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Houses have dominated our television screens for years. A trend that started with shows like House Hunters has transformed into the enduring tiny house show. These shows often follow the lives of homeowners as they first venture into the world of tiny homes or the men and women who put in the intense labor to design and build these unique houses. But one thing is certain; they’ve proven popular enough to spawn countless spin-offs and adaptations that highlight tiny houses around the world.
Many people still wonder: What spurred the tiny house movement in the first place? And why are we so enamored with these miniature homesteads, especially when they’re on television or social media? But regardless of the answers to these questions, it’s clear that tiny house shows aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The Tiny House Movement
Tiny homes have definitely become more popular in recent years, with a marked jump after the 2008 housing market crash. But in reality, humans have lived in tiny houses for most of history. The average American home has almost doubled in the past couple decades and now sits at around 2,600 square feet. As a response to these bigger sizes and higher housing prices, some people turned to tiny homes as a way to embrace a more minimalist lifestyle.
Most tiny homes are 400 square feet or less. This size means sacrificing extra rooms and consolidating most of your living space into one, privacy-free space. But this lack of space also forces those living in tiny homes to do away with unnecessary possessions. While this bare-minimum lifestyle might sound like a nightmare to some, others find it leads to a less stressful life.
What makes tiny houses so trendy?
Some niche markets adore truly minimalist, off-the-grid tiny homes. But if we’re honest with ourselves, most popular tiny homes are flawlessly curated. While these homes might be small in size, the homeowners are still placing form over function. After all, a cute tiny house is bound to garner much more media attention than a drab one. Almost everyone wants an aesthetically pleasing living space, but for some reason, tiny homes are particularly popular in hobby decor circles.
At the same time, the popularity of eco-friendly lifestyles can’t be ignored when looking at the trendiness of tiny homes. More and more people are turning to biodegradable packaging, reusable water bottles, and slow fashion. And so eco-conscious housing has also piqued their interest. Tiny homes use less energy and less building materials than traditional homes. These tiny houses have smaller carbon footprints than their larger counterparts. So it’s no surprise that those intrigued by green housing are drawn to tiny homes.
Reality Television and Real Estate
It’s no secret that real estate and home improvement television shows are extremely popular, especially in the U.S. market. In fact, during its initial run, episodes of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” were regularly the most watched thing on cable television. These programs don’t always show the whole truth of buying, selling, and renovating. But they draw a voyeuristic eye from those who love to take a peek at how others live, get ideas for their own homes, or simply tune out the world for a little bit.
The tiny house show is a subcategory of these super prevalent real estate and home improvement programs. And since data shows a correlation between the number of these shows being watched and trends in the housing market, it makes sense that tiny house programs have grown in popularity. And for those who aren’t quite ready to invest in a tiny home of their own, these shows offer a chance to live vicariously through our televisions.
Our Favorite Tiny House Shows
With so many home-related television shows, it’s hard to keep track of every single one. And while some of these shows are absolutely binge-worthy, many are not. But don’t worry because we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite tiny house shows for you to add to your must-watch list.
Cable networks like HGTV and FYI boast diverse line-ups of tiny house shows. Some of these programs highlight luxury tiny homes with extraordinary architecture and design. Others follow future homeowners as they shop for the tiny home of their dreams. And others document the transformations that take place during tiny home renovations. As you can see, there truly is a tiny house show for everyone.
While home-related reality television didn’t begin with the inception of HGTV, the cable network is now synonymous with these shows. Despite being on the air for almost three decades, HGTV’s biggest hit so far is the recently ended “Fixer Upper.” This show didn’t focus on tiny homes, though they did have an episode featuring one. But the show was so popular that the leading couple now has several best-selling books and a home goods line at Target.
HGTV’s tiny house show line-up might not include the most popular programs on their network, but they’re still highly successful. And these shows offer a variety of tiny home topics. Whether you enjoy watching people shopping for or designing and building a tiny home, HGTV has a tiny house show for you.
Tiny House, Big Living
“Tiny House, Big Living” is a tiny house show that really explores the more eccentric side of tiny homes. This program looks at a new homeowner each episode and examines the path they took to their dream tiny home. Some of the homes featured on this tiny house show include a tiny houseboat, tiny treehouse, and tiny winery.
This tiny house show started in 2014, and there are currently seven seasons of “Tiny House, Big Living.” If you have cable television, you can catch episodes of this show on HGTV or the DIY network. You can stream some episodes on Hulu. And you can purchase “Tiny House, Big Living” by episode or season on Amazon Prime Video.
