning a refrigerator or more than two pairs of shoes. Some are borderline Eco-Terrorists and after watching some of their videos, I have to wonder if they are on a Watch List. Then there’s the posters that admonish anyone for owning ANYTHING but the barest of necessities saying that “…it’s all just stuff so you can get rid of your Grandmother’s pearl necklace because it killed all those oysters back in 1903 and the quarter sawn oak table you inherited took away the habitat from XYZ species in 1889.” Great way to make someone feel guilty about their heritage and roots, don’t you agree?

          I’ve also read tiny house blog postings where the author makes living in a tiny house to be akin to magic, nullifying the identical experiences in a home larger than 200 sq.ft. Come on, is sunlight REALLY more magical because it comes through a set of windows in a 100 sq.ft. home vs. 400 sq.ft. home? And eating vegetables at room temperature because you lack refrigeration; HOW does that differ from my vegetables, fresh from the garden, that also weren’t refrigerated? It doesn’t…but I feel like an ad-agencies “spin doctor” is trying to tell me that THEIR experiences are so much more noble because of their tiner footprint.

          If some of these people had their way, a magic button would be pushed and THEY would be transported back to the discovery of America, but then THEY would be taking the land from the Native Americans and wasn’t that the worst crime in American history?

          I’ve read arguments on Alex’s site when he posts a nice blog posting about a 500-800 tiny house and then people are arguing that those homes “aren’t tiny enough.” Then, there’s arguments about tiny homes not being BIG enough. Then, nasty comments when a tiny home is TOO modern or TOO traditional. It just goes to show you that there is NOTHING that people will agree upon…and never will be. So, all you can do is nod or shake your head and move on. That’s what I do when I read a tiny house blogger who I vehemently disagree with; I just delete the email and go pet my kitties or dog.

          I hope my response helps you see that everyone’s belief system gets spit upon at times.

        • coffeewitholiver September 28, 2013, 9:53 pm

          Cahow, you are correct!

          I spoke up here only to point out the unhelpful stuff that was gaining momentum and taking over any useful ideas people might be cowed into not expressing. It is hard enough to speak up when your ideas aren’t conventional, much less if they are ridiculed!

          I totally agree with you about the eye-rollingness of statements I often see – my latest favorite being that if you use any space outside of your Tiny Home, the you “miss the whole point”…good grief, I had no idea there is only One True Way of living in a smaller space.

          Thanks for taking time to have this conversation with me. 🙂
          Parker

        • Cahow September 28, 2013, 10:09 pm

          I’m honoured to have a good conversation with you, Parker. I find that if people listen twice as much as they talk, they learn more and fight less. Thanks for speaking up for those that have yet to speak and those that already have. 😀

        • Ralph Sly September 28, 2013, 10:57 pm

          Ok, now Cahow, you are proving what a fake you are, fresh vegetables from a garden? And just how many more sq’ of food storage are you taking up in your opulent capitalistic existence. Wow, have you had me sucked in. LOL, love ya.

        • Jenifer September 28, 2013, 11:09 pm

          I think those arguments about whether or not 500-800 sq ft is “tiny” or whatever are silly.

          But, I get the idea. It’s like a designator. At Apartment Therapy, they have a contest every year and they designate things like this:

          Teeny-Tiny (under 250 sq ft)
          Tiny (200-500 sq ft)
          Very Small (500-900 sq ft)
          Small (900-1200 sq ft)

          I think those are good designators because the average US home these days is something like 2500 sq ft. So, yeah, 1200 sq ft *is* comparatively “small.”

          My mother, one of 6 kids, was raised in a three bed, 1200 sq ft house. My father, one of 5 kids, was raised in 950 sq ft. Totally different sense of space, right?

          I live in the “tiny” category — under 500 sq ft. I prefer this size, honestly. I absolutely love this sized house for our sized family (3 people).

