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Tavascarow

Another tiny home.

Link.

Seven years ago Diana and Michael Lorence moved to a 12-foot-square home without electricity in the coastal mountains of Northern California.
They're not back-to-the-land types- they're not growing their own food, nor raising animals-, but, like Thoreau, they were looking for a place where they could get away from the noise of society and focus on their inner lives.
For nearly 30 years they have lived in tiny houses, often in guest homes, though their current abode is the smallest and most fitting their needs. It was designed by Michael based on their experiences living in nearly 20 tiny homes across the country before finally settling here.
They don't have electricity nor any other type of alternative energy (i.e. solar power). They don't have a refrigerator so they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.
There's also no oven, but Diana says she doesn't bake anyway and she cooks their meals with their one cast iron pot over the fire. The fire is also their source of hot water, heat and light (in addition to candles).
The Lorences are a private couple, but recently they have begun to speak out more about their lives in hopes of showing others that options such as theirs exist.
alice

Nice.
I'm really keen on the idea of managing without 'energy' rather than trying to find alternative ways of making it.
jema

All too idealised.

How to they pay for the food? how about nights without electric light?

I'd prefer to hear something a little more balanced and real.
dpack

external chimney ,umm

apart from that looks quite nice
alice

how about nights without electric light?



It is possible to do without you know Confused
earthyvirgo

It's absolutely stunning, a beautiful showhome/getaway but for 'real' living, I can't see how it could work.

Where is their 'stuff'? Smile

EV
alice

Maybe they don't have any. Again, it's not unheard of Smile
Midland Spinner

Are they there all the time, or is this a 'retreat'?
jema

how about nights without electric light?



It is possible to do without you know Confused

Not saying it isn't just that the video looks at things in the most sympathetic light possible and ignores the realities of living that way. Show me the place in mid winter when the wood for the fire won't burn as there is no dry wood and when its dark 16 hours a day.
Nicky Colour it green

strikes me as unnecessarily small - like a house built for one that two now share. their knees would bump each other if they both sat by the fire at the same time.

Personally, I dislike reading by candlelight - and the same goes for mending etc...so presumably these things are done in day light - just like the scenes of her writing or prepping veg - which means there is no day job to pay for all of this. So what is it then? a retirement pad for people with excellent eye sight?

The part I am most cynical about is the food. They do not grow their own, and have no fridge. In California. This probably means they jump into the huge 4x4 (not shown) every single day and go to the shops to buy their food. ie they have no ability to store food, so choose to store it in someone elses premises, and go out every day. Not so much living in a tiny house, as sleeping in one.
crofter



How to they pay for the food?

Maybe they have jobs?
jema



How to they pay for the food?

Maybe they have jobs?

So they therefore have to drive a 4x4 to the job....?
dpack

i have lived in spaces smaller in and out of the woods off and it actually looks ok ish ,
but where is the chainsaw,dog beds ,half built snowshoes for winter ,food stores etc Laughing ?

i suspect a minimal home that they supply from outside much like a city flat but in a nice place

no electric light is easy if one uses paraffin stormlamps
crofter



How to they pay for the food?

Maybe they have jobs?

So they therefore have to drive a 4x4 to the job....?

Or work from home... or walk?
jema



How to they pay for the food?

Maybe they have jobs?

So they therefore have to drive a 4x4 to the job....?

Or work from home... or walk?

Does not exactly look like either walking distance, or suitable for any home working profession that I can think of. Crafts tend to require bits and bobs, so that leaves writing which would need someone else to transcribe to computer.
crofter



How to they pay for the food?

Maybe they have jobs?

So they therefore have to drive a 4x4 to the job....?

Or work from home... or walk?

Does not exactly look like either walking distance, or suitable for any home working profession that I can think of. Crafts tend to require bits and bobs, so that leaves writing which would need someone else to transcribe to computer.

Maybe her husband is a lumberjack?
Treacodactyl

Re: Another tiny home.

Judging by some of the comments perhaps I'm not as sceptical or pessimistic as I thought. From Tav's original post they're not telling people to live like they do but they are "showing others that options such as theirs exist" which I thought people preferred rather than being lectured how bad their lifestyle is?

