Amongst the photos from the Georgia Tiny House Festival were several photos of a truly stunning tiny house. It turns out that house was designed and built by a rapidly growing tiny house company based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Tiny House Life Space.
The house was designed by the founder and CEO of Tiny House Life Space, James Polk. I was so taken by the design of their tiny house that I just had to reach out to them. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, James’ background is as licensed architect with a rich body of experience in designing minimalist structures. He was kind enough to sit down with me to discuss the inspiration behind Tiny House Life Space.
TTH: Your house is stunning! What was the inspiration for this design?
Polk: Thank you! We’ve really gotten a great response from everyone who has seen it. As a matter of fact, I just took an order this week from a woman who was at one of the tiny house festivals we were at. The inspiration is all about the emotional experience you have when you’re in the space. You need to interact with the house in a way that the colors, the textures, the light, and even the smell all work together to create an experience. The house is all about usability and making the space as efficient as possible without losing the esthetic.
TTH: We think you’ve nailed it! This is an amazing house. So, is this house available for sale?
Polk: Yes, it is. I was very fortunate to be able to acquire some factory space in Hattiesburg and we build houses as a turn-key package. We design the houses, we build the houses and that way we can control every facet of the house. The quality is there in every unit, every time. So, we produce these houses in our factory, but our real bread and butter will always be custom design.
TTH: Your design really looks and feels much larger than it is. How did you achieve that?
Polk: It’s about creating a harmony between the use/function of the space and the materials. For example, you can have one person working in the kitchen and someone else working elsewhere in the house and the two won’t disturb each other. You can’t say that about a lot of tiny houses; in fact, there are a lot traditional structures that you can’t say that about. We think the house should appeal to all the senses. The use of light makes it look bigger; the materials you use make it feel substantial. Even the sense of smell comes into play. We build all our structures out non-toxic materials, even the paints we use. That’s why so many people make comments about how fresh and clean our houses feel.
Tiny Houses – Safety Matters!
TTH: You’ve touched on something important – safety. A lot of tiny houses are built and safety isn’t the primary consideration.
Polk: IT HAS TO BE! People are going to live in these houses! Everything related to safety must be considered…the materials you use; the layout, the way it’s used. So many of the tiny houses I’ve seen on the market aren’t safe. The builders don’t think about things like the percentage of the structure that’s made from flammable materials, they only think about the costs.
TTH: One of the comments we heard about your house was “So many of the tiny houses we’ve looked at are cookie cutter, but Tiny House Life Space’s house really felt unique.”
Polk: That’s great to hear! A lot of tiny house builders are trained in construction. They’re craftsmen, and many are great craftsmen. But, they see a tiny house and they say, “I could build that and do a better job.” In many cases they’re right, but what it does, is it creates an environment where you have copies and copies of copies and there isn’t a focus on design. We think that high quality construction should be married with innovative, interesting design.
TTH: So, what’s next for Tiny House Life Space?
Polk: We’ve been growing and we have a lot of exciting things happening. Eventually we’d like to build out a dealer network and make it so you can go to a dealer in your local area and pick out the features and elements and features in your house and we’ll build and deliver it to you. We’d like to be represented all over.
We’re also working on creating an outlet where perspective tiny house owners and other builders can “Ask the architect”. We feel it’s important that we work with others in the industry to make tiny houses safer. We’re fully committed to the tiny house lifestyle and if we can get builders to follow safe building and design practices it’s going to help the tiny house movement gain greater acceptance.
TTH: Thanks for taking the time to meet with us and thanks for all you’re doing for the tiny house movement!
James: It was my pleasure!
If you’re ready to learn more about Tiny House Life Space, you can visit their website at www.tinyhouselifespace.com.