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What is home? And how do we find it? In this 2014 feature documentary, one couple's attempt to build a 'tiny house' with no construction experience raises questions about sustainability, good design and the changing American Dream.
Created by

Merete Mueller

196 backers pledged $11,062 to help bring this project to life.


In small spaces, it’s true that there’s often more to be thankful for. Not because there’s more, but because the meaningful things stand out.

Thoreau—whom you might say was the original tiny house builder—moved to his woodsy cabin to “confront the essential facts of life.” To find out what he could and couldn’t live without, and how that knowledge might affect the way that he lived every day.

I like to think of Thanksgiving as serving the same purpose—a day devoted to stopping and taking stock of everything we actually have. Which, when we stop to think about it, is usually quite a lot. 

Does your family do that thing where everyone goes around before eating and says what they're thankful for? (Fun fact about Merete: I'm a total holiday cheeseball.) For the rest of this update, I'd like you to imagine me teary-eyed at the dinner table, holding a glass of spiked cider as I recite the following things deserving of recognition in my life. (If you get bored, just kick me under the table.)

This year, it feels especially important to say Thank You to our Kickstarter backers. We know that it takes a certain amount of trust and excitement in a project to inspire a monetary donation, and we can't say thank you enough to everyone who has backed us up, and shared the link and posted comments of support. Your monetary support is making this project possible in a very tangible way, but your enthusiasm and interest is also giving us a mental boost that will carry us into post-production and help us to finish the film.

With just the two of us working full-time on it (on top of our other jobs), this film is quite an undertaking and we never would have continued without the encouragement and enthusiasm from so many friends, family members, and total strangers.

We are grateful to the interview subjects who have opened their homes and talked about downsizing their lives in very personal ways, the friends who helped hold pieces of plywood, nailed rafters in place and unrolled house wrap throughout the summer. The family members who had enough faith in us at the outset to lend us the cash that we needed to get started. And Big Thanks to our Colorado videographer, Kevin Hoth, who jumped on board with the project and volunteered his time early-on.

For my part, I’m feeling thankful that I live in a time and a place where, as a woman, I can think for myself and pursue creative projects. That I feel able and capable of taking on a big idea and (with amazing help from co-pilot Christopher) making it happen.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Much love,



    1. Creator Merete Mueller on November 24, 2011

      Thanks Kate! Hope you have a wonderful day!

    2. Creator Kate Fields Bartolotta on November 24, 2011

      Featured Tiny in new ele post about putting causes you love on your Christmas list:

      Happy Thanksgiving!