Abel Zyl, a master tiny house builder, found a passion for carpentry at a very young age. His family built their own home when he was a child and his father was an electrician. By the time Abel was in college, he was building his own self-designed boat! Eventually, after taking inspiration from Dee Williams, Abel repurposed the materials from his boat project and collected a variety of reclaimed items to build his very first tiny house . He lived in the “Azavela,” which means “Blue Wind,” for a short time with his young daughter. Not long after, he began building handcrafted tiny homes for other people.
“I want to create houses that feel natural and almost nostalgic to be in, even if they’re brand new.”
“Zyl Vardos,” Abel’s tiny house company, has been in business for five years. During that time Abel and his crew have constructed over a dozen tiny homes, each thriving with character. Abel’s passion and artistic talent breath life into his work. His now famous designs are given whimsical names, such as: Little Bird, Ark, Fortune Cookie, Pinafore, and Dewdrop.
Last year we visited one of Abel’s customers, Bernadette, in Maryland. We were ecstatic to tour her gothic-style Zyl Vardos tiny house: the Pinafore. It’s still one of our favorites!
Over the years, Abel has developed an artistic trademark. Each of his tiny homes features a curved roofed and almost all of them have a “Zyl Moon Window.” Abel builds with they help of several carpenters and a CNC router. His workshop is located on a farm in Olympia, Washington.
Abel jokes that he often chooses the more difficult path, much to his own chagrin, to create complex and unique tiny house designs. In this video tour, Abel takes us through his open air workshop and three of his tiny homes, including the first one he ever built.
It’s wonderful to see the build process from a small business/family man perspective. Abel mentioned that his first tiny home, which is still a big part of his life, will always hold a special place in his heart.
Abel Zimmerman is a superhero in my book. He has stretched the notion of what is possible in a tiny house and continues to inspire me to dream big! Same can be said of Tiny House Giant Journey!!! Cheers!
One thing Mr. Zyl might consider is using laminated beams for the curved beams on his tiny homes–barns here in MN often use them, and they last decades and are lighter and stronger than cut wood because the grain isn’t cut as much. He might even persuade a maker of such beams to create a jig that they could use for his orders whenever he needs it–I’d guess there’s got to be somebody doing this in Washington.
Yeah – Mail systems are much easier and you can move all your subscribers over. I looked at MailChimp and MadMimi as they’re both free up to about 20k subscribers. Choose a blog template, tweak it a bit, add a subscribe widget…. not hard and lots of support. MC has been around longer so has a bit more integration with other plugins. MM has smaller gradations if you get over 22k subscribers. Then your email subscribers are not a black box, lots of stats – including how many opens, and so forth. Less likely to go to spam too.
Thanks for sharing this. Was this done on your journey through the west and posted later?
For email subscribers, you may want to consider sending an excerpt. This will give you better reader stats but for readers, they can miss some of the content like the video that’s only on the web site. They may think they’ve read the article without seeing it all.
Thanks for your continued sharing.
That’s a great comment. We’ve been struggling with our email system honestly. Really we should set ourselves up with mailchimp or a system like that. Glad you like the post though!