REINOUD BOLAND runs Waterland-Huisje in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Waterland-Huisje is the Dutch exponent of the tiny-house movement. It is inspired by the traditional architecture of the Zaan region and named after Waterland, the peat meadow area just above Amsterdam.
What he says about tiny houses:
- A tiny house could be a way to simplify and live smaller or just a fantastic alternative for a home office.
- A tiny house is a way people can own a home that’s big enough, without spending the rest of their lives in debt.
- A tiny house is a perfect place to hold off-site meetings.
Podcast production by Podcast Monster
Graphic design by Alfred Boland
Lisette: And we’re live. So welcome everybody to this remote interview. My name is Lisette and I’m interviewing people and companies who are working remotely and today I have something totally different for people. I know, mostly, I interview software teams and companies but this time, we’re going to talk about a Dutch project that I found. It’s a tiny house project and in Dutch, it’s the waterlandhuisje. So, I have with me Reinoud Boland and Reinoud, you’re the brother of Alfred, the awesome graphic designer of Collaboration Superpower. So, super exciting to find you but let’s talk about tiny houses. I’m personally a fan. I’m a huge fan actually of the tiny house project but I want to…let’s start with what is a tiny house?
Reinoud: Well, a tiny house is actually a small house on wheels but the way I see it, it is more the [form] that makes it a tiny house. So, it’s made out of wood so it’s not a caravan or a [camper], something like that, but a real house but on wheels.
Lisette: Okay and for people that are watching this video, you’ll be able to see we’re actually…Reinoud is in the tiny house right now so that’s what’s making this special, which is pretty cool. And you’re set up right now in Eindhoven but of course you’re moving around from place to place. So, why did you build this? What do you like so much about these tiny houses?
Reinoud: [unintelligible – 01:36] before.
Reinoud: We built it because we saw a lot of these type of houses in America and we wanted to try for ourselves how to build one and how it would be to be inside. So [unintelligible – 02:00], the things you see on the internet, it all looks very beautiful and spacious and we wanted to try it and see [unintelligible – 02:08].
Lisette: Okay, and who are the tiny houses for? Who would use one of these houses and what would they use it for? Why would you be in a tiny house?
Reinoud: Well, a lot of people want to do with less and they want to live smaller and that’s why they want to build a tiny house. So they want to not spend so much money on a house and [unintelligible – 02:42] the rest of their lives[unintelligible – 02:43]. That’s why people want to buy this [unintelligible – 02:49] we want to see how it will work and we figured [unintelligible – 02:59]earn the money back by renting it out as a bed and breakfast. So [for us], it’s just bed and breakfast and we are not actually living in it.
Lisette: Okay. Do you hear feedback from people on what it’s like to stay as a guest in the bed and breakfast? What do people think about it or what have they told you?
Reinoud: Well, most people, they come because of the tiny house and [unintelligible – 03:27] Eindhoven so it’s a very strange location for a house like this. So, people, when they are inside, they feel they are away. They are not feeling they are in a [unintelligible – 03:48]so that’s nice and, most people, they like it very much. [unintelligible – 03:55].
Lisette: Yeah. It’s a fun experience, I can imagine. Yeah.
Reinoud: [unintelligible – 04:04].
Reinoud: Do you hear this noise or not?
Lisette: I do. Yes.
Reinoud: Yes. Shall we wait? [unintelligible – 04:14]?
Lisette: Sure, sure. I’ll…
Reinoud: [unintelligible – 04:16]. Okay.
Reinoud: [unintelligible – 04:49]owner of the tiny house is basically right now to put the house on its feet. So…
Lisette: Ah, I see.
Reinoud: [unintelligible – 04:55] a little bit.
Lisette: [unintelligible – 04:55]. That’s the benefit of a mobile place, the benefit and downside of a mobile place is actually setting up [and breaking down.] So the reason why I was so excited about this is because one, I, people don’t know but I live in a very, very small apartment. It’s a one room apartment with a garden and I’ve grown to really love it because I don’t have much stuff and when I first moved here, I had one suitcase and I found it so freeing to not own anything but it really hit me and I’ve just never gone out…at first it was supposed to be a temporary room and then I learned to love it and with the tiny house movement, what I see a lot of people struggling with, the remote workers in particular, is finding a place where they can work from their homes and they don’t really have a good place in their homes. One is maybe they have children that are running around or if you’ve built…like, some people, they put their offices in their bedrooms but then they never leave their bedrooms for all day and that’s not a nice option or the attic feels cramped or something and the tiny house would be a perfect solution for remote workers who are looking for an extra office, don’t want to pay a lot. Many are freelancers who can’t pay a lot but it gives you a home feel but you’re not actually in a home. So to me this seems like the perfect solution for remote workers who are looking for a place to work.
