Seven years ago Diana and Michael Lorence moved to a 12-foot-square home without electricity in the coastal mountains of Northern California.
They’re not back-to-the-land types- they’re not growing their own food, nor raising animals-, but, like Thoreau, they were looking for a place where they could get away from the noise of society and focus on their inner lives.
Diana described it to House Beautiful in the summer of 2011 as “a small, concentrated domestic space conceived for the purpose of what Wordsworth called ‘plain living and high thinking’”.
For nearly 30 years they lived in tiny houses, often in guest homes, though their current abode is the smallest and most fitting their needs. It was designed by Michael based on their experiences living in nearly 20 tiny homes across the country before finally settling here.
They don’t have electricity nor any other type of alternative energy (i.e. solar power). They don’t have a refrigerator so they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.
There’s also no oven, but Diana says she doesn’t bake anyway and she cooks their meals with their one cast iron pot over the fire. The fire is also their source of hot water, heat and light (in addition to candles).
The Lorences are a private couple, but recently they have begun to speak out more about their lives in hopes of showing others that options such as theirs exist. The has been featured in not just House Beautiful, but many blogs and top ten lists.
Until now, the couple has turned down requests appear on video, not wanting to be categorized as simply another couple choosing to live in a tiny space. So I was pleasantly surprised when Diana and Michael agreed to let me visit their home with my camera.