Tiny House Conference

A Tiny House Whirlwind

Christian Parsons of  Tiny House Expedition  snapped this shot of the Tiny House Conference.

Christian Parsons of Tiny House Expedition snapped this shot of the Tiny House Conference.

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of tiny house events on both coasts! Four weeks ago today I was headed to the East Coast for Tiny House 101 in DC. Three weeks ago today I was on my way to Vermont to teach Tiny House Design-Build at Yestermorrow. During the 2-week course we constructed the shell of a tiny house on wheels for a fellow named Nick who, at 26 years old, is super clever about establishing housing stability and flexibility. I wish I had been so wise at that age! During the evenings we had studio time to explore tiny house design considerations and students worked on creating their own tiny house designs. If you'd like a sense of the day-by-day flow of this course, you can check out previous posts about Tiny House Design-Build.

We wrapped up there a week ago tomorrow and I flew across the country again to be back home in time to speak at the Tiny House Conference, which was in Portland this year. I've been at all four of the Tiny House Conferences now and it's neat how it alternates between the East Coast and the West Coast. I spoke about Tiny House Community on Saturday and then facilitated the Open Space session on Sunday. During the rest of the time I joined Track C, a new addition to the Conference this year for those of us who are already living or building tiny. It was fun to have conversations about the future of the movement and to swap stories of our biggest mistakes! The Conference is always a great opportunity to connect with fascinating folks from all over the place and I look forward to hearing updates about people's tiny house journeys!

On Monday BA Norrgard and I led a Tiny House Community & Zoning Workshop through the Tiny House Collaborative. We explored various tiny house community models, discussed zoning challenges and opportunities, and laid out some steps (and tips) for creating tiny house community. We were fortunate to have an awesome venue at the Cully Grove Common House so we were able to talk about creating community in the community living room of a very cool community! We also had some special guests join us, including Alexis Deharts Stephens of Tiny House Expedition who (along with her partner Christian) has probably visited every tiny house community in the country! We also had a panel discussion with four community members from two different tiny cohousing communities in Portland. Thanks again, Tony, Karin, Lori and Kyra! It was fun to show people our tiny house community and to have Pam Westra show off three of the tinies at Tiny Digs, Portland's other tiny house hotel. (I've written about Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel in the past and I love that tiny houses are so popular in Portland that we now have TWO tiny house hotels!)

On Tuesday I attended the Build Small Coalition meeting, which is a reconvened group previously dubbed the Space-Efficient Housing Working Group. This is Portland's collection of professionals working to support tiny houses, ADUs, micro apartments, and other space-efficient creative housing solutions. It was great to see familiar faces and hear their updates as well as meeting new folks who are taking on neat projects. I look forward to seeing what we accomplish this coming year!  I have a hunch it's going to be another big year for small homes!

2016 Tiny House Conference Recap

Tiny House Conference 2016 This was the third year of the Tiny House Conference and my third year speaking at the event. There were around 350 people in attendance this year and the conference was split into two tracks with one focused more on lifestyle and one focused more on technical considerations.

I presented on Tiny House Design twice on Saturday and led the Open Space session on Sunday afternoon. The rest of the weekend was devoted to visiting with fascinating folks from all over the world, exploring the dozen tiny houses in the parking lot, and attending other sessions on everything from funding a tiny house to off-grid living. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with folks I'd met at previous conferences or through the tiny house network.

It's so fascinating to see the Tiny House Movement shift over time as the number of reasons for going tiny increase. It's also interesting to see how innovative tiny house designs and products are as people invent new ways of living little while living well.

Next year's Tiny House Conference will be held in Portland, OR on April 8-9, 2017, so if you're interested in coming to the event in my corner of the world, mark your calendar!


Tiny House 101 & Tiny House Conference


Hooray! Today a new adventure begins! Tiny House 101 DC Mar 2016

I'm headed to Washington, D.C. this morning to co-teach a Tiny House 101 Workshop with the other fine folks of the Tiny House Collaborative. We have a nearly full house and it's going to be fun to share our tiny homes and our lessons learned with the workshop attendees as we help them noodle through some of the major considerations for their own tiny homes. We'll be doing sessions about inspiration and aspirations, the tiny house lifestyle, systems (including water, electrical, propane, etc.), trailers, project planning and management, and building basics. I'm especially excited to be doing a design session with Vina Lustado of SolHaus Design!

I've also never been to D.C. before AND it seems it will be peak cherry blossom time, so I've got to say that's pretty exciting as well. I've given myself an extra day in D.C. to explore the city after the workshop.

Are you coming to the Tiny House Conference? If so, I'll see you there!

Then I'm going on a road trip. Most of my East Coast time has been in Vermont since I teach for Yestermorrow Design-Build School. So I'm really looking forward to traveling by car from D.C. to Asheville for the Tiny House Conference. The conference is the first weekend of April and I'm going to be sharing some design tips and tricks as well as leading an open space session. This will be my third year speaking at the Tiny House Conference and it will be great to see Ryan Mitchell and reconnect with these awesome speakers: Laura LaVoie, Matt LaVoie, Andrew Morrison, Lora Higgins, Ethan Waldman, and Zack Jones. (And I'll get to meet Jody Brady & Bill Brady, too!) Will YOU be there? I look forward to meeting you, too!

Let the adventures begin!

Lucky Penny's Public Debut

Lucky Penny Skylight What a busy couple weeks it's been with So Much Tiny House Goodness! And along with that, lots of press. I was going to wait until those last pesky pieces of trim were finished before I shared photos officially. But everyone else has been excited to show off The Lucky Penny, too. So I think it's safe to say that my beloved tiny house, The Lucky Penny, has made her public debut.


