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Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  703 ratings  ·  82 reviews
There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home. Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in t ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Shelter Publications
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Meredith Holley
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it

snowboarder tiny house:

Mike Basich tiny home in Utah

Lighthouse tiny house:

Broadhurst crib tiny house

hobbit tiny house:

hobbit house in Wales

I don’t even LIKE hobbits, but I would so live in that house if it’s as cool on the inside as it looks on the outside. And if it has hot running water.

This book is pretty fucking cool. It has a bunch of rad tiny houses and floor plans for them. It has a house made out of wood pallets! WHAT?! And instructions on how to make a house like that. It has a bunch of adobe houses with hay bales for insulation. So, t
Sandy Plants
So much YES. Like Lloyd's (and Shelter's) other books, I didn't like all of the houses/designs/architecture, but the things I DID like felt like...maybe a similar feeling to when I was a kid and I saw a REALLY cool tree fort and thought, "wow, that is everything I have ever wanted." I want my life to feel like that in all ways as an adult: child-like wonder and playful imagination. Seeing other people reclaim their lives (from a capitalist system, hell-bent on sending people to their graves afte ...more
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've seen a lot of the houses in this book before online, featured in magazine articles, on youtube or in alternative builder books, but it is nice to have them all in one place. I would have liked it better if there had been interior shots and a floor plan for each one, but as it is the book is full of eye candy for those interested in exploring the living small options. This book covers most of them, cob, stone, prefab, modular, tree houses, bus conversions, yurts, vardos, adobe, straw bale, a ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

This is a comprehensive book on small spaces - really more than homes since it includes studios and sauna buildings.

As the author notes, this book is in response to/inspired by the subprime mortgage crisis begun in 2008 - when so many were buying large homes beyond their means or needs. Author Kahn envisioned "an antidote to the overblown single-family houses of recent decades."

The book is really written by the home o
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A little part of me would like to build a tiny house off the grid and not tell anybody where it is, yes.
Caolan McMahon
May 19, 2021 rated it liked it
A slightly disappointing read after Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter. This felt a much more amateur publication. Some photos were pixelated because they'd been scaled too large - for example - and the accompanying text didn't tie the book together as well. Probably because the photos and descriptions were directly from the builder/owner instead of from Lloyd himself.

Some of the buildings were interesting, of course. And it was still fun to leaf through - I just suggest you borrow a copy instead of b
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I’ve always been an avid backpacker and sometimes when I’m doing a hut trip I wonder what it would be like to live in a cabin or a tiny house. This book goes through the various types of structures that have predated the tiny house movement with a little of that as well.
Each section deals with a different type of dwelling and has info (probably outdated) of a builder who specializes in that type. Lots of awesome pictures as well.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hippies, hippies everywhere.
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've recently become intrigued by the idea of small space living. We had our own "purging" in our house, getting rid of truckloads of extraneous "stuff" that we had acquired over the years. Initially a bit daunting, I came to find the process quite cathartic. Since then I've been intrigued with these small homes, wondering if I could take it to this extreme.

This book was so enjoyable, with all the different concepts of small space design and lots of pictures glorifying it. Plus all the homeowne
Skyler Friedman
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is a highly detailed book on the construction, ideas, and fundamental concepts behind Tiny Houses. Every page has a new story of the tiny house constructed by one person. The book describes a wide range of tiny houses- from tiny house cars to tiny house trees. Although the book doesn't contain a plot, each page develops it's own short story on how each tiny house came to be. I highly recommend this book for those who take an interest in living small. ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I originally intended to browse the wonderful photos and be done, but I ended up reading the accompanying info mostly written the builders and or owners. Only quibble: I'd love to see actual floorplans. Lots of dreaming and fantasizing. This was put together by Lloyd Kahn of Whole Earth fame. What a treat! ...more
Brian Haddad
Feb 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I love this book. It really gets you thinking about what your living space means, what you need, and what you want from life.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a gorgeous book. The pictures are lovely and there's so much homes packed in these 200-something pages- if you're looking for small space inspiration, you'll definitely find it. I loved that it's not just about the one aspect of tiny living- the aesthetics of tiny homes, the ecological benefits, the bumps on the road people have when building, plans and measurements for some of the houses... There's a little bit of everything for anyone interested in living in a small space.

