Living Large in a Small Space

By Sharon Harris

Jones Street is where I live with my family, it is a small house, with an average sized back garden.  In the early days when we first moved in, people who visited were always a bit shocked at how small it was, entering the front door they were not very far from going out the back door. Four rooms, divided from each other by walls and a hall.

We have added only one room on since we moved in, literally stuck on the back.  Maximizing outdoor space while gaining one living room was the goal.  We still have one bathroom, one toilet.  The bathroom is still in the middle of the house.  When I say to my kids we have a small house, they say our house is big.  It is a small house in comparison to houses of today, but it feels big, it feels like just enough.  The garden is what makes it feel big – one third house, two-thirds garden. 

But being small does not mean living small.  I live big in this small house and living big to me means living as expansively as possible. This small house and a medium size house block 20 minutes from Melbourne CBD houses three weaving looms,  one indoor wood fire, five outdoor wood-fired cooking apparatus, one double oven/stove with cast iron target top, a grain mill, kombucha jars, kraut crocks, three tall & one medium human, two dogs, two cats, two bees hives, five chooks, a glass house, a studio, a mushroom house, a plant-way (converted driveway), berries, herbs, fruit trees, succulents, grasses, perennials, air plants, sculptures, a roof garden.

When I am alone in my garden, when I see the diversity of plants, when I ponder on what vegies to plant, or how my mushrooms are going, or making bread from the grain I have just ground, or collecting eggs from the chook house,  I am only ever thankful for the opportunity this house and land provides me,  for the opportunity to live well, to live expansively.

‘Creating Jones Street’ is a blog about what we I do in our house and on our plot of land.