A family of 3 in 320 square feet

Small living comes with many benefits, and Debra, Gary and their son explain how it works for them in this video of their 320 square foot home:

Their home was made by Slab Town Custom Homes in Mountain View, Arkansas.

73 Comments for “A family of 3 in 320 square feet”

  1. posted by Mary Denny on

    I loved that this family had real pieces of furniture that they may have owned before. While I love Ikea too, I appreciate that they did things their way. I love small spaces! I have been looking at building a ‘tiny house’ and this one being on a slab is more appealing and practical. Her out look about focusing on what they do have is inspirational and healthy. There is not a “Living Simple” bible they must live by and if there was….I’d toss it out with the other one!

  2. posted by Jlee on

    The concept is great, for one or two. $20 grand seems like a lot of money for a small building like that, doesn’t it? Also, why rent the land if one truely wants to be mortgage free? With a kid in the mix, a bit more space, or at least a window in his room, should be on the ‘must have’ list. Her voice does seem pained as one poster stated. With that, I bet the kid hides up in his room ‘to get away from it all’. I’ll get off my soap box now.

  3. posted by dawn on

    I like it.I think it’s cool and I would love to live there.The kid seems to like his room,he said he’s had friends over,6 at once,and 2 friends stay overnight.He didn’t seem to have a problem with it.I would have loved that room at that age!They must be used to living this way,she said they actually used to live in a smaller place for a long time.If they couldn’t get along living so close then wouldn’t they have moved to a bigger place than that?Why all the negative comments?If it wouldn’t work for you,fine,but why accuse them of lying about how they like their living arrangement?(Her voice didn’t sound pained to me,they seem genuinely happy.)And what’s wrong with trailer park living?I’ve never lived in one but I’d be fine with it.It’s just weird to me how negative so many commenters are being here.Just don’t get it.

  4. posted by Keter on

    Ten years ago when I went house hunting for myself and two big dogs, and hoping to acquire a husband, I was looking for a place in good shape with big yard for the dogs, a garden, and a separate studio workshop…and I wanted the house itself to be 1200 sq. ft. or less. Unfortunately, what I found was either very dilapidated and in scary neighborhoods, or very overpriced and in snooty areas. I ended up buying TWICE as large well out in the country, and only use half of the house (half can be closed off). My goal is to finish fixing this place up by the time I retire and then move into a smaller version even further out in the country. But I believe I will custom-build my own space, possibly as a partially subterranean home since these are very energy efficient and safer in bad weather. The house I have now is made of concrete block and prestressed beams and this is the construction I would use again, just smaller…I am not going back to stick-built.

    I have a 23-foot sailboat, and it is perfectly comfortable for two. I could live aboard, too.

  5. posted by Ted on

    I think that the son’s room is really cosy, I don’t think that I would want that as my room, but maybe as a hideaway, somewhere to just chill.

  6. posted by Lynsey on

    I kind of wonder about the decision to do two separate units — it seems like it might have been more cost effective and more space-efficient to build one larger unit that would house both their home and work areas. I feel like that could also allow more togetherness — it didn’t seem like the work area had a space for the son to work on school work while his parents were working. If I worked from home and homeschooled at once, I’d want my child to be able to work on his schoolwork nearby so I could help him as I did my work during the day.

  7. posted by J on

    I think this is beautiful and innovative. Every inch is used. It is simply delightful!

  8. posted by Mari on

    I too don’t understand why some watch this and try to find fault. Bravo Jordan family! We too had a home with a loft – and our home schooled sons adored it! A very nice hardworking family!!

  9. posted by Eric on

    When I first saw this video, I was deeply saddened by two things.

    First, the look on the woman’s face was just depressing. Perhaps I am judgmental. Perhaps I am terrible at reading people’s emotions. But nothing about her says, “I am happy.” She looks resigned, at best.

    Second, it makes me sad to think that American culture has so idealized the single family home that this family is forced to conform in such an extreme way. Why can’t we have nice, small apartments with common areas for appliances? Did this family ever consider moving into a commune, a co-op, or some kind of communal living space? I doubt it.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate small spaces. I sometimes have a fantasy about moving into a shack in the woods. But the thought of isolation from friends, families, and society in general really brings this dream by to reality.

