The small-house movement — where people choose to downsize their living space in homes 100- to 400- square-feet for reasons that are both environmental and financial — has become synonymous with communities such as Portland, Ore., in recent years. Now, two local interior designers are hoping that that type of sustainable living will gain momentum in the New York area.
“There’s a generation of people who are hitting retirement — and retirement is not what it used to be — so people are opting to downsize so they can be free of their mortgage,” said Amanda Moore, co-owner of Long Beach-based Wolf & Wing Interior Design and a Long Beach Chamber of Commerce board member. “You also have millennials who want to travel more, who aren’t working 9 to 5 and can do their cyber-based work anywhere in the world. So, the appeal of a tiny house on wheels is speaking to them … and without having to pay a fortune for it.”
On May 20, Moore and her business partner, Kerri Venti, will join local officials, chamber members and volunteers to unveil an eco-friendly “Tiny Beach House” at the chamber’s Home & Garden Show at Kennedy Plaza. The show on May 19 and 20 will feature approximately 40 home improvement professionals in an interactive environment.
According to the website ‘The Tiny Life,” the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet. Tiny houses are becoming popular and efficient living spaces, Moore said, and are often featured on a number of cable network shows and social media sites like Instagram.
“My partner and I are interested in sustainable design, and we do it in all of our projects,” said Moore, who also sits on the city’s Environmental Advisory Board. “And this is a way to showcase that on a smaller scale.”
Tours will be offered to the public on May 19 and 20, and the house will be part of an online raffle, with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity of Nassau County.
“I helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity while on spring break in college,” Moore said. “We’re hoping to help them bridge that gap, find more land in Nassau and build more houses. Their mission is very dear to my heart.”
Wolf & Wing Interior Design, in conjunction with Prochillo Construction and numerous volunteers, are designing and building the 8-by-16 structure on wheels to highlight sustainable building practices and the potential of tiny living spaces.
With support from the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, the City of
Long Beach and numerous volunteers, the design and build teams will oversee the completion of the house.
Live, public construction will begin May 17 at the Town of Hempstead’s Energy Park in Lido Beach, and will be completed on May 19 during the first day of the Home & Garden Show for a viewing at Kennedy Plaza.
According to Moore, the home will be built using “construction site waste, coupled with donated and salvaged goods complete with solar power courtesy of Sunpower by Empower Solar and a ‘do-it-yourself’ rainwater catchment system.”
She added that the dwelling is considered a mobile home, and can be parked in driveways or on properties wherever mobile homes are permitted.
“It follows the rules that a standard mobile home does,” she said.
When completed, the tiny beach house will measure 128 square feet, not including loft space.
“It’s a very small home that has the basics for living,” Moore said. “Our particular tiny house will be able to go off the grid so you can live in it anywhere there is sun. It’s a way to use your home for the bare necessities it provides, but also really be out in