Tiny House…Jamboree?

The first official Tiny House Jamboree took place in Colorado Springs this past weekend.  I’m not too sure about how I feel about the use of the term “jamboree” in this context.  It’s a little too evocative of where these guys might live:


And less of places like this where I’d like to live – bears outside, please:


Yet, with 40,000 attendees representing every US state and 10 countries around the world, I will try to put aside my worries that they’re making a mockery of tiny house living and accept that there’s a lot of interest in living small.

I think it’s worth noting that I am doing my best not to use tiny house and small house interchangeably…but I’m not always succeeding.  It is sometimes a fine distinction, though they are two specific groups.  Tiny houses tend to refer to homes under 400 square feet that are often mobile.  Not to be confused with traditional “mobile homes”, tiny houses are commonly built on mobile platforms or flat beds that can be transported from location to location.  On the other hand, the small house movement generally refers to life in homes like RF’s and mine that are less than 1,000 square feet.  The model in the illustration above clocks in at 747 square feet.  Technically, it isn’t tiny.  Tiny is better represented by this 242 square foot rustic modern house, which, I might add, was built and lived in by two brothers who are both 6’7″!

tall man tiny

Click for more images of this very stylish tiny house.

While new homes constructed since the year 2000 have begun to shrink in size, average home size in the US is still double what it was 50 years ago.

average house

Source: National Assn. of Home Bulders

However, the US doesn’t top the scales when it comes to home size around the globe.  That honor belongs to Australia where houses outsize ours by about the space of a small bedroom.  Though, you’ll note that Australia, U.S., and Canada each outsize many EU countries by 60-100% or more.  So, that means a lot of folks live in small, or at least small-ish, houses around the world.


Despite my qualms about the name Tiny House Jamboree, it’s exciting to see so many people interested in downsizing their lifestyles.  The festival featured 22 tiny house builders and over 30 vendors supporting the tiny life; so, there is clearly an increasing demand in this realm.  With so many concerns about over-consumption of global resources, I find this to be heartening news.  So, call it what you will – convention, festival…even jamboree!

P.S. – Have you read Dear People Who Live in Fancy Tiny Houses?  Ha.


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