Tag Archives: Charleston

Living Tiny

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.” Confucius

The simplicity of our lives while roaming the planet led us to the same conclusion – less is more. It’s not the easiest road but perhaps the most thoughtful.

It was brilliant how the whole thing came about. Our commercial property had an abandoned studio home out back that we decided to remodel and use as a rental property.

Red tagged on the first day of construction!

The original home was built on the dirt – no foundation. The County allowed us to take the building down in order to build a proper slab foundation as long as we rebuilt using the exact same footprint, roofing material and as much siding as we could.

Before (click on any photo to enlarge):

Just as people fall in love with babies and puppy dogs we fell in love with a tiny home – promptly putting our primary residence on the market.  We abandoned the rental concept and decided to make it our home.

Meet Mona.  She’s 20′ x 22′ – 440 sq.ft. of living space with a small storage loft.

Tired of the upkeep required by perfectly engineered shiny Brazilian hardwood flooring we opted for unfinished concrete floors. All the warts of construction are permanently embedded – scuff marks, paint drips and cracks – perfection!

We work where we sleep.  It’s crazy but our pull down bed is a desk by day and bed by night. The pivoting motion of the bed allows us to lower the bed while the desk stays fully in place (plugs and all) – articulating to the floor.

Carefully planned built-in cabinets house what remains of our earthly goods.  We opted to purge. The kids got all the stuff we stored for them from their childhood – the remainder was donated, sold in a garage sale and a few antiques were sent to a house we have in the Palm Springs area.

The only furniture that went to Mona were two old leather chairs , a mattress and an outdoor patio set.

Bags and bags of clothing were passed on as well for we only have 41″ of closet space. So if you see us wearing the same clothes you’ll know why.

We created an urban garden area out back to grow the square footage.

Steve Jobs said “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”

In keeping with what Steve Jobs professed and the wisdom gained during construction of Mona, we decided to do the same in Charleston, SC.  Withering from boredom in a suburban home where we found ourselves driving almost daily to the historic downtown area, we sold and bought a whopping 514 sq.ft. of luxury right in the heart of Charleston. Walking distance to everything. Completely remodeled and furnished. We moved in with two Asian rugs, a painting and half our clothing. Second garage sale of the year.

We love the look on our friends face’s when they visit for the first time – trying to imagine themselves living tiny.  We have everything we need, including a washer/dryer and kitchen, which is – much more than when wandering the globe.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Paulo Coelho

 

Spring in Downtown Charleston

Remember January and the bomb cyclone? 

Check out Springtime. It’s magical.  The temperatures are mild and mother nature is singing.

Walking  has become our way of life since moving to the historic downtown area.  We really got to know the neighborhood averaging 7 miles a day – four of those days include a two mile jaunt to yoga – all in preparation for our upcoming pilgrimage (stay tuned).

Our pace is slow because there is so much to see.

Come take a journey with us.

Where……

flower boxes are in abundance,

entries are dreamy,

and pink homes rule!

Rainbow Row is like candy.

From tiny to traditional.

Meandering Live Oak trees tell a story 

and horses add to the charm. However, they are quite controversial right now – animal cruelty activists think it’s time to end this tradition. You decide.

Herons fly free…

and the iconic Ravenel Bridge links Charleston to Mt. Pleasant and offers fabulous views from the 5 mile round trip walking path.  Built in 2005 – it’s the 3rd longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

However, it’s not all walking.  We started the act of fishing on the Ashley River. It’s salt water – where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Charleston Harbor and flow into the Atlantic Ocean. We just walk across the street with gear in tow – it’s right out the door of our home. I say “act” because the fish have completely avoided our hook.  It’s about the tide and bait.

All this – from sunrise

to sunset.

 

 

 

 

** click on photos to enlarge and head over to http://www.paigeshaw.com

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Deconstructing Shaw

2017 was the start of BIG changes with tiny results.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.” ~ Rob Siltanen

In 2016 we traded Baja for Charleston, SC  so we can spend time with the boys.

The easy purchase was a ranch style house in West Ashley. Quickly withering from the normalness of suburban living, the sirens of historic downtown Charleston began to sing.

Our first visit to Charleston in 2010 had Bill pointing to an elegant and grand 7 story building on the edge of White Point Garden where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers merge to form the Atlantic Ocean and saying “I’m going to live there one day.”

Charleston – voted #1 top U.S. city 5th year running by Travel and Leisure (2016 best city in the world too) – comes at a price. A high price. Money equates to square footage.  You get the picture.

