I stumbled upon this article, entitled “The tiny house movement still comes with a sizeable price tag.”
The article left me scratching my head, to say the least.
The author starts off great by comparing McMansions with fast food joints, “On a cost per square foot basis, the typical McMansion may seem like a good deal, but like a Big Mac, what sort of nourishment does it truly deliver?”
That’s the question we asked ourselves when we lived in the city. We had 1,100 square feet, not a McMansion by any means, but we still had enough space in the house to have one bedroom that was completely unused except when we wanted to throw something we didn’t know what to do with in there because our closets were so full.
We had four televisions in the house and enough space to allow us to spend more time with those sets than with each other.
How nourishing was that to our relationship, much less the environment when there was so much wasted/unused space?
He sets up what was seemingly his thesis “But how to convince America’s real estate gluttons that this approach can apply equally to dining rooms as well as dinner?”
And then the piece just gets, well, weird. In short, Greg Beato states that, “A smaller home can help you attain a new level of consumer obsession,” and he goes on to:
· Diss Sarah Susanka, who has written several books on small space living and Jay Shafer, who designs and sells his tiny Tumbleweed homes. Presumably, they really aren’t advocating anti-consumerism because they’re paying their bills by living their own passion – designing and writing about tiny homes.
· Spin off into this tangent: “In a McMansion, you can easily lose sight of the stuff that gives your life meaning because it gets packed away in closets, spare bedrooms, three-car garages. In a tiny house, everything you own is on display. If you’re looking at your kitchen appliances all day, you have a legitimate need for the most gorgeous kitchen appliances known to man. If space is at a premium, you can be forgiven for upgrading to the flattest flat-screen TVs, the most compact washer/dryer combos.”
The most laughable of all, though, is this:
· “A McMansion can almost seduce you into a spartan lifestyle. A big garage means space for a big car, so you don’t have to travel to the grocery store as often. A restaurant-grade kitchen means you’ll eat at home. Your media room will reduce entertainment expenditures.
“Is it any wonder that as houses grew bigger over the course of the past decade, our economy took a nosedive?
Never mistake the small house for a totem of sacrifice. Like Chez Panisse over Olive Garden and Whole Foods over Safeway, the small house proposes less for more as the path to consumer satisfaction.”
Is he trying to use irony? Sarcasm?
Here at Our Little House, We don’t care if we upgrade to gorgeous anything because we’re sitting in the same space staring at it all day rather than stashing it into cabinets or closets.
Functional and making use of what we already have. That’s what we care about.
I cook now more (and better) than I ever did in 17 years with a kitchen twice the size. We are more conscious of our imprint on the world, thinking sustainable (making use of the Three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in every thing we do. I don’t have to go looking for Dale when I want to talk to him or hunt for the dogs in a far corner of the house under unused beds or furniture. We don’t care that our home doesn’t have a home theater and we stay home more now than ever, treasuring the things we have because they are also the things we need/love. Nor do we make unnecessary trips to town because we don’t have room for a lot of groceries.
In short, we’ve learned so much more by living in a small space that we ever dreamed. We’ve truly learned the meaning of Living Large.
I would like to hear your take on this article?