          What is interesting is that when you choose small living (or simple living?), you are suddenly bucking a lot of class issues. And, that does come up here (with the “third world” concept) — when a person is choosing teeny tiny.

          But, the judgment flows both directions. That’s why you get the “not tiny enough!” comments. People feel a need to really defend their newfound positions and “freedoms” in that — and so they demonize the “other.”

          It’s common in parenting. “Conventional” Parents say that AP parents are “crazy!” and AP parents say “conventional” Parents “just don’t get it!” or are “ignorant!” or whatever.

          I’ve discovered that this is not true at all. I mean, yes, there are some parents who are idiots (in both camps), but *most* parents are just cool, loving people who want to do well by their children. They make the choices that work for them and their family, you know?

          Same is true with this housing. THere are some tiny homes that I am like “awesome!” but there’s no way I could do my family in there. There are some where I think my family would do well, though (in the under 200 sq ft category).

          That being said, I have a preference for the 500 sq ft range. I love that 450-500 range, personally. It’s a comfortable “two bedroom” size. It’s why I’m playing with the studio/one bedroom/two bedroom construct. I’m curious about it. I like to see what works.

          It’s why I rent, too. I want to be able to change if something *isn’t* working. When you rent, that’s pretty easy. I’ve lived in several different formations since moving overseas — two beds, one bed, one big room, yard, no yard, near park, nearer beach farther from park, near hiking trails, farther from beach, etc. It allows you to try things on, try things out, see what works.

          And, you know, when you have very little money, going smaller does save a fair amount to spend on other things. Things like expensive schools or going to a movie, which sometimes you just need to do!

          Anyway, that’s my thought of it. 🙂

        • Ralph Sly September 28, 2013, 10:38 pm

          Parker, it’s nice to find out you are a single mom, makes knowing you a little better. I hope my ex-wives never felt like single moms, I did have my children more than equal time. I understood you loud and clear, even your intent to make the little joke, they call the City Castlegar (more of a large town) I live in “Cancelgar” because in foul weather it’s not fun waiting for a flight out because of weather. I have flown a fair bit and felt I could take that sucker up, but that would be in a small plane, on my first flight I was happy someone who knew what they were doing was in control. Where I am going with this Parker, we generally respond to the first comment and place opinions on that, please read my final comment to Jennifer and I may be a little clearer on what I am saying her. I read everything you post when I find time to trip on some subjects, yes I have a lot to say but realize, I use my true identity, probably unwise and truthfully if I was younger and still in the work force of responsibility, I wouldn’t but that would not do anything toward creditability, I am accountable for everything I say as I do in my everyday actions. I think you, your opinions and the way you are handling your situation is absolutely fantastic so much so that I signed on to follow your blog last evening because you, certainly interest me. Please never read between my lines, I put it right out there from my view point not trying to be judgmental or condoning but I do feel I am in the majority and then someone like Jennifer and yes you, comes along and you can make much of this TH living work, but so many just have the dream and a little shake into reality comes into focus, I think that is what Cahow and people like my new heroes Rev and Alice are all about Jennifer has certainly elevated herself to someone I will not doubt in the future, she really put it out there and that is honesty.
          I have to agree with the use of outside area as well, I want to develop 250’, yep, that’s great but am presently using the other 250’ of this old shack for junk and enjoying the fact I have it, that gives me 500. Like you with the barn, I am putting a mobile café outside here, will people consider that more living space, it will no doubt be helpful because I cannot see me using my present cooking situation much. I now have a large BBQ the 250’ storage space and use it often so what is that all about, I am not using just my kitchen in the TH, see where I am going, by the time I am finished, with the patio, probably and another 250’ in the upper level love nest and who am I kidding with that, I am now 65, have some SOB health issues (but good drugs takes care of that and has some added benefits with additional steroids in them, hell, I already think an elevator is in order just to get the old gals up there and still fit to laugh because old and naked is funny. I already have matching teeth cups and wig stand to store spare parts. Yep, I am a regular boy scout, I am prepared. I have had some people take me to tasks on opinions and just to ruffle my feathers, I do try to answer them nicely but when I can’t get my opinion out, I do a short comment back, yep I can do that, it’s simply a “You Have A Great Day”. And if you see that on one of my comments, then you can read between the lines and the meaning is Go away clown, you are an A hole…

  • Jude September 29, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I would LOVE to see pictures that don’t stretch the reality of this beautiful home.

