TINY: A Story About Living Small

This inspirational documentary follows Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller as they endeavor to build a 130-square foot home in the Colorado mountains. The film is a wonderful representation of the construction experience from the point of view of the dreamer and novice. As some of you may know, I am currently building a modified Cypress, so TINY hit close to home (quite literally) for me.  My heart reached out to the couple as they struggled and cheered when they overcame defeat. Last week I was even lucky enough to chat with Merete about her build - the good and the bad.

Photo Credit: Kevin Hoth

“We made so many mistakes.” Merete recalled with a chuckle. “We bought windows that we thought were vertical, and proceeded to design the house around them, only to learn six months later that they were actually horizontal windows!”

When I asked how her and Christopher coped with the mishaps, she responded with ease: “One of the great things about building it together is that we could be each others cheerleaders.” Merete says her and Christopher will never get rid of their tiny abode. The difficulty in the experience only strengthened their connection to the home. “It's almost like having a child - a really large child,” Merete joked. 

Photo credit: Merete Mueller

TINY is also a wonderful visual documentation of the growing tiny house community. With Christopher and Merete’s build serving as the backbone, the film periodically cuts away to tour small shelters all across the country or to interview several builders and families who have chosen to downsize. Even a few tiny house legends make an appearance to share their stories. 

“Christopher and I were originally introduced to tiny houses from a magazine article about Dee Williams. It was really cool to meet her in person. When we interviewed her for the film, we were in the middle of our build, and she acknowledged that and encouraged us to keep going.” Dee is now currently on tour for her new book: The Big Tiny.

Merete also remembers getting a lot of blank stares three years ago when her and Christopher began construction,“We all hear the word "home" but we don't always know what that is, or how to get there. Tiny houses, for me, served as a lens on how to explore the question: What really makes a house a home?“ 

 

Photo credit: Merete Mueller

After watching the film and chatting with Merete, I certainly feel inspired to continue my build. I want to laugh at my mistakes one day. I want to feel that pride and exhaustion when my home is finally complete. And most of all, I want to answer the question that Merete and Christopher have posed: What is home? And, if you’re reading this, I bet you do too!

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FILM UPDATES:

Download the full film on iTunes here.

Own it on DVD  *with special features including: full length 12 minute interview with Dee Williams, extra build footage, and interviews with building code enforcers.

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Jenna Spesard is a writer by trade. She is currently building a Tumbleweed Cypress with her partner, Guillaume, who is a professional photographer and Tumbleweed Workshop Host. After the build is complete, they plan to travel around North America in their tiny house blogging and photographing their adventure. More on their tiny house and giant journey here

Written by Jenna Spesard — June 05, 2014

Filed under: Build it yourself   Dee Williams   movie   See a Tiny House   small house   Tiny homes   Tiny house movie   video  

See Guillaume Build His Dream Tiny House

Sometimes just the right person comes along, who's devoting nearly full-time to building a Tumbleweed and is a professional photographer. That person is Guillaume Dutilh, who has documented each step of the way. He and Jenna Spesard are embracing their Tiny House Giant Journey, and it's time to share their progress and key building stages. 

Guillaume and his brother are enjoying rafter work  (tinyhousegiantdreams,com)

Read More

Written by Debby Richman — December 10, 2013

Filed under: building   Tiny House Giant Journey   video  

Nara's Fencl on "Dwellz"

Here's an exclusive inside look at my brand new Fencl on Switchboard Magazine's inaugural episode of "Dwellz."The magazine co-creators Remy Schwartz and Duncan Sullivan filmed and produced this short video and have graciously agreed to share it with Tumbleweed. You'll have to endure my weird haircut and a lot of royalty free hip hop, but it's worth it! 


"Nara's tiny house is one part sustainable living, one part college credit, and three parts swag.

After spending her fall semester studying various forms of American alternative housing, she hooked up with Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and got the (literal) wheels moving on a sweet deal: a semester of tiny house occupancy in exchange for promotional blogging.

Despite black ice, miscommunication with truckers, and a giant blizzard, the house finally made it all the way from Wisconsin to Hampshire College. As of Friday, she lives in it full-time.

By day, Nara works on sustainable utility solutions and writes about housing. By night, she curls up next to her tiny propane fireplace and dreams of a world where everyone lives within their means. She's happy to show you around her 130 square feet of unfinished pine, but thinks this episode of 'Dwellz' is probably enough.

Caveat: this will make more sense if you spent your adolescence watching MTV's 'Cribs'."

Original source here

Written by Nara Williams — February 18, 2013

Filed under: hampshire college   look inside a tiny house   mtv cribs   tour a fencl   video  

Tim Ferriss Thoughts on Tumbleweed

Tim Ferriss author of The 4-Hour Workweek, recently talked about tiny houses on his video podcast: Random Show, Episode 20.

Here is a little clip where Tim talks about how he wants to have a tiny house.

To watch the full episode, click here

Written by Adam Gurzenski — January 30, 2013

Filed under: tim ferriss   Tumbleweed   video  

A Look Inside Ella's Tiny House

Check out this video of Ella giving a tour inside her Tumbleweed.

You might recall Ella being on the front page of Yahoo! a few weeks back. 

If you would like to see more about Ella, check out her blog

Written by Adam Gurzenski — January 14, 2013

Filed under: Build it yourself   Tumbleweed   video  
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