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ISSN 2631-326X


Living Tiny on the Water Fairytale Tiny Houses Come to Life

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Contents Send Us Your Photos!! Are you living in a tiny house, a narrowboat, a studio or other small space? Your story can help inspire others to follow their dreams!

A Life That Imitates Art … Page

03 07

A Fairytale Land - That Really Exists … Page A Conversation with Architect MarkWaghorn … Page


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Published by: Tiny Living Productions Ltd, Glasgow UK Editor: Pamela Palongue Design by: Gilmour Graphics Email: Cover photograph: Narrow boat on Kennet and Avon Canal, Ian Redding


A Life That Imitates Art


as she prefers the lifestyle. It’s her studio, living space and “store front”. In the spring and summer months, she sells her art right from the boat. One side of it has an awning, and display shelves for Jan’s paintings where customers can browse right from the towpath.

The weather is getting colder now, and the air has a damp chill to it. But artist Jan Vallance loves this time of year, especially when it snows! She has lived on a narrowboat full-time for the past ten years, and the magical snow scenes are one of her favourite subjects to paint. (Contrary to popular belief, narrowboats are usually quite snug and toasty during the winter). Jan’s fascination for the water began as a child when she used to play near the canal. Years later, when she sold her house and was looking for a new place to live, her mum suggested a boat at the bottom of her garden which backed up to the canal. Jan quickly accepted the invitation and moored there for the first few years. She now cruises continuously in ‘The Art Boat’,

As any artist will tell you, art requires quite a bit of paraphernalia, and Jan acknowledges that finding a place for everything, is almost a work of art in itself. She has to have space not only for painting materials, but also finished canvases, cards, prints, display equipment, and more! She had a good friend who built a workspace for her on the boat that helps keep everything organised. This winter she has taken on a canal side studio in an old mill which will give her more space to tackle larger paintings and the ability to hold workshops. She’s also doing some reorganisation on The Art Boat that will make it even more space efficient. This is not Jan’s first venture into small-space living, however. When her children were young, she lived in a campervan for a while, and was planning on a move to the French countryside to offer art holidays. When that didn’t materialise, she ended up staying in England – a decision she has never regretted. “If I had gone, I probably wouldn’t be living the fabulous life I do now.” She sometimes wakes up, thinking about the paintings she wants to create. Her need to paint can be all-consuming at times, as she explains,


“I become oblivious to my surroundings when I’m working. Places for me become somewhere to create…” And she likes the idea that the artwork is really only temporarily hers. “The painting process and journey of each piece is mine, but then it goes on to be someone else’s story”.

sold some artwork while her children were small, she later began to think of it as an actual career. It’s a great lesson for creatives who feel their ship may have already sailed. It’s never too late to make a change and do what you love!

Jan’s own ‘art story’ has taken a turn or two. She was classically trained in ballet, and then worked in contemporary modern dance to cabaret across Europe, dancing in Finland, Malta, Spain and Holland. But art kept beckoning from the wings of the stage though. She returned to university to complete a degree in art in her 30s and had a family. Although she painted and

For young, hopeful artists, Jan has encouraging words. “Keep working and painting and improving your art. Your work is the key, because all the marketing in the world won’t help if you don’t believe in it yourself”. Connecting and working with other artists is also a great way to learn the tricks of the trade, and keeping you connected to your dream.


