Kent Griswold hasn't turned his dream into reality – yet – but he's making a living blogging about it. His passion? Tiny houses. And he may have hit on something.
Griswold, 51, started his blog, Tiny House Blog
, a few years ago just to have a place to put his assorted photos and links collected during years of fantasizing about owning a cabin home in the mountains.
Now, in just the past year, his blog is receiving triple the number views, from five to 6,000 unique visitors each day. Griswold tries to keep up a steady nearly-daily posting of interesting tiny home solutions, from build-it-yourself options that range from a 102 sq. foot number with a building plan that starts at $859
, to a 16' x 20' Vermont cottages
to micro lofts
And there's an ever-increasing amount of readers who are more than happy to share their own stories. Griswold thinks the economic downturn is responsible for the building-small craze. "I think for a lot of people, it's a dream of simplifying. Having a mortgage-free home is the ultimate dream," the Healdsburg, CA resident says. "A lot of [the featured homes] are on wheels [for mobility], and with the economy the way it's been, the site hits many of these concerns."
The blogger agrees that the current trend is all about simplifying one's home and down-sizing square footage
. After decades of "bigger is better," he says the recession has sparked a new desire for simplicity. "So many people lost those big homes, they went into mortgages they couldn't afford, and the builders and bankers were pushing those homes. Now people are getting back to the 'good old days,' where one built their own home using their own money," Griswold says. "People want to take more control of their finances."
Griswold is also interested in exploring how small homes can offer solutions for communities beyond the hobbyist or personal home-builder. He's blogged about tiny shelters
that can be used in disaster areas such as Haiti or for homeless shelters.
The Tiny House Blog's large jump in viewers has generated advertising revenue which means Griswold can focus his energies on blogging full-time. And he still dreams about his own tiny space. "One day," he says he'll own that cabin on the mountain, and his blog will have everything to do with it.