  • Garth October 25, 2013, 5:35 pm

    So many good stories here!

    Toys are for the grandparents, and the noisy ones get to stay at the grandparents’ houses. When our older son was a toddler, he enjoyed taking the pans out of the area by the stove and putting them back. He enjoyed seeing each new Kleenex magically appear when he pulled the one out before it. He liked being read to. He enjoyed examining the bugs outside. Toys? Hardly a need. The younger one, although very different, also was not enthralled with toys. Obviously as they get bigger, they need more room, but that can be steered by the parents and their values too; and kids adjust, much better than the adults do.

    Kids can adjust to anything, as long as it’s not abusive (which living in a small space does not qualify for). Because of my parents’ work, they moved 23 times in their first 21 years of marriage, and I remember thinking of a hotel room as “home” when I was a kid.

    You can put a bassinette in the loft, and a child can be taught to stay off the ladder. We lived in a small 1-bdrm apartment our first seven years of marriage. We put the kids in the bedroom, and my wife and I pulled out the sofa sleeper for us to sleep on, and, when we got up, it only took seconds to fold the bed in and turn the living room back into a living room.

    I must comment though that kids don’t make the family. They only enlarge it. If you’re married, you two are a family. Demonstrating this mentality goes a long way in making the kids feel secure, because they instinctively know that they themselves are not qualified to lead and give any stability to the family. Fortunately we learned this when our kids were small. Now they’re 22 and 25, one is married, and we don’t have a single bad thing to say about either of them. They are a joy in every way.

    • Molly October 26, 2013, 8:45 am

      I would be concerned about carrying a baby up and down a ladder. That leaves you just one hand to hold on to baby, and one hand for the ladder. If baby gets squirmy, or reaches for something, one hand can be challenging. I would never want to climb a ladder in any situation with only one hand to hold on to with.

      I spent one summer at a day camp taking care of 2 and 3 year olds. Our napping space was in a large loft, and it was very challenging, and these were kids that were old enough to help themselves up and down. There were several incidents that left bruises, even with multiple adults helping. No way in the world I would do it again. Much, MUCH safer to leave baby on the ground floor.

      • Garth October 26, 2013, 10:58 pm

        I’m frequently moving stuff up and down the ladder to/from the storage loft in our garage, and I can imagine various methods to avoid the problems with small children; but it’s nice that some tiny houses are being presented now with stairways. We always want to protect the kids of course, but they are rubbery compared to the adults and not nearly as fragile. Good padding under carpet would prevent injury, as long as you don’t land on top of them. Our older son got over the railing of his crib when it was up when he was about 8 months old, and went down head first on a concrete floor with little or no padding under the thin carpet. Although it was scary, it didn’t do him any harm. Now he works for an IT and computer-networking company and fixes their clients’ (mostly medical offices’) problems. The 2-story house I and my two sisters grew up in had no padding, and glazed ceramic floor tiles even on the stairway. Never had a problem.

  • RevW October 25, 2013, 5:54 pm

    “A child can be taught to stay off the ladder”… until they forget.

    • Garth October 26, 2013, 11:08 pm

      We taught ours to obey, and we could have full confidence that they would, including when it may save their life. No chasing, no jerking them by the shoulder, no yelling, etc.. It can be done. It’s easier to forget _to_ do something you’re supposed to than to forget _not_ to do something prohibited.

