Re: Micro Living Units -- Affordable
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2014 06:11:13 -0800 (PST)
I wonder also about having more than one refrigerator in the kitchen.
And bedrooms with room for a desk.

(Although I know a co-household that essentially had cubbies like at work for 
the computer work stations of the many that worked at home. THis was in what 
the original home had designed as the living room I believe, and they used the 
"family room" as the living room.)

Berlin MA

On Nov 5, 2014, at 6:37 PM, Wendy Willbanks Wiesner <wwiesner [at]> wrote:

> This discussion brings to mind the efforts of former COHO US Executive
> Director Oz Ragland to define a new shared housing model called
> Cohouseholding (
> As succinctly defined on the Berkeley Cohousing website (kudos, Raines!):
> "Unlike the Cohousing model (multiple private homes sharing common
> facilities), Cohouseholding focuses on unrelated adults who share a single
> dwelling - creating shared households".
> To make this model truly workable, Oz has factored in some very practical
> considerations.  For example, when sharing a kitchen, often the
> mission-critical bottleneck is found at the sink.
> Planning for two sinks in a shared kitchen--which at the outset might seem
> like an "American Way" luxury--might just be the key to long term harmony
> and efficiency in a shared living situation.
> Bathrooms are another area where this kind of strategic thinking has been
> applied.  As a female, I unabashedly admit that my requirements here--both
> in terms of optimal space and time allotted--are much different than my
> husband's.  Again, for the sake of harmony and efficiency, more than one
> bathroom might not be wanton excess (for some people, but not necessarily
> everyone).
> Point is, creating environments that naturally foster the best in us--both
> as individuals and groups--is a key element of any affordable living
> strategy, no matter what the housing type.  If the physical situation is
> untenable, or just plain drives us crazy, we'll most likely have to change
> it at some point, and there will be costs involved.
> To wit:  in one episode of Tiny House Nation, there was not enough room in
> this home's bedroom for Dad to stretch out his arms out and put on a dress
> shirt.  If a person has to either go in the kitchen or outside to put on
> his/her clothes, this is most probably a problem.  Had this fellow been a
> few inches shorter, all would have been fine.
> Ultimate question in my opinion is this:  how can the physical environment,
> whether a Tiny House, shared housing, Cohouseholding or Cohousing (in the
> most traditional sense), buttress and/or enhance the well-being of its
> residents?
> One of the many brilliant aspects of Cohousing is that it addresses this
> question on a macro or community/neighborhood level, and to a certain
> extent on the micro level (do we need/want a washer and dryer in every
> unit, or not?).
> Deeper shared living situations and Tiny Houses require that we put even
> greater thought into the micro-level decisions (which the Cohouseholding
> model has done), and that we think in service of built environments that
> will be designed (or redesigned) from the outset to bring out the best in
> ourselves and others.
> The reward is living our lives more affordably today--and tomorrow.
> Wendy
> Wendy Willbanks Wiesner
> Founding Board Member and Treasurer, Partnerships for Affordable Cohousing
> (PFAC)
> Denver, CO
> On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 6:52 AM, Fred H Olson <fholson [at]> 
> wrote:
>> On 22 Oct 2014 R Philip Dowds wrote:
>>> Who says every individual or couple needs a private bathroom or
>>> kitchen?  Well, we all do, that's the American way.
>> On 4 Nov 2014 Sharon Villines wrote:
>>> There is also room of micro units for young people.
>>> The 20-somethings.
>> These two thoughts reminded me of where my 20-something son lived
>> for a year while in college. It was a complex of units that had
>> 4 bedrooms around a kitchen,dining/living room, laundry
>> and 2 bathrooms.  It had individual leases for each bedroom tho I
>> think many units were shared by people who knew each other before
>> sharing a unit.
>> All bedrooms have a large closet. (It also has 4 bedroom/4
>> bathroom and 2 bedroom/2 bathroom variants.)  See floor plans
>> at:
>> I also remember an architect friend telling me years ago about his
>> inovation in more conventional apartments that had several large
>> bedrooms (rather than a 'master" bedroom with smaller bedrooms).
>> Inclusion of a unit intended to be shared might be an attractive
>> option of some.
>> Fred
>> --
>> Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
>>     Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
>> My Link Pg:         My org:
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