Cabins: The New American Dream

Cabins: The New American Dream, an article from The New York Times, examines possible reasons for the popularity of Tiny House Movement.

The Hero’s Journey on a shoestring — that is the classic tiny living narrative. After finding a patch of weedy acreage, the protagonists (they usually come in pairs) buckle down for a stint of hard labor in the hot sun. They often use recycled or salvaged materials to fashion their retreat. This not only helps the planet heal, it heals the spirits of the builders, who are happier, better, stronger people when their rescued-from-scrap front door is finally hung. The construction supplies and furnishings are invariably as low in cost as the ideals of the builders are high. And yet, for some the trend has nothing to do with traditional thrift; instead, it answers a hunger for Zen purity and quasi-monastic simplicity.

2 Responses to Cabins: The New American Dream

  1. Interesting read. In a discussion with a friend just earlier today (am I cutting edge or simply stating the obvious?) my statement was “I think you have to experience excess before you can desire simplicity”.

    That is echoed in the above article, where the author relates tiny living to historical poverty and I quote: “The truth is, without a modicum of success and career-preoccupation, this life would look a bit like poverty — like the rural existence people have struggled for so long to escape. The desire to have not is a desire of the haves.”
    Many of us never got to experience that existence that our parents and grandparents wanted to escape for the so-called ‘better life’, and now do wish to experience it, having found the city not to be ‘better’ for quality of life experience.

    Where I live now there are many ‘tiny homes’ from the 50’s and 60’s, ofttimes called cottages since it is a resort-oriented state. Now people live in them full-time though, not just in the winter or for a few weeks of vacationing. And that, in this world of diminishing resources, is a very fine thing in my opinion :)

  2. suzy says:

    I’m guilty of not decorating. But I don’t see the point of buying or having stuff you don’t use. Plus with my ADHD I crave a quiet empty space, so my mind can rest.

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