11/08 Tiny-house living

Alex and Korie Veidel 's tiny home.

Alex and Korie Veidel ‘s tiny home. Photo by Kerri Pang

“We wanted to pay off debt and not accrue more debt,” says Korie, 26, a former high school English teacher and now stay-at-home mom to their one-year-old son Abel. “Tiny-house living seemed like a good way to do that.”

Typically constructed on a trailer with wheels instead of a foundation, tiny houses are part of a growing movement in which people seek to live simply in small quarters (around 500 square feet or less).

Korie and Alex, 23, a metal machinist and aquaponics enthusiast, did their research and came up with a list of specs for their first home together: “We wanted it to be not too big or too small,” Alex says. “But mostly not too big.”

“We also wanted a tall roof,” Korie adds, “not the real steeply pitched roofs [common to tiny homes], but something more flat.”

Other priorities: a king-size loft, a full-size couch for comfortable seating on the main floor, and a house that was built over the wheel wells, affording additional space…

Tucked into a grove of trees at the edge of Alex’s parents’ property in Elgin, the tiny, portable house is parked adjacent to a chicken coop and not far from a small gardening shed. From a distance, it almost looks as if it’s part of some kind of tiny village.

Inside are all the hallmarks of a cozy, well-equipped home: framed art and family photos, brightly colored throw pillows, a wall-mounted TV, Abel’s playpen. In addition to a sleeping loft with windows, there’s a meticulously organized L-shaped kitchen and a bathroom with a composting toilet constructed by Alex.

In fact, the whole of the Veidels’ space is supertidy. From the bench with built-in storage to the magnetic spice rack, everything has a place. “And everything goes back in its place every single time,” Korie says. “A little bit messy quickly becomes dysfunctional in a tiny house!”

They don’t plan to live in such close quarters forever; in fact, the current plan is to transition into a small one-bedroom apartment to allow more space for their growing family. But they’ve enjoyed being de facto ambassadors of the now-trending lifestyle (even, incidentally, appearing on an episode of an episode of HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters).

Read more and watch the video (video is more informative than the article) – http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/tiny-house-illinois-small-simple-living-elgin/Content?oid=24216731

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Elaine Walker

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