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25-Year-Old Business Owner’s Jungalow Tiny House


Elise Akin is just 25 years old, but that hasn’t stopped her from running her own Longboard Shop/Bakery (Bake and Skate) and building her very own mortgage-free tiny house which she’s been living in since January.

She calls it the “Jungalow” and appropriately so — the inside is a tropical oasis, filled with plants, mosaic tiles, and jungle wall art. She plans to rent out the space on Airbnb soon, too, which is super cool! We got the pleasure of interviewing her, so please check out the Q&A at the end of the post.

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Jungalow Tiny House: Home & Getaway!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Ombre stairs, cozy living room, and awesome desk.

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Look at that fun bamboo railing!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

I just love the plants on the wall here!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

“Normal” couch in the living room. Yay!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Loft bedroom #1: Jungle!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Loft bedroom #2: Finger-painted sunset!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Just in love with this honeycomb tile!

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Amazing hand-painted jungle in the bathroom.

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Here’s another view of the space. Don’t miss our interview with Elise! Keep scrolling…

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Images via Hola Tiny House

Interview with Elise: Tiny House Life

What are your name(s)? Elise Akin

How many people (and animals) are living in your tiny house? Just me for now, but I have a random cat that shows up on my doorstep sometimes.

Where do you live? How long have you lived tiny? I live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina! Right outside of Greenville. I’ve been in my house full time since January 2020, so about 6 or 7 months!

What do you do for work? Or do you travel full-time? I run my own longboard/bakery shop, called Bake and Skate. I know, it sounds funky, but see what I mean over at @bakeandskate. I also capture weddings when I’m not painting my days away.

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? Oh man, so so many reasons. I think the main reason is that I didn’t want a mortgage. I have been saving up my whole life, so I wanted to use that for something beautiful and that could bring Joy to this world, so I thought “why not a place where I can welcome people! And have it decorated however I want!”. I have always wanted to run my own Airbnb, so now we can.

How did you first learn about tiny life? I had been researching it for years, starting when I lived in New Zealand. It really hit that I wanted to wake up in my own place and be able to love people well with a place that was my own. Plus, the cost efficiency! A dream come true.

How long did it take to finish your tiny house? Oh man, I had some speed bumps along the way since I was a 25 year old girl building it by myself, so the construction industry took a bit of advantage of those factors. But all in all, about a year!

How did you build your tiny home? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves? Yes I definitely had help! I had a few people do different parts of it, like one guy to do the framing, another for the drywall, another for electricity, etc. Also some incredibly lovely friends who just wanted to come help paint and do the bathroom shower tiles. My super sweet boyfriend so lovingly volunteered to help paint the walls and stairs, too. 😉

How did you find a place to park and live in your tiny house? Facebook, strangely enough! I had posted in a SC permaculture group and this incredible family had reached back out to me saying they’d love to have my tiny house on their property.

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny? Freedom. Freedom to wake up at 5 and just make banana bread without wondering if I’m waking anyone up. Freedom to do more since I know bills and rent is so affordable. Freedom to welcome people into a house that is my own and love them fully.

What about some challenges? Composting toilet. Not a fan. I pee a lot.

What makes your tiny house special? All the natural light/ skylights. All the tropical plants. All the character.

What is your favorite part of your tiny home? All the skylights! I feel SO creative in my house.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny? Do it right the first time and you won’t have to pay for it twice. In my case, skylights. I skimped out and got the wrong ones just because they were a little cheaper, and then I had to pay for all new ones when they leaked. So don’t try to save money on the big things! Save money on decoration and furniture and food! But not roofing, windows, electrical, all that jazz.

Do you have a website, blog, or social media page where we can follow along? Yes! My instagram for it is @holatinyhouse and my personal page where I post more Story updates of it is @eliseakin

I am planning on having it as an Airbnb soon, so keep checking back in on the website if you’d like to come have your own tropical getaway!

Highlights:

  • Two loft bedrooms
  • Bathroom with shower and composting toilet
  • Hand-painted bathroom mural
  • Hand-painted bedroom sunset
  • Ombre stairs
  • Mosaic tile backsplash
  • “Normal” couch in living room
  • Bamboo railing
  • Future Airbnb spot!
  • Mortgage-free

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Mary Handel
    June 22, 2020, 2:01 pm

    The stairs are awesome. What an idea! You have a flair, Elise and demonstrate it well. I really like the yellow framed doorway to the bathroom Bright yellow makes you sit up and take notice! Green is also a favorite color of mine, even if it’s a jungle. Good job.,

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 23, 2020, 6:17 am

      She really outdid herself!

  • Avatar sheila
    June 22, 2020, 2:22 pm

    I love this. Beautiful and a living room!! Stairs are really flattering, the bathroom walls. Were the walls designed by an artist? Hubby does interior decorating and one man painted a bathroom in Santa Barbara, CA. Kitchen is a dream. I love Banana bread. Wake me up with the wonderful smell of Banana bread. I wouldn’t complain… 🙂 Beautiful tiny home.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      June 23, 2020, 6:17 am

      She painted the walls herself! She’s an artist too. Lovely work.

  • Avatar Kat
    June 22, 2020, 9:58 pm

    Awesome job! You Go Girl!

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