With spikes in the housing market and skyrocketing rent, the appeal of the tiny home has only grown stronger. Beyond it being an affordable way to own a home, it also offers a more minimalist lifestyle outside of the confines of society, and with the promise of freedom. Whether you’re ready to downsize or just window shopping, the 10 tiny home dwellers below are sure to stoke the imagination.
Jacob Witzling | @jacobwitzling
The feed of Jacob Witzling is the epitome of tiny house porn, from moss-topped A-frames in the forest to cabins built atop a truck. He’s gone from a 1920s cabin that he built when he was 16 in New Hampshire to using scavenged scraps and upcycled lumber to create his own tiny home.
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Now, he’s built out a slew of one-of-a-kind cabins. All homes are built off-the-grid with no running water. The truck cabin was built just for him and life partner Sara Underwood. Currently, the two of them are working on building a community of artisan cabins in the Pacific Northwest.
Whitney Leigh Morris | @whitneyleighmorris
Small space lifestyle consultant and blogger Whitney Leigh Morris is the owner of the Tiny Cannal Cottage in Venice, California. The 1924 craftsman-style abode measures just under 400 square feet, though she’s harnessed space-maximizing techniques like built-in furnishings, pocket doors, and vaulted ceilings. Swathed in neutral tones, the home does in fact feel much more spacious with dedicated areas and a sharp sense of style.
Bela Fishbeyn | @belafish
For Bela Fishbeyn and her family, it was a matter of being able to own their own home while also having the freedom to travel. They purchased their tiny house and placed it on land in Santa Cruz that they rent through Airbnb. They’d had the intention to rent it out while they traveled, so this made the most sense. Plus, their landowners manage the property for them while they travel.
"I think one of the most radical concepts behind tiny houses is that you can own your home without owning your land," Fishbeyn notes on Instagram. "Though this creates the problem of having to find (and pay for) land, it allows you to buy a home in an otherwise prohibitive market (like the SF Bay area)."
Working as the executive editor for the American Journal of Bioethics at Stanford, she holds an M.S. in bioethics from Columbia and two B.A.s in photography and philosophy from UNC-Chapel Hill. On top of that, she’s working as a pro photographer and teaches pilates on the side. Together with her partner, Spencer Wright and their daughter, Escher, they’ve created a sweet little home with moody interiors and copper accents.
Shannon Soine | @shannonsoine
Shannon Soine and her husband have been living tiny for three years, and travel as much as possible. Their journey began on their honeymoon to Costa Rica in 2012, wandering the Pacific Coast in their SUV "surfing, swimming, enjoying ceviche from coolers on the side of the road, and problem-solving flat tires with random Ticos," according to their website.
From that point on, they were sold on traveling with no set plan. Their minimal lifestyle is captured on their blog, which also features other travelers who live off the grid. Currently, their 210-square-foot home is parked on a farm, where Soine is working on designing their tiny home with stylish, modern interiors.
Maren and Max | @nosenseofproportion
These lovebirds have been exploring the world since 2013, and have even become becoming travel influencers via @voyagerguru. When they’re not out globetrotting, they’re taking down time in their tiny home that melds modern minimalism with Moroccan flair. With hardwood details, French doors that open up to a deck, and two lofts—one for sleeping and one for lounging—the space feels much larger than it is. They even have a side patio for extra space.
Robert, Samantha, and Aubrin Sage | @shed_tinyhouse
The Sages are an active bunch, to say the least: they spent 30 days in 2008 living out of a Honda Civic and a tent as they traveled the United States coast to coast. Then, in 2010, they spent another 30 days hopping trains in Europe with just 60-liter backpacks. Two years later, they spent six weeks backpacking in Patagonia, clocking over 1,400 miles. In 2013, they packed up everything they owned in a 16-foot U-Haul and left behind their roots in Western New York to Yakima, Washington, to live in an under 200-square-foot space.
They also both hold full-time careers with Samantha as a pediatric nurse practitioner and Robert as an architectural designer and co-founder of a local maker space. Their "shed" home is everything you’d expect from a designer with clean lines and thoughtful details. After living in their tiny home for five years, they’ve decided to rent it out and move into something a bit larger—a 665-square-foot apartment.
Jenna Spesard | @tinyhousegiantjourney
After living paycheck-to-paycheck at a job she loathed, Jenna hit a breaking point. "I was treading water and putting my dreams on hold," she says on her website. Finally, she decided to do something "radical," quitting her stable job and building a tiny home on wheels so that she could travel and become a writer. Ever cozy, her space exudes rustic vibes with a tinge of boho flair.
In just one year, she visited over 30 states and five Canadian provinces with her home in tow. Along the way, she met like-minded people and decided to document their stories and challenges of living small on her blog—and she began to save money: "Four years later, and I’ve paid off all of my student debt. I’m now financially secure enough to travel the world several times a year!"
Nicolette Cascione | @nicolettenotes
Twenty four-year-old content creator and nanny Nicolette Notes lives a minimal lifestyle with her boyfriend (a full-time student at UC Berkeley) in a 300-square-foot home with a loft. Built on a 28-foot trailer, the home features an A-frame roof with a dormer in the sleeping loft as well as a composting toilet and shower, and a full kitchen with an oven and four-burner stove.
They struggled to find a place to park their abode in Berkeley (land itself starts around $300,000), and—just as they were about to give up—found an ad on Craigslist for a "shady spot for tiny house." And just like that, they secured their spot, and began nesting. Their cozy quarters are far more stylish than a dorm room with a fireplace, inky accents, and hardwood floors.
Bryce Langston | @livingbiginatinyhouse
In Auckland, New Zealand, where the average home prices are over $1 million, many kiwis are unable to invest in the housing market. Bryce Langston was one of that number before he saw his first tiny house on wheels. "Here was a unique opportunity to construct a home that was within my means, that could be beautiful, sustainable, and best of all one which I could own without the need to purchase land," he says on his website.
And so, he decided to shift into downsized living. With a background in permaculture, he knew his home needed to be sustainable, lightweight, and entirely non-toxic. Now, he documents an array of tiny homes on his Instagram and YouTube channel.
Paul O'Connor and Annett Weiss | @livingtinyandgreen
Paul and Anette had a vision—they wanted to live in the countryside in Australia, power all of their devices with renewable energy, and eat homegrown vegetables. The best way to do that? Build a tiny house, naturally. Their home now runs on solar with rainwater tanks as well as a grey water catch. A small bio-digester creates gas for cooking, while a permaculture garden provides them with fresh fruit and veggies. They’ve documented their build from start to finish on their blog in hopes to show others that living sustainably doesn’t have to mean sacrificing modern-day amenities.