Hello everyone. That big news I've been hinting about is almost here. But first, I want to share a little history.
When we were first starting to design our Tiny Mouse House, actually even before that, we were watching shows and videos about Tiny Houses. And at the time, we really had three main sources.
The first was perhaps the original Tiny House television show called Tiny House Nation. It started on the FYI network in July of 2014, then moved to A&E for it's 5th and final season in 2019. Hosted by John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin, they would travel the country helping people downsize and move into this crazy new trend called Tiny Homes. You can watch the first 2 seasons on Netflix. We did and found it interesting how it focused not just on the innovations and creativity of the builders (led by Zack), but also on the human element of taking these couples and families and going from large homes down to tiny houses under 300 square feet.
It was a wake up call initially. How could we possibly go from a 1900 square foot two-story four-bedroom home into a tiny house? My wife wasn't daunted at all. I was though. It took her a LOT of convincing. But she had help...and not from the source you might have thought.
No, it was two YouTube channels that actually convinced me. Through the amazing talent of each channel's host, I eventually came around to see her vision and myself got really excited and well, the rest is history.
One channel - and the host my wife has a crush on, I don't care what she says - is Living Big In A Tiny House. The host, Bryce Langston, is based in New Zealand, but he travels around the world filming and interviewing tiny home owners. We watched dozens of episodes, fascinated at what people were doing with their houses. Whether in a forested glade in New Zealand, the outback of Australia, the French countryside or a seaside view here in the United States, Bryce found the unique and the beautiful, always detailing size and cost, but focusing on what was possible.
The other channel was one that really helped us with not just what could happen, but how to make it happen. Featuring more tips and hints and facts and things-you-may-not-think-about, Jenna's channel Tiny House Giant Journey was a huge inspiration and, quite frankly, a reality check of what we could accomplish and what we needed to look at - not only amazing tours of some phenomenal tiny homes, but also things like insurance, zoning laws, what type of restroom facilities - and how to do so with a smile and enthusiasm and dedication to the Tiny House community that truly makes Jenna so special and her videos both informative and entertaining.
I wish I could point to which one had the "turning point" video for me. I suppose I could spend the time some day and track it down, as I still remember it. Funny thing is, what it showed isn't something we did in our design. Rather is triggered a feeling of "well, if they can do that, then what could we do?" The video is a tour of a tiny home overlooking, I believe, the pacific ocean. The most notable feature is how both side walls completely lift up, like huge hinged doors, allowing the entire center living area to be open to their deck or out the back to...um, whatever was back there. And so much time has passed, don't quote me on the back side opening up. Funny how memory does that. Regardless, it was that tilt-off-center moment, that outside-the-box design choice that made me realize we could take whatever we wanted and make it into our dream house.
And we did. You can read through some of my earlier blog posts here to get a sense of the rest of that journey, but I wanted to touch a bit specifically on our main sources of inspiration for a reason.
Yeah, it comes back around to that big surprise, which I won't spoil yet. I will say again that if anyone reading this would like to talk to us more about our journey, please post a comment or use the contact page to reach out. What we learned was sometimes hard to find or we learned trial-by-fire. But if it hadn't been for what Jenna, Bryce, John & Zack created - and with Jenna and Bryce continue to create today - we would most likely still be living in a not-so-tiny-house. And our dream would have stayed just a dream. Please give their channels a look and subscribe if you find them as wonderful as we do.