It’s nearly time for the tiny homes to move into Fair Park Dallas for the 2018 Earth Day Texas celebration!

This is my 5th consecutive year as part of the event programming – and this is the 3rd year that we have assembled a village exhibit!  This year we will have tiny houses on wheels, converted vans, and skoolies – converted school busses.  Each home was hand built by the owner, and the homes are their full time residences.

EARTHx is the largest Earth Day celebration in the world – right here in Dallas!  I am just thrilled to have been invited back, and am super happy to have friends joining me in the exhibit.  We are ALL grateful for our volunteers, as well – we couldn’t do it without them – and I am especially grateful for my Volunteer Coordinator, Jet Regan!  She is invaluable to this event.

EARTHx
April 20-22, 2018
Fair Park, Dallas, Texas
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Daily
www.earthx.org

I can’t believe it’s late April already!  I am really excited to share with you this behind-the-scenes look into the homeowners lives; they are an amazing and resourceful group of humans.

When the DIYers submitted their applications to exhibit, part of the application were these questions:

Tell us a little bit about you – we know you are awesome, but what else?
Tell us about your house, it must be your pride & joy!
What inspired you to go tiny?
Has living small done what you wanted it to do?

Below are answers from the first six of our 13 exhibitors – their answers are both inspiring and entertaining!  Get to know them a bit before you go tour their homes.  We have exhibitors from all walks of life…

The second group will be posted here soon.   Be sure you follow their social media links to see all their great photos!

Matt Alexander & his home Vanna White

Social Media Links:

Website: www.EnjoyTheJourney.Today

Facebook: @EnjoyTheJourney.Today

Instagram: @EnjoyTheJourney.Today

                    @WilsonFlynn’s (My Chihuahua’s IG)

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPM0o8Pq3NTVlrgv7tZgc_Q/featured?view_as=public

Tell us about your house – it must be your pride & joy!
Custom converted Sprinter Van made entirely of recycled wood including old wine boxes as cabinets. This ‘05 Sprinter, affectionately known as “Vanna White” will blow you away with the surprisingly roomy interior that can fit 7 comfortably in the smallest Sprinter version available. See how we maximized every inch of space and creative design features like a couch that converts to a bed and a full kitchen including a stove and a mini fridge. 

Tell us a little about you – we know you’re awesome but what else?
My name is Matt Alexander and I am a 31 year old video producer traveling full time with my tiny chihuahua Wilson Flynn working in video production throughout the United States. I work with aerial video and have created a mobile video studio out of the van so I can travel with all my gear. In my travels I have visits 20+ countries expanding my perspective while meeting amazing people along the way.  Join my journey at www.EnjoyTheJourney.Today

Why did you go tiny?
I wanted to figure out a way to work remotely on the road, building clients in different parts of the country while also getting to see all the amazing places out there.  Van Life affords me the opportunity to do all of these while also learning how to live a minimalist lifestyle and remain environmentally friendly.  I absolutely love living the Van Life because I have the ultimate freedom and flexibility while also pursuing my passion for exploration, community and telling stories through video.

 

Cory & Rob Hagen & their home Tiny Øresund

Social Media Links:

Website: www.tinymodernhomes.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tinymodernhomes

Instagram: @tinymodernhomes

Tell us about your house –
Tiny Øresund is the product of years and years’ worth of research, planning, design, saving money, and hard work. Our house is designed with my husband and my needs in mind, from the height of the light switches, to the size of the shower, kitchen layout, everything! Every detail and item has a story about why it was chosen, how it was found, etc. Our house is designed for two tall people – it’s all one level, and each function has a dedicated space (sleeping, eating, lounging, cooking, bathing). I also designed Tiny Øresund to be luxurious in a way that we could never afford if we were building a big house. We are incorporating smart lighting, automated blinds and integrated sound. We also have a gourmet kitchen with Caesarstone countertops, a drawer dishwasher and tons of storage. The most special thing about our house, though, has been the community who has made it possible. We have been incredibly blessed by dozens of people coming out and donating their time and expertise to help us build our house. We never could’ve achieved what we did without them, and it has been a humbling and amazing experience that I will never forget. 

