If these ring unfamiliar, you must be newer to the idea of tiny living. And that's OK. These days, tiny houses and downsizing in general through alternative housing solutions are popular because of their inherent mobility and reduced living costs. In a swooping financial and housing crisis, they are perfect for home-workers, content creators, and pretty much anyone who can live with less.
But that's not to say that tiny living doesn't retain its core values in places. The tiny house communities in New Zealand are a good example of that, with one such unit showcased on the latest episode of Living Big in a Tiny House being the very essence of downsizing, as it was understood in the first decade of 2000.
Kirsty's tiny is a proper home, alright. Located in a tiny community in Tauranga, New Zealand, it's a park model measuring 3 meters in width, 8.4 meters in length, and with a height of 4.3 meters (9.8 by 27.5 by 14.1 feet). It could sleep as many as six people in a different configuration, but it's styled as a home for a mother and a child and boasts a large deck up front that gives way to a gorgeous orchard where Kirsty grows fruit and herbs.
Kirsty is a life, business, and tiny house coach and self-professed tree hugger, and she’s been living in mobile homes, including vans and buses, for years. Her journey to tiny house ownership wasn't an easy one, but she ended up with her dream tiny earlier this year, and she's convinced she manifested it into reality.
The dual-loft design, which allows for the rare feature of a dual staircase, helps with it feeling so spacious. The ground level is reserved for daytime activities, and the lofts are strictly for sleeping. Still, they also offer plenty of storage and, thanks to dropped floors, standing walkways. Unlike what you’ll find in other houses of this kind, this one also has shutting doors and full walls in the lofts for privacy.
On the ground floor is a very large kitchen with full-size appliances, like a four-burner gas range with an oven, a washing machine, and a residential fridge. Equally large is the living area, framed by picture windows on both sides and centered around a wraparound, U-shaped couch that becomes a two-person bed. That same lounge turns into a dining room with help from a custom folding table.
In keeping with Kirsty's lifestyle and beliefs, the bathroom features a composting toilet, though the home isn't off the grid.
Like most other tiny houses, this unit also opens up to the exterior to expand available space. Some windows are two-fold, and the double French doors give way onto the deck, which then spills into the firepit "lounge" and then the orchard. Remember how downsizing was initially meant to encourage a lifestyle more in harmony with the surrounding environment? This is how it's done.
Since you must be wondering how much such a lifestyle change costs, Kirsty can only speak for herself. Tiny living still represents a large initial investment, and it doesn't include the land you plan on setting your home on. In this case, the tiny was roughly NZD200,000, including the custom elements but not the rent for the land, so approximately $118,000 at the current exchange rate.
So, yes, the simple life can be both simple and comfortable, but it doesn't come cheap.