Embrace Alternative Living: our Weekend in a Tiny House

Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a tiny house? We celebrated Gürkan’s Birthday at the end of September and got to spent the weekend in a tiny house to do so (last year we stayed in a Tree Schack, we just love to use this special occasion as an excuse to enjoy a new experience rather than a regular gift). Since we currently live in a campervan, you might easily guess we’re pretty attracted by the alternative living options. It was our very first steps in a proper tiny house, after seing thousand of pictures on Instagram, so we decided to share with you our experience in this article.

What’s a tiny house?

To those who are new to tiny house living, it may seem surprising. Why would someone choose to live in a small space when most of the people out there would rather say “bigger is better,” right? The tiny house movement boomed a couple of years ago and keeps expanding nowadays… it’s basically an alternative living option offering affordable and sustainable housing option. Although, a small house is certainly part of it, the tiny house movement is about more than simply living in a small space. It’s a social movement spreading all around the world in which people choose to simplify the space they live in, and experience the freedom that comes with it. By embracing the alternative living philosophy, you aren’t only downsizing the size of your home but also operate a shift in your habits to live with less.

Either for ecological or economical purpose (or both), Tiny Houses now attract people from any ages, any backgrounds, any countries… and we’re no exception.

Environmentally conscious design and lifestyle

The eco-construction of the habitat

The environment is at the core of the design of a tiny house, and it starts at the very bottom. For instance, this tiny house isn’t touching the ground at all, instead it’s built on stilts to protect the nature under it. Among the things we noticed and loved:

  • All the materials used to build it are ecofriendly, such as the wood fiber for the insulation.
  • Multipurpose furniture is key: the stairs happen to be the main storage, there is only one sink in the kitchen, the living room table splits into 4 pieces to turn into seats.
  • The waste management

    Since we both try to aim for a Zero Waste lifestyle, we pay a lot attention on the amount of waste we create and how we dispatch them afterward. Both toilets and food scraps were being composted in this site, which didn’t feel any different than what we currently do in our campervan, but we simply with this could become the routine for anyone instead of pooping in drinkable water.

    The absence of electronic devices

    You won’t find a TV, a microwave or even a fridge in this tiny house… and we felt truly aligned with this choice. Instead we got to experience the Zeer Pot, also known as the Desert Fridge, and got really surprised by the efficiency. It’s an electricity-free fridge that uses a porous outer clay pot containing an inner pot within which the food is being placed, the evaporation of the outer liquid draws heat from the inner pot.

    Even if we both use computers, camera and more to run our creative studio on wheels, we both like the idea of minimising the amount of electronic devices in your home. We even consider keeping our studio area apart from the tiny house (in a container maybe?) to maintain a good work-life balance.

    The off-grid living opportunity

    The Tiny House we stayed in was actually connected to the regular water and electricity (they use Enercoop) providers. The founders decided to charge any extra kWh being consumed over the weekend to educate people on this topic, really cool isn’t it? As for us, our ideal tiny house will rather be fully off-grid, powered by the sun (for the electricity) and by the rain (for the water supply) but this is very personal.

    The relationship with food

    They grabbed the cherry tomatoes from the garden for the apero, collected the fresh walnuts right under the tree, took the zucchinis in the garden for baking a delicious vegan birthday’s cake for Gürkan, bake their own bread for the week (including our delicious breakfast)… We’ve also been provided with a huge basket of seasonal veggies and fruits coming from the nearby organic farm (we ate the best tomatoes ever!). Countless of opportunities to rethink your relationship with food.

    Can anyone live in a tiny house?

    Let’s be honest for a second: we both had very high expectations when it comes to living in a tiny house. Surprisingly, we haven’t been disappointed at all and still cannot think of something we didn’t like about this type of housing. The coolest part is that even if it looks small from the outside, it’s actually very huge once you’re in. Since we currently live in a 5m2 campervan, settling into this 15m2 tiny house for the weekend felt unrealistically comfy and spacious for the two of us. So you might be wondering: are we going to ditch vanlife to build a tiny house? Not now. We wanna live as nomads for a couple of years and explore what the world has to offer before settling in somewhere.

    But here comes the tricky question: can anyone live in a tiny house? Aside from finding a land and getting a tiny house, we feel like people’s main concern always lies in the ability to downsize their belongings. Vanlife is actually a pretty good trial before getting yourself into the whole “I want to live in a tiny house” process. According to our own experience, you should always keep in mind your inner “why”, and we don’t talk about the story you will tell others rather than what truly resonate within yourlsef. Why are you interested in alternative living? Is it rather an experience for a couple of months or a long-lasting lifestyle? What are you willing to sacrifice for this freedom?

    We believe alternative living allows you to pursue your passion for the outdoors, the biggest advantage being in the ability to grow your own food in your backyard.

    A special thanks to Elodie and Vincent for having us on this special weekend. Follow their adventure on instagram @lacabaneheureuse

    🌿Article in collaboration with La Cabane Heureuse and Organic Basics 🌿

    Have you ever been in a tiny house or are you attracted by the tiny house lifestyle like us? Let us know!