This family lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, and then moved into a tiny home
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In Dream Big, Live Small, we 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.
“Going tiny” — meaning selling almost everything you have to downsize and live in a tiny home — takes dedication and a minimalist mindset. But when disaster strikes, and you’re left with nothing, tiny living can be a relief.
When Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi in 2005, the Parson family’s waterfront home was destroyed along with almost all of their possessions. When it came time to rebuild, the Parson family went tiny. And you can see the gorgeous outcome in this episode of Dream Big, Live Small.
“We built our tiny house in the exact same spot as our original home,” Pye Parson said. “The fact that we could rebuild small worked for us financially. It’s really been a full-circle journey.”
The only thing that Hurricane Katrina spared of their former home was the front steps, which the family incorporated into their new build.
“Those steps are so significant in my mind still,” she said “Those were the steps [my son] Quen, when he was a little boy, learned to walk up and down. I never wanted them gone, and we’ve been able to incorporate them into a garden design that we have outside.”
While the home has just 576 square feet of space, the house has 14-foot and 19-foot ceilings throughout, which makes it feel bigger. Along with vertical space, Pye mentions that the windows add lots of natural lighting.
“One of the things that really makes this house is all the windows. They let in a lot of light,” Pye said. “Every time I look at them, they seem like beautiful frames.”
The family had to abide by FEMA regulations when re-building, which means the tiny home sits on 14 foot stilts. This effectively doubled the home’s living space by adding an outdoor seating and eating area below the house.
“Living in a smaller house has really given me the opportunity to spend more time with my son,” she said. “It’s less about making more money and more about enjoying what you have made. It’s been a blessing. And we wouldn’t have had that any other way.”
To get a complete tour of The Parson’s tiny home, be sure to watch the full episode above. If you want to join the tiny house revolution, check out these kits you can buy on Amazon to build your own.
Tiny homes to shop on Amazon
Shop: Allwood Ranger Cabin Kit 259 SQF and 168 SQF Loft, $19,990
Shop: Allwood Avalon Cabin 540 SQF and Loft, $32,990
If you liked this story, you might like to read about how this tiny home inspired its owner to live a more green lifestyle.
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