less is more

The other day, I was bumbling around on Pinterest, pinning DIY Christmas decorations and printables (more on that in another post), and somehow pictures of natural decorations made from branches and foliage led to images of outdoor adventures and camping, until I finally stumbled across the image on the top right; I clicked on the picture of a tiny cabin, and was taken through to an Apartment Therapy tour of a tiny DIY self-sustainable home. Build on 20,000 acres of land by Tim and Hannah’s own fair hands, it features salvaged materials, a refrigerator made from a cooler and ice-packs, and a kitchen counter made from an RV table, and it really got me thinking about what we want in a house long-term.

One of my favourite sayings is that you should treasure experiences, and not things, and I constantly find myself fighting against the ‘norm’ of wanting more electricals, more cars, luxury holidays and massive houses. I’ve said so many times that my idea of heaven is living off-grid, growing our own food and being as self-sufficient as possible – our planet has a finite amount of resources, and I want us to be able to do as much as we can to limit our impact on it. For now, that’s having a composter, growing a few veg and some flowers, recycling the shit out of everything and limiting our consumption as much as possible, but I’m really hoping that over the next couple of years we can start saving for something a bit more sustainable.

I’m really taken with the idea of the tiny house movement; cosy cabins and tiny cottages with clever storage space, attic skylights and VELUX windows that are perfect for stargazing, lots and lots of plants and beautiful wooden floors. We’re really big fans of nature and the outdoors, and being surrounded by forest or coastline is the real dream; somewhere the kiddos can explore and adventure, make treehouses and dens, gather flowers and sticks, paddle, swim, run and climb. The whole ‘less-is-more’ thing seems to be gathering momentum, and there are some great resources online for sustainable living and the tiny house movement, the benefits of nature for children (I’ve just started reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, which talks about childrens relationships with nature, and how these relationships are becoming increasingly strained – I’m only a chapter or so in, but I’d recommend it for anyone interested in forest schools or the benefits of the outdoors), and there are loads of great seasonal posts around at the moment about reclaiming Christmas and celebrating the season and each other rather than piles of presents (the one over at Seeds and Stitches is REALLY good).

I’d love to hear from anyone else interested in sustainable living and the outdoors – do say hello if this is you!

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


  1. Lou Archell
    November 28, 2014 / 3:01 pm

    I hear you! Its how I try to live. I WILL have a cabin in the woods one day…. x

  2. Polly Davies
    November 28, 2014 / 7:08 pm

    LOVE this – we keep talking about getting a cabin in the woods or something similar

  3. Adele @ Circus Queen
    November 28, 2014 / 11:53 pm

    Laurence is reading The Last Child in the Woods too and absolutely raving about it. Everything you've written about here is the stuff of quite a lot of our conversations.

  4. Lori Taylor Arnold
    November 29, 2014 / 12:06 am

    I love the idea of having a tiny place in the wild but inky if I could get back to the city as I don't think I could switch off completely. Although F would love it though

  5. Laura Side Street
    November 29, 2014 / 1:03 am

    So so true – I must use the term – less is more – on a weekly basis – my parents were always very minimal and I feel the pressure of "normal" life a lot during the Christmas period – they always made a point of not getting us a lot and never getting us exactly what we wanted either and there is a great life lesson learnt in that – I find myself constantly giving things away, taking them to charity shops etc and yet the house seems not less filled with crap. I would live in a houseboat/cabin/small space in a second – in fact I have seriously tried to persuade the other half to live in a house boat – no joy as yet but hopefully watch this spaceLaura x

  6. Anonymous
    November 29, 2014 / 8:54 am

    I completely understand the draw to smaller living with one foot in nature. I think the Tiny House thing has taken off more in the US than in Britain because houses there just got so large, compared to more modest sizes here. That said, even in the UK it is hard to find sensibly small dwellings, particularly if you want outside space to grow your own, keep chickens and maybe plant a few fruit trees.I love the photo of the window with loads of plants on shelves and think the chair is also really telling. I was actually discussing comfortable chairs yesterday. In my parents' youth there may have been one sofa – well upholstered – and comfortable chairs with proper backs as people listened to music/radio, read, knitted, made their own fishing flies, darned socks… in the evening. They didn't collapse in endlessly large sofas to watch endless mindless programmes on an endlessly large TV. I think this is why smaller living is attractive. You live more because you waste less time on empty stuff.

  7. KatGotTheCream
    November 29, 2014 / 11:05 am

    Food for thought and I love the idea of living in a cabin, miles away from it all sometimes. I think I need to read that book too x

  8. laura redburn
    November 29, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    totally with you on pretty much all of this!

  9. Becky Brown
    December 2, 2014 / 10:17 am

    When we moved from London to rural France last year I didn't realise the journey it would take me on, one that's moving more and more towards the idea of self suffiency. I started off wanting simply to grow veg and keep a few chickens. Now I want to learn how to forage and preserve, how to create my own handmade wardrobe, how to spend less money and be content with less not more. You can get a lot for your money out here property wise but how much space do we really need? We're considering the possiblity of buying land and building our own house. A lot of it is me dreaming away but it's inspiring to see and read about people already living a simpler life. As 2015 approaches it's a good time to reflect on how we live our life as a family and what changes we can make day by day.

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