I have been hearing a lot about tiny and small homes this week. Salt Lake City is debating whether to designate an area near Liberty Park for building tiny homes, and Ikea just unveiled its model for efficient and stylish tiny home living.
My own experience with living in ultra-small homes began in Park City. The miners’ homes were emptied as Park City’s mines closed in the 1970s, and I was part of the fledgling ski town’s new workforce. There weren’t many other choices then, so my roommates and I chose to bunk up together in the old miners’ homes close to work and to avoid a long commute. Given this history, it makes sense that I will highlight small homes in Old Town Park City for today’s blog.
This update retained the original home and added a two-story reclaimed wood addition to the rear. The ample covered front porch adds living space. J Ford Construction (John Ford) built it and Steve Swanson Design designed the update.
The reclaimed wood partial wall along the stairway is the key support wall to the open plan. A family area sits opposite the stairwell with the dining area beyond and the kitchen behind the wall.
In addition to bearing weight, the wall screens the kitchen, serves as an aesthetic element, and attenuates noise. Beyond the kitchen and in the original front of the home is a quiet room, which you can see below.
The size of the quiet room, which occupies the original living room of the house, demonstrates the small size of the original miner’s home.
This second salvaged miner’s home, also built by John Ford (J Ford Construction), is relocated atop a new garage with an additional floor added over the garage. Mammen Associates Architecture (Bill Mammen) designed it, and Establish Design (Elizabeth Wixom) designed the traditional interiors.
The top floor interior demonstrates how an open plan maximizes use of the space. The bright white paint is a common treatment in small homes to reflect available light and make the area appear bigger. Behind the far door is an office.
Looking the opposite direction, one can appreciate how the connection to the wide deck enlarges the living space in the summer and provides a connection to its hillside location and view to Main Street below.
Moving down one level, the master bedroom has a similar wide and spacious covered patio with furnishings for a quiet breakfast.
I never measured the dimensions of my early mining-era abodes. The lots in Old Town are only 25-feet wide, so with side yards, the homes were only one-room wide. My best guess is about 500 square feet or less, which qualifies them in my mind as tiny to small homes. At the time, it seemed enough. It was home. I encourage policymakers to permit these and to provide more needed housing options. It worked for me.
Click here for more Photo Fridays.