After much isolation, testing, and other kooky precautions, my son Blake was visiting me from California last week. During the visit, he, my partner Angela, and I binge-watched Tiny House Nation (based on his recommendation).
Tiny House Nation, now available on Netflix, is a formulaic build/reveal reality show where people who want to "embrace the tiny house lifestyle" ask builder Zack Giffin and partner/host John Weisbarth to help them downsize and design and build a tiny house. The show is heavily scripted, predictably paced, and there are plenty of groaning and eye-rolling moments (e.g. in the steampunk house video, they say the word steampunk more times than could possibly fit into a tiny house).
But all that said, we found the show very entertaining, the builds fascinating and often inspiring, and the hosts genuine and clever. As in all things, your mileage may vary.
One thing I love about tiny houses is the multi-function mentality you have to adopt in designing the layout and furnishings of your space. And living in your tiny space almost becomes something of a Zen practice. Builder Zack Giffin does a truly impressive job on some of the solutions to problems he is confronted with in giving the homeowners what they want.
What I wonder about is, for those they "welcome into the tiny house community" (as they hand them the keys), how many of them are still in those houses a year later, five years later? How much of this movement is a faddish desire for more simplicity and a hop off the middle class treadmill and how much of it is a genuine, long-term and sustainable lifestyle change?