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In Kentucky there is a village of mini-houses: even children live there in separate buildings

Communities of tiny houses are popping up all over the country, but one family in Kentucky has created their own village. The edition told in more detail Insider.

Photo: IStock

Keli and Ryan Brinks live in a small house in Kentucky. Their 18-year-old daughter Lennox and 16-year-old son Brody also live in their tiny houses next door.

Together, their six mini-houses create a unique community with sustainable living.

This is how the Brinks make their tiny village work.

Five years ago, their family decided to move out of their 2200-square-foot (204 sq. m) home in Michigan and live more environmentally.

To do this, they turned to tiny houses.

Tiny houses produce less waste, require less heating, and can be more environmentally friendly, and the Brinks realized this was a viable option for them.

“Initially, my husband wanted us all to be together in the same house, but I spoke on behalf of the children for their privacy,” Keli said.

Instead, the family decided to buy several tiny houses, one for each family member.

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In 2015, they bought a 21-acre (8,5 ha) plot of land in London, Kentucky for $57 and turned it into a private village with tiny family homes.

“We chose London because there were no housing restrictions and because the land was much cheaper than in Tennessee,” Kelly explained.

For another $20, the family bought six tiny houses and placed them on their plot of land. Keli and Ryan settled in the first of them.

The 280 square foot home is the largest on the property. It cost $26, which made it the most expensive in their village because it has extra amenities.

“We asked for adjustments, including additional windows, a cutout in the back for the front door, and real windows upstairs to add more natural light,” the owner of the house clarified.

Inside there is a living room. Vaulted ceilings make the room feel more spacious. There is also a kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Next to the refrigerator is a staircase leading to the couple's bedroom in the attic.

Under the attic is a bathroom with a full size bathtub. Although this is a mini-house, the water treatment room is not without space.

Next to it is a tiny house, consisting of two bathrooms - one for each child of the couple.

Lennox and Brody's tiny houses don't have bathrooms, so they have to go outside and walk to this building when they need to shower or use the toilet.

“It's actually not as bad as it seems at first glance,” Lennox said. “I just put on my coat if it’s cold or it’s raining and I run out there.”

This cabin has a guest bedroom, washer and dryer.

Next to it is the pool house where the family gets together to socialize.

The house is one large room of 180 square feet (16,7 sqm). It has several seating areas for the family to sit and play.

This tiny home overlooks the Brinks' elevated pool.

The pool measures 18 by 33 feet (5,5 by 10 m) and is 8 feet (2,4 m) deep.

Brody is only 16 years old, he lives next to the pool in his own little house.

This 160-square-foot home is actually a wooden cabin with a small front porch.

“When my parents first decided which houses to build, my brother and I had to choose which model we wanted,” Lennox explained. “My brother chose a house with a large porch.”

Brody has a sofa, TV and chest of drawers on the ground floor, and a large double bed upstairs.

“He wanted to have a place downstairs for friends and guests,” said the sister.

Lennox lives next door in his own tiny 160-square-foot (15 sqm) house, though

It was actually originally sold as a barn, but the mini-home company remodeled it at the request of the family.

“Children could choose the design of their home and decorate it however they wanted,” Keli said. “We just asked the builders not to put a barn door in front, but to put a regular front door instead.”

On the ground floor, Lennox has a sofa, chest of drawers and TV. Upstairs is her full-size bed.

At the moment, Lennox does not live in this tiny house permanently - she is in college and comes home to spend time there on weekends.

According to her, most people find it strange that she and her brother live in different houses apart from their parents, but she loves privacy.

“It's like having your own bedroom,” Lennox is convinced. - Only instead of corridors - a courtyard. I like independence. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the noise disturbing the parents.”

Keli agrees with her daughter that the life situation is not so unusual.

“When we lived in the house, the children spent most of their time in their rooms,” Keli argues. They went downstairs to eat and eat or use the toilet. The same is true here. They spend a lot of time in their cabins and very often come to us to eat or dine. If we need them for something, we just knock on their cabin door, not on their bedroom door.”

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There is also a small 64 square foot home that the family uses as an office.

They pay less than $200 in utilities, which is less than in Michigan. Keli and her husband have several jobs and sometimes use this tiny house to work from home.

The 21-acre (8,5 ha) property includes a barn, chicken coop, and goat, among other things, which play an important role in the family's lifestyle.

Kelly says tiny houses conserve energy because smaller spaces are easier to heat and cool. In addition, the family produces only one bag of garbage per week.

“The reason we have so little trash is because we try to live by a very important RRRR rule: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle - Ed.), Kelly explained. “We almost always ditch plastic grocery bags, use cloth bags, and compost almost all of our food. We give the rest of the products to the chickens, and we process everything that is allowed for processing. We rarely use the clothes dryer.”

Kelly notes that she hopes this unique life situation will teach her children what it means to live sustainably.

“We have taught them to value the Earth and to do their part in caring for it and encouraging others to care for our planet,” she admitted. “Family togetherness, fresh air, walking, growing food, and caring for animals so they can take good care of us is what we want them to live for and pass it on to the next generations.”

At the moment, her daughter can't imagine living anywhere else.

“This is not temporary,” Lennox said. “This is a safe home for us.”

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