Personally I agree with Alice, I'd rather see more examples of how to live without energy rather than just come up with ideas of how to generate differently.
crofter

Ah, her husband is not a woodsman,

Quote:
My husband is a private confidant and friend to people in public positions. Men come to him for the special kind of conversation he makes possible. Innermost House was built for us on the land of such a partner and friend


She is an "Inspirational speaker" and their firewood is "trimmings" from the orchard.
Rob R

Ah, her husband is not a woodsman,

Quote:
My husband is a private confidant and friend to people in public positions. Men come to him for the special kind of conversation he makes possible. Innermost House was built for us on the land of such a partner and friend


She is an "Inspirational speaker" and their firewood is "trimmings" from the orchard.

Laughing Must be a big orchard.
crofter


Laughing Must be a big orchard.

It's California, Rob!
Rob R


Laughing Must be a big orchard.

It's California, Rob!

Fair point, I googled 'Californian orchard' and this was the first image;

crofter

In the video, it looks like she uses charcoal for cooking. Nicky Colour it green

i wonder how they wash clothes.

those white covered chairs would not stay white in our house for long
lettucewoman

When we first came down to the forest we lived in a tiny one up one down thatched cottage, probably not much bigger than that, with a leanto kitchen.

It was fine,but wouldn't have been if we had had all the stuff we have now...at the time all our stuff was at our respective exes places.

We now live in a 20x36 park home...still pretty small!!

It looks lovely, but there is no way that I could read by candlelight, and I too am curious as to where they get their food from and how....
earthyvirgo

i wonder how they wash clothes.

those white covered chairs would not stay white in our house for long

...white covered chairs Shocked ...where are the throws?

I also wonder how they shower!

At 4.15 mins in, she shows us what I assume is the bathroom, first the toilet ... pan right, shower knobs, a wall rack with flannels etc AND a row of coats on the wall.

Ahhh, maybe that's how they wash their clothes CiG Smile

EV
otatop

I wonder how those beautifully bound books survive the cooking steam etc. It does all look a tiny bit staged. Didn't there used to be someone here called Judy of the woods? She built her own place and explained how she solved problems. It looked much more interesting. Bulgarianlily

He is an architect and she is an 'Inspirational Speaker'. She says that "Innermost is my home, and it is formed around my bodily person. I am about five and half feet tall. The house is two-of-me deep, and, allowing for a dividing wall of books, two-of-me long. The whole space encloses five distinct rooms: a living room that is two-of-me deep by one-of-me across from hearthstone to books; a kitchen that is one-of-me long by two-thirds-of-me wide; a bath that is the same size as the kitchen; my husbandís study that is the same size again; and a loft that sits atop those three small rooms that is one-of-me in width by one-of-my-husband long."


http://www.innermosthouse.com/#/in-dianas-words-i/ghosts There are photos here that show a of views of the house.

I compare their 144 sq feet with the mansion of 250 sq feet that I currently live in, sharing it as living, bathroom and cooking space, but not sleeping space except for me and my husband with up to four volunteers. We have given a Christmas dinner for 10 people here, and sat 12 around the house for an English tea.

I do have outbuildings for tools and animals however...
alice

I applaud her house and what she's doing.
Despite the comments here I find it entirely plausible that a couple can live and function comfortably in those conditions. We've lived off-grid in a 'tube', 40' long by 6' wide, ceiling height only a little over 6'. We bathed and cooked and washed our clothes and owned 'stuff' - just like normal people Wink

But I wouldn't want to sit next to her at dinner
oldish chris

What's the big deal?

Opposite me is an old shrimper's cottage, recently resold - it has a 14'6" square footprint plus a modern extension of 6' x 12'. Its been in continuous habitation for a good 200 years.

Typical "artisan's cottages" - the two up, two down, consist of four rooms of about 12' square and housed a large family. They are now called "affordable homes", but the dimensions are much the same: http://www.bellway.co.uk/new-homes/north-west/virginia-mews/carnation-mid-2-term
woodsprite

Seems to me that she must spend a lot of time away from her tiny home, speaking and writing her essays on the www. I can see how you could survive there but it isn't my idea of living. Each to their own. Rob R

What's the big deal?

Opposite me is an old shrimper's cottage, recently resold - it has a 14'6" square footprint plus a modern extension of 6' x 12'. Its been in continuous habitation for a good 200 years.

