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Red House, Blue House, Small House, Spite House

This week, I rediscovered a topic that I’ve enjoyed discovering before: Houses of Unusual Size.

Unlike the Rodents of Unusual Size, these are homes known not for their mass, but for their lack of…mass.

They’re small. Really, really small, like this mobile home that’s about 120 square feet.

Elm

(Maybe it could keep that tiny church off I-95 company.)

Something about the lifestyle this kind of home would require impresses me. It leaves me wondering if I could give up all the “stuff” that isn’t present in a home this size.

Tiny homes are nothing new, but I first discovered the idea of quality space over quantity space from Sarah Susanka, author of The Not So Big House. It’s a book that asks the question, “What if you had a small but personalized house, rather than a large cookie-cutter one?”

The owners of tiny homes build them to be green, to avoid the costs of larger homes, and to help them focus on the quality, not the quantity, of their lives.

Tiny Texas Houses—yes, that’s an oxymoronic name—recycles old building material to create one-of-a-kind homes. They try to use local building materials, so while their Texas sites have a distinctly cowboy feel, I’m guessing a site in Maine or Rhode Island would leave you feeling decidedly nautical.

Tiny Texas House

Some tiny homes appreciate “elbow room,” and are located on multiple-acre lots. Others, known as “spite houses,” were built to taunt an opponent or a community. This little blue house was built when the original owner was red-hot mad about pedestrians using his alley.

Spite House

While I never hope to live in a house smaller than a U-Haul, I hope our family’s dream home is built around our needs, not our lot size. Or out of spite.

Besides, a smaller home means more space in the yard for a swing-set, a rock climbing wall, a pond, maybe a giant treehouse…

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

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©2014. Pictures courtesy of TumbleweedHouses.com, TinyTexasHouses.com, and MentalFloss.com.