- Shay Salomon -
Phone: 520.820.5262 | E-Mail: smallhouse@theriver.com | 2007 January - February Tour Details


Shay Salomon is an author, educator, and a builder in the field of natural construction methods.

Small House Society. Shay Salomon is a co-founder of the Small House Society, which she helped establish along with Nigel Valdez, Jay Shafer, and Gregory Paul Johnson in the fall of 2002, when Shay and Nigel visited Jay and Greg in Iowa City, and gave a talk at the local library. Since that time, the Small House Society has been recognized by Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The Columbia News Service, and other news media sources.

Shay Salomon in Doorway




Little House on a Small Planet. At the time of establishing the Small House Society in 2002, Shay and Nigel were traveling, collecting floor plans, stories, and photographs of the small house movement.

They worked on this project for about 7 years, and were supported in part by a grant from the Graham Foundation for the Fine Arts. This year, Lyons Press (GlobePequot) published their book, Little House on a Small Planet. LHSP is a self-help, home-improvement guide for people who want to increase their happiness by living in much less space.

Little House on a Small Planet


Order the Book. Click here to get your copy of Little House on a Small Planet.

* Those interested in writing a review of the book, may contact Shay to request a review copy.



Natural Building. Shay earns her living mainly as a carpenter and natural builder. She's taught at least a hundred courses in carpentry, straw bale building, solar design, and related subjects. She specializes in coaching owner builders, and teaching women's courses and, of course in building very small houses. [Top]


Shay Salomon Building


Lectures. Shay and Nigel give lectures and lead discussions in communities. They hope these discussions can broaden and strengthen the North American movement towards simpler, saner, happier living.

If you'd like them to visit your community, please contact them at smallhouse@theriver.com, or via Jennifer White, at the Simplicity Forum, jwhite@rootsystemsinstitute.net

Shay Salomon






Praise and Reviews for Little House on a Small Planet [Top]

  • "The book is informative and hopeful, even empowering. Salomon takes a refreshing approach in that instead of focusing intently on the problem of current housing trends, she provides the data we need to understand it, and then spends her energy on drawing out solutions that each one of us can choose to follow through. Power to the little house people!" - Kimberly Bird, Lime, 25 August 2006.
  • "The title says it all: 'Little House on a Small Planet.' With population,
    pollution and environmental pressures weighing heavily upon us, our planet
    grows smaller every day and the need for thoughtful, lower-impact housing becomes more urgent. This delightful book is full of inspiring ideas that will help you simplify your housing choices, make more environmentally responsible product and material choices and bring down the square footage of your next home. Or maybe you'll decide to take your current home and turn it into several. You won't be disappointed." - Wanda Urbanska, host/producer of PBS series, "Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska"
  • "I cannot recommend this book highly enough. For anyone who has ever dreamed of getting off the mortgage rat race and creating not just a house, but a cozy nest that fits - this is the book! Every page is an inspiration, filled with real-life stories and the author's philosophy and lessons on creating better, more affordable, sustainable, and very personalized housing. There is something here that will fit nearly every lifestyle. For those who want to live in a better way: Read this book!" - Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide, Simple Loving, and publisher of Simple Living Magazine.
  • "Little House on a Small Planet is revolutionary-in a gentle, soulful ways. Read it and learn how to get back to what life is really all about." - Carol Venolia, architect, columnist, Natural Home Magazine, and author of Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House
  • "At a time when the news is filled with stories of three-car garage McMansions, Shay Salomon offers a terrific corrective. LITTLE HOUSE ON A SMALL PLANET shows how smaller, cozier homes provide an antidote to America's epidemic of loneliness, by building community, saving energy and reducing our impact on the planet. If you've ever thought of scaling down, you have a good reason to read this book. If you haven't thought about it, you have an even better one!" - John de Graaf, PBS producer and author, AFFLUENZA: THE ALL-CONSUMING EPIDEMIC
  • "A thought-provoking journey through the magical and transformative world of simpler living. This text provides the reader with an essential and unique insight into the small house movement. Anyone concerned about runaway materialism and the stress-inducing clutter of our modern world should read this book." - Gregory Paul Johnson, President of the Small House Society


The tour was a great success. Many thanks to all who attended and supported the various events.

Little House on a Small Planet
with author Shay Salomon and Book Photographer Nigel Valdez
Jan 17 - Feb 8 2007
San Diego to Arcata CA .Tour

Shay Salomon will be selling her book and giving a Slide Show/Talk. Below is a list of locations for the tour below.

Hear Shay interviewed Fri Jan 10, 9-10 am & Mon Jan 13 9-10am Radio Interview Sustainable world Radio www.kcsb.org 91.9 FM Santa Barbara

Presents: Little House on a Small Planet

Slide Show & Booksigning Tour in California with Shay Salomon and Photographer Nigel Valdez

Live in less space but have more room and enjoy it. Does that sound like a contradiction? Smart readers will discover that on the contrary, living small can free up your mind, your wallet, and your soul. With the cost of living rising, the environment suffering from excessive building, now is time to scale back. Join the small house movement.