Well I’ll be darned if Bill wasn’t right (those moments still catch me off guard).  We are now fulfilling his prophecy. Downsizing by 75% and loving every 74, 014 square inches of it. (514 sq.ft.) It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with a 60 sq.ft. balcony floating over the Holy City with expansive views of the water and breathtaking sunsets on most nights.

It came furnished so we had an estate sale and utilized Craigslist to unload all the furniture we had purchased just a year before. With 2 rugs and a painting in tow – we moved in.  Heaven!  We walk to everything. History and charm ooze from every corner. Horse drawn carriages clip clop through the streets and bar/restaurants are plentiful. Yoga is 2.5 miles away and allows us to kill 2 birds with one stone, walking to and fro. Two kids in a candy shop!

Sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff without knowing where you will land. ~ Zainab Salbi

And with that said – 30 days later we sold our primary residence in Northern Nevada and opted to go even tinier – 440 sq.ft. (63360 sq. inches).
When working and raising kids our home had 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5 fireplaces and a 5 car garage. After the kids moved out we downsized into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 fireplace, 2 car garage home. Now, we’re in a 0 bedroom, 0 fireplace, 0 garage and if wasn’t for the 1 bath…. Well – you get my point.

There was an abandoned tiny home on our commercial property in Nevada that we decided to turn into a rental.  The county allowed us to dismantle the house and rebuild in the same place using the same footprint, roof and siding.  It’s cute as heck and we thought what the heck. Now it’s our home.Talk about freeing…

Living in hotel rooms more than 100 days a year over the past decade, and more recently carrying our clothes on our backs while walking two Caminos has helped condition us. You really don’t need all the peripheral crap. Happiness isn’t derived by having stuff.

However, the struggle is what to do with your STUFF.

What we learned:  You give to your kids “now” all the stuff saved for them. Why wait until you’re dead?  Sell and give away all non-essential stuff and pack the rest of the shit (stuff) up in a POD and send it to your 3rd home.

YUP… You read that correctly.

Why have 2 homes when you can have 3?  Yes, as embarrassed as I am to write this.

Hi, our names are Bill and Paige and we are Crazy – it’s been 2 weeks since we were in our last home…

Today we are in Indian Wells, CA – right near vintage Palm Springs. This one was purchased 10 years ago as a rental.

Tenant moves out and we move in.  What can we say?  It’s warm here. Palm trees rule and golfing on pristine courses is intoxicating.

“One person’s craziness is another person’s reality.” ~ Tim Burton

So that’s us for now….

We have a big trip coming up in 2018.  Stay tuned.

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How lucky are we?

Wintering in Charleston (home B) conjures images of warm days and swaying palm trees. It’s the South – right?

The last couple years we have spent a good part of the winter in South Carolina. Loving the temps but quietly jealous of the snow storms in Northern Nevada (home A). Our fav – snow. Particularly snow storms.

A week ago today – the stars aligned and Charleston hit the jackpot. 5 plus inches of snow! The community came to a screeching but quiet halt. Downtown businesses and the airport closed for days – the schools for a week.

It was a peaceful, renewing calm that hit us like a marshmallow.

What a treat! Miraculous.

Palm trees and snow! Yin and yang – juxtaposition- whatever you want to call it. Southern living and mountain living weather converge into a medley of photos.

 

Moonrise over the Cooper River in Charleston

Charleston is magical – especially on a warm Spring evening when the moon is starting to rise over the Cooper River.

The Waterfront Park was opened  in May 1980, just a few months after Hurricane Hugo.  Once an area of gravel parking lots and overgrown weeds (per Wikipedia). Now a tranquil area to stroll, rest and take in the charm that Charleston has to offer.

Pottery

Happy New Year and it’s a new year indeed.

Thanks again for indulging me with last year’s Photo of the Day. It gave me the opportunity to really practice my craft.

In the meantime, there are private lessons with the Michelangelo of pottery. A true master in his artistry.

It’s just for fun – love the art of creating and getting my hands dirty.

Meet my instructor Kris – owner of Fire and Earth Pottery here in Charleston.

He makes mind blowing and mesmerizing videos of his work.

Facebook – Fire & Earth Fine Pottery and on Instagram fire_and_earth_pottery

Photo of the Day 366

Sailing into 2017…

Thanks for all the love this year and putting up with my photo of the day.

Going to take next year off from the daily photo post (phew). You’ll hear from us occasionally.

Happy New Year to everyone.

Wishing you love, good health and simple peaceful moments with over the top, breathtaking experiences mixed in between.

Charleston, South Carolina

December 31, 2016

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