I remember it was the year we were praying for a tiny house, and this is what we got. It's more practical for a family than an actual Tiny House, but we're faced with choices how to make it our home. The kitchen doesn't have any cabinets- just a sink- and the rest of the house is also fairly bare-bones (though, strangely, the lounge has a very nice fireplace).
Stay tuned for when we move in and talk through everything we're getting second-hand. I haven't decided exactly how much detail you want, but either way the reason for talking about it is to say that our stuff doesn't need to be perfect.
Along these lines, one thing we haven't really had to think about before are the chemicals we bring into a home when we paint or bring in new mattresses- we've painted stuff before, but in small doses and we never really felt like we had a choice to do things differently. We've never had a new mattress. So we researched and found that
- fire retardants and other stuff may or may not be really bad for us and Noah and
- the only natural latex beds in South Africa are imported and cost about the same as a small car
We weren't really sure what to do. Mattresses are expensive, and we want to vote with our money. It turns out (oh internet) that there are people who make their own foam mattresses. The foam is still made from polyurethane, and we're not exactly thinking fire protection, so it's not that we're finding a totally perfect alternative. But we found a factory that sells foam of whatever density you like, whatever size you like, so that's what we're doing. We are considering covering it with sheeps wool, my favourite textile.
Then we moved on to looking at paints, as it's quite possible our house hasn't been painted in a million kajillion years. Paints are also not the greatest thing on the planet. Who knew?! Well, we did, but last time we painted we couldn't quite deal with it. Anyway, turns out you can make your own paint from milk or hydrated lime, so that's what we're trying. It's not that we'll succeed, but I'll try and let you know either way. It's less about the actual chemicals (there's a million other chemicals we eat in our food, because that's a place we're dealing with just yet.) and more about the possibility that we CAN do something different, it's not that hard, so why not?