Dee Williams is a pioneer of the modern tiny house movement. She lived in her 84 square foot tiny home for 13 years before downsizing into 56 square feet. 

The first tiny house on wheels I ever saw was Tammy Strobel and Logan Smith's house. It was designed by my guest Dee Williams and built by her company Portland Alternative Design. In this wide ranging interview, we start before Dee ever built her own tiny house on wheels, and explore how this tiny pioneer chose to downsize into 84 square feet.

Dee Williams was one of the first high profile tiny house dwellers and being first isn't always easy. So in this conversation, I'll talk with Dee shares the initial reactions to her living tiny, how she found parking for her house, and some of the unexpected benefits and challenges of living tiny.

In This Episode:

  • The story behind why Dee decided to build and move into a tiny house on wheels
  • How Dee convinced the skeptics in her life
  • How Dee found a place to live in her tiny house (for 13 years!)
  • The unexpected benefits and challenges of living tiny for 13 years
  • Living tiny to deal with your own mortality
  • Dee’s tiny house in her own words
  • Dee’s take on 30+ foot tiny houses on wheels
  • Reexamining the difference between what you want and what you think you need
  • On moving from 86 square feet to 56 square feet
  • Why Dee decided to give away her first tiny house
  • About Dee’s second house, a 56 square foot Vardo named Jolene
  • All about Dee’s Company, Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD)
  • Dee’s upcoming talk at the World Domination Summit on Alternative Housing
  • How to be a superhero for the people in your life

Links and Resources:


Guest Bio:


Dee Williams

Dee Williams

Dee built and moved into her first tiny house on wheels in 2004. Dee’s house, life and memoir The Big Tiny have been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CBS This Morning,,, Yes Magazine, and the National Building Museum, to name a few.

More Photos:

Dee's first tiny house, simply referred to as “the little house” was her home for 13 years:

Dee Williams Kozy Kabin





Dee downsized into her vardo, Jolene (photos by Tammy Strobel):




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