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The Tiny House Living Festival

Last Saturday, Chris and I attended the Portland Tiny House Living Festival, and we had a blast checking out all of the tiny houses and buses and vans. It was the first time either of us had ever actually seen a house smaller than a park model in person.

I was amazed by the turnout. The line to park was long, the line to buy tickets was long (and when they told everyone that we could buy our tickets online to skip the wait, the sudden traffic increase crashed the site), and the lines for each of the tiny house tours were long. It took us about three and a half hours to see everything that we wanted to see. Chris and I were pondering the draw for so many people. Surely not everyone who came is interested in extreme downsizing. I imagine the event attracted a lot of people who have seen the shows on TV and view tiny houses as something of a novelty.

I wasn't surprised to see our table in one of the little cabins since I've seen it in a few pictures of tiny houses, and I even noticed it in an episode of Tiny House Nation. We also saw our couch in another house. It seems to pop up all over the place in various tiny houses I've seen online as well. These pieces work really well in small spaces, and apparently others agree with us!

In fact, there were a number of IKEA fixtures and furniture pieces that we noticed throughout the tiny homes. Sinks and medicine cabinets stood out, and I even saw one house with an IKEA dish drying rack hanging above the sink, which is something I've been thinking about doing.

We got a few more ideas as well. We would love to redo our stairs to add some storage to the wasted space there. I can picture us storing shoes and winter gear and maybe even clothes there.

We also saw this cool but simple handrail that would be easy to copy. We need a rail on our outdoor stairs, and I love the look of this. The exposed piping is a style that really appeals to both of us.

In the same vein, we loved the way this house doubled up a bookcase and a ladder using pipes. We have stairs leading up to our loft, of course, but we may tuck this one away for the future just in case we do need a ladder somewhere someday. Maybe on a bunk bed or in that game room addition we're hoping to see finished eventually.

I had to take an obligatory photo of the two park models that were at the festival. They didn't really impress us with their use of space (the showers were unnecessarily humongous), but it was neat to see them just the same. The tinier houses were much more creative in their layouts, and I was astounded by some of the things we saw, like the bed that lowered from the ceiling in one tiny home and the double vanity that somehow worked in the bathroom of another.

We had a great time, and I am already planning to go again next year. It's a wonderful feeling being among so many other people who "get" our lifestyle, and seeing the creativity flowing out of the tiny house movement is so fun.


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