Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter: Lloyd Kahn Book Review

by ziggy on January 11, 2012 -- 1 comment -- Follow

Lloyd Kahn is an owner-builder’s best friend. His colorful books document owner-builders’ projects across the world, chock full of captivating, beautiful photographs and valuable information for both the aspiring and active builder folks among us.

Each announcement of his book releases come with a certain wave of excitement, and Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter rides on the wave that Lloyd has been stirring up for over 30 years since the release of Shelter, and delivers a unique look into the newly exploding popularity of tiny houses.

Read ahead for a book review of Lloyd Kahn’s latest.

Tiny Houses are Big

Tiny houses are all over the media these days, and (for a few reasons) Lloyd was wise to make them the focus of his latest book. We all need to think about downsizing our shelter and reduce consumption. We don’t have enough energy left to the world to keep building massive and inefficient homes. Not only that, tiny houses are way more accessible for the aspiring builder than any other type of home.

Tiny Homes, in typical Lloyd fashion, covers a range of styles — houses on wheels, earthy houses, treehouses, kit houses, homes by architects, etc. Everything from Tumbleweed prefabs to small cob houses, to garden sheds and house boats are on display. That’s one thing to love about Lloyd’s book — the sheer diversity of structures represented.

Tiny Homes Eye Candy

The photo quality is excellent, colorful, bright, and beautiful. This is a book to keep out on your table or next to your bed and flip through dozens and dozens of times, and share with friends. You’ll find new details each time you pick it up, with hundreds and hundreds of images to scan. Also sprinkled throughout are tips, philosophy, and practical information about building small.

The most striking thing that sets Tiny Homes apart from Lloyd’s other books is that most of the content was written by the builders themselves. This book is clearly a product of the internet age — many of the stories are taken directly from email correspondence. A favorite feature of mine from Lloyd’s other books is the element of travel, stories of Lloyd’s journeys on the road, documenting, photographing, and catching wind of interesting projects along the way. That’s actually one of my favorite things about Builders of the Pacific Coast, but it’s missing here. But it would have been impossible to capture the range of structures in this book otherwise.

tiny homes book - ziggy 2

Two page spread of my cob house

I am intrigued by the concept of this kind of “curated” and collaborative book, created from scanning the internet and spawned from dozens of correspondences with individuals all over the place. On a related note: I would have said some totally different things if I had known that my email with Lloyd would be the sole text accompanying my cob house! Ha.

Tiny Homes is a great addition to your building book collection. I love the images and eye candy, and the diversity represented here, and learning about builders I’ve never known before. There are some real gems inside. Keep ’em coming, Lloyd!

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  • Hey fellow tiny house book brother….love your mud. Im page 18 & 19.

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