Which makes it twice the size of the house in this thread and almost as big as our caravan.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Love the concept, but I would need an outbuilding twice the size for laundry, food processing and crafts....!
Also, I would probably fall off the ladder, and get annoyed when my bed ended up smelling of today's lunchtime curry Laughing
Mind you, I'd have the loo outside as a composting one or a treebog - voila, more space inside!
Behemoth

I suspect if they were building for two it wold have been bigger and that hubby showers at the office. troyannick

Psuedo ECOists, all brand new fittings, no animals, these people are playing at it, come to my neighbours house in Bulgaria if you want real, they are 85 and 78 yrs old and live in -20 deg and certainly do not have just a few books to read.They have fire,electricity and all the knowledge needed to live without anything else. Rob R

Electricity is pretty useless if you don't have anything else... troyannick

Yes , what I meant by anything else was they dont need money,cars, etc.theres no point not having basic lighting which probably costs a few pennies per evening if you then drive to town to the supermarket.Looking at the amount of candles it would be cheaper to have some electric or solar Its a bit of a statement and invariably people dont live off grid or in yurts for ever, they get fed up. crofter

people dont live off grid or in yurts for ever, they get fed up.

I am inclined to agree, although there are millions of people living without electricity because they cannot afford it or it is simply unavailable. I have spent a bit of time living in remote disadvantaged areas, and it is surprising how quickly you get used to it. Also, it depends on your motivation. Sarah Hipperson stayed at Greenham Common for 17 years...

Quote:
It was exhilarating to see all these women, but it was no playground. There was no telephone, no toilets. We had to use a hole in the ground. It was shocking how primitive it was, but it was a case of giving up comfort for commitment.

I was 55 and had never camped in my life, but I knew it was something I had to take on. We were treated in some places as heroines and in others as harridans. Shops in Newbury had signs on the door saying "No Peace Campers" and all the pubs, except one, refused to let us in.

They tried so many ways to get rid of us. They sent us to prison - I've been 20 times. They tried to ban us from the common. They tried to take the vote away from us and destroy our right to reside there.
Tavascarow

Yes , what I meant by anything else was they dont need money,cars, etc.theres no point not having basic lighting which probably costs a few pennies per evening if you then drive to town to the supermarket.Looking at the amount of candles it would be cheaper to have some electric or solar Its a bit of a statement and invariably people dont live off grid or in yurts for ever, they get fed up.
Sorry but (IMHO) you are missing the point entirely.
These people aren't living this way as a commitment to save the planet.
Their reasons are more spiritual & contemplative.
If they make their living speaking & writing about such things so what?

You (& others here) have made some very broad assumptions about what they do with the rest of their lives (super markets, 4x4s etc) which IMHO are irrelevant & quite likely unfounded.
This is their home, they have lived in it for seven years, & prior to that have lived in various small abodes for some two decades.
Sure they might change their mind one day & go live in a beachside condo in Florida with a wall sized TV.
That's up to them.
Has anyone here read any Thoreau?
Considering the last time we here in the UK had any sustained periods of blackouts we had a population explosion I can see why so many don't get it but as my primary intent when I posted this was the home not the people there residing who cares.
Laughing
crofter

Has anyone here read any Thoreau?


Yes, I read Walden about 30 years ago. Might read it again...

Quote:
"It is never too late to give up your prejudices."
Tavascarow

Has anyone here read any Thoreau?


Yes, I read Walden about 30 years ago. Might read it again...

Quote:
"It is never too late to give up your prejudices."
Wink alice


Sorry but (IMHO) you are missing the point entirely.



I agree. It isn't a blueprint. It's an interesting insight into the life of an individual.
It resonates with me way more than, say, communal living and/or total self-sufficiency.
There's more than one way to skin a cat Wink
Bebo

I'm obviously a very shallow person, as I just don't understand all this navel gazing stuff. I don't need to find myself, I'm here.

I could live in that house, I think its great. I would want some power though, even if just from solar pv. Enough for a small fridge / freezer and a laptop would do. I'd be happy to be without a phone though (although I would want internet access).
yummersetter

Surely these are the Saints of Downsizing? From 'The Art of Love / In Diana's Words'
Quote:
THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE

One way is the craft of eliminating from your life the things that donít really matter until you are left with what you need.
. . . .
The other way is the art of filling your life with what you love most in the world, and by loveís strange emancipating power letting everything else fall away.


I visit friends living in a 30ft yurt in a forest on the NW Pacific coast and every year they've simplified their possessions - they have no children and just have 'equipment', clothes and furnishings now they're in their 60s - they have no desire to bequeath their nostalgia to distant relatives. They consider life to be a spiritual path, as this couple obviously do, and live an exemplary, happy, sociable life. They're not Luddites though, electricity, an internet connection and their computer are essential to them.
gil

This is the one I like. Alice, have you seen it ?