Reinoud: We also rent it out for a day, during the daytime if you want to work here. So sometimes people come and they have a meeting or something like that and then they can use the house for that. So, [unintelligible – 06:41].
Lisette: I imagine it could be good for team-building exercises as well. Like, if you want to do some sort of team…small team [exercise] or something.
Reinoud: Well, we had the…how do you say…the chief of a very large company who is in building and they had a team building experience in the house. So I told them everything about the tiny house movement [unintelligible – 07:13] and they find it very interesting.
Lisette: I can imagine.
Reinoud: There were 8 people at one time, so [unintelligible – 07:21].
Lisette: In the tiny house?
Reinoud: Tiny house. It was very crowded but it was okay.
Lisette: Yeah, I mean, people can see there is plenty of space to stand, there’s a sink and a toilet, and a bed, and a room for a table, so it’s tiny but it has everything you need, and I have to say when I was inside, I went to…when you were set up in [unintelligible – 07:41], Alfred took me there, and when I was inside, I felt like it was fairly roomy, like it’s what you need. So…
Reinoud: I would show you around but the internet connection is a little bit…is not so good, so we can try that later maybe [if it works] but…
Lisette: Yeah and what I’ll also do is put some pictures of the waterlandhuisje on the interview page so that people can see what it looks like but it’s nice that you’re doing this from within one of these tiny houses. It’s a nice feeling from that. So let’s learn…I would like to know a little bit about you and why did you decide to build this? What was so interesting for you?
Reinoud: Well, it’s…I live nearby this place and I’m also a freelance. I work for architectural companies and I make drawings, 3D drawings, and also just [unintelligible 08:41]. I wanted to do something different, build something with my hands. Most of the time, I’m behind a computer and this is a totally different thing. So, this place here in Eindhoven is nearby where I live and this is place that is…place where people starting to…they make it into a living area for people. So it’s a very nice place now. Everything is changing and constantly new companies come and other people and it’s a nice play to stay. So, when we had the opportunity to do this in this place, [unintelligible – 09:27]. So…
Lisette: And what are you hoping to have happen? What’s ideal? What would you like?
Reinoud: Well, we’d like to build another one. That’s the main goal right now. So, we have just made one tiny house and we see a lot of interest but people are a little bit reluctant to really to go and build one or ask us to build one. So we really want to build another one and use the experience we have with this one to make better and [unintelligible – 10:03] or try different things. It’s our main goal right now.
Lisette: Okay. So you’re looking for either to make enough money from the bed and breakfast or people staying, meetings, or somebody who wants to actually buy a tine house.
Reinoud: Yeah. [unintelligible – 10:20].
Lisette: For their yard or something [unintelligible – 10:22]with an office space that they want to use.
Lisette: Maybe we can find somebody through this interview. That’s my goal. So many [unintelligible – 10:29]. Yeah. So if they want to do it, how should they contact you? What’s the best way to find you?
Reinoud: The best way is to mail and we have a website. It’s[unintelligible – 10:43] and there is [unintelligible – 10:46]come and take a look, they can make an appointment and then they come here and we show them everything. So, that’s how it goes.
Lisette: I think there’s a lot of potential for people who are looking for meeting spaces or workshop spaces in a new and interesting location for these. So I really hope that people contact you. If you’re listening out there, you have to contact. This is a new idea that you should…[they] should get involved with. So, anything else that you want to say that maybe I’ve forgotten to talk about?
Reinoud: Well, if any of your viewers want to stay a night, they also can contact us. So [unintelligible – 11:34].
Lisette: Experience the tiny house for yourself.
Reinoud: Yeah, yeah. That’s the best way, I think. You see everything on the internet but you have to see it for yourself and try it out and [unintelligible – 11:44] what’s it all about.
Lisette: Indeed. Totally agreed. Well, thanks so much for giving us a virtual tour of the tiny house and letting us know why and I really hope people contact you.
Reinoud: Okay. Thank you.
Lisette: Alright. Until next time, everybody. Be powerful.