Sunday Shorts 09: Housing

First Sunday Shorts post of 2017 (in mid-March!) and it’s time for a little change in format. I’ve historically made these filler posts as a way to share interesting articles or things from my week(s) passed. Not much cohesion, or really much to cling on to. But, for this year I’d like to constrain each post with a theme. So for this post I’ve collected a number of inspiring, interesting and intriguing items; all of them related in some way to housing, specifically the offbeat.

I am not an architect. Nor am I an artist. But, I find these items below fascinating, beautiful and usually both. Housing is a fairly expensive essential for most people. Looking back on 2016, the Housing category accounted for a whopping 40% of my expenses! In some ways, I’d love to have a modern, minimalist and beautiful house like those below. I know however that is not the most affordable or efficient course of action.

For now I am satisfied with our mid-century suburban home. It is by no means perfect, nor would most consider it anything other than an average home. However, it is a great location and fits our lifestyle at this point. It’s costly, don’t get me wrong. But moving ship to something smaller and sexier might not be the best move at this point.

Please enjoy the links below, and if you desire share any other interesting reads/listens you might have. (Tiny houses, mid-century, or even van life?!)


  • karuizawa japan home
    Stunningly clean.

    Otherworldly Architecture in Japan’s Magical Mountainside – Loving the style, the clean lines and the built-into-nature feeling. Would this be livable for most people probably not. In fact it ties in well with a thought I keep coming back to – how does minimalism differ between wealthy and poor?

  • jacobs house
    Usonia home.

    Usonia 1 – 99% Invisible – I’ve started listening to a number of podcasts on my commute. As an engineer I enjoy the stories giving the historical evolution of certain items; much more enjoyable than history of people! Frank Lloyd Wright developed a series of low-cost, stylish houses for the masses. Worth a listen, a two-parter with some great FLW stories.

  • How to Build Your Own Starter House in Just 5 Steps for $25,000 – These next two are all about cheap, modular and incredibly functional homes. (In fact the Usonia idea falls inline with these ideas.) What really gets me on these is how many are popping up, and how it relates to early retirement. Imagine buying a “chunk o’land” and plopping one of these bad-boys on it. In that same train of thought, it might be better to have a mobile-home, like an Airstream or dare I say – tiny house!
  • wikihouseContinuing on that cheaper manufactured housing idea, I was introduced to wikihouse via a TED Radio Hour podcast (amazing episode by the way about Open Source – makes me want to jump back into Linux). Actually quite similar to the Open Building Institute above – in my mind this is a bit more oriented towards getting third-world countries populated with efficient housing. As they put in in the podcast, and I paraphrase – this is basically housing from IKEA.
  • maine cabin
    Would live here.

    And finally one that is always in the back of my head, as something easily attainable, but something just so right: A Tiny Cabin is This Writer’s Off the Grid Getaway. Simple, relaxing getaway from the daily life. Admittedly being alone on an island might be tough long term. The simplicity and functionality of this house is what really draws me in. The setting is easily something I’d get use to. But the isolation might provide to much. Great article too!

Do you have any housing situations you would find ideal or engaging? Please share with me as I’d like to keep researching these unique living situations. 

2 Replies to “Sunday Shorts 09: Housing”

  1. The Japanese house is one I love. If the weather is warmer, those type of houses can be nice to live. At present, I live in a condo. When I bought the condo, the dream was to buy a house within 5 years. But, the Toronto housing prices went sky high and I am stuck with the condo. One way it is good. I am finding to live happily in it. Thinking of doing some container gardening this year .

    1. Absolutely, those houses look great for nice weather. This selection of dwellings triggers a similarity to reading Murakami as he often writes about the mountainside and the surreal nature of his stories.

      Congrats on starting some container gardening! I should get going on a design for our gardens – they are a bit unruly. Good luck! 🙂

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