Last week Billy of Unlikely Lives posted a story about Simply Home Community, our tiny house community. (If you'd like to learn more about each of the tiny houses, see the Big House, and learn how we set up (and what we'd do differently), please join us for our Tiny House Community Tour on Sunday, May 3! (And if you can't, check out the video about Simply Home made by Jenna and Guillaume of Tiny House Giant Journey.)

Last Saturday morning I was interviewed at Tiny House Conference since I was one of the speakers. I had the opportunity to talk to a great many people about tiny house building basics. Stay tuned for a forthcoming video.

Small is BeautifulOn Saturday evening those who attended the Tiny House Conference got a sneak peek of Jeremy Beasley's tiny house film, Small Is Beautiful. I have a cameo in the film, but the stars are my landies Ben Campbell and Karin Parramore. I'm so lucky to get to live with these fine folks at Simply Home Community! If you'd like to see the film, there are several screenings scheduled. It premiers in Seattle on May 5th, in Portland on May 7th, and in Boise on May 26th. You can also download the film.

Last Sunday morning I had a Japanese film crew at my house at 7AM capturing footage. Yuichi (an incredible treehouse builder) and his team are making a film about tiny house community. Needless to say, they were excited to talk to my landies and me. We were equally excited to talk to them as they're a fabulous crew!

Tiny House Conference Speaker DinnerMonday Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard of Tiny House, Giant Journey did a video tour of The Lucky Penny. They've been traveling around the country in their tiny house, interviewing other tiny housers along the way. So delighted to have been a stop on their adventure! Stay tuned for the video tour which they hope to share soon. Meanwhile, here's an awesome interactive photo Guillaume took when we were out to dinner during the conference (way cooler than the still above!)

Then Emily Udell told me that the Angie's List article about unique homes went live. The story is called Small Space, Big Heart and they did a nice job capturing some of the highlights of the little life. You can find a link to the story on my press page.

And just today, Gabriel Craft posted some gorgeous photos of The Lucky Penny on Small & Tiny Home Ideas! I have to admit I'm preposterously proud that so many other people are excited to show off my house. The Lucky Penny is my largest art project to date and when I see these images it reminds me that I live inside a sculpture!

Check out my press page and stay tuned for more updates as these films and photos are edited!

So Much Tiny House Goodness

Tiny House Conference TiniesThis month is jam-packed with tiny house goodness: This weekend I'll be participating in the Tiny House Conference, where I'll be speaking about tiny house Building Basics and leading the Open Source session. I participated in the Tiny House Conference in Charlotte last year and it was a great chance to meet several of the bloggers I'd been following and corresponding with as well as hundreds of other tiny house enthusiasts. I'm thrilled to get to catch up with old friends and make new ones at the Tiny House Conference again! People are already starting to roll into town for the conference. Yesterday I saw Jeremy Beasley who created the film Small is Beautiful, which will be show at the conference. (I'm in it, but I haven't yet seen it, so that will be a fun experience!)

But first, on Friday I'll be participating in the Tiny House UnConference, which is a networking event to support tiny house businesses and innovation. I can't wait to swap ideas and inspiration with other tiny house advocates!

And of course, on Friday afternoon there's the Tiny House Mixer Extravaganza hosted by Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel and Portland Alternative Dwellings.

Angela & Lina SIPs April 25 WorkshopThe last weekend of the month I'll be cohosting a Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop with Angela Ramseyer of MightyMicroBuilt. We're working with a fabulous couple with whom I did design consultation, so it's really exciting that we'll be helping move their tiny dream into the next phase with the wall raising using a SIPs Kit from Artisan Tiny House. If you'd like to join us, please register for the workshop.

And the following weekend Simply Home Community is hosting a Tiny House Community Tour. We'll be introducing tiny house community curious folks to how we created our tiny cohousing community.

And, of course, in amongst all THAT tiny house goodness I'll also be doing some consultations and design work for space-efficient housing.

Hope to see you at some of these events!

How to Start Designing a Tiny House

How to Design a Tiny House StillSince I've been working on tiny house designs for three clients this week, space-efficient design is even more on my mind than usual. So I figured I should share some of my tricks for designing a small space via this little video from the 2014 Tiny House Conference. You can watch the video by clicking on the link below. Enjoy! Lina Menard on How to Start Designing a Tiny House

Oh, and start carrying a tape measure so you can get a sense of scale in the places you visit and love!

Tiny House Conference 2014 Kick Off

meeting fellow tiny housers and touring their wee homes in anticipation of the Tiny House Conference (photo credit: Chris Tack) Tiny house lovers from across the country have descended upon Charlotte, NC this weekend for the Tiny House Conference. I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity to geek out about one of my favorite things! We will spend the next two days watching presentations (I'll be speaking on Tiny House Building Basics later today), touring tiny houses, and mixing and mingling.

Speakers were invited to arrive yesterday evening so we could get acquainted with each other and the facility. It was great to finally meet some of the folks I've been following: Macy Miller of minimotives, Hari and Karl of Tiny House Family, Andrew Odom of Tiny (R)evolution, and, of course Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life. It was also great to meet some new-to-me-but-probably-not-you-if-you've-been-watching-the-tiny-house-scene tiny house builders: Kelly and Chris, Frank, and Teal and Gerry of Wishbone Tiny Homes. Their tiny homes are be-a-u-ti-ful and I'm eager for everyone to see them, especially if they've never been inside a tiny home before!

The conference is sold out and I'm guessing many of you didn't manage to get tickets and make the trek to North Carolina, so if you'd like to live vicariously, follow along this weekend. Internet access and cell service are limited on the site, but we'll do our best to facebook and tweet the event with the hashtag #thc14.