Tiny Homes – Book Review

Review by Skye Nacel

Tiny Homes By Lloyd Kahn

Many of you may be asking yourselves what in the hell does a book about tiny houses have to do with surfing?! Well, in my eyes, it makes me think about a life closer to the water and that makes it pretty damn relevant. Cutting down our footprint and getting back to the simple life can get all of us more water time and more flexibility which, here in fickle New England, can mean the difference of surfing a swell or hearing about it after it’s gone.

The author, Lloyd Kahn, is a champion of “green architecture”, a small home and dynamic living pioneer of the DIY movement who wrote the seminal book “Shelter” in 1973. “Shelter” remains a bible for anyone looking to get off the grid. Lloyd’s philosophy continues to be an experiment in using living space as a way to simplify really living life. “Tiny Homes” focuses on homes and living spaces with a footprint no bigger than 500 square feet and profiles 150 builders who literally took things into their own hands. This is a book not only about how to build but also why to build. Along with amazing photography, ideas, solutions, and resources, you get some seriously great inspiration. Most of the profiles include detailed sketches and contact info for the builder so you’ll never be left hanging if you have questions when you decide that this is the way to go.

Open to the first tiny home and you find none other than Mikey Basich. This guy is not only a legend in the world of professional snowboarding but has become an icon in the world of DIY, doing a lot with very little. We get a look into the design and building of his own dream home deep in the snowiest region of California where he literally surfs pow right out his back door, made by hand of course. This profile alone is worth the price of admission and sets a tone for the rest of the book. From treehouses to vans to houseboats, there’s something for everyone.

One of the great things about this book is the diversity of structures in both design and settings. It’s as much about beauty as it is about a grassroots movement of living in harmony with nature and yourself. There’s something for nearly every terrain imaginable including a section on one of my own personal favorites, mobile houses, homes on wheels that you drive to the surf like mine! “Tiny Homes” is a book for anyone who accepts a freedom in making the choice to be not only personally independent but environmentally conscious whether you’re a builder, a writer, a dreamer of a better way, or a nomad traveling either on the road or riding on the water. You can read this book over and over and be continually inspired as I’ve been. 

As the Stoked and Broke ethos spreads, more and more people are once again tuning in or maybe even dropping out to find a piece of the pie and a wave to themselves. “Tiny Homes” could be the new bible for just that.

About Skye Nacel:

Skye’s life is all about movement, physical culture, and adventure. It’s who he is and how he lives and he is dedicated to spreading the stoke. A barefoot nomad with a mission, he’s currently based in Northern New England chasing waves when the swell is on and in the mountains of Vermont when they aren’t. He is most happy at deserted breaks far away from the growing crowds. He owns Mocean365, an adventure and outdoor movement business and is a co-owner of MoceanMate’ Energy Tea with his lovely partner in crime, Meg. You can see more at www.themoceanproject.com

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