Despite many of the people living on the canals alone, Jan never feels lonely. “In the spring and summer, I often travel with others who are heading to the same market or festival [I’m attending]. I may spend a couple of weeks with another boat, and then I won’t see them again for a few months as they’re on a different route. Lots of ‘hello’s and goodbyes’…but I love it”. The life on “the road” also provides an endless kaleidoscope of scenery, bringing new inspiration to paint around every bend in the canal.

live without it!!” But on a more serious note, she adds, “I hope that they can make an emotional connection with the art, whether that be a memory it evokes or a particular feeling... A lot of my paintings are about my journey on The Art Boat, but I would like to think that to anyone viewing the scene, it becomes their journey.” To share in Jan’s journey, visit her site at

When asked what she hopes people notice about her art, Jan quickly says, “That they can’t


A Fairytale Land

- That Really Exists

In our October issue, we featured two smallspace dwellings, the Wee Howf and Summer Howf. This month we’re treating you to three more imaginative holiday lets at Craighead Howfs – a treehouse and two Hobbit houses. Craighead Howfs is part of a farm, owned by the same family for over 30 years. Ian and Heather Keir are the visionaries behind these magical little hideaways in the Scottish Highlands,


and the design of all their creations is worked out by Ian, long before the build begins. The Tree Howf is built high up in a tree overlooking the Ochil Hills, and is quite a feat in building design, with its own kitchen, shower, and wood burning stove. Ian began working on the Tree Howf in 2015, and when their son Lewis returned from Canada, he helped complete the build in 2016.

Once the treehouse was finished, Ian once again took on the challenge of an unconventional dwelling with two Hobbit Howfs, ‘The Burrow’ and ‘The Bagend’. These are true underground structures, constructed of wood and stone with building commencing in 2017, and taking until

2018 to finish. The iconic round doorway is the entrance to another world where one could easily imagine a curious Hobbit stepping out to see who’s invaded his lair. Massive timbers support the roof of grass, and skylights provide a surprising amount of natural daylight to the interiors.


Heather, who is a former nurse, and Ian, who owned a joinery business, are now fully devoted to the running of their holiday lets, which total six – at least for the moment. Their sons Lewis and Arran, and daughter Hayley


are regular visitors to Craighead, along with two grandsons. There are many animals that make their home there among the gardens, including two highland cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, geese and hens. (Humans are also welcomed).

Craighead Howfs is a mythical place, where the veil between what’s imaginary and what’s really possible seem to intersect. It’s tangible proof that you can achieve your dreams – just build. For more visit



ISSN 2631-326X

On sale December!




Living Tiny on the Water Fairytale Tiny Houses Come to Life

Our Winter issue (a combination of October, November & December) available at these locations: LONDON Charlotte Street News, Fitzrovia, W1T 4QE LONDON Rococo News & Magazines, Notting Hill W11 2HX GLASGOW Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) Aye-Aye Bookstore, G2 3JD

And online everywhere at


In between the mad dash for that last mince pie on the shelf, and searching for the perfect scarf for Aunt Clara… don’t forget the most important gift of all –

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All. 11

At Tiny Living Magazine UK we’re here to help! That’s because quality housing and minimising our impact on the natural world is our passion too. When you advertise with us, our print magazines are distributed to over 90 locations across the UK every quarter, and our online version appears every month! We offer one low price for all of it, to give you the most success. Email us for more info The impossible is possible – Just build!

A Tiny Living Promotion

In Case You Missed It… If you missed touring the Elegance Grande at London Excel last month, you can still book a personal tour of the tiny house, and chat with its designer and master builder, Chris March. Tours are by appointment ONLY, and include a consultation with Chris regarding your specific home plans. Nothing is quite as helpful as actually ‘living’ in a house to see what it’s really like though! You can also book a stay at the Elegance Grande at Tiny Eco Homes UK, to get a real taste of living

tiny for a couple of days in beautiful natural surroundings. -Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the amount of space in this cleverly designed home. The loft has increased headroom with a full six feet in height, and is the largest of the towable tiny houses. Tiny Eco Homes UK has built bespoke tiny homes in all shapes, colours and configurations for their homeowners. To view the online gallery of tiny houses and book your tour or holiday stay, visit


A Conversation with Architect

Mark MarkWaghorn Interview Waghorn

Architect Mark Waghorn relaxing on the deck of one of his small-space builds, The Merywen.

