This is a tiny house movement timeline… A brief history of tiny homes. How far back does the tiny house movement go? Some could argue that tiny homes have been here since the dawn of man. And it’s true, isn’t it? But for the purposes of this article, I’d like to start by skipping to the year 1854 because that’s the year that Henry David Thoreau published his book, Walden, after living in a 150-square-foot tiny cabin near Walden Pond on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s woodland property.
Little did he know, that he may be largely responsible for having sparked the giant tiny house movement that we are witnessing today. So please join me on a journey back in time, to explore the tiny homes of yesterday and see how they have inspired the tiny and small homes of today. And who knows, maybe we can figure out what the tiny homes of the future will be like? Let’s go…
His new tiny house design is aimed at taking things back to the absolute basics and simplicity in all aspects. That means a home which is simple and pleasant to live in, simple to build and also simple to afford. This new tiny house design costs a remarkably low sum of US $5000!1
Here’s your chance to help the homeless and get your own Jay Shafer/Four Lights Tiny House Company plans for just $250.
Shafer and affordable housing advocate, River King, have teamed up to build a 5-to-6 home community for the homeless in Sonoma County, California. Along with the houses, Shafer and King will create a common area and garden where children can play safely.
They are looking for $100,000 to complete the project, and in order to raise the funds, Four Lights is offering any of its designs for a tax-deductible donation of $250. This is really a win-win if you like Shafer’s designs and you support his mission to provide affordable housing for those in need.
Check out the video about Tiny Houses for Humanity below, and head over here to donate (and get your blueprints!). To see Shafer’s plans, go to Four Lights Tiny House Company.
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’s new tiny house went book touring with her through California and Oregon. Photo by Dee Williams.
Meet B.A. Norrgard. She’s a woman who attended a Four Lights Tiny House Workshop in February of 2013. After the event, she bought the Gifford tiny house plans and started building.
Five months later, her little house on wheels is complete. And now she’s been hired as COO to work with Jay Shafer and the rest of his Four Lights Tiny House Company team in California. Now that’s a pretty awesome story, isn’t it?
Once upon a time she was a litigation paralegal. And she desired a change. Now she’s helping others simplify their lives to live more purposeful lives. Just like she’s doing. Jay Shafer is calling her a “tiny house superhero.” And right now I just felt I had to introduce you to her. So, please, take a video tour of her new tiny house below, enjoy, and re-share if you feel compelled to!
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