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Small Spaces

Recently, I put everything I own into a 7×7 PODs storage container. I carefully chose this size after chatting online with the company (a feature I always like from a service provider and completely necessary since their site has a horrible UI, but that’s another post). The container arrived and was parked outside my apartment ready to fill.

I honestly couldn’t believe that all of my things were going to fit! Practically my entire life would be inside this thing and surely it would take up more space than this! The day came to pack, so I hired some guys off craigslist to help me. These packers were swift and quick and mighty. Each item from my 1-bedroom apartment was stacked in like a game of Tetris. They managed to fit a (almost 7-foot) couch, my queen-sized bed, a large dresser, a 46″ flat screen TV, a dining table, a sofa table, a set of side tables, a stack of boxes and even a couple of guitars in without much fuss.

This whole thing got me thinking about things. You know, the stuff that we drag with ourselves from place to place. What is it with stuff? How do people get so attached to stuff? Can the desire to have a lot of stuff be summed up as basic human nature? I have a lot of questions. However, what are some ways people challenge this norm? Would we all be better off with less space and, thus, less stuff?

Take for example a recent buzz about this guy, Bo Le-Mentzal, a German architect that has set out to create the world’s smallest and perhaps most-affordable housing ever. Called the One Square Meter House, it features a roof, a door (lockable), a desk and a window. When the house is sitting upright, you can sit at the desk or read a book. Alternatively, the house can be set on its side, so that the occupant can lay down and sleep.

Le-Mentzal said that by using his plans, which he does NOT charge for, you can build the house yourself for about $300 USD. Check out the article on dvice.com about it. In this house having ANYTHING would be an issue, so it’s essentially made to contain just your body. Could you live in a space like that? I don’t think I could, that’s for sure. But I am still wondering what compromise would or could be suitable. You know, me and maybe a little less stuff?

The idea of making things easy to move, flexible and mobile usually means the design needs to be smaller and uncluttered. Of course, the idea of mobile homes and trailers are without a doubt NOT new, but what about making these types of housing cool? Remember those old Airstreams, the silver bullet trailers for camping? I personally have always thought they were SO cool and would still love to own one, one day.

If you google Airstream renovations, you’ll find a lot of inspiring remodels to be sure, from Airstreams turned into art studios to living/work spaces, or just decked out to be an even better camper. But check out this renovation done by Hofmann Architecure for Mr. Mark Hofmann, himself, that was featured on Inhabihat.com

There are also some beautiful photos of the project below via hofarc.com. Also worth a look, a beautiful collection of storage unit and other alternative homes

I think I prefer a happy medium between tiny and super-sized in my living space. Give me space to breathe, but enough shelving for my hair products and travel nick-nacks, ’cause I am a human that likes some space.

 

Hofmann Architecure

Hofmann Architecure

Hofmann Architecure

 

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  1. Photowalla says: August 21, 2012

    A great post! As an enthusiastic steward of the environment and an anti consumerist, I’ve been on a quest to downsize my life for over a decade. Micro homes fascinate me but I’ve also found they might not be practical for my lifestyle. Many have suggested trailers like the airstream you showed, but part of me can not let go of the stigma attached to living in anything on wheels as a permanent dwelling (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhgfjrKi0o);-D, not to mention our SMART car could never pull a trailer. My wife and I are artists, and very design savvy. We have decided on a 320 sq ft shipping container powered mostly by sun and wind. It’s extremely portable, but doesn’t have wheels. It’s an ideal space to design however we’d like with the option of stacking others on top like Lego while maintaining the same wee footprint. We’re even utilizing a living roof system to help offset the 320 sq ft footprint. You might enjoy some of the designs you’ll find through http://www.fabprefab.com/fabfiles/containerbayhome.htm Dwell Magazine also has many features about living in less than 1000 square feet. Check these out too…
    http://www.dexigner.com/news/8317
    http://www.dasparkhotel.net/
    http://www.tubohotel.com

    • Jill Specter says: September 19, 2012

      Hah yes homes on wheels sort of synonymous with “trailer parks” and gypsies …. and all that goes along with that…(heh).But I agree doesn’t need to be like that. Anyhow, Thanks! Great links! All very inspiring! PLEASE send us pics of you and your wife’s shipping container home when it’s done. I’d LOVE to see it!

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