Tell us a little about you –
Let me start by saying I’m a little stubborn. Even though lots of people didn’t believe that I would actually build a tiny house, I persisted and found a way to make it happen. After 6 years spent working for a major insurance company, I decided to leave my job and start designing tiny houses full time. It’s been an exciting and terrifying ride, but I don’t regret it for one minute. My husband, Robert, and I have been married for going on 8 years. We hold each other accountable in life, and encourage each other to give our best each day.

Why did you go tiny?  Has the tiny life achieved for you what you wanted it to?
That depends on whom you ask. I LOVE living in a small, well-designed space. To me, beauty and function are more important than empty square footage. My husband is not a tiny house fan – quite the opposite, really – so we are building Tiny Øresund with an open mind. Once it’s finished, we will decide whether we want to use it as a vacation home, live in it full time, use it to relocate to another state, or sell it and use the money to purchase a larger home. Personally, I hope we end up living tiny full time 😉 Whatever we decide to do, Tiny Øresund is the bridge that will help us cross the hurdle into financial independence and home ownership.

Is there anything else you want to tell us that we haven’t asked?
Our house has 14 windows, plus full-lite French doors. There will be no stone-throwing ☺

 

Thaddeus Komorowski & his home, Rustic Red

Social Media Links

Website: www.trk-tinyhomes.com

Tell us about your house –
I’m a high school graphic design / construction teacher.  I built my tiny house over 3 summers = 9 months plus some finish work (1 year). I built my house using sip panels. I acted as the general contractor using a few sub contractors to do: plumbing, elec, roofing, SIP rough construction

Tell us a little about you –
I am a 38 high school teacher and I love being active. I am currently on 35 Jive! (my Swing dance team), I also teach dance lessons, (on the side), love hiking, camping with friends, riding my bike, rock climbing when I have time, and playing my cello and guitar.

Chris & Christina Mccrory & their home Simply Serenity

Social Media Links

Website: www.simplyloveliving.com

Facebook: Simply tiny homes

Tell us about your house –
Our house is an extension of us. It began as just a dream for Christina and Christopher thought she was completely nuts. We finally bought our custom-built flatbed in February of 2017 and Christina’s brain-child started to come into existence! Christopher has loved inventing lots of artistic custom carpentry into our home. If Christina envisions it, Christopher gives in to her crazy ideas and builds it! Simply Serenity boasts an amazing 222sf of craftsman joy! It sleeps 6+ comfortably in 5 different “rooms,” has a porch, vintage kitchen, dining/living combo area, closet, pantry, full bathroom including a 4’ bathtub, tons of built-in storage, and was built using 90% reclaimed and repurposed materials!

Tell us a little about you –
We are a true Brady bunch family! We call ourselves the “M” family for Magical! (but really a combination of the “Mecca’s” and the “McClory’s”)    We believe in traveling and spreading positivity to all who we encounter. We all love to learn and grow and believe in being a student for life. Christopher is an amazing daddy, carpenter, lapidary artist, and jeweler. Christina is a spirited mommy, architectural designer/drafter, artist, musician, and life coach. Niko is a rebel teen that fights for what’s right and is a musician and artist. Logan is a jokester tween that loves to build and create things, rock hound, and anything science. Elise is a magical child who loves to learn about everything and is a budding artist. Alice is a bustling toddler who loves rocks, crystals, animals, and EVERYBODY! She will light up your smile!

Why did you go tiny?  Has the tiny life achieved for you what you wanted it to?
We wished to be able to travel freely and share our gifts with other’s near and far. We wished to have adventures as a family and learn and grow with each other through exploring and experiencing cultural diversity. We wished to be a self-sustaining as possible and reduce our footprint on this earth. Yes, the tiny life has enabled us to have a better balance of being close to one another while also having our own spaces and interests. While it was hard having to set some of these life-goals aside while in the building process, now that we have achieved completion we have been able to really enjoy all the thing living tiny enables us to do.

Is there anything else you want to tell us that we haven’t asked?
Just a few days ago we added our little baby boy, Indigo, to our crazy bunch.  With our happy surprise addition we have decided we need a “bigger” tiny home and so are in the process of converting our 1977 Bluebird school bus into our master home creation!

