Jane Field-Lewis on how tiny houses make us think and feel.
1) Pool House or Nashville Camper, Cabanas or Cabin. What’s your favourite tiny place?
Jane Field-Lewis: »Places that have an authenticity and individuality. In particular, if they use materials in an exciting or innovative way. I do love the Nashville Camper a part from it being a stylish, little retreat; the owner has created a business for himself too.
In terms of materials, the Scottish Painter’s Shack is a working, functional building – totally authentic and genuinely produced as a by-product of the fishing boat painting and sign-writing business. The exterior has been transformed into a stalactite-effect that is both astonishing and inspiring.«
2) What did all the cabin-lovers of your new book add to their small spaces, what did they avoid?
Jane Field-Lewis: »Most cabin-owners distill their interior items down to the simple, the beautiful and functional. For instance, wood-burning stoves feature in many of them from a practical point of view, and create an aesthetically pleasing focal point. Also, most owners like to create an atmosphere that’s contemplative, peaceful and comfortable so interior items tend to be carefully chosen, serve a purpose and look beautiful.«
3) My tiny home is my biggest challenge?
Jane Field-Lewis: »There is a freedom in thinking big ideas within a small space. Partly born from the recessionary need to achieve more with less. The fact that many of these tiny homes are inexpensive to build means that the opportunity to create is open to many people. I love the fact that regardless of the amount of space, experience, income or formal design education, the tiny home movement is egalitarian, liberating and exciting; and enables all people from any strata of life to find some design expression.«
4) As a home stylist, what are the important rules for interior decoration in tiny houses?
Jane Field-Lewis: »As a stylist, I’ve spent the best part of my career, looking at style in context rather than simply following fashion or trends. Whether it’s a character in a film script or an image that conveys a mood, or an atmosphere; style out of context is only half the story and somewhat empty.
Within tiny houses and cabins, people naturally edit down the items to those, which mean something to them and are beautiful. Somehow the tiny house makes it easy for us to find out what’s important.«
5) Compared to My Cool Shed, the Anatomy of Sheds explores even more bonsai worlds of home interior and life stories. To me, it seems that less space gives big personal freedom – also for interior settings. Does less space boost creativity?
Jane Field-Lewis: »These tiny buildings all have in common purpose and passion; the people who undertake such a project are excited that they have a focus and a chance not only to build something unique but to enjoy what it offers them such as a quiet place to meditate, a thoughtful place to write or a beautiful space to paint, or just simply chill-out.«
6) Did you ever live in a tiny home yourself? If yes, how did it feel? If no, would you want to try someday? What would be a good reason for it?
Jane Field-Lewis: »I’ve never lived in a tiny house, this whole journey began with me buying a vintage caravan in order for me to spend more time outside with my family and enjoy the summers in an aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable and affordable way.
I began to appreciate to small pleasure of life, hearing the rain on the tin roof, the smell of the open air, making a cup of tea on a tiny stove and being able to relax in a different, comfortable environment struck a chord with me.
I learnt that great pleasure that can be derived from small experiences, and through the books and the television, I’m pleased that I’ve been able to share this with a great many people.
Of course, looking at the examples in the book of the gorgeous remote tiny houses in beautiful landscapes has made me yearn for such a place myself… I guess I’m at the starting point. It’s not until you start imagining that things begin to happen.«
Photo: Copyright Jane Field-Lewis, »Tiny Houses«, © Knesebeck Verlag 2017.