I have long been a fan of the tiny home - way before Channel 4 screened Amazing Spaces with that George chap and his mouldy caravan. For many of us a small home is a necessity due to finance or city living where space is at a premium.
Many people simply do not have the resources for the folly of a bolthole in Barcelona or a vintage bedecked camper. I have my own small space in the shape of a rented two up two down Victorian terrace house. I share my home with a partner and two children. My daughter spends her time between her Dad's and mine. So mainly it's three of us. I work as an artist and the living room you walk straight into off the street doubles as a studio space. The kitchen table is my partner’s workspace, he is a freelance photographer and filmmaker (plenty of equipment all over the kitchen) and our son has autism.
This all sounds pretty cramped, oh and I forgot we are both cyclists and the bikes live in the kitchen too.
Enough of the guided tour of my palace, I think the truth lies in the romance of the getaway. I remember first stumbling across Cabin Porn and how I fell in love with the images of wooded huts, cottages in wild landscapes and tin huts perched on mountainsides. Just looking at these pictures I felt transported. Where some people dream of sprawling mansions and vast airy villas all I wanted was a wood burning stove in a tiny one room cabin.
When I look around me now I realise I have a small space of my own and it may be a long time, or never until I can afford a retreat in rural Sweden or the Scottish Highland's. When I gaze out of my window instead of deep pine forest I see other rows of little houses, brick walls and washing lines. I close my eyes and hear the sounds of the city and it can be hard to find a sense of peace in my home.
We have learnt as a family we do not need a large home to function and be happy. Words like cosy and bijoux do sound nicer than cramped and cluttered. A short walk from our house is the beach or the park and these give me all the space I need to feel small again and when I get tired and cold I can feel comforted by returning back to my little home.
I haven't had a holiday for two years and next year I can finally look forward to taking my son to a tiny house in a Spanish fishing village. It belongs to my parents who were able to afford there small space by moving into a one bed flat on a social housing project and using the little money they had left to buy a tiny piece of heaven. They go there as often as they can, swapping high rises for small coves, winding streets and tapas. One day soon they hope to retire there, my Dad has spent most of his life grafting hard in the Dockyard welding metal, he deserves his little retreat so much.
In the meantime a place like Under The Thatch can provide you with short breaks to small, quirky and romantic types of accommodation. Small is indeed beautiful.
Image via Cabin Porn