On the small side

The Tiny House Movement is gathering devotees around the world, but are you ready to embrace the joys of living small?

Does the idea of living smaller and more simply sound appealing or a little daunting to you? Tiny Houses are defined as homes under 400sq ft (around 37sq m), and the Movement is already a well-established social phenomenon in the US, Canada and Australia – now it’s beginning to get traction in the UK too, for practical reasons as well as a lifestyle choice.

Over the next 20 years, the land available for homebuilding will become ever more scarce, with the cost of properties rising faster than salaries. A growing number of young workers needing affordable starter homes and older people downsizing from family houses will mean that small homes will become the most sought-after of all.

Tiny houses have less of an impact on the environment, they are cheaper to run and they can be a gateway to greater self-sufficiency.

Tiny houses come in many variations to suit every taste, from repurposed log cabins, adapted containers, and converted shepherd’s huts to constructed from a kit or purpose-built on wheels. What they all have in common is that they enable simpler living in a compact, well-planned and incredibly efficient space. Even if you’re not ready to commit to permanent tiny-house living just yet, their creatively designed interiors offer plenty of inspiration for any home.

Advocates of tiny-house living argue that downsizing forces you to simplify your life, value experiences over possessions and spend wisely on considered, well-made purchases.

In a tiny house, everything must have its use or, even better, multiple uses. The pared-back style of Scandi summer cottages makes smaller spaces feel airy and light and – with space at a premium – built-in solutions, such as staircases with storage alongside clever pieces are a perfect choice. You can find more inspiration and try out a compact way of life yourself by booking a stay at a shepherd’s hut, cabin in the woods, remodelled bus or summerhouse through canopyandstars.co.uk.

If you do decide to commit to this pared-down way of life, remember that fixed tiny homes can be subject to planning permission, although one way to achieve your tiny dream could be to make it moveable. Tinyecohomesuk.com are tiny house specialists offering custom-designed fully-towable mobile homes.

With small-space living likely to become a growing trend, could you really live in a tiny house?

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