Mark Waghorn is an award-winning architect based in Wales, who has a passion for sustainable architecture and small, functional spaces. Tiny Living Magazine spoke with him about the cohesiveness of living with nature and where he sees the future of small-space living headed. TLM- In what ways, do your homes bring closer interaction between people and the natural environment? MW: I am inspired by people who are already living lives that are closely connected to the natural environment‌I hope to demonstrate that modern technology can be combined with natural materials and settings to allow people to live comfortably but simply and in harmony with nature. TLM- There have been many articles written about modular housing, and its future in the UK housing market. What general trends do you foresee in the ever-growing demand for affordable housing?


MW: There are plenty of luxury modular house suppliers, but not enough providers of affordable, high quality modular and mobile homes. Living in rural Wales, I can see that many people rely on mobile homes to live in, but these are not fit for purpose. They are generally poorly insulated... I realised that this does not need to be the case, so I set about designing a range of micro and modular homes that are highly insulated and make use of local, natural materials. TLM- Do you feel the planning restrictions for small, static dwellings (under 35 msq.) as a primary dwelling are relaxing or becoming tighter nationally?

MW: I believe that the reason there are not more micro-dwellings in the UK lies in the way that planning policy impacts the economic viability of such development. Planning policy restricts the availability of land to be lived on, and this causes development land to be expensive. Therefore micro-dwellings often don’t generate enough value to cover the cost of both the land and build. An exception to this can be found in Wales, where an exciting planning policy called One Planet Development allows you to live on land that is not allocated to housing, and therefore is far more affordable, as long as you can demonstrate that you will live a very low impact lifestyle. *For more information on this visit TLM- What do you personally feel are some of the reasons for resistance to embrace small-space living by local councils? MW: The size of one’s home is understandably associated with the quality of life it can afford its occupant. Local councils are aware that developers are motivated to reduce floor area to increase profit, so often impose minimum space standards for new planning applications. Whilst tiny living is a great way to achieve a home affordably, in my opinion it should be a choice, not imposed. However, local authorities do need the imagination to be able to critically assess innovative projects that combine small-space living with shared amenity space to create a high quality environment for their occupants.

TLM- Can your designs be adjusted to meet most planning requirements in areas outside of Wales? MW: We’re able to manage the planning process for sites anywhere in the UK. Our micro and modular homes are designed to be transportable. The main constraint is more likely to be width or height restrictions on the access route from the main highway to the site for the home. TLM- I know that sustainable building is very important to you. Do your homes range from completely off-grid to conventional electrical sources? MW: Our designs are all conceived to have either electric or biomass heating, or a combination of the two. The house can be off-grid, in which case a battery bank will be required, or grid connected. If there is any site electricity generation, then the house can still be connected to the grid, but it still makes sense to have a battery. *Biomass systems are wood-fuelled heating systems which burn wood chips, pellets or logs. They’re very useful in heating a small area and according to the Energy Saving, may save homeowners up to £960 a year when compared with an older electric heating system. For more information on Mark Waghorn’s designs and his associates, visit

An innovative small-space dwelling by Mark Waghorn Designs, called the Helygen.


- a ccording to the Canal & River Trust, 26% of the UK’s 33,000 boats are used as primary residences? - thousands of people in the UK are already embracing small-space living in studio flats, student accommodations, and small terraced houses? - there are over 80 shepherd hut building companies in the UK? - prices for a well-designed tiny house fitted with kitchen and bath starts at £26,000? - according to Popular Science, human beings are hard-wired to like tiny things?


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Profile for Tiny Living Magazine UK

Tiny Houses and Dreamy Small Spaces! Tiny Living UK NOVEMBER  

Meet an artist whose home and studio are on a narrowboat, as she cruises the English canals painting her world....Visit fairytale Hobbit Hou...

Tiny Houses and Dreamy Small Spaces! Tiny Living UK NOVEMBER  

Meet an artist whose home and studio are on a narrowboat, as she cruises the English canals painting her world....Visit fairytale Hobbit Hou...