In Shay Salomon's newly published book, with a foreward by Francis Moore Lappe, Little House on a Small Planet ( www.littlehouseonasmallplanet.com) is a guidebook and an invitation, with floor plans, photographs, advice, and anecdotes. Discover how to build, remodel, redecorate, or just rethink your needs. Live close and simple and apply spiritual and social needs to your material desires. Pockets of people all over the continent are realizing the benefits of scaling down. You too can build a joyful, sane life that emphasizes home life over home maintenance.

Little House is split into three sections; building small houses, altering existing houses, and the politics of housing and lifestyle choices. The book is informative and hopeful, even empowering. Salomon takes a refreshing approach, instead of focusing intently on the problem of current housing trends, she provides the data needed to understand them, then spends her energy on drawing out solutions that each one of us can choose to follow through on.

In fact, the politics of housing is a theme threaded throughout the entire book. Reading news coverage after Hurricane Katrina, Salomon learned that in Houston, where many of the refugees were headed, 14% of all housing units (homes, apartments, duplexes, etc) were vacant. Salomon did some research on how this compares to the rest of the country. She found that in the year 2000 there were 10.4 million vacant units and 250,000 people sleeping in homeless shelters. This meant there were nearly 45 homes that were completely empty per person sleeping in shelters. Salomon asks, "How is it that we have a housing crisis? Maybe a homing crisis, or a sharing crisis, but this isn't a housing crisis. "

Shay Salomon is a carpenter and construction manager who coaches owner-builders towards a mortgage-free life. She has taught at least a hundred courses in carpentry, straw bale building, solar design, and women’s building courses. A cofounder with Greg Johnson, Jay Shafer, and Nigel Valdez of the Small House Society ( www.smallhousesociety.org), she wrote Little House on the Small Planet , which chronicles the small house movement and offers advice to people who want to improve their life by living in far less space. The photographer for Little House, Nigel Valdez, chose pictures of real people on average days in their little houses. Nothing appears staged. People are relaxing with their kids, their feet up on the coffee table, or shaving in the bathtub, which happens to be in the kitchen. Shay Salomon and Nigel Valdez have worked on this project for 7 years.

The Santa Barbara Permaculture Network sponsors the event. For more information please call (805) 962-2571, or email margie@sbpermaculture.org , www.sbpermaculture.org.

Quotes about Housing From the Book [Top]

“The Union of Concerned Scientists ranks housing third among destructive human enterprises, just after transportation and agriculture. But our housing need not be destructive. Again we can chose ! We can chose human scale, enhancing our connections with those we love. We can chose eco-scale, reducing our demand for the kind of energy that is disrupting life now and for future generations.”

“Construction has some alarming effects on the environment. Forty percent of all the raw materials humans consume, we use in construction. Building an average house adds seven tons of waste to the landfill! New house construction is arguably the single greatest threat to endangered species, even in areas where human population is on the decline, animals and plants are threatened each day, due to the construction of new houses. Might our houses feel more comfortable if they weren't so destructive.”

“Throughout North America building has been influenced by "green thinking", and houses have improved, but despite major advances in insulation and design, the typical house built today requires as much energy to heat and cool as one built in 1960. Why? Because it's bigger. House size and location are the greatest determinants of a home's effect on the environment. The challenge is to build a single family housing as efficient as a New York City apartment, which, on average uses a fraction of the energy of a typical detached house.”

Tour organizers
For Updates on Tour contact Santa Barbara Permaculture Network margie@sbpermaculture.org www.sbpermaculture.org 805-962-257 also check Shay Salomon Website www.littlehouseonasmallplanet.com

Jan 17 - Feb 8, 2007

Jan 12 Fri 9-10am & Mon Jan13 9-10am Radio Interview Sustainable world Radio www.kcsb.org 91.9 FM Santa Barbara with Shay Salomon

Jan 17 Wed 7:30 pm .San Diego World Beat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd
contact sdecc@igc.org (619) 255-6111 San Diego Permaculture Center & SDECC www.sdecc.igc.org

Jan 18 Thus morn/afternoon Design Institute of San Diego www.disd.org, 8555 Commerce Avenue, San Diego, CA 92121. This event is open to the public. Environmental Studies Class is at 10 am and the second at 2:00 pm. The class is held in room 404; the address of this classroom building is 8515 Commerce (it is across a small parking lot from 8555). Please park only in spaces marked 8555. Go to the main signed entrance to get directions to room 404. Contact Jane Higgenson by e-mail: archelonia@cox.net or phone (619) 444-3337.

Jan 18 Thurs 6pm Laguna Beach Latitude 33 Bookshop located at 311 Ocean Avenue City, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 Phone: (949)494-5403, Email: latitude33@earthlink.net Alternate contact is Bill Roley by e-mail: drroley@cox.net or cell phone: 949-413-2524.

