In an Onion-worthy piece that’s sheer genius, The New Yorker brings you the tale of an imaginary Austin couple who now live … on a sheet of legal-size paper. Because, really, that’s the logical next step after 89 square feet.
Fictitious Elizabeth Vasquez and Hank Fairman enjoy the kind of multipurpose rooms that are comically crammed into real-life tiny dwellings:
By moving a small wall, a tiny library does quintuple duty as a conservatory, a dark room, a wine cellar, and a lap pool. “I don’t want to toot my own horn, but it really has everything we need, and nothing that we don’t,” Fairman said.
The piece pokes fun at the luxury aspects of some tiny homes, which both serve to distance the owners from actual low-income people in mobile homes and unconsciously contradict the goal of simple living. The Austin couple’s custom one-inch table and three-inch sofa by hoity-toity designers serve as stand-ins for things like luxury sound systems, fancy murphy beds, and high-end appliances.
Even if your stated goal is living simply, it can sometimes look like you’re just squeezing a bunch of expensive, cutting-edge gadgets into your own futuristic postage stamp. At least, unlike Fairman, you’re not working on “a real, functioning aviary, built inside a Judith Leiber handbag.”
- Austin Couple Makes Home on Sheet of Paper, The New Yorker
Get Grist in your inbox