In the wake of the housing crisis and Recession, the "American Dream" of a super-sized home in the suburbs has lost its appeal; today, it's the "tiny house" that seems more aligned with America's readjusted ideals. Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller, a couple out of Colorado, are just one example of people taking the "tiny" leap - they began the construction of their 124 sq ft. home back in 2011, and their journey has been documented in a new film called "TINY: A Story About Living Small," which premiered on Al Jazeera America last Sunday.
The Tiny House, only 124 sq ft. (although with an 11-foot ceiling), contains a small galley kitchen, a bathroom and sleeping loft. There is also a small closet, two built-in bookshelves, one built-in desk and a dining table made from the scraps of the reclaimed hardwood flooring.
Building the house, Smith and Mueller began to realize how living with less can free up time, energy, and money to focus on things that mattered to them. As Smith describes, the characters in the film (all tiny house owners) have started their own businesses, gotten involved in their communities, and spent more time with family and friends as a result of downsizing.
He goes on to state that, "The concept of "home" is something our film explores a lot. And it is probably different for everyone. For me it is about the people you surround yourself with, and how it feels to spend time there. It has something to do with place, but that is not the only thing that determines what home is. Tiny Houses are great lenses through which to examine home, because everything is distilled down to the essentials in such a small space. It's a question that our film really encourages people to think about."