Hello and welcome to Think Big Build Tiny!

I’m Joy Leisen, a 28 year old world traveler, conservationist and idealist with a big imagination. On this site I will share my progress, thoughts, successes and frustrations as I embark on a grand project to build a Tiny House. Growing up I was always drawn to small spaces; from cardboard boxes to treehouses to tents. I love camping not just because I feel most at home in the outdoors, but also because I enjoy the freedom that comes from owning only the essentials that you have carried in on your back.

Now living in northern Michigan in the heart of the Great Lakes, my husband Josh and I have lived in and explored places across the US and around the globe to catch and document fish species (see our website and species “lifelists” at www.fishingleisens.com). Along the way I have realized that true happiness comes not from possessions but from simplicity, adventure, actively pursuing your dreams, being connected with nature and always striving to do no harm.

Join me on this blog as I use my (admittedly limited) construction skills to create a 20′ x 8′ slice of home… what I hope will become a place of peace, simplicity and flexibility! I am excited for the opportunity to learn about home construction while pouring my heart, soul and creativity into designing, building and living in a low-impact Tiny House! Please chime in with your comments on each blog post, or feel free to email me directly at joyleisen@gmail.com. Thanks, and enjoy!

Joy and Josh (Romania, August 2015)
Joy and Josh (Romania, August 2015)

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things
he can afford to let alone.”
-Henry David Thoreau