  • RevW October 27, 2013, 12:56 am

    That may work well when you are right there. But accidents do happen. And children do try things that you’ve never imagined they’d even think of. To me its seems that there has to be a balance between *actively* protecting children from their environment and trying to train them against all possible situations. (That’s what baby-proofing is about).

    Nobody else has had a child who sleepwalks?

    • Ralph Sly October 30, 2013, 6:26 am

      My eldest Son Rev and he were found out in the neighborhood, thankfully on a warm night, from a very secure house. Thank God for good neighbors that knew who the little gaffer belonged to. I even alarmed his door with a sting apparatus which would wake us but not he and he actually found a way around that. Strange thing to understand sleep walking. He did that for years and we never did figure it out. Maybe that is why the travels so often as an adult. LOL. At 44 he has no recollection of any of it and doesn’t believe us with the stories we have about it. I held that lad in my arms many an evening at all hours. He was also a sleep screamer and I don’t know about today but in our day, all I could do is get up with him and hold him. Until you brought it up I had forgotten those things. I could only imagine raising Ed in a tiny house. During the day, as a child, he was just a pure pleasure to be around.

  • OffTheRadar November 16, 2013, 11:25 am

    Does anyone happen to know for sure what size trailer this is on?
    It looks to be 8 x 16!?

    I emailed them several weeks ago and never received a response.
    I’ve lost a big chuck of my enthusiasm in dropping $300 for a set of plans when I can’t get an answer to a very basic question.

    • YKG January 25, 2014, 7:17 pm

      I used an online calculator to come up with around 16′ x 8′ which means, at least to me, that there’s room for plenty of expansion.

  • Tim April 29, 2014, 8:00 pm

    People in the U.S. are spoiled when it comes to thinking that every child and adult must have their own room and all the traditional things that we think should go in it. Adults have a way of finding private moments when something urgent comes up. We have become so obsessed with social laws that we no longer know what it means to truly be a family and grow together.
    We can learn much from our pioneer history if we can just get out of the mindset that we have to “have it all.”

  • RevW April 30, 2014, 1:14 am

    I don’t think it’s about being “spoiled” – my pioneer ancestors got everyone into separate or 2-person bedrooms as fast as they could add on rooms. Separate bedrooms in the 1st World countries is about not being poor: “Poor” people have to share rooms, comfortably well off people don’t is the thinking. Emulating conditions enforced by poverty isn’t necessarily a good thing.

  • Tim April 30, 2014, 1:45 am

    Nor is emulating The Thinking (conditioning) enforced by society a good thing either. The worst form of poverty is losing the values of what family really is. Tiny house living is about freedoms that mainstream society has not yet come to accept.

  • RevW April 30, 2014, 3:59 am

    I imagine that there are many definitions of “what family really is” -some quite opposite each other. Yours, mine, polygamists, Buddhist nuns, Navajos, New guinea tribal people, aging hippie communes – all families by their own definition. Some of them very different from ‘mainstream’ society (Western, eurobased, American)… and very different from the specific ideal you’re referring to also. None of which has much to do with Tiny houses except that most of those widely differing families wouldn’t fit into ’em!

  • Mary May 1, 2014, 11:36 am

    I have successfully raised two kids to adulthood, so feel slightly qualified to comment here.

    Yes, I believe you can raise a child in a tiny house. Our first home was less than 500 square feet and held four of us quite comfortably. That said, the design of this particular house is not terribly kid/family friendly.

    As others have pointed out, babies feed every two-four hours each night. I struggle going down ladders wide awake, never mind sleep deprived. It was scary navigating a spiral staircase in the small apartment we briefly lived in when my daughter was an infant. And it had a hand rail!

    Also, lofts are fine for kids, if you put in adequate safety railings. Too tall to climb over and spaced so heads can’t get caught between the posts.