The on
Pamela Hatch
I have learned to live in small spaces. Most of the books that I pick-up on small interiors start at around 1700 square feet. That's not what I call small. This book shows homes that are indeed tiny (under 500 square feet). The text consists of short illustrated essays about different people, there circumstances, and the solution they found in a tiny home. I skimmed a lot of it. I was more interested in floorplans than anything else. The book contained some, but not as many as I was hoping for. ...more
Tonya Hardin
Aug 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Informational but could use more. I was intrigued of all the different ways to live. Plus the size too! I love the images of the outside and inside plus the floor plans on some. I enjoy reading the stories to of the creators.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyable. Good photos. Lots of interesting themes and ideas for home spaces.
Melissa Stevens
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Cool ideas and a large variety of homes. Not enough interior pictures. Lots of interesting builders to look up if you are looking to build.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: foodie-hippie
Whatever Kahn's intended purpose was with this book, it did not mesh with what I was looking for. I am just beginning to explore the idea that I may possibly one day choose to live in a tiny home. I appreciated the different varieties of homes profiled in this book, but could have used much more detail about them. It seems that the owners of each one just sent some photographs to be published along with their letters saying they'd love to be featured in the book and a couple interesting details ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, interiors
Lloyd Kahn is back with another collection of handcrafted, unique and special homes. Each page photographs structures, interviews builders, and creates a portfolio of sorts of each builder or home. "Tiny homes" in this book are defined as under 500 sq feet. I enjoyed Lloyd's book Builders of the Pacific Coast and I love tiny houses, so checking this out was a no-brainer for me. The book includes chapters about tiny homes on foundations, tiny homes on wheels, tiny homes by architects, prefabs & k ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I want to take a road trip to see the wonderful, whimsical, and occasionally weird houses Lloyd Kahn profiles profiled in this fun and inspirational book. Then I want to build one or two or six. (Although I suspect that building six tiny homes defeats Kahn’s purpose, which is to show us how to live large by building small. ) Kahn features more than 150 builders who construct amazing wee spaces—under 500 square feet—from straw bales; recycled tin, boards, and bricks, adobe, sticks and logs; prefa ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecology
Written as a collaborative work featuring the homes and space, written by the people who built them, Tiny Homes is a great source of inspiration for smaller more sustainable living. Many of the homes and spaces (studios, saunas, offices) were built using salvaged materials, opening up the readers options, not only in size, but also in economy.
Covering a great number of less-than-conventional but earth and pocketbook friendly construction methods, like straw bale, cobb, and palate, and including
Randee Baty
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by little houses but I am. This book about them is a beauty.

This is not a how-to manual. You'll have to look elsewhere for blueprints. this is more of a dream book. It shows lot of tiny houses, all under 500 sq ft. It has detailed photographs of interiors and the descriptions of many of these houses are written by the builders themselves. They tell how they were inspired to build, what techniques they used, how it's working for them, etc. It is full of inspira
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
What a delightful and interesting book! This totally speaks to the inner child who loved her playhouse and tree houses and made forts. What an awesome idea for a vacation property. I was especially fascinated with the caravans and tree houses. Some of the dwellings and owners look like there were some aging hippies who didn't sell out and many of the options are pretty green. It was interesting to see the diverse creations varying between architects, pre-fabs, and DIYers. Several of the builder/ ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The pictures in this book make me want to build a small home. Despite I already have a old home and my books alone would not fit into these homes.
My twenty-three old has wanted to build a tiny home for years now and loved this book too.
The range of all these buildings is astonishing and creative and beautiful most bring the outside landscape right into the homes.
I love the tree houses eventhough I can't climb stairs.
Also like the idea of using building materials that are not being used an
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference, netgalley
From Shelter Publications, Inc.
by NetGalley

This book is so cool! Very informative and inspiring in a way.

To think that those people can live in s simple manner and in a small space made me realize that we don't have to have big houses to be content. That used to be my thinking when I was a kid because during my grade school days, me and my classmates always thought that having a big house makes you rich and that will make us happy and content but, after the years had passed and hundreds of cond
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Joyful" is the best word I can use to describe Kahn's new collection of tiny homes. Each under 500 square feet is a gem. Many are handbuilt and lived in by the builders. Others are from built by companies specializing in downsizing for the 21st century. The book is packed with interior and exterior photos along with loving descriptions of the homes and the building processes from the builders/occupants. Homes run the gamut from stylish mini-homes, homes that can be transported, traditional Brit ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a Review Copy of this book through NetGalley.

The antithesis to your garden-variety HGTV glossy house porn books and magazine spreads. A charming book full of beautifully photographed tiny houses, with small essays and vignettes interspersed to keep it from becoming just a bunch of captioned photos. The main message of the book is that small homes can be comfortable and livable if they are thoughtfully designed. A book you can happily curl up with and dream your way into a little cozy
Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: minimalists and those who desire a simpler life
I received a free digital copy from the publisher. Amazing photographs and information. Open this book and start daydreaming! :-) I like these kind of books because I believe simplicity is a gift - it's so easy to clutter our lives.
Other similar books I've read and recommend:
Treehouses of the World and America at Home

I found a paperback copy at the library in 2014 and re-read this. In 2013, I was able to become a first-time homeowner. My home is under 500 sq feet, very cozy and colorful in Colo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Such a great book.Not only are there tiny homes but also tiny homes on wheels and tiny homes on boats.

One thing I was surprised about was all the homes looked so clean and well organized. I know living in a small space, organizing is a must in order to keep the abode looking clean but I was surprised since most of the homes were built with recycled parts, straw bales and even clay. Even the tiny homes built on cars and buses looked well organized and clean.

My only concern with living or even sp
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A concise survey of the tiny homes movement current and past, _Tiny Homes_ provides an excellent introduction for those unfamiliar with the topic while providing enough comprehensive coverage on the topic for those interested in building primary or secondary tiny homes. In addition to providing an impressive number of resources for a book of its size, Lloyd Kahn provides readers with an extensive array of photos and a wealth of personal accounts from tiny home dwellers. While the books layout an ...more
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