Last Friday I organized a visit for our housing group to Boneyard Studios, a project spearheaded by an amazing former classmate of mine, Brian Levy. On a side note, I met the marvelous Brian while we were both on academic visas from Harvard in Cuba! You'll never believe what he's been up to recently.... Take a look.
Brian started out with a mission to bring the tiny house movement to DC. It's a movement in which tiny houses on wheels are erected, often sited in backyards and backwoods, providing affordable housing, a green lifestyle, and simplified living to their owners. The DC project is unique in how urban it is. Brian wondered, can we build and showcase a few tiny homes on wheels in a DC urban alley lot? Within view of the nation’s Capitol? Not in the woods but in a true community, connected to a neighborhood? The answer is a resounding Yes!
"It's all about economic freedom and flexibility, and deciding what's essential and important in your life," said Lee Pera, 36, along with Brian, the other co-founder of Boneyard Studios. "It's about moving more of your life to the community and the outdoors rather than designing your home to meet every need you have: Using the local coffee shop, the gym, spending time in parks and other public spaces."
Boneyard Studios' tiny homes project comprises only elfin dwellings no larger than 200 square feet, some still under construction. The houses are built on wheels to satisfy local zoning requirements regarding the minimum size for "habitable structures." Clever, clever. Though each home looks radically different -- some boast cedar walls, some have loft windows and gabled roofs -- each home maximizes every inch of interior living space, and is both eco-friendly and cost-effective. While the footprint of the property is small, the garden is truly lovely and feels truly luxurious for DC living.
Of all the tiny homes, Brian's is my fav and is definitely the most thoughtfully designed, with slightly more space and higher end finishes (think walnut, stainless steel, natural fibers etc). Somehow in a thumbelina-sized home, he's managed to include a queen bed, a stage area for his keyboard, a gracious 10' galley kitchen and multi-purpose banquette lounge area, along with a tremendous screening area. It's about to be shot for Dwell Mag -- congrats Brian! Can't wait to see the spread!