Staying in a hotel with my family – husband, three kids and springer spaniel – isn’t always my idea of a vacation. Let’s face it: most hotel rooms are pretty bare bones. So, to foster a spirit of relaxation and actual sleep, I usually opt for condos or townhomes whenever I can. This past fall, instead of booking our usual condo for a weekend getaway, I decided to book a tiny home.
I won’t lie; I did it a little as a joke. My architect husband has long bemoaned the tiny home movement. He’s very considerate of a family’s lifestyle when designing homes and it’s usually his opinion that tiny homes are better on paper than they are in practice. When he found out that I’d booked a tiny home for our vacation, he rolled his eyes and I was ready for a round of “I told you so.”
What we learned over a three-day stint in a tiny home surprised me. As it turns out, small space living isn’t for everyone, but it’s probably not as crazy as you’d think. Here are five things I learned about tiny homes that I couldn’t have grasped without actually staying in one.
Okay, first, some of the drawbacks. While the tiny home we stayed in was cleverly laid out and made use of every inch of space, it also meant the floorplan wasn’t exactly ideal. To fit a full galley kitchen and range, the full-sized fridge opened directly across from the bathroom door. In fact, you couldn’t walk through the kitchen if the fridge was open at all. You definitely make a few concessions when it comes to a dream layout, especially if you’re trying to utilize standard-sized appliances and cabinets.
Because tiny homes have such limited space, your outdoor living situation becomes more important. We found ourselves spending a lot of our time playing outside. With three active kids (and a hyper dog!), staying inside would have meant cabin fever – and probably a few broken lamps. If you really are considering a tiny home, I think your location and lot will be even more important than that of a traditional home. Simply building a tiny home under the premise that you’ll just park it wherever you can could mean getting stuck inside – and that could lead to some major cabin fever. A great porch, open lot and outdoor seating made all the difference to us.