Shrinking Down the House

From modernist cubes to rustic cabins, tiny homes let you skimp on everything but style

Two years ago, Dee Williams, a toxic-waste inspector, put her 2,000-sq.-ft. bungalow in Portland, Ore., on the market and moved into an 84-sq.-ft. cabin on wheels that she built using salvaged cedar, torn-up jeans for insulation and solar cells for power. Then she hitched her tiny house to a biodiesel truck and drove to Olympia, Wash., where friends agreed to let her park in a grassy corner of their backyard. Although Williams, 43, admits that she misses having room for friends to spend the night, she says, "I love my tiny house."

Living small is hardly a new concept. Henry Thoreau...

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