Aug 8, 2011

Looking back in time . . . . . . . . . . .


I have such fond memories of tiny spaces where I either played, lived or wished I did.  As a little girl I was fortunate to have a precious homemade play house of my very own.  It was my sanctuary in the back yard. A safe place to escape from the daily dysfunction, uncertainty and drama that occurred in the big house.  It was my cozy tiny house to play in and pretend that all was well.

When I was just seventeen and still in high school, I rented my very first place in the California bay area.  It was a cozy two hundred square foot, two room studio apartment.  I remember the rent was ninety-two dollars a month including utilities which was perfect for my budget.  I loved to decorate even back then and I was into the shabby style long before it was chic.  After I painted the kitchen and combo bedroom/living room, hung window treatments and wallpaper it looked SO much better.  I filled my little home with previously owned treasures and furniture that I purchased at the still up and running Alameda, flea market in California.  I shared my little studio with my husky shepherd dog, Buster.  Despite having no yard or patio, It worked out well for me and my canine companion until I graduated from high school.  


In my twenties I found an adorable little backyard cottage to rent.  The sweet little house was charming.  The yard had a huge oak tree, tons of lavender, shrubs and flowers.  On one side of the cottage was a waterfall and a pond.  It was magical  place and so charming.  The flowers in the yard attracted many birds and wildlife which I enjoyed watching from the windows of the little two hundred and fifty square foot tiny home.  I thought of creative ways to store my clothes and belongings and everything had it's place.  I entertained my friends in that small space and everyone who visited me just loved it. That little cottage served me well for about three years. My Aussie mix dog Nikita also shared my home with me and she seemed to enjoy the little house and beautiful backyard as much as I did.

Over the course of many years I lived in and owned several spaces that I called home. From a two story town home, back yard cottage, studio apartment, two bedroom duplex, a flat in San Francisco and even a renovated barn on seven acres - yet I always have the fondest memories of the small cozy spaces.

Today, many people have become interested in tiny homes and smaller alternative living options.  The tiny house movement has stretched across the world. People are starting to realize they don't need as much space or as many possessions as they thought they once did.  Others are tired of the mortgage prison they call home.  Some people just want to simplify and downsize their lives.  Others are concerned about the environmental impact of living large and they prefer to live all the way off the grid in a tiny space. While others are very tired of the rat race and desire to live debt free and have more time doing things that are important to them.  There are many reasons to consider downsizing or simplifying your life.  While tiny house living is not for everyone this blog may give you some insight to what is possible for you.

Tiny spaces can also serve as a guest or caregiver cottage, back yard office, craft or hobby space, a second home as well as a primary home without the house payment.  What ever the reason, the tiny home movement has generated a lot of interest as the world economy changes ever so fast and people are looking for living options.

Now, in my fifties and with a love for tiny spaces still deep in my heart, I jumped right into the 'tiny house on wheels' movement.  I am having a 8' x 24' tiny home on wheels custom built for me.  It will fit in a parking place and I will be able to tow it where ever I want to park it.  More about my tiny retreat later. Once the project gets started I will post pictures, updates and lots of information about it. The picture directly above and below is very similar to the tiny home I am having built by a custom tiny home builder. Isn't it adorable?

In the meantime I am learning how to blog.  Please be patient with me as this does not come easy for me. Actually, when I think of really simplifying my life, throwing my computer out the window comes to mind as the first thing on my list that would make a BIG difference in my world.  But how could I share my corner of the world and my love of tiny spaces with you if I did that?  If you are like me you can never see enough pictures of tiny homes or hear about to many ideas for ways to store your stuff in your tiny home.  I am a big fan of the tiny house blog, but one of the things I miss is seeing tiny homes decorated on the inside.  I don't see much in the way of the home owners personal style incorporated into the inside décor in most of the tiny homes on wheels being built today.  Just because you live in a tiny home or space it doesn't mean you have to forsake color, décor or style.  On this blog, I hope to feature and talk about furniture, appliances, products and décor that will work well in tiny spaces. And guys who own tiny homes - don't be scared by all the pink and fru-fru pictures on this blog. Let yourself be inspired in some way if you made it here to this blog and have read along this far.

The playhouse of my child hood served many purposes.  It was a place for me to be a kid.  My inner child could come out and play.  It was a place that felt safe and cozy.  My little house wrapped around me like a hug.  For me, it was place of enchantment and also inspiration.  As I grew older it served as a hideout and a clubhouse of sorts.  My dog Taco and Buster, and my orange cat Taffy were the only members of my club. My mother allowed me to paint the playhouse as my moods changed.  Needless to say it was painted many colors over the years, much like my current home is changed out with fresh colors of paint over time and through moods.  Some things never change.  As a kid and later as a teenager I had such fun decorating that little play house.  Fuzzy purple pillows and a lava lamp filled the area where the vintage pink kids play stove and refrigerator once stood.  My dolls were put away for a very long nap.  There were many stories inside the walls of the little white playhouse with the navy blue trim.

The playhouse also served as a guest house when my grandparents came to visit us.  My grandpa snored SO loud he was asked to sleep in the play house.  For him, we rolled out a carpet and put in a small wooden chest of drawers and a cot to sleep on. I also remember a white enamel pot with a lid that sat next to his cot. It must have been the original composting toilet - lol.  He loved my playhouse as much as I did.  In the morning I would run out to the back yard and open the top half of the Dutch door of the playhouse to see if he was awake yet. He would greet me with a huge smile and pick up his old leather wallet from on top of the chest of drawers.  My first experience being a property manager and landlord was created when grandpa would pull a dollar from his wallet and say "this is the rent I owe you for letting me use this fine little house, and keeping me safe from your grandmother".

It is my hope that when I get my tiny home built that it will serve some of the same purposes as the playhouse of my youth.  A place of enchantment, security, safety, whimsy, fun, entertainment, a studio, a  hideout, a guest cottage, maybe a possible rental or just my shabby chic tiny retreat. It will be my chic shack - my menopause cave - my inner child playhouse and what ever else it involves into. I am so excited !!!

                              Until next time - Find a cozy and safe place for your inner child to play.


R said...

Love this and hope someday to do the same thing, down size and enjoy every moment.

R said...

Love this and hope someday to do the same thing, down size and enjoy every moment. said...

We are starting our journey to smaller living. It is so refreshing to read your blog. Thank you.

Tonita said...

Welcome. After experiencing life first hand in several homes over the years there is something great to be said for all of them. I often miss life in a larger home, but living in a 570' home at this point is just financially practical for me. My tiny 8x24' tiny house is just way to tiny for me to enjoy and actually be comfortable in for extended periods of time. I have several friends who jumped on the tiny house bandwagon and have since sold them and moved into larger spaces. Unfortunately you don't see to much info on that topic. Somehow they seem to feel they have failed living a 'tiny lifestyle' and don't want to discourage others from tiny house living. Everyone needs to choose a space that is comfortable for them. I hope you enjoy a new smaller living lifestyle.

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