Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands.
He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014).
Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers.
You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube: http: //www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lloyd+kahn>
Lloyd and his wife and co-author, Lesley Creed, live in West Marin County, California.
"I just inhaled your book, reading it cover to cover in one
sitting. It's all that I hoped it would be. Now my favorite book of
-Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, Wired magazine; founder, Cool Tools (kk.org)
"Warning: Reading the book may lead to pulling up stakes and
heading into the hills to claim your own half-acre homestead."
-Patrick Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle
"The King of D.I.Y. Dwellings -- Before cabin porn and van life
were hashtags on Instagram, before tiny houses were a movement, Mr.
Kahn, now 84, was the indefatigable champion of their funky, D.I.Y.
antecedents. ...his new book, The Half-Acre Homestead...
(is) a memoir of sorts of this hard-won idyll, it is also a love
letter to Ms. Creed, a skilled artisan and gardener whose glorious
handiwork is vividly portrayed."
-Penelope Green, New York Times
"The book is absolutely WONDERFUL...The language is modest and
direct, the inspiration is down to earth and celestial...Gorgeous
book, a ...magnificent one-of-a-kind gift to us all."
-Peter Nabokov, professor of American Indian Studies and World Arts and Cultures at UCLA
"I think it's the best book you've done since our
-Bob Easton, designer and co-editor of Shelter, now an architect in Santa Barbara
"I just read the book cover to cover, and think it's my favorite
-Charles Post on Instagram
" The sincerity and harmony just shine through on every page.
The love is baked in!"
-Elise Cannon, Publishers Group West
-"...the whole thing is about a harmony in life that few achieve
but most desire..."
Jack Fulton, photographer and life-long friend of Lloyd's
"I LOVE the new book. It is beautiful and useful...You've so
well captured not only how your homestead looks but also its soul
-Charlotte Mayerson, formerly Senior Editor, Random House
-Bill Steen, co-author of The Strawbale House
"What a treasure!"
-Charlie Winton, musician/publisher
"Love the new book."
"Your place looks really great, especially with the excellent
-Drew Langsner, author of Handmade: Vanishing Cultures of Europe and the Near East, and Country Woodcraft
"It is a lovely, friendly, warm, and useful book."
-Yoshio Komatsu, photographer, co-author of Built By Hand, author of Wonderful Houses Around the World
"Your new book couldn't have come at a more perfect time."
-Jay Nelson, artist/builder
"The Half-Acre Homestead has become my mainstay. I open
the book to any page and immediately feel comforted.... Thank you
for introducing this book to the world. The timing couldn't have
"You have published another valuable, inspiring and reassuring
book that is especially appropriate given our anxious times."
"A much-needed small oasis of beauty and sanity in terrible
"I wish that I could have read something like this when I was
"I think you and Lesley are our modern Adam & Eve put here to
set us straight!!"
-Irene Engstrom Kaus
"A customer recently brought in your new book The Half-Acre
Homestead; it looks amazing."
> -Jim Normandi, The Fairfax Backyard Farmer
"I don't need to tell you of the possibilities considering this
virus and what a book like yours can mean to so many who are losing
-Bob Kahn (Lloyd's brother)
"This is a book worthy to add to anybody's library if you're
interested in some level of self sufficiency. Old pros and creative
people who are in tune with their surroundings."
-Mike Woods (from comment on Instagram)
"Lloyd, my book just arrived! I LOVE IT!! So beautiful! This is
your grand masterpiece! I plan to go through it very slowly and
savor it. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!"
"Thanks a lot for all these beautiful things you share with us.
-Josep Perez, Catalonia
"...a road map to help lead you back to your roots."
"An instruction manual"
-DS, Northern California
"The Half Acre Homestead is packed with practical
tips.... During lockdown I built rough copies of two of your
-Bill Choquette, New Zealand
Many folks dream of being self-sufficient on a half-acre
homestead somewhere. The person I know who's come closest to that
goal is Lloyd Kahn, who has evolved a do-it-yourself lifestyle near
a city that really works and is not a fantasy. He's put his 46
years of building his own homes, foraging for wild foods, raising
plants, traveling in a van, working from home, self-publishing, and
all-around DIY into one photographic book. The Half-Acre
Homestead is not how-to; it's a visual demonstration of what an
integrated handmade life looks like, for real. At 85 years young,
Lloyd Kahn is still doing it! He is one of my heroes. -KK
-Kevin Kelly -- Recommendo, March 15, 2020