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Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos

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This is the Ampersand Tiny House on Wheels.

It was designed and built by Zyl Vardos in Olympia, Washington.

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Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos

Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos

Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos Ampersand Tiny House by Zyl Vardos

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 84 comments… add one }
  • DM
    September 19, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Another Zyl Vardos beauty. More modern than many of his previous builds. So many elements I love. Am trying to figure out the easiest way to modify my cabinets to include the toe-kick drawers. Need every possible bit of storage in my small kitchen.

  • Simon
    September 19, 2016, 3:32 pm

    Usually I dislike all wood interiors as they look like you would be living in a sauna, however I love this type of wood panel finish. I also like the roof line which makes the loft that much more open.

    I would remove the ‘L’ of the sofa to create more floor space but that’s just your own choice of furniture. The overall colour scheme is great and the choice of darker woods at the windows avoids a uniform look. Well done to all who worked on this house.

  • Dick
    September 19, 2016, 4:07 pm

    Wow! I love it–and the couch that looks as if my back would be very comfortable sitting on it! I do wonder if there’s space for a w/d combo there, since the pics don’t show it. I assume there’s a closet to the left of the door. Yes, I’d really like a 360-degree tour…

    Great house for one or two people!

    • September 19, 2016, 9:47 pm

      If the kitchen counter were extended, you could put a washer cabinet there. I don’t currently recommend any of the combos that are available in North America. They have too many technical problems. There are some great compact pairs though!

      FYI: I am the builder of this house. Glad you all like it!!!

      • Denise
        October 3, 2016, 5:49 am

        Lovely craftsmanship as usual. What is the floor made out of? It looks like it might be rubber?

      • Dick
        December 3, 2016, 12:22 am

        Mr. Zyl, I appreciate your reading these comments and your willingness to respond. I, for one, would love to see some reviews of w/d combos; I know there”s a already a post on THT, but it doesn’t seem to review the pros and cons of each model, let alone the pros and cons of w/d combos in general. Hannah of Pocket Mansions mentioned in a video that she put a combo in the house she designed, and it shook the house when it ran (https://tinyhousetalk.com/woman-designsbuilds-pocket-mansion-tiny-house/)…

        • Jeanmarie Missale
          September 15, 2020, 1:28 am

          How much would this tiny house cost ? Is it for sale ?

      • Danielle DiLisio
        January 31, 2017, 11:47 pm

        I ADORE your homes, they sre simply beautiful in everyway. Please don’t stop building them, I’m saving up!

        • Dick
          September 15, 2020, 3:22 pm

          @Jeanmarie, yes this house is for sale. It’s one of Abel Zimmerman Zyl’s custom builds. See http://www.zylvardos.com.

      • Abel Zimmerman Zyl
        February 9, 2017, 6:17 pm

        I am assuming you are talking about the bathroom: This sink is quite narrow, so you would stand at the END of it.. not on the longer side. It is comfortable to use this way.

    • Dick
      December 14, 2016, 10:49 pm

      Oops–that’s the BATHROOM

      • Dick
        December 14, 2016, 10:51 pm

        to the left of the front door! Wish this machine would stop anticipating my needs and submit the comment only when I *purposely* click Submit…

        • Eric
          December 15, 2016, 5:43 am

          Suggest you use a computer rather than a phone or tablet. No problems at this end, using a PC and sometimes a laptop.

  • Joanne Everett
    September 19, 2016, 4:10 pm

    This man is a genius, love everything about this one and his designs in particular. Excellent use of space, I wonder if the deck is removable for transportation.

  • oxide
    September 19, 2016, 4:23 pm

    Very clever to put the refrigerator under the staircase! There doesn’t seem to be a W/D, but I guess you could fit a small one under the staircase, where those doors are now.
    There does seem to be a tall cabinet/closet next to the stove, with pots hanging on the front of it.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos
    September 19, 2016, 5:59 pm

    OMGosh by golly I love this!! A real sofa set up, stairs with a handrail. Special touches like the curved window and door glass the mimic the design or the homes roof shape. And NO draweror cupboard handles to bump into, but cutouts. And look at ALL that storage space even in the kickboard areas.

    • oxide
      September 20, 2016, 8:17 am

      There’s a little snafu with the sofa. The shelf under the window — with the lamp on it — is 2 inches too low. The back of the sofa doesn’t fit under the shelf so there’s a 6-8 inch empty space behind the sofa. For a tiny house, that’s significant. But the fix is really easy, just raise or remove the shelf.

      • Large Marge
        September 20, 2016, 2:11 pm

        Around here, we are quite familiar with the acronym “S.N.A.F.U.”

        Situation Normal, All Fouled Up! We usually have a couple with kippers for breakfast, three or four more by supper. To maintain perspective, handmade wine or craft beer helps. Vivacity Organic Sippin’ Gin is reserved for a really great FUBAR. Or so we hear.

