Just let your mind drift – it’s pleasant and the ideal remedy for burnout. Tiny Escape’s origins lie in Sophie Müller’s desire to escape the bustling city briefly, to tank up with energy drawn from nature. “I toyed with the idea of buying a camper van. For myself and my German holiday at Lake Chiemsee for one thing, and to rent it out to others for the rest of the time,” said the 35-year-old newcomer to Hamburg. Eventually, the camper idea was simply not cosy enough in the winter or secure enough to feel happy in it.
Philosophy of downsizing
Then Müller came upon the Tiny House movement: Mini-houses made of wood, often mounted on wheels and fitted out with strictly the essentials, in line with the downsizing philosophy. “As little house as possible” is the motto at Tiny Escape as well. “The house is supposed to take a back seat and become the go-between for people and nature,” she explained. Her first house for up to two persons in Delve an der Eider shows how little people need to feel comfortable.
Both in the United States – where the Tiny House movement originates – and in Germany people demand more space with increased prosperity. “If we can afford it, we take up increasing amounts of space, filling it with furniture, electronic devices and decoration, as well as clothing of course, and then we need even more space.” Less, but then high-quality and sustainable – that’s the idea that Müller is pursuing with Tiny Escape. This is revealed both in the wooden house’s ecological construction method and in its furnishings, which offer all the conveniences including a rain-shower, Hobbit stove and top-quality espresso machine. Clever use of colour, lighting and steps allows the space to be divided up without the need for walls, offering options to retreat, even within a few square metres.
De-stress, let go and relax
Müller advises her guests to travel light. “At just over 15 square metres, stowage space is limited, for one thing, and for another, less luggage means more space for the important things.” And these are de-stressing, letting go and relaxing…gazing out at the night sky through panoramic windows over the bunk or lounging on the terrace with a brazier and enjoying a view out over the field complete with cows. “You could almost become an instant vegetarian,” Müller smiled.
30 per cent come just for Tiny House experience
Tiny Escape launched in December 2018, right in the heart of the darkest days of the year. “The concept works well in autumn and winter. We have bookings throughout the year,” Müller said. Surveys of the guests show that around 30 per cent are curious about the Tiny House concept . “But most of them are city people looking for a short break with a difference.” Müller is now thinking about other types of accommodation, such as houseboats and tree houses and she is currently in talks with potential investors about more Tiny Houses.
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