"But Joe, what IS a tiny office? And why are you building one?!"
Before I can get to that, we need to talk about tiny houses. My first exposure to a tiny house was on last year's season of HGTV's Design Star. The three finalists were challenged to design tiny houses. I thought it was a cool concept but didn't think much of them at the time. Since then, I seem to keep coming across them and have grown more intrigued over time. So what is a tiny house? Its exactly that, a TINY house!
Tiny houses range from a mere 65 sq. ft. up to several hundred sq.ft. In that tiny space, they manage to pack in everything you need in a house: a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living space.
So what's the point? Tiny houses aren't about size, they are about simplicity. It is not just a new, cheap way of building, but a rethinking of the way we live in today's society and culture. The tiny house movement is about stripping down to the bare essentials of living. There is no excess stuff or wasted space in a tiny house... there can't be!
Most people look at a tiny house and see a cramped, uncomfortable, confined space. But I think I get it. The movement is about freedom - freedom from stuff, the unnecessary stuff that seems to take over so many of our lives.
The more I research tiny houses, the more I want one, but I'm not sure I want to live in one, and I am definitely sure Bonnie does not want to live in one. But I still wanted to build one. I started thinking about our house and our life, and how a tiny house could benefit us. I needed a reason to make this project a reality. In some respects, we live in a tiny house already. We have a bedroom, a bathroom, a laundry room, and then one big room that serves as our kitchen/dining room/living room/office all in one. 95% of our lives are spent in this one room. The worst part of it has always been the office. We've had a desk tucked away in the corner and no matter how we have rearranged it, that part of the room has just never felt right. Since we have started our business and Bonnie has transitioned to working almost exclusively from home, the desk tucked in a corner is simply not cutting it any more. We need an office.
We need a tiny office! (Or, as we affectionately refer to it, a T.O.) We need an extra room, we want the desk out of this room. Without knowing what the future holds, we don't want to build a permanent addition on this house (remember: it's a converted barn on my parents' land). And if I built the tiny office on a trailer, one day that room could go with us wherever we go. I knew this sounded like a crazy idea, so I kept it to myself for weeks. (Well not really, I just kept it from Bonnie for weeks). I was waiting for the right moment to tell her my brilliant idea. When I finally sprang the idea on her, she laughed in my face. I was not deterred. Over the next few weeks I continued to bring up the idea. Then one day Bonnie was telling me how she really wanted a change in the house, a drastic rearrangement. "You know what would do that?" I said. "A tiny office!"
And the dream was born.
(Especially once she realized it would make more room for a larger Christmas tree in the house).