Most people know that happiness in one’s home looks different to everyone, at least most people in the Tiny/Small House Movement recognize this.
We have found contentment in the freedom from cleaning and maintenance, consumerism, huge mortgages and utility bills and the freedom to do more of what we love with those we love.
Most tiny and small house dwellers are also very careful not to disparage those who haven’t downsized or don’t think they could ever live tiny or even small.
No harm, no foul. To each their own and all of that right?
The other morning, while watching the morning news on television while Dale got ready for work, my drooping morning eyes grew wide watching an ad for Haverty’s, Furniture, a 130-year old retailer based in Atlanta. Its website describes the company as one of the “top furniture stores in the south.”
The ad shows a couple talking to another couple in a large home. They begin talking about their furniture, which one of them explains was designed by Haverty’s.
The rest of the commercial goes something like this:
Man: We were just so excited to get out of that 100 square foot space.
Woman: How big is your house now?
Man: 3,000 square feet. We still have the original structure in the backyard, she uses it as a yoga studio.
The camera pans to a tiny house outside the window.
Woman: More like a tool shed.
I admit that I’ve called very large homes McMansions. There are several definitions of “McMansion.” In my mind, it’s not a derogatory term, but one that just describes upsizing, as in a regular McHamburger to a Big Mac. Everyone makes their own choices and I’m good with other people’s, as long as they don’t judge or interfere with mine.
As a small home dweller, I do take exception to my home being called a “tool shed.” First of all, as the Tiny/Small House community collectively enters the new frontier of selling the benefits of having tiny and small home communities to codes officials, the attitude that they are unsightly shanties or “sheds” is not helping the effort. Second, what if a tiny house is all of the home one can afford? Should it be compared to a tool shed?
As a business school graduate, it really kind of blows my mind that a company, one that describes itself as “one of the leading furniture stores in the south” doesn’t see the potential new marketing demographic and create a line of furniture for our “tool sheds.”
I know it’s become chic to run others down in our society, our politicians do it, celebrities do it and it’s done in advertising. But I couldn’t help sharing my thoughts with Haverty’s on its Facebook page: “I know the Tiny/Small House Movement isn’t in your sales demographic, but your latest television commercial comparing tiny homes to “more like a toolshed” are insulting to a growing demographic of people who are finding that living a more simple lifestyle is right for them. You would think your marketing gurus would understand the growing trend and recommend that your company try to embrace the movement by designing furniture that would fit in a tiny home. We have been living in our 480-square foot cabin for 8 years now and love it. We also love the furniture we’ve found that complements our home. Personally, I’d rather live in a “tool shed” then find the need to judge or degrade anyone else’s lifestyle choices. I would NEVER shop or recommend your store to anyone.”
If you agree, you can tell Haverty’s on their Facebook page or Tweet @Havertys, using the hashtag #myhomeisntatoolshed.
What do you think? (The comment button is upper right next to title)