It’s a common dream to make life work in a smaller space, and the tiny house has become the holy grail. From a boutique tiny house hotel in Portland to the popular show Tiny House Hunters, there’s no shortage of ways to experience that tiny life either in reality or vicariously. Still, as satisfying as it is to watch HGTV to see the look on someone’s face on when they realize they can’t fit their queen size mattress into a loft, it’s also nice to see a fictionalized, yet maybe even more realistic, account of living in a such a small space.
Enter Coyote (Ethan Embry), the ne’er-do-well son on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. Watching Coyote suffer from lack of space speaks to me, and it’s what I credit with finally convincing my parents not to downgrade to the extreme. Here are some lessons to be learned from Coyote’s experience in his cute-on-the-outside, disaster-on-the-inside tiny cottage.
1. Buyer beware
Coyote, looking for a cheaper rental situation, bought his tiny house off a scrapper in a junkyard — and even got a fringe jacket in the deal. I don’t know, maybe don’t buy your home from the same place you’d take a non-functioning washing machine to be disposed of.
2. Own property on which to park
Coyote bought his tiny house before realizing he had nowhere to put it. Thanks to the kindness of some extended family, he’s able to park it in Mallory’s ex-husband’s driveway.
3. Don’t expect to keep a stocked kitchen
At one point in season three, Coyote is given a leftover container of eggs. He hands them to Mallory, who’s dropping him off, saying, “My egg holder only has room for two eggs, would you mind storing the rest in your normal-sized fridge?”
4. Cooking is going to be a nightmare
Coyote has to borrow heavily from Mallory to make dinner for his new girlfriend, presumably because he doesn’t have anywhere to store pans. “Thank you for letting me borrow the pot, and all the ingredients,” he tells her. He makes use of vertical space at least, stacking dishes close to the ceiling — yet well within reach because the ceiling is closer than you’d think.
5. Forget having anyone stay over
Speaking of his new girlfriend, Coyote tries to impress Nadia but quickly realizes there’s nowhere in his house for them to mess around. “Let’s do this in the back of my car where there’s more room,” she finally says, after a few failed attempts.
All that aside, Coyote manages to have great taste. As useless as his tiny house may seem at times, it’s impeccably, albeit impractically, decorated on the inside. It’s almost enough to make me reconsider my tiny house stance — but not quite.