I could never live like that!

Don’t get me wrong.  When HGTV first started airing shows about Tiny Houses, I was fascinated.   But I was equally dumbfounded.  The practically non-existent kitchens, the bathrooms where you could hardly turn around, the living areas (you could hardly call them living rooms) with no space for comforting couches, the steep stairs (or, heaven forbid, ladders) to a loft where you could barely sit up . . . I could never live like that!

But with voyeur-like guilt, I continued to watch, wondering the whole time, “What’s the appeal?”

Then I started to get it.  Not the severely limited space or the loft ladders, but the idea that there’s something appealing, refreshing even, about living with less.  Which, of course, is what most aging people face.

I remember when my grandmothers were placed in a senior home: They lost all their sense of place and almost all of their belongings.  To say nothing of their connection to lifelong homes and neighborhoods.  All that in exchange for a minuscule 12 x 14 room with a bed, dresser, and chair.

But the tiny house movement began to open my eyes to different possibilities of living tiny.   Maybe downsizing didn’t need to be so radical.

Eye-opening versions of “tiny”
Cousin Cabana
“Cousin Cabana” designed by architect Jared Haas

Here’s where things start to get fun.  When I stumbled across an article on Tiny House Town about a “Cousin Cabana” designed by architect Jared Haas in Austin, Texas,  I was hooked.   Now this was what 480 square feet could look like!

Cousin Cabana living room
Cousin Cabana living room

This one photo was virtually the face that launched a thousand ships.  From there the treasure hunt revealed a wealth of tiny house gems where I could definitely live!  I found that I just had to expand my definition of “tiny” to 400-600 square feet, and I had to think “foundation,” not wheels.  But, oh, what treasures abound.

"FabCab" universal design prefab
Aging in place universal design by “FabCab” – 550 sq ft
“Tiny House Inspiration No 14” from Decoratio
"Duo 36+24" by MiniHome
Sustainable independent living in the “Duo 36+24” by MiniHome
What do you want?

Want a great room with high ceilings? Take a look at the “Wedge” model by Wheelhaus.  Its 400 square feet features 17-foot ceilings!

"Wedge" by Wheelhaus
“Wedge” by Wheelhaus

Want a living room with lots of natural light?  Large floor-to-ceiling windows in the 400-square-foot “Salish” model by West Coast Homes bring in a flood of sunshine.

"Salish" by West Coast Homes
“Salish” by West Coast Homes

Want a real master bedroom?  A Tiny House Town article on the “Caboose” cabin by Wheelhaus caught my eye.  How lovely to see this inviting bedroom (can hold a king-size bed!) fitting beautifully in 400 square feet.

"Caboose" by Wheelhaus
“Caboose” by Wheelhaus

Want a kitchen you can actually cook in?  Check out this Maine tiny home designed by R. Lloyd McAllister of Creative Cottages.  The interior of this 418-square-foot tiny house boasts a lovely full kitchen.

""Creative Cottages"
One of the “Creative Cottages” designed by R. McAllister Lloyd

Want a luxury bathroom?  Well, they’re a little harder to come by, but this “granny pod” bathroom with universal design might just do the trick.

"granny pod" universal design bathroom
“granny pod” universal design bathroom
Sacrifices or gems?

Okay.  I’m convinced.  Tiny living doesn’t have to be sacrificial.  What about you?  Stay tuned for the next Tiny Houses for Seniors post.  Or, better yet, sign up to receive new posts in your inbox.  And please share your discoveries!

– Marcia, host for Tiny Houses for Seniors

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