    Finally, the “house” appears to be designed so that the outside looks like what we traditionally think of as a house. With a little imagination, a more comfortable living space (one where you don’t sleep above an unventilated latrine — gross) could have been designed. The outside may not have looked like the typical American house, but it could have been lovely and functional nonetheless.

    I truly hope they are happy, and that I am completely misreading this.

  10. posted by Samuel on

    To all those worried about escaping from a fire…you’d be surprised actually (or more properly concerned) at how difficult it is to escape from a large house or apartment block. In high rise apartments, by the time you get one floor down, stair-wells are clogged with panicking people. And for big open houses…fire spreads even faster through those.

    One further question to all those who have mentioned fire risk. How many of you have actually, really, truly practised a fire drill at home…?

  11. posted by cloo on

    The idea is nice but the child’s loft raises some concerns. There was a bare lightbulb directly within inches of his head/sleeping area. If the attic is in use that also raises questions about insulation, heating/cooling and ventilation.

  12. posted by Chris on

    For three people, this is crazy. If the kid were not in the mix, it’d be ok for some people as it’s a nice house. The kid is basically confined to a sleeping bag sized nook where he cannot even sit up. To top it off the homeschooling is a terrible idea. This poor kid is going to have no sense of personal space, which will be an issue if he ever goes off to college. Talk about putting your kid at a social disadvantage. Newsflash people, academia is not the only thing that makes a kid a person a functional adult.

  13. posted by Mable on

    My boyfriend and I lived in a 430 square foot student apartment while attending university, and it worked great. The layout was made for students though, with a larger room we used as a living/study and a smaller room we used as a bedroom. The downside was the tiny galley kitchen w/o room for an oven, plus no dining area, which got old over time. (Once my boyfriend spilled his entire plate of spaghetti on the floor while watching TV!)

    Now we live in a 850 square foot apartment which is much more spacious and it feels wonderful!

  14. posted by Lesley on

    One drawer for the kid. One. Drawer.

    I’m all for reducing the amount of property you have, if that’s your goal. But how often are you doing laundry for a kid with one drawer? And does he get any choice in his clothing, from day to day?

    Also, while living in a bedroom where you can’t stand up might seem cute or cool for a while, it would get really, really old. What if he ends up being tall, for heaven’s sake?

    I also think it’s rather disingenuous to act as though this family is really, truly living in this tiny space alone. They aren’t. They have a storage unit that holds much of their “stuff.” Yes, I have a bigger house with closets and such. But I don’t have a storage unit, either.

  15. posted by Knitmama on

    Love it..if it was just me..my husband is 6’7 and would not even fit in that bathroom! No room for my spinning wheel,fiber,yarn etc. Like I said…for one person this is great!!

  16. posted by laurazz on

    Too small for so many people!

  17. posted by Anne on

    Our family of six lives in a 600 sq ft house! We bought and completely paid off a this cute little place in southern Italy! It’s small but we LOVE not having a mortgage!!!

  18. posted by Alethea on

    The micro-house thing wouldn’t work in my family–wrong personalities–but, hey, to each their own. I do think it’s a bit fake to be so into your tiny house when you have a detached shop/storage area.

    I’m bothered by how many “trailer park” snarks there are in these comments, though. I should be so lucky! I barely make enough for a studio apartment in a bad neighborhood: A single-wide with a small yard would be paradise.

  19. posted by jodi on

    When I was in gradeschool, my best friend lived in a 16×16 foot house with a 4 foot high loft above it. There were 5 kids in her family and they frequently. Had sleepovers (which often was me!) I ADORED that house. They finished building a bigger house when her mom was 8 months pregnant with #6. Everyone complained for years how much they missed the little house.

  20. posted by jodi on

    …I just wanted to add to my comment, my friend’s family lived in the little 16×16 house from the time I was in 1st grade until the summer before 7th grade, and when they moved in they only had 5 kids, so it was very do-able with young ones. I can’t watch this video on my phone, but I have such fond memories of being in their home…

  21. posted by stcf on

    I love this, and they seem like such nice people. I grew up in spaces not much bigger than this but not nearly as nice. It seems really well thought out. Can’t wait to see it after they raise the roof on their son’s room.

  22. posted by Canadian Coupons on

    this is definetly really cool!

  23. posted by Carol on

    I’m bummed that the linked to the builders is wrong or no longer. I would like to see other options they have for small houses.

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