25-year-old Derek lives in a beautifully handcrafted tiny house in Washington. He moved in after graduating from culinary school and plans to attend college for early childhood education. It allows him to live independently, simply, and affordably.

Like many, the idea first popped up after watching Tiny House Nation. Derek instantly knew he could live this way. If life in a bedroom worked for him, then a tiny home would feel luxurious. And that proved to be true! He began his journey by researching builders.

Ultimately, he landed on Big Freedom Tiny Homes. It’s a small craftsman shop based out of Bellingham, Washington. It is led by designer/builder Shannon Black. He’s known for his artisan details and for building one tiny house on wheels at a time by hand. Derek chose a 28-foot-long layout.

Derek’s tiny house comes to 238 square feet plus the lofts. It has a light, airy feeling with well-placed windows. The main living area has an open feel while maintaining enough wall space for functionality and privacy. Similarly, it has an artful balance of cozy nooks and open room with high ceilings.

His living room, for instance, is under the storage loft. The lower ceiling helps create a sense of coziness. While the two large corner windows keep it from feeling closed-in. Once you step out, you feel the spaciousness of the vaulted ceiling in the entryway and seating area. Derek made the living room feel like a distinctly separate zone with a simple decor trick—a large area rug.

As an avid cook, Derek appreciates his kitchen’s immense storage and prep space. The shelves next to the sink provide an excellent example of the thoughtful design. They are built into the back of his upper stairs. Typically, you only find storage on the front and sides of tiny house stairs, which he also enjoys. Derek can wash, dry, and store his dishes in an efficient row.

Likewise, Derek can wash, dry, and put away clothes in a convenient laundry room. Two sets of pocket doors separate this area from the kitchen and bathroom. Inside, he has an apartment-size stackable washer/dryer on one side. Derek’s closet is on the opposite side. It’s neatly contained behind a tri-fold door.

His tiny house cost $85,000 when he purchased it a couple of years ago. Derek is beyond grateful for the opportunity to secure a beautiful tiny home of his own and shares, “I was blessed that my family was able to finance it. He plans to save up to buy land in the future. Ultimately, Derek hopes to build a bigger house for cash over time while living tiny.

Watch his Tiny House Tour to see more!