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Brattleboro Tiny House Fest grows into big ideas

Brattleboro, Vermont — Tiny House Fest Vermont (THFV) began with 5,000 attendees in 2016. As the festival grows, so does its engagement with not-so-tiny ideas. On Saturday, June 23, in downtown Brattleboro, up to 30 houses will be on view, and over 35 presenters will celebrate design while asking how the tiny house movement can change communities for the better.

TH Village

View of the Pop up Tiny House Village in downtown Brattleboro. While Hurricane Harvey passed through the area, the number of houses and attendees who came to tour tiny houses and see presenters increased over the year prior. Credit: Liz Lavorgna, Core Photography

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How small a house is just too small? Dee Williams, a pioneer in the tiny house movement, is pushing her personal limits by downsizing (again).

You may know Dee because she’s lived in an 84 square foot home for the last 13 years, but now she’s downsizing…into a one-level, 56 square foot house.

Will it be too small? Maybe! But she’s curious and plans to find out!

Dee’s Current House: The Kozy Kabin

Dee Williams Kozy Kabin Tiny House

All photos © PAD Tiny Houses

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Dee Williams built her tiny house on wheels in 2004, so long ago that she had to track down Jay Shafer in person just to figure out how to build one. It was before the tiny house movement as we now know it – there were no blogs, videos or ebooks back then. Dee has lived full time in that little house in Olympia, Washington for over ten years, although last year she added a second, even tinier house to the mix: an eight-foot-long Don Vardo design with no loft. This second house has become her home-away-from-home in Portland, Oregon when she visits friends or teaches tiny house workshops.

The full story of how Dee came to build her first little house more than ten years ago is a long and rich one. Her memoir, The Big Tiny, came out last year and arrives in bookstores in paperback on April 22nd, 2015, and there’s no better way to hear the story than from Dee herself.

When I visited her simple little house in Olympia last year, most of our conversation focused on how the house has changed her life and perspective. For Dee, one of the biggest changes was that despite building the house to be “self-contained,” it actually taught her to be interdependent with others – to lean on her friends more, and let herself be leaned upon.

Dee Williams’ Life in Two Tiny Homes

Dee Williams tiny house at the University of Oregon

Dee’s new tiny house went book touring with her through California and Oregon. Photo by Dee Williams.

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