Jan 19 Fri 6:30 9 pm San Juan Capistrano
Center for Universal Truth 27121 Calle Arroyo Ste. 2200, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 949-481-4040
Cost: $25 for Organic Dinner and Slideshowor $5 for Slideshow only (begins at 7:30
Contact "Deanna Moore" <moodea@wildmail.com> (949) 981-8067

Jan 20 Sat 10am Los Angeles David Kohn Audubon Center at Debs Park:
4700 North Griffin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90031 (323) 221-2255
Sustainable Los Angeles Lecture Series!
Special Two Part Lecture and presentation:
Free Urban Permaculture Design Course followed by Talk and Slide Show Presentation:
2:00 PM. "LITTLE HOUSE ON A SMALL PLANET Talk and Slide Show with
author Shay Salomon & Photographer Nigel Valdez
Contact David Kahn < info@sustainablehabitats.org> 1-323-667-1330
Go to website www.sustainablehabitats.org to get directions and RSVP
Isla Vista

Jan 21 Sun 8pm LA Ecovillage, 117 Bimini Place, Los Angeles 90004 (1 block east of Vermont just south of 1st St), Lois Arkin crsp@igc.org 213/738-1254 $10 (sliding scale okay)

Jan 22 Mon 7:45 Santa Barbara Public Library 40 East Anapumu St. Donation $5 Contact margie@sbpermaculture.org 805-962-2571 www.sbpermaculture.org

Jan 23 Tues 7:30 pm Ventura Tues April 25 Art Barn 856 East Thompson Blvd., Downtown Ventura (between Ash and Kalorama, behind Kids & Families Together) contact Lynne Okun <lbokun@earthlink.net> 805-338-2576. Donation $5

Jan 24 Wed, 1pm University California Santa Barbara, Isle Vista, Donald Bren School of Environmental Sciences and Management, Environmental Studies Program Conference Room Bren 4316. This presentation is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program. Contact information, please call (805) 893-2968 or email galbreath@es.ucsb.edu Alternative contact: David Cleveland 805-893-7502/2968 or e-mail: cleveland@es.ucsb.edu

Jan 24 Wed 6:30pm Solvang Library 1745 Mission Drive Solvang, CA 93463 (805) 688-4214.Donation $5-$10 Betty Seaman cobbetty@gmail.com, 805-698-3840

Jan 25 Thurs 6:30-8:30 San Luis Obispo Public Library 995 Palm Street. Contact Mikel Robertson gouldmund@hotmail.com 805 674 5534

Jan 26 Fri 7:30 pm Santa Cruz Louden Nelson Center 301 Center St. at Laurel St. Contact claudine desiree < claudinedesiree@yahoo.com> (831)423-5204. Donation $5-$10

Jan 27/28 Sat/Sun Oakland/Berkeley/SF Raines Cohen <rainesc@gmail.com> (planning talks on Sat and Sun)

Jan 29 Mon 7:30 pm Santa Rosa New College 99 6th Street Santa Rosa. Contact dbaker@newcollege.edu 707 568-2605

Jan 30 Tues Hopland 1pm - 3 pm Booksigning REAL GOODS SOLAR LIVING CENTER. Contact Solar Living Institute Kevin Pile Kevin.pile@solarliving.org 707.744.2017

Jan 30 Tues 7pm Hopland American Legion Hall 110 Feliz Creek Creek. Contact Solar Living Institute Kevin Pile Kevin.pile@solarliving.org 707.744.2017 www.solarliving.org

Jan 31 Wed Arcata 7pm Humboldt University, Natural Resources Building Room 101 1 Harpst St., Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. Contact CCAT Tatton tattonw@hotmail.com 1-707-826-3551

Feb 1 Thurs East Bay evening "Sergio Lub" <sergio@sergiolub.com >. Friendly Favors (This is a private invitation only event). Cosponsored Institute of Noetic Sciences and Gaia University Network.

Feb 2 Fri evening Sacramento Los Rios Community College (Waiting for more details and confirmation)

Feb 3 Sat. Truckee CA (still in planning stages)

Feb 4 Sun Nevada City, 7pm Helling Library Community Room 950 Maidu Avenue
Contact for info: Janaia Donaldson Yuba Gals Independent Media
janaia2004@yubagals.com 530-265-4244

Feb 6 Tues Pt Reyes 5:30 -6:30pm Radio Show with Jonathan Rowe Live interview with Shay
KWMR, 90.5 FM Pt Reyes and 89.3 FM Bolinas West Marin Community Radio

Feb 8, Thurs 7 - 8:30pm Builders Booksource 1817 Fourth Street (Near Hearst)
Berkeley, CA 94710 510-845-6874 service@buildersbooksource.com


Shay Salomon
Phone: 520.820.5262
E-Mail: smallhouse@theriver.com
Internet: http://www.resourcesforlife.com/library/people/shay-salomon
* Photographs on this page by Nigel Valdez and Tomoya Okamoto.