Judy Pratt and Nicky Duenkel say their nine-year-old corgi is the love of their lives. So when they designed their 200-square-foot tiny house, they made sure to add a “doggie elevator” so Shanti could be lifted to the loft to sleep nearby. The electric lift was the brainchild of Matthew Willox of Howling Dog Construction. “We knew the stairs would be too steep for our little guy so we had to figure out a way to get him up,” Pratt says. “We first thought of putting our bedroom on the first floor but didn’t want to get longer than 25 feet. Then we thought of retraining him to sleep downstairs without us and realized we didn’t want to sleep without him. So the idea of a doggie elevator was born.”
The couple moved into their tiny house in Cape Breton in Eastern Canada in mid-November. The house, which the couple designed with Willox, has a kitchen, living room and bathroom, plus the main loft above the kitchen and a guest room/meditation space. It is fully insulated for winter, with a propane heat stove. It also has plenty of storage space inside. Pratt, 67, says she and Duenkel, a 49-year-old educational consultant, decided to move into a tiny to bring their lives back into alignment with their values. “We are committed to being in deep and meaningful relationships with family, friends, and the earth and were finding it challenging to do so while Nicky was working about 80 hours a week and Judy was full-time at-home support,” Pratt says. “By living tiny we hope to significantly reduce our monthly bills, allowing Nicky to work part-time and giving us the space to put our relationships back into the centre of our lives.” Pratt says she hopes the pair’s experience living tiny will inspire others to do the same. “We think tiny living can work for most people. That said, tiny living is a lifestyle choice and one has to be excited about making it. Part of the reason we think it is so possible is that there is no set definition for what it means to live tiny. You can craft a home and lifestyle that really fits you and your family,” she says. “Our tiny is just under 200 sq. ft. Typical North American homes are around 2,000 sq. ft. So maybe we will help to inspire others to move to living smaller in say 400 to 800 sq. ft.”
Read Judy and Nicky’s blog here.
By: Denis Langlois