Ciara's Reviews > Tiny Houses

Tiny Houses by Mimi Zeiger
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's review
Mar 17, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: gift-book-adjacent, read-in-2012

jared picked this up for me at the library because he knows that i am obsessed with tiny houses. if i was still single, i would totally buy one of those tiny little victorians that people set up in, like, their uncle's driveway or whatever. but i can't do that as long as i live with jared because he likes to pile enormous stacks of books, papers, dishes, clothing, shoes, curtains, tools, etc on every available surface. i couldn't live with the clutter in a smaller space.

this book is mostly just photographs of tiny houses, defined by the editor as houses that clock in under 1000 square feet. this took me aback. jared & i measured our own house, which is a one-bedroom bungalow most likely built in the 1920s. it's between 700 & 800 square feet. so technically, it's a tiny house. i don't feel like i live in a tiny house though. i feel like i live in a one-bedroom house. it really doesn't seem any smaller than most apartments i've lived in. & it's considerably larger than some...anyway.

combine the rather large "tiny house" footprint with the fact that the author was much more interested in aesthetics than functionality, & you have a coffee table book full of so-called tiny houses that are completely uninhabitable. sure, people can & in some cases do live in some of the house, but a lot of them are just architecture experiments--people mucking around with green materials or unusual window treatments or whatever. i don't really care about architecture so i did not find this remotely exciting. my interest in tiny houses comes from wondering how much space is really enough for a person to live a normal, satisfying life. i think that if you have to find a backyard to park your house in with a friend who will let you use their bathroom, it doesn't count. if you can't cook in your tiny house & there's no cold storage for, like, a gallon of milk, i don't want to hear about it. if you can't live in it when it's snowing or when it's the dead of summer because it's not weather-tight/appropriately insulated, i'm done. pretty much every tiny house in this book was an exhibition piece for an archutectural firm or some kind of weird art project. ugh.
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