House Tour: Sleeping in the Isness Tiny House

There is something so appealing about living tiny.

We have consulted for a number of clients looking to create their own tiny living getaway. Often people are looking to build a solitary escape, while others hope to build their own tiny hotel & resort.

This past month we visited the Isness House in West Saugerties, NY. If you’ve never gone tiny, these house are just as sweet IRL as they appear when beamed at you through your computer or TV screen. The tiny home that we stayed in was filled with size-appropriate furnishings and washed in natural light.. From the outside, however, it looked like, well, a very small house. With its dark grey paint, bright yellow door, and shingled roof, it looked plucked right out of Hudson, NY or a trendy New England mainstreet. So it had wheels and was parked on a campground in the middle of High Woods in the Catskills, but the point still stands.

The cutest thing about tiny homes is their environmental impact, or lack thereof. Currently, homes and other buildings make up about 40 percent of America’s total energy use. Smaller spaces mean less energy consumed, and most tiny homes are also built with solar panels, LED lighting, and other energy-conserving flourishes. For example, the tiny home I stayed in was crafted from super-advanced plastic building materials that improve its overall energy efficiency. For approximately $180, you could heat and cool it for an entire year.

This brings us to the second cutest thing about tiny homes, which is that you — yes, even an avocado toast-splurging millennial — have a good chance of being able to afford one. The average cost to build a tiny home is $23,000, and there are several examples of people who have done it for much less. Couple that with the $15 a month or so you might spend on heating and cooling, and the financial benefits are mind-blowing. Granted, you still have to somehow acquire land to put it on — and said land is more likely to be available and affordable in Arizona than it is in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, or any of the other major metropolitan areas where many young people (and the companies that employ them) tend to cluster. But for the 70 percent of millennials who don’t think they’ll ever be able to afford to buy a house, tiny homes could provide a glimmer of hope. Assuming we can adapt to living in them.

A common misconception, is that this necessitates adopting some kind of spartan, pioneer woman existence that eliminates the frivolous pleasures of instagram, ironing boards, or anything seemly frivolous. There’s still room for a little luxury inside a tiny home; you just have to be prepared to Marie Kondo the shit out of the rest of your existence.