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Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter
Scaling Back in the 21st Century

…a genuine hit…”

Wall Street Journal

“Gives me chills, it's so inspiring…”

Cheryl Long, Editor

Mother Earth News

…a glorious portfolio…”

New York Times

Tiny Homes cover

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by Lloyd Kahn
224 pages 9” x 12” Trade paperback
$26.95 2012 ISBN: 978 0-936070-52-0

There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, layoffs, scarcity of good jobs - these things have many people rethinking their ideas about shelter - seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.

In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, and created tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.

A rich variety of small homemade shelters is shown in some 1,200 photos, and there are stories, thoughts and inspirations of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.

At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of 5 small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world - which we've been tracking over the past two years. In fact, many of these homes were inspired by earlier Shelter Publications books.

A growing number of people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes, to simplify. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or prefab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "in-law" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.

If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. This is a different approach, a 180º turn from overlarge homes and increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.

About the Author

In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1973, he published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell over 250,0000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter - in many ways the sequel to Shelter - and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the 4th book in this series. Kahn and his wife Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.

Lloyd Kahn