The best thing about living in a tiny house is freedom. Creative freedom, financial freedom, freedom with my time.
I’m Elise Akin, I’m 26 years old, and I run my own half bakery/half longboarding shop called Bake and Skate.
I had been researching tiny houses for years, starting when I lived in New Zealand. Mainly I wanted to be mortgage-free, have a place where I can have complete creative control over the design, and a fun place where I can rent it out to give other people the experience of a tiny house without having to have their own.
I knew I wanted a full kitchen because I love to cook. I knew I wanted lots of skylights because I feel the most creative in heaps of natural light. And I knew I wanted a guest loft because I wanted friends to come and stay with me.
The building process was a journey. I don’t want to get into too many details, but a word of advice: do it right the first time and you won’t have to pay for it twice. I.e., skylights.
I had some speed bumps along the way while I was building my tiny house. Since I was a 25-year-old girl building it by myself, the construction industry took a bit of advantage of those factors. But all in all, I built my tiny in about a year.
The main idea behind the design was: having lots of light, a tropical and colorful atmosphere, a vibrant house, one that people feel creative in. Also, plants. Lots. Of. Plants. All the skylights and the jungalow style of it all make my tiny house quite unique. I don’t think I’ve seen too many tiny houses like this before, so I hope I’m able to give some funky inspiration to someone who thinks all tiny houses have to be wooden on the inside.
I have storage in the stairs, under the stairs, in the ottoman, in my art studio, all over the place. I have a pull-out cabinet in my kitchen where I can keep dry goods, so that’s handy.
My favorite exact spot is at my kitchen bar, looking out into the woods.
I do have privacy in my tiny house. I’m close enough to my neighbors to feel like neighbors, but far enough away that they can’t see my light or hear me blasting Rosalia on Spotify. 😉
The overall cost was around 25k, including all the costs of me having to go back and install things the RIGHT way.
My tiny house is located in Greenville, South Carolina. I reached out to a Facebook group called South Carolina Tiny House Enthusiasts and just wrote that I was building a tiny house if anyone was interested in me having my house on their land. And I am so so lucky to have found the family I did. They are the biggest blessing. The additional cost for having my house in this location is $400 a month. The downsizing process was not too bad. It did make me realize how many shoes and dresses I have, though.
I can now welcome people into my house knowing that I have control over how long they are able to stay, how I can help accommodate them, how I can love them. Especially with guests for Airbnb, I am so excited to host people in this tiny house. (I won’t be present! The whole house will be theirs, by the way.)