Tiny houses have become very trendy in the last few years; downsizing never looked as good as it does in the polished video clips of impeccably organized little homes.
From a cleaning standpoint: tiny houses for the win! Less square footage equals less storage room, so all of the “stuff” that you find yourself cleaning up day after day has no place in a tiny house (literally).
But as we’ve all learned throughout the fresh hell of quarantine, any home can feel awfully tiny when you’re stuck in it as much as we’ve all been these last few months- especially if you’ve been sharing it with moody teens.
Again, tiny homes for the win when it comes to dealing with -or rather, not dealing with– moody teens… by giving them their OWN tiny houses.
One couple has chosen to downsize their living quarters by moving into a tiny house, and downsized the amount of family members living in it by building separate tiny homes for their two teenagers.
Like many families, Ryan & Keli Brinks were intrigued by the concept of tiny house living. They loved the idea of living more sustainably, so they sold their home in Michigan, purchased a 21-acre piece of property to build their (tiny house) dreams.
Ryan & Keli built a gorgeous tiny home for themselves:
“For themselves” being the key phrase, of course.
We’ve all heard the expression that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, the Brinks decided they’d rather have their children BE their village.
Rather than cramming all four family members under one tiny roof, Ryan & Keli decided to build separate tiny homes for their 16-year-old son Brodey and their 19-year-old daughter Lennox.
(And parents of teens everywhere are pausing to think, “MAKES TOTAL SENSE.”)
So the Brinks built five more tiny homes on their property. Here’s their son Brodey’s house:
Note the pile of sneakers next to the door, and the crowd of jackets. The best part about the son’s clutter? It’s in his.own.home. No more tripping over sneakers scattered by Mom & Dad’s front door.
No more smelling them, bitching about picking them up, or assisting in finding lost sneakers. You’re on your own, kiddo!
And their daughter Lennox’s home:
As the mother of four girls, all I can say is: wherecanIbuythisandhowsooncantheymovein??
In addition to their four family member’s own houses, there is also a tiny home with separate bathrooms for Brodey and for Lennox (Ryan & Keli’s house has their own bathroom):
No more having to subject myself to a sink that’s coated with toothpaste spit? No more boy urine splashed on the floor? The kids no longer share MY bathroom?
Take all my money, tiny home makers. I’m in.
In addition to each family’s living quarters/bathrooms, the final tiny house on the property is a pool house that features bar seating, a game table, & opens onto the family’s above-ground pool:
This is where the fun happens. Let’s watch a family movie! Anyone in for a game of Monopoly? Maybe a quick dip in the pool?
It’s genius, because if things go sour, you can just look at your family members & say, “Ooh- look at the time! Whelp, I’d better head on home now, so… see you around!”
The final structure on the property is a home office. And as a work-from-home mom, this is my personal favorite:
A home office that is not actually IN the home with other family members?? Sign me UP.
The Brinks didn’t build their village for the sole intention of booting the kiddos out of the family nest; their goals were to live as sustainably as possible, with less energy usage & less garbage.
(Having a clean, teen-free house was just a side perk.)
As mom Keli explained when interviewed by Insider.com, having her teens live in their own nearby houses really isn’t all that different from how it was when they were all under one roof:
When we lived in a house, the kids spent much of their time in their own rooms.They’d come downstairs for snacks and meals or to use the bathroom.
I feel you, girl. My 14-year-old son is only briefly seen in passing as he tears down a hallway now & then, procuring snacks quickly before “the next League of Legends game starts!”
(I still don’t know what League Of Legends is, but I know it involves wearing a headset, & a lot of shouting at the computer screen.)
But for the Brinks, village life is pretty much the same:
As teens, they spend a lot of time in their own cabins and will come to ours very often to get snacks or at mealtimes.
Can’t say I blame them; I’m 45 years old, and I STILL stop by my mom’s house down the block because she has the good snacks. Makes total sense.
The family still spends a huge amount of quality time together, sharing meals & recreation time together. But all four members love the privacy & space that comes with being separate counterparts of their own village.
I personally can’t imagine not having my kids under one roof with me, but the idea of not having to ransack their rooms looking for scores of crusty spoons certainly IS tempting. No more TikTok music wafting through the house at 1am? Or loud Facetime calls at all hours? Appealing…
Other parents are equally intrigued with the idea of a family tiny house village; Lennox Brinks’ TikTok account, @tinyvillagegirl, boasts over 491K followers and 19M likes. To catch more glimpses of tiny home life, check out Lennox’s TikTok account.