small space solutions
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
I’ve learned that gardening in small spaces can be challenging, but I’ve had great success with a Topsy Turvy tomato planter this year. Have you used similar products in your home? How do you handle gardening in small spaces?
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Learn how to grow more food in your organic vegetable garden without enlarging your garden space by using the space-saving gardening techniques outlined in this short video.
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
Looking at the differences between the current homesteading movement in the USA compared to Smallholders in the UK.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
What to plant in April for your vegetable garden, and what sized pot you need for your vegetable plant.
Christy Oates's brilliant fold-out furniture takes up virtually no floor space when it's not in use. It's the perfect solution for small homes--and a hopeful sign for the future of design.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Most people want to contribute to a positive future. But their intention is often obstructed by the things they perceive that they cannot do. In frustration, they stop thinking about it. When we stop thinking about it, we feel a sense of relief. That sense of relief is, perhaps, the biggest threat to the world’s natural environment today.
A look at the completed project and some of the features.
Smallholder farmers around the world have practiced traditional, subsistence farming for as long as farming has been around. Using manure as a natural fertilizer can make the difference between barely scraping by and growing enough to earn an income.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
This mesmerizing video shows city lights, wildfires in Australia, and even gas flares in the Middle East, all photographed from a satellite high over our heads.
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
Mankind has a historic opportunity to visualize its own future, and the future of the planet
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
The walk on the moon on July 20, 1969 was a monumental event, which forever changed our world perspective. Where were you on that momentous occasion?
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
The Snail, the winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition, saves both energy and space by heating food with magnetic induction.
Help measure the amount of 'light pollution' in your community and contribute to a growing data set by participating in Globe at Night.
Finding a company from an advertisement in Mother Earth News and how it benefited us. .
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is...and measureing these frames is different than measuring rectangular frames.
Giving yourself a quiet space for retreat and reflection helps nurture quiet, calm and peace.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
A Texas family searches for a suitable crop as supplemental income on four acres. After watermelons and flower fail, they succeed with luffa.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
Build your own space-saving table from recycled wood.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
How our electronics save us space and provide even more room in a small home.
The fields that were laid out in 1843 for livestock farming are teeming with hay-making grasses.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
Dealing with a government agency to save a creek.
The Mother Earth News Fair staff and volunteers work on green initiatives to divert Fair waste from landfills, recycling and composting as much as possible.
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Help us find the small U.S. towns and cities that are getting it right for citizens and the environment.
How to flush a small engine and repair a clogged carburetor.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Why Tesla cars, Space-X and other creations of Elon Musk are not the kind of visionary thinking we so desperately need.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
Watch a video of a traveling sheep shearer at work and tell us about small-scale farming artisans in your region.
A fresh, modern approach to keeping chickens- the perfect resource for newbies and seasoned pros!
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
One farm is able to combine cost savings, with energy sustainability by using a Savonius rotor.
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
Our guest blogger is positively enchanted by the convenience, not to mention the benefits, of keeping worms in the garden.
A potential solution to rising food prices, food insecurity and the obesity epidemic may call into play raising farms inside the city limits.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
How the small town atmosphere can enhance your homesteading and living.
The author discusses setting up small-scale dairy for local, doorstep milk sales in Great Britain.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
Transitioning seedlings from indoor starts to outdoor plants
Harvesting abundance in the early spring.
Use of a mobile chicken tractors allows us to keep the birds on fresh ground and stay on top of the weeds.
Preserving an abundant basil harvest for the coming winter.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Homegrown vegetables are a lesson for kids in where food comes from.
The process of curing potatoes for winter storage.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.