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Tiny Home Started As Man's Way To Spite Neighbors, Now It's A Historical Landmark

If you've ever visited historic Alexandria, Virginia, you might have spotted an unusual sight: a tiny brick house wedged between two regular-sized homes. This addition was built back in 1830, long before the tiny house movement began to sweep the nation.

The owner of the original property actually built the home there out of spite toward his unfriendly neighbors, but it all worked out well for one modern family looking to downsize.

When you walk down the block, the first thing that might stand out to you is the color of three buildings. There's a large red and a large white building, and right between them is a skinny little blue building.

After the patriotic color palette catches your eye, the next thing you might wonder is why on earth that blue house is so skinny.

The house has been called many things. Locals call it the “Spite House” of Alexandria. The people with Ripley's Believe It or Not call it the narrowest house in the country. And as for the Sammis family, they just call it home.

The Sammis live in the house that was built back in 1830 by the previous owner of the land, John Hollensbury. Mr. Hollensbury owned the house next door and the alley, but his rude neighbors would not stay off his property.

People kept navigating their horse and buggies through there and going by at all hours of the night. In order to finally stop people from using his property as a pass thru, Hollensbury put a skinny little house in there to close the gap.

The house now belongs to Jack and Colleen Sammis. Their home may only be seven feet wide, but they have really made the most of the 350-square-foot space. The family has a fully functional kitchen with plenty of cabinetry for storage, as well as wall-to-wall cabinets in the upstairs hallway to maximize their storage capacity.

They raised their son, now a teen, in the home and wouldn't have it any other way.

Jack's favorite space in the house is the garden. The tiny garden is also as cleverly and beautifully designed as the interior, so that the couple can enjoy entertaining, gardening and hanging out in the great outdoors.

The Sammis family and perhaps Hollensbury were visionaries, because they obviously saw some value in tiny houses that the world wasn’t ready for. In the past decade, the tiny house trend has been taking the nation by storm.

People have learned the benefits of downsizing, and more and more are abandoning their big, split-level homes for minimum square footage.

Minimum square footage doesn’t mean that maximum comfort and convenience aren’t possible, however. In fact, one of the benefits of a tiny home is that you think carefully about possessions rather than letting them pile up and overtake your life.

When you have a tiny home, it’s usually well organized, with a place for everything and everything in its space. There’s no room for clutter.

Even better, a smaller space means a smaller chunk of your income goes to your living expenses. Tiny homes are cheaper, so instead of spending more money on getting stuff, you can spend it living your life: travel, adventure, classes, fine dining or theater.

Or you can just sock it away for your retirement—and tiny homes are perfect for that stage of life, too.

Source: Little Things, New York Times
Photos: YouTube, Hooked On Houses

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