In 2014, Ariel McGlothin moved into her tiny house that she’s named Fy Nyth (Welsh for “My Nest”) in the gorgeous mountains of western Wyoming. Since then, she’s been living mortgage-free and her life has never been better.
She used to share a rental with a roommate until the owners sold the home. They looked for a new place to live but couldn’t find anything affordable.
While looking for options for van life, Ariel ran into somebody with a tiny house on wheels. After learning more about the lifestyle, she thought that having a small insulated home that is easy to heat and mobile would make a lot of sense in a snowy climate.
Today, Ariel lives in a vast expanse of land where she grows her own food. She also pays no mortgage and is able to enjoy the beauty of her environment every day.
Living mortgage-free in an off-grid house requires Ariel to do everything on her own, including carrying water she gets from her neighbor’s well and splitting firewood to keep her place warm.
The Fy Nyth’s primary heat source is a wood stove, and her backup is a propane tank, which she only needs to refill every year and a half to two years.
Ariel also has a small amount of electricity provided by a small 400-watt solar panel bank sitting on a hill near her mobile home. It supplies enough power to charge a laptop or camera batteries.
“I did not build my tiny house myself,” Ariel told Exploring Alternatives. “I did start looking for professional builders. They were awesome. We worked out a design, and I ended up with something I really loved. I basically designed this house around having space for all the things I wanted to keep.”
Ariel’s interests include wildlife photography, hiking, and backpacking, so she ensured her house had room for all the gear involved in those hobbies.
The inside walls of Fy Nyth are pine siding, while the outside is cedar siding. The floor is made of cork, which Ariel said feels softer on the joints and is very warm.
The top and the exterior have a metal roof, and during the winter, the snow just sheds right off it.
Half of the tiny house is the kitchen, which features butcher block counters on both sides of the stove, a double sink with a built-in drainboard, soft-close cupboard doors, a propane stove, an oven, and a refrigerator. There’s also storage for dishes and food and a cupboard that serves as a pantry.
The house has a small bathroom with a composting toilet and a shower.
The other half of the Fy Nyth comprises the living room, which has an L-shaped couch fitted with storage underneath. It could also transform into a little guest bed with the addition of an extra board.
Ariel also bought a table that could fold out into a desk where she could do her work. The expanded table also allows her to invite a few friends over for dinner.
Above is the sleeping loft accessible by stairs. It has a partial wall that blocks heat from the woodstove below, so it doesn’t get hot in the loft. The wall also gives the space more privacy.
“I’m really happy with the design in here. Almost everything has worked out exceedingly well for everything that I wanted and do, and that goes on in my life. It’s been awesome,” Ariel said.
Ariel’s life is proof that you don’t need a lot to be happy and content—all you need are the things that matter.
Check out the video below to take a tour of her cozy mortgage-free homestead. If you want to see more tiny home videos visit Exploring Alternatives on YouTube. You may follow Ariel on her blog and YouTube channel.
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