Tiny House Hunters
This tiny house show is a spin-off of the “House Hunters” series. “House Hunters” might be one of the most prolific real estate programs, with offshoots focusing on international real estate, renovations, and even houseboats. While the original “House Hunters” series began in 1999, “Tiny House Hunters” only started in 2014.
“Tiny House Hunters” follows the classic “House Hunters” episode format. Episodes start with an individual or couple describing their dream home. These prospective house buyers are then shown three homes by a realtor hoping to bring this vision to life and land an offer. In the end, it’s up to the home buyers to decide which of these three homes, if any, is their dream home.
This tiny house show currently only has four seasons, but more are on the way. You can find this program on HGTV if you have a cable subscription. If you don’t have cable, you can stream “Tiny House Hunters” on Hulu. You can also purchase this tiny house show on Amazon Prime Video.
“Tiny Luxury” follows the married owners of Tiny Heirloom, a tiny home design and construction company, as they consult with clients and build their dream miniature homes. But while this tiny house show features homes small in size, they are definitely not minimalist. “Tiny Luxury” focuses on custom-built homes that feature everything you’d find in a top-of-the-line, average-sized house. From marble countertops to spa-inspired bathrooms, these new tiny homeowners certainly aren’t going without. However, you will occasionally see green features like built-in solar panels.
“Tiny Luxury” has only been on the air for a couple of years, but you can catch new and old episodes on HGTV and the DIY network. You can stream episodes of this tiny house show with a Hulu membership. And you can purchase individual episodes or entire seasons from Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Google Play, and iTunes.
FYI might not be as well-known as HGTV, but this network offers a pretty diverse selection of tiny house programs. The FYI network was originally called The Biography Channel but rebranded in 2014. Today, you can find all kinds of reality shows on this network, but most focus on food, homes, or traveling.
While none of the tiny house show offerings on the FYI network have the same popularity or name recognition as HGTV’s programs, they’re still worth checking out. And if you’ve already burnt through HGTV’s tiny house show selections, then these FYI shows might give you something new to watch.
Tiny House Nation
Not all of the living spaces featured on “Tiny House Nation” are actually tiny homes. Some are small apartments or unconventional buildings. But the same principles still stand. This tiny house show focuses on individuals, couples, and families who are building or renovating a tiny home. The challenge, though, is figuring out how to design a space that meets all their needs in only a few hundred square feet.
“Tiny House Nation” is currently in its fourth season. You can watch this tiny house show on the FYI network if you have a cable subscription. You can also stream some episodes for free on the FYI website. Full episodes and seasons of this tiny house show can be purchased from Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Google Play, and iTunes.
Tiny House Hunting
“Tiny House Hunting” is a not-so-subtle replica of “Tiny House Hunters.” But if you’ve already binge-watched all of “Tiny House Hunters” and are craving more, then this tiny house show is the answer to your prayers. Just like on “Tiny House Hunters,” homebuyers look at three homes for sale and then pick the one that best fits their needs. From young professionals looking for the perfect mini bachelor pad to established families looking to downsize, you’re bound to see a diverse range of shoppers and homes on this program.
You can currently watch four seasons of “Tiny House Hunting,” with more on the way. If you have a cable subscription, you can watch it on the FYI network. Or you can stream select episodes for free on the FYI website. Individual episodes and complete seasons can be purchased from Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Google Play, and iTunes.
Tiny House World
“Tiny House World” is very similar to “Tiny House Hunting” (and, by extension, “Tiny House Hunters”) but instead focuses on international tiny homes. While tiny homes are a huge trend in the United States, we rarely see examples of these small living spaces abroad. So this tiny house show is a unique take on the search for the perfect miniature home. Like its predecessors, this tiny house show features an individual, couple, or family searching for their dream tiny home. Their realtor shows them three homes that meet some or all of their needs, and from there the homebuyers pick the one they like best.
There is currently only one season of this tiny house show. But FYI hasn’t officially canceled it, so more episodes may premiere in the future. “Tiny House World” airs on the FYI network, and select episodes are available to stream on the FYI website. If you’d like to purchase individual episodes or seasons, you can do so through Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, Google Play, or iTunes.
Discover Your New Favorite Tiny House Show
Whether you’re a fan of home decor, home construction, or real estate, hopefully, you’ve found something on our list that piques your interest. Luckily, in an age of on-demand streaming, most television shows are available to us at any time for a small price. And if you do have a cable subscription, you can catch brand new episodes of these shows as they hit the air. So you never have to go without your tiny house show fix.
If you’ve already watched everything on our must-watch list, don’t fret. With the success of home improvement and real estate programs and the enduring popularity of tiny homes in general, we’re sure to see more of these programs pop up soon. But for now, you’ll have to settle for rewatching your favorite episodes of these tiny house shows.