What is it with teeny-tiny houses? There are magazines and books devoted to the phenomenon. In addition, the FYI Network’s “Tiny House Nation” has not only returned for a second season but is being paired with a companion series, “Tiny House Hunting.”
Unlike the hourlong “THN,” which features two hosts crisscrossing the country while exploring, designing and building small homes, “THH” fills its half-hour with the tried-and-true formula of following buyers who choose from three homes they’ve toured.
“We’ve done a lot of research into social trends, both for these shows and the network in general,” said Gena McCarthy, senior vice president of programming and development (and a “THH” executive producer). “And what we found is that although there are all age groups involved, the tiny-house movement is mostly a social movement created for millennials.”
In other words, the shows skew to an advertiser-desired younger demographic, whose members are interested in smaller houses for a variety of reasons, chief among them affordability (at the lower end, $25,000 isn’t an unusual price) and environmental responsibility (the smaller the house, the smaller the carbon footprint).
“People have to have the courage and the desire to downsize,” said McCarthy, who notes that tiny-house dwellers “have to be creative by making sure that every single item in the house has more than one function.”
Of course, for those who have occupied Lilliputian-sized Manhattan studios and miniscule Los Angeles guesthouses, the concept of tiny living is hardly new. But the number of folks looking to purposefully live in small spaces is, and upcoming “THH” episodes will highlight buyers looking for everything from a Florida beach home to a Colorado mountain cabin to, yep, a Big Apple studio.
“The smallest house we featured was about 150 square feet and the largest around 500 square feet,” McCarthy said, “anything bigger than that wouldn’t be true to the concept.”
All of which raises the question: Where does McCarthy hang her hat at day’s end? “In a cozy but normal-sized Colonial clapboard,” she said, adding with a laugh, “I’m trying to imagine my husband, my two kids and my cats in a tiny house and I just can’t -- yet!”
"Tiny House Hunting" premieres Monday at 10 EST/11 PST.