Part 4 of 4: The World is your Oyster: Intelligent Living Around the World in Tiny Spaces


The World is your Oyster: Intelligent Living Around the World in Tiny Spaces

From boats to islands to the northernmost reaches of the Canadian Artic, we have covered how Canadians create their own living experience through tiny living in unique and (sometimes) extreme conditions. Smart technology and sustainable techniques help homeowners to live out their personalized lifestyle. But tiny living is not limited to Canada: the rest of the world responds to unique living challenges using the principles of living simple in small spaces as well.

In last of four series of articles, we will look at examples tiny living in the world to find inspiration from how individuals have chosen elements of simple living and tiny homes to find a living solution right for them. Our goal is to show a different and unique perspective to living, one that you might be able to identify in your own living practices, ones that perhaps you want in your life, and ones that you can identify in others’ living practices. Using other Whatever living style you seek, Art House Realty, with our focus on curating homes, can help you to find your perfect fit!

Creating Coziness: Hygge, Löyly, and Gemütlichkeit

Living in flats and houses that are on average smaller that North American homes, Europeans occupy smaller spaces furnished by stores like Ikea and Jysk that sell to smaller spaces. Europeans also often foster harmonious environments, seeing quality of space as essential to overall happiness. Uncluttered space and good air and light contribute to a comfortable ambiance for both inhabitants and guests.


Danes and Norwegians who translate this focus on easy attitude as hygge, or cozy winter joy, incorporate this through the addition of soft blankets, warm fires, and comfortable clothes. Finns emphasize ambiance in the word löyly, literally the steam resulting from water poured on the sauna, but referring to relaxing in a social space. The German word Gemütlichkeit (friendliness; geniality) also connotes the peace of mind that comes from a cozy ambiance among friends and family.

In Harmony with Space: Tiny Home Micro-Architecture 


Like Torontonians, international designers also view space management as an opportunity to showcase creative finesse. Using small space as a springboard, Japanese architects construct tiny spaces function harmoniously with the existing environment. Focussing on working within existing small spaces prioritizes functionality with style and grace.

In more conceptual designs, such as the Fab Tree Hab prototype, homes chart the course for the future of simple living by prioritizing symbiotic design that are designed to function seamlessly within the natural environment, embodying the respect for nature of the tiny home movement. 

Autonomous Living: Independence Through Ownership


Tiny homes solve space issues in urban areas; they also offer a solution for individuals who otherwise struggle with independent living. The rise in popularity of tiny homes shows that the movement isn’t a passing fad for hipsters and trend-seekers. Affordability, sustainability, and small spaces offer independence to the world’s most vulnerable: homeless and low-income individuals for whom home ownership would otherwise be out of reach.

Architects hope that smaller living spaces can alleviate urban overpopulation by allowing more people to live autonomously in less space. Floating homes in the UK and mobile homes in America help to offer stability to those impacted most by the affordable-housing crisis.

Based on the precept that everyone deserves a place to live, tiny homes have even been seen as a way to combat homelessness, some cities and philanthropists distributing tiny homes for homeless people, and also in Toronto and Australia.

Other areas around the world have adopted tiny housing as a way to combat political instability or social inequity. For example, the tiny house movement has gained traction in post-apartheid South Africa (where it is still difficult for many to own their own land) and in India (where land ownership is beyond the means of many). The means of production makes these tiny homes affordable: China and Russia 3D print tiny houses to lower their prices by eliminating the manpower required to build the homes, including this plug-in prototype. These houses are seen as a way to solve the housing problem.

ARTHOUSE: The Unique Approach to Simple Living

At Art House, we have the knowledge to help you to attain your own individual approach to constructing your living space. Whether Hobbit homes are your thing, or an ecocapsule pod home, a converted van, 24-for-1 rooms, low-energy cubes, La casa più piccolo d’Italia, or bicycle homes: the world is your oyster, and we are here to help! Contact us today to discuss how we can curate an ideal living solution to suit your needs. 

Thanks for reading along this series! Now that we have come to the end of these articles on individualized living, please share with us your personal philosophy on living: What do you identify as ‘home’? What are the elements of home, how do you and your family create your own unique space, and how can we help you to improve your space? 

In case you missed the previous articles, here they are:

Part 1: Living Simply In Toronto: Cultivating Space and Place

Part 2: Tiny Toronto: Small and Simple Living in the Downtown Core

Part 3: Going off-grid: How Canadians Live off the Land in Tiny Homes

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