Tiny houses: Nothing new to this couple | Column | The Press and Standard

by | July 1, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: June 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Are you ready for this? Widdle Baby and I are trendsetters. We’re hip; we’re happening.

How can this be, you ask? (Especially since our idea of a wild night is chocolate after 9 p.m.)

As everyone knows, one of the most popular trends today is tiny house living. There are magazines, books and TV shows touting the joys of living small. Aaaaaand… we’ve been tiny house dwellers for six years!

We have a river cabin that’s slightly smaller than a phone booth. Actually, it’s 450 square feet — too tiny to throw a tantrum, but big enough that Widdle can snooze in his recliner while I close the pocket door and read in bed.

This arrangement is lovely for weekends and holidays, but we don’t kid ourselves that we could do it full-time. That’s because:

We have some 900 books and I’d chop off a toe before parting with a single one.

If we have to share a bathroom for more than three days, someone will die.

There are times when we need space, like when he’s watching another episode of “Flippin’ RVs” and I withdraw to the living room for peace and quiet. Nothing wrong with being apart now and then. (We bang the shared wall if we need onion dip or help with a crossword.)

Speaking of space, I’ve never wanted a big house. Big houses are expensive, plus there are more places for Widdle to hide. I like small houses with small rooms. My place in Summerville has a two-story great room, and I never understood the appeal. If I want open and airy, I’ll go outside. Ten minutes of staring at squirrels and I’m good to go.

Back to the river crib: It was an old fishing shack, given to Widdle by a river friend, who also moved it down the road from his land to ours. (My friends like my FB posts; Widdle’s friends give him houses.)

It took three years to gut and renovate, but now the shack has shiplap walls, a den, eat-in kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom just big enough for a full-sized bed, two end tables and a dresser. Going to bed is easy: You step through the door and do a forward trust fall, knowing you’ll land on the mattress. We hang backpacks and most of our clothes on wall hooks.

I admit the bathroom is a tight squeeze, and I’m only 5’2”. How a man 6’2” would cope, I have no idea.

We painted the whole place white, from ceiling to floor. This makes it seem larger, or so we tell ourselves. It’s furnished almost entirely with Craigslist finds, from the antique bull’s-eye mirror to the rockers on the screened porch. (With porch, the square footage soars to almost 590!)

Weekend mornings I usually sleep in, while Widdle tools around the ’hood in the golf cart. I amble down to the dock, drinking decaf and watching the river run. If we wake up too late for church, that’s our church.

We love our tiny cabin, but what about couples with three dogs and two kids who build a house that’s 280 square feet? I always predict divorce or murder within six months.

“We enjoy being together!” Mom chirps, as she sits on the compost toilet stirring soup on a hotplate. Meanwhile, the kids are trapped under the drop-down kitchen table, the dogs have barfed in the sleeping loft and hubby is sitting outside in a lawn chair, wondering what the **** happened to his plans for a man cave.

Tiny living: It ain’t for sissies.

(Julie R. Smith, who likes the tiny life in tiny doses, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.) 


comments » 1

  1. Comment by Rich

    July 1, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    I moved from a 3k sq/ft home near Chicago to a 900 sq/ft mobile home here in Colleton County. I consider this tiny living and it’s taken me 3 years to get used to it. But I’m considering the same thing on the Edisto with something a bit elevated for when the river rises. A weekend getaway sounds nice even if its not really that far of a getaway.

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