sustainable natural non-toxic tiny spaces

How We Build Community Through Our Courses

The intention of Tiny Lifestyle is to tread lightly on the earth while assisting others to take a similar path:   We encourage and empower people to design and build their own tiny structures with our hands-on Traditional Timber Frame Joinery Courses.  These are available to students of all ages and skills, to collaborate and build a unique, environmentally-sustainable, 10m² Timber Frame.

Over a week's tuition, students join us at our property in beautiful Golden Bay, to gain a broad understanding of using large, greenwood timbers slotted together to form stunning, natural structures without the need for nails.  

Timber Frame Joinery Course, Takaka

In order to ensure each student gets the attention needed from tutor Graeme Scott, spaces are limited to just 8 people.  “An intimate group of eight like-minded people very quickly creates a feeling of whanaū,” says Simone Kidner. “We walk with each other through the process, laugh together and support each other’s learning.”

Adds colleague Liv Scott: “Watching the students grow is amazing: The ups and downs and joy when they overcome challenges or make a mistake and Graeme teaches them how to get out of that predicament – it's great to be a part of and witness their constant improvement.”

“There are many opportunities for us to get to know each other, including a communal dinner on Sunday evening before the hands-on part of the course starts on Monday morning,” says Simone.

Paynes Ford in beautiful Golden BayOur workshop is based just 2 kms from Takaka township with access to shops, bars and a community cinema.  There’s a stunning swimming hole just 2 minutes walk away where students can cool down after an intense days' productivity. Paynes Ford climbing wall and river walk; various mountain bike tracks; and the pristine waters of Pupu Springs are just 10 minutes away and a variety of beaches within close access by bike or car.


“Our communal house is on-site and double bedrooms are available for a fee or camping and campervan sites are free for participants.  This allows students to be as social as they choose while the house provides a great space for students to rest, away from the workshop.”

It's also a comfortable place for everyone to enjoy social meals:  Included in the cost of the course are wholesome, nutritious morning teas and lunches provided daily, plus communal evening meals on the first night and last day.  On this day, the completed frame will be erected and the results revealed: An exquisite, hand-crafted frame that can be replicated at home or adapted to suit people's needs.” 

“Once the frame starts going up people are just like 'Wow! This is so amazing,” says Liv.  “They get such a buzz out of this week of learning; some bits complicated, some bits hard but ultimately a process that everyone has worked through together.”

“We like to host a celebratory team meal after we've witnessed together, the outcome of this collective hard work,” says Simone.  “We honour the exquisite structure and all those who helped create this frame: A stunning, tiny space that will stand the test of time.”

The team celebrate a beautiful result - a 10m2 greenwood timber frame

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