        Expectation = disappointment, frustration.
        Challenge = opportunity.

        • Annette
          October 19, 2016, 6:49 pm

          …or possibly one could remove the feet from the sofa so the back could slide under the shelf?

          I like the stairs a lot. For one thing they access the higher side of the ceiling, and they have a rail. So often one sees stairs with no railing.

      • Marcia shields
        February 2, 2017, 10:50 pm

        Or….room for more storage back there!

      • Abel Zimmerman Zyl
        February 9, 2017, 6:20 pm

        If the sofa were pushed under the shelf, you would bump your head on it. So, it is placed nicely just level with the back cushion. The owner stores some folding tables in the gap behind the sofa.

  • September 19, 2016, 7:01 pm

    Really love this one. Very cozy just love the color they chose for the couch. It seems bright and airy. Love all the windows especially the one in the loft!! Love the woodwork, and all the storage under the stairs. Awesome kitchen cabinets! This tiny home is really lovely!! Carol???

  • Rando Thyr
    September 19, 2016, 7:25 pm

    My favorite is the use of toe kick drawers. Great use of space!
    Love the stair cubby holes too.

  • Robin Montana
    September 20, 2016, 12:49 am

    Perfectly beautiful!

  • Sparrow
    September 20, 2016, 11:23 am

    It’s cute, but I HATE that bathroom!!! So tiny with the toilet so close to the sink. No way I could put up with that.

  • andrea
    September 21, 2016, 8:14 pm

    How much did it cost to build this tiny house? This house is so beautiful! !!!

  • Allin
    September 21, 2016, 9:53 pm

    This is outstanding!

  • Kathy
    September 22, 2016, 12:08 am

    The size of the living room is fabulous! The couch and front door rock! Simply gorgeous…

  • Dan Jones
    September 22, 2016, 4:14 pm

    WOW! You could put up lots of narrow depth shelving over the toilet to artfully arrange all those toilleteries. Sofa accommodates extra guests (but don’t let them get too comfortable).

  • Sarah
    September 23, 2016, 12:35 am

    Vardos is a genius with windows, so creative! I also love the toe kick drawer with all the foil and such and the countertop! What exactly is that made of? It looks like stainless steel but has a wavy pattern.

    • February 9, 2017, 6:21 pm

      It is heavy gauge stainless steel. I welded it, then put the ‘wavy’ brush finish on it myself.

  • Megan
    October 19, 2016, 8:10 pm

    Perfection right here. Period.

    • Natalie
      October 20, 2016, 6:49 am

      So glad you like it! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Marsha Cowan
    October 19, 2016, 9:03 pm

    I like this one! I like this one a lot!

    • Natalie
      October 20, 2016, 6:50 am

      I do too! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Tracy Meighan
    October 20, 2016, 12:17 am

    Sexiest Tiny House I Have Ever Seen!! Wow.

  • Maria
    October 20, 2016, 6:49 am

    What can I say? I Love all your homes Abel. They all take my breathe away. Such a great craftsman. I would love one of your homes,now I just need the money.

    • Natalie
      October 20, 2016, 6:50 am

      I’m happy you like it so much, Maria. He is awesome! — Tiny House Talk Team

    October 20, 2016, 7:46 am

    I love it it’s different, but yet not over the top that it would scare hell out of the neighbors if you parked it on your property… Almost everything that has come from Zyle Vardo’s has been done with good taste and with thought behind his designs…….

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 2:03 pm

      Agreed. Zyl is a master πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Mary
    October 20, 2016, 10:07 am

    So many windows, I’m afraid I would feel like a gold fish.
    Light is excellent, except for heat in South and sleeping in darkness.
    Obviously a designer to watch and I will.m

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 2:04 pm

      Haha I am such a cave-dweller! I love the idea of windows, but then I hate the idea of people looking at me πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

    October 20, 2016, 1:07 pm

    This is nice too, it’s got a lot of storage spaces. A very practical tiny home.

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 2:04 pm

      Agreed πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Jean C
    October 20, 2016, 5:39 pm

    Is Zyle Vardo a real man or a group of engineers? Say like the Wizard of Oz,because his designs are pretty far out there but beautiful. Does he custom make those curved glasses for the windows n doors? Or where do they come from? Keep up the good work!!

    • Dick
      October 20, 2016, 7:28 pm

      Actually, his name is Abel Zimmerman Zyl; he posted a comment earlier in this discussion. A vardo is a gypsy wagon, and his THOWs are designed to resemble them, hence Zyl Vardos.

