Three brand-new houses off busy Two Notch Road in Columbia seem a world away from the road’s heavy traffic. They’re in a wooded area that a visitor would believe was in a forest miles from any city. In addition to their unique location, the houses are different because of their size: just 400 square feet. They’re tiny houses, part of a new back-to-basics movement that is gaining traction across the United States. Friends Joanne Williams and Priscilla Preston thought up the houses when they met at Quaker meetings, where they talked about simplifying their lives. They’re renting the tiny homes to travelers at the moment, but are contemplating downsizing into them eventually. They'd like to see tiny house communities spread throughout the city to promote sustainability and harmony with the environment, Williams said. Preston said that the concept helped them to be less concerned about "the status of where you live, but the wholeness, the rightness of where you live."