    As for space considerations, like costs, it’s a matter of having the right focus and priorities. Kids need very little in the way of toys and clothes to be happy. Mostly, they need love, nourishment of body and mind and firm boundaries. My ex was a trucker. I stayed home. We never had much money. But we made do. I sewed clothes for the kids (this was in the 1990s, by the way) and we cooked at home a lot.

    My kids were encouraged to play outside, to be creative (crayons and paper, Legos and a few other imagination triggers kept them happy). Today, both have finished high school, work full-time and live well in small homes. Neither carries any debt or is overly attached to stuff, status or name brands.

    So, yes, it can realistically be done, but this design is less than ideal. And doing this is not for everyone.

  • Tim May 1, 2014, 11:42 am

    Well said, Mary!

  • Homeschooling November 22, 2014, 9:21 pm

    Right away I amm going away to do my breakfast,
    afterward having my breakfast coming again to rea other news.

  • Ky April 20, 2015, 6:01 am

    The realities of parenting are different for every family. My daughter is nine months old. I was several weeks post partum before I would have felt comfortable enough to go up and down a ladder on my own let alone toting a baby up it. As a nursing mother,there is no way this sleeping situation would have worked for us whether we were cosleeping or if my daughter was in a bassinet. Tending to a newborn or infant means getting up at night, sometimes many many times a night. They also still need a dedicated space to sleep during the day, which means a crib or bassinet taking up valuable space or you sleeping with them so they don’t roll or crawl off of the loft. As for clothes and other gear, you’d be surprised how much space it takes, even using the bare minimum. Despite having teeny tiny clothing, they need a lot more of them as they require frequent changes. Early on, it is almost necessary to have the next size clothing available as they grow so quickly. Diapering items and a designated changing area are necessities, not a luxury. We use cloth, which tend to take up more space too. We could certainly avoid wasting space storing things like strollers and walkers as they are rarely used in our house, but I can’t imagine any age so far or in the near future (now that she is close to walking and climbing) that this would be a safe home for us.

  • Susanna May 6, 2015, 7:59 am

    This product is also sold in Italy?

  • JanneZack May 6, 2015, 3:44 pm

    You BUST me up!!!! Yes, you can start a family pretty much anywhere (like the first comment pointed out)! But I do understand what you were saying. This one is lovely, but the photographs really distort the areas… notice the narrowness of the rug in one photo, yet it looks totally square in another… the toilet seat is abnormally wide. BUT I would like to know the dims on that TUB and where they got it. I want a tub in mine even if it’s small. I don’t know that I’ll ever use it, but dogs, kids, etc. would find it handy. The cat might even nap in it!

  • Kat May 6, 2015, 10:49 pm

    I love this design, except I would build stairs and build short depth closets where there was any wall space to maximize on storage.

    If it were my home to design, I would mix this design with the Pinafore design. Either way, I just love looking at all the designs and the efficient ways to come up with a compact way of living.
    Love the frequent updates, Alex. Keep ’em coming!

  • Debra VS May 7, 2015, 12:33 am

    I’m not fond of the ladder, but, other than that, I believe that one child can be raised in this house. A bassinet or baby hammock for when it’s really young, up in the loft, would work for nighttime. A smaller one in the living area would work for the daytime. There’s a bathtub, so the bathing needs are taken care of (although, when babies are really tiny, I’ve always used the kitchen sink and counter top). The problem will be when the baby is too large for the bassinet, so the switch to a crib will need to be made. But, there’s room for a crib in the living space, so that’s also doable. It wouldn’t be any more difficult to baby-proof this house than any other house and the child certainly couldn’t get out of your sight or into anything it shouldn’t easily… inside the house. So, I’d say it will be just fine for a young family.

  • Maria May 7, 2015, 7:55 am

    I like tis one. But instead of the built in sitting under the window I would put in a day bed. couch by day,bed by night. Where burners are I would put in an rv stove that has three burners and a oven. As for washing clothes I would get a small portable washer and hang the clothes outside like the good old days.

