"I could never live in a tiny house, because..."
I may have heard that sentence a hundred times by now. Nine times out of ten, the sentence ends the same way: people tell me they have too much stuff and no idea how to get rid of it. But recently, I heard a new reason:
"I could never live in a tiny house, because I love art."
"Then don't worry," I assured the woman I was speaking with. "You can have art in a tiny house. We have plenty of art in our home."
"I've seen a lot of tiny houses," she told me. "There's no room for art in them, and I have a lot of art."
If she has a gallery-sized art collection, she's no doubt right that all the pieces she currently displays in a 1,200-square-foot-house wouldn't fit in a 120-square foot home. But my 250-square-foot home, I told her, showcases a lot of art. Like her, I wouldn't want to live in a space without art—and there's good science behind that feeling.
Here's just one study: Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist at the University College London, scanned the brains of test subjects as they looked at works of art. He found that viewing art triggered a release of the chemical dopamine into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain, resulting in feelings of pleasure. A Psychology Today article on Zeki's experiment concluded: "This type of research suggests that art could be used, in multiple contexts, to increase the welfare, mental health, and life satisfaction of the general public, young and old."
My own experience concurs. My "mental health" and "life satisfaction" are indeed enhanced by living in a space graced by pieces of art that please me.
That's not to say the woman who told me she's been in tiny houses without any art was wrong about that. I've been in, and seen online, a fair share of tiny houses without a single photo, print or sculpture in sight. I would encourage everyone considering scaling down the size of their abode to plan where you can display art at the same time you plan for kitchen storage and hanging space.
So, where is there room for art in our tiny house? Everywhere.
Please click on the photos below for more details.