Saturday, September 13, 2008

Cottage Living

Yesterday, I said today's post would be on small spaces. That specific post will be delayed 2-3 days as I continue this fun, little series on the different construction of small spaces.

One of the cutest little footprints is a Katrina Cottage, designed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a dignified alternative to FEMA trailers. There are many websites dedicated to Katrina Cottages, which are still available as guest houses, vacation retreats and permanent housing. While it's sad to think of people forced to live in something way smaller than what they left, if they were fortunate enough to receive a Katrina Cottage, at least they're in nice surroundings.

As I was researching Katrina Cottages and looking at pictures online, I was reminded of my great-grandmother's house in Fullerton, Nebraska. As a child, I was never allowed beyond the front room, which spanned the entire width of the house. That may sound big, but it was T-I-N-Y.

Behind the living room, where Grandma Reed would rock back and forth in her antique rocker, there was a miniscule kitchen, hidden by a calico curtain, and a small bedroom.

As you'll see below, some Katrina Cottages are a little bigger than others.

I was surprised to see kitchen cabinets that didn't go all the way up to the ceiling. If I was working with such a small space, I'd definitely have to maximize storage and function.

Katrina Cottages are today's version of the old shotgun house. Shotgun houses are so named because, supposedly, a shotgun fired through the front door would pass straight through the house and out the back door. Rooms were as wide as the house, and had doors that connected straight through. These were typically used as low-cost housing for the low-income workers of the South. They are especially common in and around New Orleans and are still in use today.

Can you see yourself living in a Katrina Cottage or shotgun house? Before you decide, perhaps you'd prefer a more unusual, sustainable construction. Stay tuned...


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Sandra, I am enjoying this series so much! I remember This Old House renovating a shotgun house in NO. Absolutely beautiful.

These are the type of dwelling or similar, we would be interested in building or buying around the lake area, when we sell our present home.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Those Katrina cottages are adorable. And yes, if I was by myself I could see living in one of those or a shotgun house.....

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

I'd seen those Katrina Cottages before and thought they were lovely. If I weren't such a packrat, I'd love one of them, but I'd need a second house, just for my clutter!
I'd love mine out in the country with a tiny front garden, and a screened porch across the front and back!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love this post! And I am totally with you on the cabinets. To the ceiling for sure!

I think they are quite nice and love that they are historically accurate.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I think those little cottages are adorable...and beat a fema trailer any day! Could we squeeze our family in...uh...We may need two or three!

Another interesting bit of info on the shotgun houses...they were taxed on their face footage (the linear feet facing the street...the width) That is why they were so skinny...but so long.

Fun series Sandra!

David said...

I'd like to know where you found the information on the Katrina cottages you have listed Sept 16. The white cottage with the beautiful Victorian railing is exceptional. I'd like more information if you can provide it....Thanks!!!