      • Natalie
        October 21, 2016, 2:05 pm

        Thanks, Dick πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

        • Dick
          December 3, 2016, 12:23 am

          Hey, Natalie, one of my careers was teaching college business, so I LOVE to correct people! ROFL

      • February 9, 2017, 6:28 pm

        I am real. I design all my structures AND build them at my shop (yes, I have a few carpenters). We create all our windows, doors, cabinets, roofs, and metal work. About the name: My friend Dee kept calling my work Zyl’s Vardos, and I guess it stuck. However, they are pretty ‘out there’ to be considered Romany vardos.

  • Ginger
    October 21, 2016, 1:31 am

    Wow! I am 67 with health issues. Have had a knee replaced, had open heart surgery. I currently live in a 396 sq ft house, but dream of a handmade THOW, but many of them don’t look accessible for someone like me. This one is perfect! The stairs are very accessible and if, for some reason, I couldn’t get up them, I could be comfy on the sofa. And the loft has quite a tall ceiling and a lovely window. Seems to be quite a bit of storage. And the light wood gives it an airy Scandinavian look. And the lovely door! I just love it. One of my all time faves. If only I was wealthy!

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 2:05 pm

      I’m so happy you liked it, Ginger πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

  • October 24, 2016, 3:56 am

    I have noticed the past month or so, many people are calling their tiny houses on wheels THOW, Tiny house RV’s.Which they are not meant to be Recreational Vehicles unless built inside a van, bus, or truck vehicle. I understand a Tiny house can be moved from one site to another, since it is on wheels, being the person has a proper vehicle or uses a tow truck that can handle pulling at least 10,000 to 15,000 pounds. To continuing to pull it around,from area to area, like it was a true RV,would likely cause damage to the THOW such as cracked or broken windows, drywall or tile problems , correct me if I am wrong. The initials RV do not belong with tiny houses just a technicality ,but every one still may continue to design, have fun building and enjoy living in their THOW. Please do not think it is an RV to pull all over the place, hopefully no one has been misled by this mislabeling.
    Thank you, JC

    • Natalie
      October 24, 2016, 9:19 am

      Hi Jean, THOW stands for “Tiny House On Wheels.” This how is on wheels, therefore it is a THOW, but that doesn’t make it an RV πŸ™‚ — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Lisa E.
      October 26, 2016, 12:50 pm

      You can always tell a Zyl Vardo because it generates so many comments and so much excitement!

      Love this flat-back build. It is so very interesting to see how this asymmetrical curved roof space is articulated in the hands of master craftsmen. The only other one I’ve seen is Anita’s “Lilypad Planet” in Portland built by Small Home Oregon (Walter Quade) but that interior interpretation is very ethnic whereas this one is modern-homey.

      If I could purchase this build, though, I would change the bathroom. Possibly a standard flush with a sink-above (the water tank) would allow a freer flowing articulation and more body space..

      Love all the rest of it; a homey feast for the eyes.

      • Natalie
        October 27, 2016, 10:03 am

        Those are some great ideas — and yes, Zyl is a master! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Claude
    December 15, 2016, 10:16 am

    Beautiful, ingenious design, really like this one.

  • Lisa T
    December 16, 2016, 10:42 am

    Just wondering what kind of flooring that is… I love that it has no seams. Could you please tell me what it is made from? Thanks!

  • Dean B
    December 30, 2016, 10:36 pm

    I thibk this is exquisite! I love to lounge on the couch after a tough day. ? So many tiny homes have such limited seating. This home is superb! Well done.

    • Dean B
      December 30, 2016, 10:37 pm


    • Natalie
      January 2, 2017, 9:58 am

      Yes I really like this build! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Lisa D Lucas
    January 10, 2017, 3:31 pm

    I think I’m the 3rd or 4th to inquire after the flooring. I’m thinking true Linoleum or Marmoleum brand. Still, would also like to know for sure. Love the entire place (here comes the but). If the curve of the roof was a bit greater, there would be more toe room at the bottom of the bed in the loft. I’m only 5’3″ and it looks cramped to me. I imagine it might cause some issues with bending the sheet goods, though. Just a thought.

  • Kimberly Duncan
    January 27, 2017, 10:10 pm

    I sure would love to know a source for that sectional!

  • Danielle DiLisio
    January 31, 2017, 11:43 pm

    I don’t think there is a design of Zyl’s that I don’t love. He is a true artist and craftsman. My dream is to own one of his masterpieces one day!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 1, 2017, 8:48 am

      Totally agree πŸ™‚

  • Nancy
    February 6, 2017, 1:35 pm

    OH my goodness!!! This is stunning! I sure wish I could afford one of his creations!!!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 7, 2017, 7:33 am

      Me too!

  • kid cardona
    February 9, 2017, 8:29 pm

    Very well done on this one. For me the only change l would make is putting a frosted glass on the front door.
    Such a beautiful home.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 10, 2017, 9:52 am

      It’s great! And frosted glass is a great idea!

