There's a skit from Portlandia (of course) poking fun at the tiny-house movement. In it, two earnest hipsters inhabit a 'microhouse' that doesn't look all that small from the outside — but inside, there are all kinds of er, unconventional solutions, from a toilet that doubles as a desk chair to a fold-away litter box.
Of course this is humor, but most things that are funny are funny because they have a tiny grain of truth in them. Which leads us to the question: how small is too small? Where do you draw the line between a house that promotes a beautifully simple lifestyle — and one that is just plain cramped?
While you're thinking about your answer, take a look at some of our favorite tiny houses that we've featured over the years. Somehow, the inhabitants of these itty bitty spaces manage to make it work — with nary a toilet desk or folding litter box in sight.
Christopher & Merete's Truly Tiny Home on the Range
Location: Hartsel, Colorado
Size: 127 square feet
Tim and Hannah's Affordable DIY Self-Sustainable Micro Cabin
Location: Tahoe, California
Size: 196 square feet
Although this cabin clocks in at a relatively spacious 196 square feet, it also lacks indoor plumbing. So there's that.
Four People (and a Dog) Living in 180 Square Feet
Location: Gulf Islands, British Columbia
Once again, relatively spacious. But: four people.
A Peek Inside Alek's Tiny Project House
Location: Sebastopol, California
Size: 160 square feet
All of the homes pictured above are vacation houses, but this one is inhabited full-time, by Alek, his girlfriend, and their small dog. It may seem crowded to other people — but to them it's just home.