Brent Heavener was 10 years old in 2008. That was when the real estate market crashed and the nation's enthusiasm for cheap, small homes soared. When he was 16, his father Shared a photo of a container being converted into a house, showing him that houses could be built for the unexpected. This inspired @tinyhouse, an Instagram account where he collects photos of lilliputian homes around the world.
Now, Mr. Schiffner, 21, who has 708,000 followers, released a collection of 250 of the photos on Sept. 10 in Tiny House: Live Small, Dream Big (Clarkson Potter, $18).
现在，21岁的希夫纳有70.8万粉丝，他在9月10日出版了一本书，精选了250张这种照片发表，书名叫《小房子：生活要小，梦想要大》(Tiny House: Live Small, Dream Big，Clarkson Potter出版社，18美元）。
Mr. Schifner has just reached the legal drinking age, well before most people decide to take root. At a secret location in Central America (he won't say exactly where, but says it's not a small place, where he farms and works as what he calls a digital entrepreneur), he talks about small homes as machines that drive autonomous living.
Small homes have been the stars of HGTV and the Internet -- at least since the great depression -- for more than a decade. What do you think is its appeal?
It boils down to one word: freedom. Whether we're talking about millennials or empty-nesters, they're concerned about the current state of housing, and they're at a crossroads. Millennials are trying to figure out whether, like their parents, they should take out a loan and spend their lives paying off the debt. Empty-nesters are considering whether to retire and what is the best way to do so. Small homes happen to be a creative and strategic alternative to falling into the social trap of ending up like so many people around you.
Your book shows many places that I would describe as seclusion rather than home -- like tree houses and mountain cottages. In addition, you have a whole section of RVS in your book that has a bathroom in doubt. How do you define "small house"?
Any place can be your little home if it makes your life cleaner, if it makes your possessions easier, if it makes you no longer serve the things you own, if it makes your possessions no longer control you. Whether it's an rv, a container room, or a refurbished trash can, it depends on how you build it. You can't keep your little family in a corner, ironically enough. By the way, I worked and lived in a tree house for a long time.
Many people finally can't bear to live in their own small house. Even Thoreau lived in walden pond for only two years, during which time he brought his laundry home for his mother to wash. Do you think living in a small house will last long?
Thank you for your question. It's a great fantasy, but like everything in life -- marriage, work, your future -- you have to have the right expectations. The important thing is to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, "how much space do I really need?" How can I build my home around my lifestyle instead of building my lifestyle around my home?" Pick up a pen and paper and write down the life you need. Then take another piece of paper, cross out what you can live without, and compare what's left with what could fit in a small room. If you are afraid of a sudden fall, I suggest you take your time. First reduce the house to half of the existing living space, then reduce it to the final vision.
Your book itself is tiny, less than 7 by 8 inches. But it's a physical object, and it does take up space. Maybe it's for dreamers and not small house owners, am I right?
This book is not only for those who have lived in small houses for 20 years, but also for those looking for inspiration. If a book takes up too much space in your home, your home is too small.