  • Eric
    February 13, 2017, 4:44 pm

    Zyl Vardos, the man who incorporates simple design elements that make a place so, so special.

    His name seems to be a byword for amazing design and incredibly meticulous and well thought out construction.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 14, 2017, 7:12 am

      He is the best! So masterful.

  • elana Wilkins
    February 19, 2017, 1:45 am

    Yes please let us know where we could purchase the sectional seen here. Thanks.beautiful design.

  • amsterdamsel
    March 23, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Ooooh, what a sweet space! The wood surface is beautiful – the is a warmth and whimsy that marries perfectly with the modern finishes. The loft appears to be little more than space for a bed – sort of a bed shelf, but at least it is easily accessed – no ladders for me, thank you. Yep. I could live in this. Well done, Zyl Vardos; I am a fan!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 27, 2017, 9:05 am

      It’s the whimsy that I just adore πŸ™‚

  • Betty
    May 22, 2018, 6:12 pm

    This is an awesome THOW. But the bathroom….sorry no!😒

  • Ann
    May 22, 2018, 6:30 pm

    I really like most of the features. I don’t care for tiny bathrooms unless there is enough room to stand in front of a sink, with a mirror. Of course, to each his own.

    That shelf behind the couch leaves unused space (or space not easily acessed). I would remove shelf, push couch to that wall and attach shelf at the opposite short side, or maybe at seat level with skinny cabinet below?

    I would put some kind of railing so people won’t fall off 2nd floor if they roll out of bed by accident.

    Also, I would make the steps with hinges because they’re deep.

    Very nice work, sir!

  • bob
    August 28, 2018, 5:07 pm

    August 28, 2018: This article is part of a collection of MAIN FLOOR SLEEPING yet, no mention of it and no photos to show.

    This is the second one listed under a subject which reads:
    A collection of amazing tiny homes with main floor sleeping

    Someone screwed up.

    • James D.
      January 19, 2019, 2:03 pm

      Main floor sleeping doesn’t automatically mean it’s the main sleeping area. Main levels often conflict with living room usage. So compromises like a couch that turns into a bed is a common solution, along with Murphy beds, trundle beds, day beds, etc.

  • Julie Bryan
    February 10, 2022, 12:45 pm

    I love his stuff and I believe this is dated 2016 and he is no longer in Wa., but in Oregon. If I had the money I would buy this tomorrow. Question: there is a cabinet like structure across from the bathroom. It has bowls hanging on it. What is it? Coming in the back or side door, there is a bench it. The cabinet sits next to it. Is the toilet and shower separate? Is it like a pantry? Anybody knows? That space by the side door would be good for a washer and dryer. I wonder how much his prices have changed since then and now. Specially now the price of wood. Anyway love his stuff and that he is located on the west coast, close by. Love his interview with a gal on youtube. He shows his very first tiny house and his factory. Great stuff can’t wait to see what he comes up with say 20 years. Thanks people

    • James D.
      February 10, 2022, 7:45 pm

      Where did you hear he moved to Oregon? His website and social media sites still list WA…

      While his website seems to list current prices, like this model starts about $12K higher than I recall…

  • Julie Bryan
    February 10, 2022, 12:51 pm

    I love his stuff. If I had the money I would buy this tomorrow. Question: there is a cabinet like structure across from the bathroom. It has bowls hanging on it. What is it? By the door, there is a bench next to it. The cabinet sits next to the bench. Is the toilet and shower separate? Is it like a pantry? Anybody knows? I think it is where a washer and dryer is? Because looking at that area outside there is a dryer hose hanging down. I wonder how much his prices have changed since then and now. Specially now the price of wood. Anyway love his stuff and that he is located on the west coast, close by. Love his interview with a gal on youtube. He shows his very first tiny house and his factory. Great stuff can’t wait to see what he comes up with say 20 years. Thanks people

    • James D.
      February 10, 2022, 7:42 pm

      Handmade armoire closet…

  • Shelly J Hostetler
    May 2, 2022, 7:17 am

    I’m a true fan of Zyl Vardo. The man’s a design genius whose incredible craftsmanship is his signature on everything he does!

    With The Ampersand, I loved the quirky, artsy touches Zyl adds to all his creations. But, this time, something in my head went BOING when I saw the sleeping loft! “How in the WORLD”, I wondered, “is anyone supposed to tuck-in the sheets at the foot of their bed without getting a compression fracture of their spine?!” If anyone’s got any good ideas on this, I’d love to know! :0)

    • James D.
      May 2, 2022, 1:12 pm

      Ever heard of the Hospital Corner and safety pin method? Would only have to worry about it when removing for cleaning then… With a foam mattress you should be able to fold it onto itself to get easier access to the corners or you can pull the mattress out a bit and rotate it to access the corner…

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