It too has an external chimney = what is the nature of the problem with that, dpack ? Many older wooden houses in New Zealand also have an external brick or stone chimney.

I can really see the appeal of living simply in a small space.
I like their aesthetic.

However, I couldn't manage a ladder up to a platform bed when I was in my 20s because of vertigo, and it won't have got any better now. Any upper level in my small house would need a 'proper' staircase (which you could then do nifty storage things with).
Bebo

An internal chimney would heat up with the fire and radiate heat into the house rather than outside, therefore being more efficient. A fireplace in the middle with a really substantial brick flue and chimney would help to heat a whole house. I doubt it matters much in a place that size though and it would make the use of a small space much more difficult. alice

This is the one I like. Alice, have you seen it ?



No, but I'll look out for it now.
gil

Thanks for that info, Bebo.
So it's heat wastage. I was thinking some kind of fire hazard.

I'd maybe be more inclined to a central woodburner if it was all open-plan, but with a chimney you can put a back boiler in for hot water.
Bebo

We nearly bought a 15th century house that had back to back massive inglenook fireplaces right in the middle of the house. Back-biolers wouldn't have been a concern when it was built, but the brick would have been a great heat sink that would have radiated heat into the upstairs rooms that didn't have fires. Good design at the time. gil

Small-scale houses interest me - I'm currently downsizing to be able to live in a much smaller house space. Still think a workshop and/or outbuildings would be necessary, though. jema

Small-scale houses interest me - I'm currently downsizing to be able to live in a much smaller house space. Still think a workshop and/or outbuildings would be necessary, though.

That is one of the contradictions, downsizing and being more self-sufficient and less reliant on "the grid" can actually need more space, if only a dry woodshed.

Little about this house gives me a real lived feel to it. We have got members on here doing similar things in a much more honest fashion.

Frankly I don't believe for a minute that that place gets much occupancy at all.
troyannick

Tavascarow Im not against what they are doing but watching the video they obviously think they are living some kind of utopian lifestyle, which is great.... when Im in BG I dont have a telly and only have a woodburner.I only use electric for lights.Its not big,its adequate, but I dont get the tinier the better bit, and how that will help you find something that other cant. I lived in a caravan for a year near Lancaster and it was great, smaller than their house ........Am I missing something?? I will look up Thereau, didnt he do a series on weird weekends? alice

Small-scale houses interest me - I'm currently downsizing to be able to live in a much smaller house space. Still think a workshop and/or outbuildings would be necessary, though.

Living on a narrowboat confirmed to us how little actual living space we needed. Although a large house was within our budget up here we quickly lowered our sights.
I particularly rate having a single storey house, no stairways to maintain/clean, no upstairs windows to maintain/clean. Guttering at head height etc.
troyannick

Ive got a tiny Hansell and Grettle type house lying empty in BG if anybody is interested in trying it free for a few weeks or months, I can even get the electricity cut off if needed.Got a nice plot and a stream with a little bridge, middle of nowhere. pm me and Ill send some pics its really lovely.[/img] gil

I will look up Thereau, didnt he do a series on weird weekends?

Henry Thoreau = nineteenth-century US author who wrote a book called 'Walden', which is of interest re downsizing / simple living.

Louis Theroux = UK TV personality
crofter

This is the one I like.

I was in Birsay last year but didn't notice it. Cannot be a great place to be during a storm from the West!
Nicky Colour it green

i can see the logic in living a simple uncluttered life, and if this woman has found contentment, then good for her.

I've seen many examples of tiny simplified accommodation and a lot to admire, but this is not one of them, it strikes me as very much dependent on others, and not terribly practical (like the seats being too close to each other), which takes away the point. but that is just my opinion.
vegplot

This is a cracking place. We walk past it occasionally.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-30952039.html?premiumA=true
judith

That is gorgeous VP. I don't know that I could live in it permanently, but as a little bolthole it would be wonderful. vegplot

That is gorgeous VP. I don't know that I could live in it permanently, but as a little bolthole it would be wonderful.

Someone has already suggested is a weekend retreat for one, it wasn't EV either surprisingly.
troyannick



Small house in BG free rent for small jobs
Tavascarow

Nice.
What's the wildlife like?
Smile
troyannick

Lots of birds, as its heavily forested, deer, wild pigs, there are still bears but way up in the mountains, badgers. There is a wildlife museum amd theres some pretty wild looking cats of some kind, dont know what theyre called troyannick

Pass us another log dear
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