    • RevW May 7, 2015, 2:10 pm

      When it rains / snows, where do you hang the laundry to dry in a tiny house?

      • Maria May 7, 2015, 6:45 pm

        Folding drying racks and shower rod in bathroom.

      • RevW May 7, 2015, 7:10 pm

        LOL, Maria! I use drying racks and the shower rod in a not-tiny house, and it takes forever to dry a small load of laundry because of the space requirements. In bad weather, the floor space in the living room is taken up by drying laundry. The full bathtub length shower rod will hold one sheet. Each drying rack is 30″x 16″. Where do you put the drying racks in a tiny house, and still be able to get through? I’m serious; how is this possible without always having baskets of wet laundry and drying racks taking up a significant amount of interior space – in a very small interior – whenever the weather is not good?

  • Rebecca Gawboy May 7, 2015, 8:17 am

    The challenge of a loft bed with a ladder would be carrying an infant up and down.

  • merely May 6, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Parents and kids differ so much in how they live and play together. From age 1 to 7, I think a tiny house might be preferable to a larger space if 1) you have another space outside the house to spend time in. – a large yard, a parent’s house. 2) you have a good preschool/school with lots of room to run and lots of sensory input, and 3) if you can solve that loft problem. If you are single parenting or have a partner who is gone ALL THE TIME like I do, it might simplify a lot. I like the idea of a loft for a 9 year old living with a single parent. It could work all the way up to age 13 or so, with the right kids. But little kids who want to sleep with parents are going to go where the parents are if they wake up in the night. I think using the loft for storage or parental get-away space and making the bed in the living area at night would be the best possible situation here. I also would need a washer.
    This particular house seems to be seated behind a grandparent’s house. That could solve a lot of the issues, and make the tiny house the perfect space of the family’s own. Parenting more than one child in this space would be very tough – not much in the way of time-out space, probably conflicts over turf in siblings close to the same age. But overall — being close to a young child most of the time is a good thing – if you can share with grandparents or friends and have a little time of your own. You can make dinner with the kids, set up the table with the kids, read books with the kids. I just don’t know about laundry. The bathroom has one of those perfect kid-sized tubs and a shower – that works. Kids prefer composting toilets. If you have an outdoor area, that provides all of the sensory toys needed.

    I don’t think I would like to be in this space with a newborn infant, unless the grandparents were next door, and the heating was perfect, and I was single parenting without having to work for the year. I don’t think I’d like to be in this space with two pre-teens. But with one adult downstairs and one teen in the loft – you would actually have a pretty good situation; not too much area to clean, and hopefully a well trained child who would clean up at that point. And let’s face it – most teens are not home that much. If they are, it might be good to not quite give them as much privacy as current society dictates. I personally would want to know of evidence of drug use, give a teen less space to mess up (because they don’t know how to deal with all of that extra space, and just fill it up with junk), and make a situation where it is impossible for them to avoid some social contact. But again, everything depends on the particular kids and the particular adults! There is no one way.

  • Peter Piper May 6, 2016, 10:10 pm

    Have spiral staircases gone out of vogue? I can’t abide ladders to the loft… especially when there is no need for them. A spiral staircase takes up practically no room and you don’t have to stow it away!

  • kristina nadreau May 7, 2016, 11:14 am

    as the mother of 4, I would not choose to bear or raise a child in a tiny house. I really do not care to hear more BS about how anything is possible. Of course it is possible, but is it responsible or enjoyable or the best choice for the circumstances?

  • Betty October 15, 2017, 8:44 pm

    I am with kristina. Living this tiny with kids is no joy. My husband was a lowly one striper in the Air Force when we had a baby. We lived in a tiny cottage that I could barely stand. After a C-section and complications we had to move. More space was needed for us. Practically drove me nuts with baby stuff, my stuff, and all his miltatary gear! I think I could tolerate a 300 sq feet no loft tiny house, since I am a widow and alone. 😌

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