Ever thought about living in a tiny home? See how this California couple made it work


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In Dream Big, Live Small, we will visit tiny home-dwellers, discovering why they choose to live this way, how they manage it, and the possibilities to do things like travel, learn and grow that have resulted from downsizing so significantly. In the long run, living small is really about living big.

The tiny house movement has a long history. In 1854, Henry David Thoreau was ahead of his time, chronicling his two years, two months and two days spent in a 150-square-foot cabin, into what would later be published as his book “Walden.”

And while the idea of the first prefabricated tiny home was introduced in 1987, the concept wasn’t fully recognized until some became interested in downsizing their homes after the mortgage crisis of 2008.

Now, even after TV shows like HGTV’s “Tiny House House Hunters” and “Tiny House, Big Living” have come and gone, some families are still interested in downsizing and getting their money’s worth, while living in parts of the country that are known for a higher cost of living.

For Spencer Wright and Bella Fishbeyn, they didn’t want to leave California, but they also didn’t want to pay expensive rent each month. So, in 2017, they settled on tiny-house living in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Boulder Creek, California.

“Probably the biggest thing that made us want to downsize is the cost of living in California,” Wright said. It was a really easy decision, I think, once we realized that we were spending $30,000 a year on rent, to just try and figure out what could we buy in this area.”

In Spencer and Bella’s tiny home, having enough room to live, plus storage was key, which is why the house includes a built-in table that can be stored underneath the kitchen floor, a small pull-out stairway that also doubles as storage and a king-size bed that has a built-in storage box underneath.

With tiny homes, you do have to get creative with almost every aspect of the space to make it livable. Inside, the couple’s house reuses a small propane heater instead of a traditional heating system.

“We wanted really low electrical draw, so we decided on a propane heater,” Wright said. “This is actually the sort of thing you’d find on a boat. But we kind of repurposed it for this house. It gives you a lit flame and a little ambiance as well.”

For a closer glimpse inside Spencer and Bella’s modern tiny home in California, be sure to watch the full “Dream Big, Live Small” episode above.

And if you’re interested in buying a tiny home for yourself, Amazon has kits available for purchase that include everything you need to build your own tiny dream home.

Similar tiny homes to shop on Amazon

Shop: Allwood Solvalla 172 SQF Studio Cabin Kit, $7,290

Credit: Amazon

Shop: Allwood Mayflower 117 SQF Garden House Cabin Kit, $7,290

Credit: Amazon

Shop: Allwood Escape 113 SQF Cabin Kit, $5,350

Credit: Amazon

Shop: Allwood Arlanda XL 227 SQF Studio Cabin Garden House Kit, $9,990

Credit: Amazon

If you liked this story, you might like to read about how you can escape to a tiny home village for less rent than your apartment.

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