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The Challenges and Rewards of Living Tiny

My passion for beautiful homes tends to take me to grandiose abodes nestled in upscale areas of major cities and holiday destinations. Yet in my quest for simplicity and ecological sustainability, I’ve had my eyes and ears on simpler and more natural ways of living. My recent blog on cottagecore was exactly about this: simple, country living. A visit to a friend’s tiny home opened my eyes further to this very different approach to living. Her story intrigued me deeply enough that I invited her to tell readers about her new way of life. Enjoy! — Angelica

A Decluttered Lifestyle

Like so many others drawn to the minimalism of tiny living, I recently made the bold move to downsize in a big way. My charming 400 square-foot home (including porch and loft) in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia offers so many upsides I’ve come to appreciate as part of my new streamlined lifestyle. Take it from me, if you love the idea of simplifying your surroundings, you’ll find the transition to tiny living provides a crash course in letting go of possessions. As I divvied up my furnishings and clothing, choosing quality over quantity, I quickly became the fairy godmother to loved ones and charities.

Exterior Design Of Tiny Home

My Homey Community

I chose a home on wheels so it’s moveable if I ever decide to buy land elsewhere. I’m currently situated in an RV/tiny home community that, for an annual fee, offers a saltwater pool, very small gym, mailroom, and pavilion. The toilet is hooked up to a septic tank, and the water can be turned off outside when I’m away for long periods.

My lovely mountain setting offers a picture-perfect view of the stars on clear nights, helping me feel more connected with nature. I’ve also connected with the people in my community, which helps me stay socialized, as we share in the discovery that, with fewer possessions, more experiences can come.

Tiny Home Porch Design

Weighing the Benefits

Deciding to live tiny was a huge decision. Maybe that’s why it also turned out to be one of my most adventurous and rewarding personal challenges yet.

My priorities were to find something both affordable and private with the space to enjoy life at my own pace and in my own style. Tiny homes depreciate over time, so purchasing one constructed in 2017 made it more reasonable and realistic than finding affordable land for a new build. Knowing there were two previous owners reinforced that investing in a tiny home is not for everyone. Fortunately it was clearly the right option for me! Here are a couple of key lessons learned that confirm my decision.

The Biggest Challenge: Space

Tiny Home Bedroom Interior Design

It’s no surprise that the biggest challenge of tiny living is space, particularly if it’s for more than one person — for personal use, belongings, and entertaining guests.

My house includes a bedroom in the back, a loft (which is more like an attic), an open front porch, and an outside patio, so there are plenty of spaces to fit my changing needs and circumstances. Every available nook is used for a cabinet or shelf, and the lot includes a shed in back for extra storage.

Tiny Home Shed Design

Unfortunately, I can’t have full family gatherings in my tiny home, but I can take advantage of the community facilities to host large gatherings. The pavilion has a fireplace, TV, screen doors, a place to cook, and plenty of seating.

Tiny Home Kitchen Design
Tiny Home Kitchen Interior Design

The Biggest Reward: Lifestyle

I’ve enjoyed putting my creativity to work so my tiny space feels downright grand. It’s joyful, organized, and just right for my lifestyle. The beauty of good interior design is personalization, and every aspect of this tiny home reflects my best self.   

One ongoing component of the tiny living mindset is the need to prioritize. We all have different preferences, so I try to remember to separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. For example, having my own washer and dryer is important, despite the on-site laundry facilities, so I allocated the space for it. Meanwhile, I’ve relegated several of my less essential kitchen appliances to plastic tubs in the shed.

Another priority for me is easy access to my bedroom, so I leave the loft for visitors. And because I enjoy company, I invested in a pullout couch so I can have at least four people stay the night easily.

Tiny Home Living Room Interior Design

My current challenge is to find solutions to help me stay organized with my office/desk space since there’s a lack of storage here.

Desk Space Tiny Home

Decision Confirmed: Tiny Living Is Right for Me

All in all, living in a tiny home is perfect for me. I have my own space that’s easy to keep clean. It uses less heat/AC than a larger home, which is eco-friendly and keeps my cost of living down. And I have more time to enjoy leisure and nature, take my family dog for long walks, and get to know my neighbors. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this homeowner is looking at Shangri-La.

Exterior Design Tiny Home

Thanks to my dear friend for kindly sharing the details of her big adventure in this tiny home. I am so intrigued by the journey and can only imagine how many innovative ways there are to customize such a space to fit your needs and style. — Angelica