Breaking up with a long-term partner can be a life-changing experience. It has the potential to completely transform your world, but the outcome is largely determined by how you choose to embrace it: as an opportunity for growth or as a descent into despair. Jen Gressett had the American dream. She was married with two children and lived in a large 3,000-square-foot house near Boulder, Colorado.
Then she found herself at the center of this life-changing journey. Jen sought to move on after her 18-year marriage ended by finding a new place to call home.However, she quickly realized that the houses for sale in her area were out of her price range. When confronted with this challenge, she turned to social media, where she discovered a growing trend: the appeal of the tiny house lifestyle.
The 51-year-old designer now lives in a charming 520-square-foot house with a modern farmhouse interior. In an inspiring twist, she shares valuable tiny house lifestyle insights and tips with her incredible community of 160,000 Instagram followers.”I never imagined myself living in a tiny house, but I can’t imagine my life without it,” Jen explained.Jen began her tiny house lifestyle quest four years ago.
It all started when she paid $45,000 for a tiny house shell from a local builder. She also paid an additional $3,000 for a floor plan that could be used by the builder. However, the initial builder had to live up to expectations. Despite providing an unrealistic price quote, they were unable to complete the tiny home within the six to eight months promised.
Undaunted, Jen decided to entrust her project to a different builder the following year, MitchCraft Tiny Homes. While their price quote was slightly higher than her budget, she was comforted by their reputation for trustworthiness and expertise.Unfortunately, the unfolding pandemic at the time unleashed a slew of difficulties. Further delays in the construction process were caused by supply chain disruptions and skyrocketing material costs.
Before finishing the interior, the tiny house shell needed extensive exterior repairs. Despite these challenges, Jen persisted, and the following year she moved into her tiny house and began her tiny house lifestyle. The tiny house cost approximately $175,000 in total. This figure included not only the prefabricated shell structure but also the labor and material costs—a nearly twofold increase over her original budget.
Jen paid for it with the $85,000 she received from selling her previous home after splitting up with her ex-husband. She also borrowed $90,000 from a friend.Jen’s tiny house is currently situated on a plot of land for which she pays a monthly fee of $725. This all-inclusive payment includes amenities such as parking, internet access, water, and electricity.
Jen’s tiny house is filled with all of her favorite things. Her kitchen is her favorite room in her house, and she sometimes refers to it as a “tiny kitchen on wheels.” Jen’s desire to create her dream kitchen on a smaller scale drove her decision to embrace the tiny house lifestyle. Despite its small size, Jen’s kitchen has impressive storage, which frequently impresses visitors.
Jen had originally intended to incorporate butcher block countertops into her design. However, after much thought, she chose the elegance and craftsmanship of quartz. This option matched the look she had in mind for her kitchen. The countertop’s built-in round table is a standout feature, serving as a multifunctional space where Jen dines and works. Jen was a full-time remote worker, so having a space dedicated to storing her essentials—a printer and a computer—was critical.
To set the mood and infuse a farmhouse theme into her kitchen, the architect suggested incorporating open shelving. This not only added character but also allowed Jen to show off her glassware collection.Under the shelving is a fire clay kitchen sink, which is complemented by an off-grid propane stove across from it. Jen adores the abundant natural light that floods the space in her kitchen.
The walls are adorned with numerous windows, allowing sunlight to bathe her home throughout the day. As a result, Jen rarely needs to rely on artificial lighting until the sun sets, creating a warm and serene atmosphere.If you want to keep up with Jen’s tiny house lifestyle, follow her on Instagram. You can also take a virtual tour of her residence by watching the video below: