Tiny Home Designs - A Look at Lloyd Kahn's Latest Book

by Susan MacVittie

In an era that has seen the North American home jump from 800 sq ft in the 1950s to the sprawling 2,300 sq ft house of today, perusing Lloyd Kahn’s, Tiny Homes, the latest book in his Shelter series, is a refreshing view into the wonderful world of small houses.

A growing number of people have decided to scale back and simplify their lives by choosing to build smaller, more efficient homes. Kahn provides an inspirational pictorial of every conceivable small structure folks call “home.” And small does mean small – 500 sq ft small. Perfect for a student or single person wanting to get away from mortgage payments or just wanting to get rid of “stuff.”

From a ready-made reclaimed tiny home to an off-grid house-on-wheels, colourful caravans, cob houses, tree-houses, and houseboats, Tiny Homes is a treasure trove of innovative designs by professional architects and self-taught builders.

Many of the builders speak of sustainability, efficiency, and aesthetics as the driving force behind their designs, as well as the desire to create something that reflects their personal values and lifestyle. While most are permanent residences, some are cottages and homes for the moment.

As Kahn says, “It needn’t be permanent, but it may work right now. It needn’t be this small but the ideas here are certainly antidotes to the overblown single-family houses of recent decades. It’s moving in the direction of small.”

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Lloyd Kahn – Tiny Home and Shelter Series

[From WS March/April 2012]

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