Planning: What is the tiny house movement?

Open house for model home set for December 23-24

Also known as the small house movement, the tiny house movement is a social and architectural movement that advocates simpler living in a smaller, more efficient space.

People are choosing to downsize the space they live in for many reasons, including environmental concerns, financial concerns, and the desire for more time and freedom. Typically, an American home is around 2,600 square feet, while the typical tiny house is generally less than 500 square feet and the typical small house is less than 1,000 square feet. Tiny or small houses can come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, but are built to the same building codes as traditional homes, using traditional building design, techniques and materials, according to Community Development Director Lisa Beeman.

“A tiny or small house may not be for everyone, but I can see the attraction for living a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle that provides both freedom from debt and freedom to live a bigger life, instead of having a bigger house”, Beeman said. “The increase in popularity of tiny and small homes has yielded designs that are as architecturally interesting and elegant as a bigger house.”

The public will have an opportunity to tour a model “tiny home” in Bartlesville during an open house event set for 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. The home, located at 709 S. Jennings Ave., was built by FlatRock Concepts to help gauge interest in the small home movement in the Bartlesville area. FlatRock Concepts President/CEO Kim Betts says she and husband Lonnie are very interested in building a small home community in Bartlesville and would like to hear from Bartians who might be interested in such a community.

“There is a growing trend nationwide for the development of tiny or small home communities clustered around common and shared spaces such as gardens, green space, recreational areas and leisure spaces,” Beeman said. “Such collaborative communities encourage interaction, social connections, fulfill needs and provide support and assistance for residents of all ages, while still remaining affordable. For those of us in the baby boomer generation, this concept can reinvent retirement in a way that allows us to ‘age in place’ in our own home due to the sharing and cooperation of close ties in a collaborative community setting.”

Betts says she and her husband have been working on the model home since April and are ready to show off their work. The custom designed cabin–style home, located in Downtown Bartlesville just west of Sonic and south of Adams Boulevard, has an abundance of natural light and is enhanced by the use of reclaimed wood to provide warmth and character to the interior.

“The home has generated a lot of interest, so we’re hoping to have a good turnout for the open house event,” Betts said. “We’re going to decorate the house in an ‘old time Christmas’ theme to help celebrate the season. We hope everyone will come out and spend a little part of their holiday with us on December 23-24.”