SHANDRA MORTON & her home Morton Manor

Facebook:  Morton Manor Tiny House

Tell us about your house –
I found the basis of my house’s design from another Tiny House website.  I engaged Tiny Modern Homes to make changes and draw up the plans!

I have put in a full sized door; I have 14 windows, less use for artificial light and a way to get a cross breeze!  I have a 70 lb Black Lab who gets into trouble when alone, so I will install a dutch pocket door to keep him in the bathroom when I have to leave the tiny.  It allows me to not completely shut him in a different room but to secure him when I need to.

I attend as many tiny house conferences, meetings, and workshops as I can afford and as time/travel allow. I also try to help others building their dream houses (vans, etc.) as I can.  At one workshop, given by Small Dwelling Co, I saw a shell of a tiny they were going to be working on.  The shell and framing was done by the same company.  I saw that, and wanted the same “head start” on my tiny as I had seen.   My shell was delayed a week due to an error, but I did get what I wanted; the “head start” I imagined!  All 14 windows went in, were installed in just one day due to the “in square”ness of metal framing!

I picked “Morton Manor” due to the alliteration of my name and the irony of “manor.”  I was trying to find a name that would work with the nickname given to me by my tiny house tribe family (“Schmoooorhtn,” Thanks Nina Z!!!) but landed with its current name.  After that first work day to get the windows and door in, I installed the lock, and it was a great feeling that I could finally secure my tiny house and worry less about it.

Tell us a little about you –
I want to help make tiny houses a very legitimate form of housing.  I hope to get more active after my tiny house is finished.  I’d like for more people to see that bigger isn’t better.   I also want to be better about my use of resources – food, gas/fuel, water

Why did you go tiny?  Has the tiny life achieved for you what you wanted it to?
Having a house is a big interest of mine; one that I can move and make completely my own appeals to me greatly.

I like that it looks like a house, is built like a foundation house but I can take it just about anywhere.  I think that having a Movable Tiny House will give me the change in life that I want; to travel but to have my own space too. It’ll give me some financial independence as well.    It’ll also help me be near my family if/when the time comes and still have my alone time as an introvert.

Is there anything else you want to tell us that we haven’t asked?
My mom was at first not happy at all with my decision to sell my foundation house and to start building a tiny house.  She is slowly changing her mind about my build.  She has since started to boast about me on her own FB page and recently liked MM’s FB page.  She even removed a negative comment someone made about TH’s being a fad and how it wouldn’t last. I think she’s seeing the idea and motivation behind the movement and how it can benefit others.

 

BA Norrgard & John Breen & their home, Sisu

Social Media Links

Website: www.abedovermyhead.com

Facebook: @abedovermyhead, @bethannnorrgard, @johnbreen

Instagram: @banorrgard, @jrbreen_runner

Twitter: @banorrgard

Tell us about your house –
Our little house was designed by Jay Shafer and the model is called The Gifford.  To date it has traveled about 11,000 miles.  It has a custom stained glass window and porch lights, and a custom hand built front door.  I recently did a few renovations to make space for my new husband to move in with me – now there are 2 of us in 78 square feet!

Tell us a little about you –
(BA) I built this house just for me, back in 2014, never thinking that I would marry and share space.  Apparently that is how you find a mate – build a house for one… in 2016 I reconnected with a high school classmate and converted him to the tiny, vegan lifestyle!

I get my biggest energy boost by being surrounded by lovers of small spaces and caretakers of the earth.  I worked in the legal field for over 25 years and began intentionally deconstructing my traditional life in 2012.  I am a lover of small spaces and organization of things, data and tiny house village events.  I teach tiny house workshops, consult on tiny house topics, speak, exhibit at events, and advocate for the tiny house lifestyle.  Opening our house for tour is one of my very favorite things to do!

(John) I am a Minnesota native, a lover of nature, and an avid runner.  I have been a chemical dependency counselor for over 25 years.  I’m new to the tiny house movement, and I am continually amazed at how wonderful this community is!