Zyl Vardos are Olympia, Washington’s tiny house wizards. Founded by Abel Zimmerman Zyl in 2007, Zyl Vardos is a building company that deserves all the recognition that they get for their stunning tiny house designs. There is just something magical about their wheeled home creations, which look like something that came out of a wondrous fairy tale.
Zimmerman, who has been in the building business since 1994, should be commended for his creative endeavors. He found his passion for carpentry at a very young age, building his own self-designed boat by the time he was in college. That boat project propelled him to look into building tiny homes, as he pursued a way to re-purpose the vessel’s old materials. The rest, as you will soon find out, is history.
We are celebrating Zimmerman's and Zyl Vardos’ craftsmanship by throwing back to one of their classical concoctions. The Fortune Cookie wheeled home is among their best known designs, gaining some much deserved attention when it was first built in 2011. Since then, Zyl Vardos has built other custom-made Fortune Cookies, but we want to take you back to where it all began.
So, without further ado, let’s step inside the magical wonder that is the Fortune Cookie wheeled home.
One look at the outside, and you will quickly understand why this quaint little abode has been dubbed with its quirky name. The very first Fortune Cookie has an 18-foot (5.4-meter) dewdrop deckover design, which includes a cupola roof that has been especially created to endure all types of weather conditions.
This marvelous abode is an artisan masterpiece. The unique, playful combination of geometric shapes is a motif throughout the Fortune Cookie, and everything just seems to fall into place with flawless precision.
Everything you see here has been handmade, including the windows. The windows are all made with insulated glass, and the siding, trim and roof are all made with cedar wood. All up, the Fortune Cookie has 3 casement windows, one diamond window, one 2-by-2-foot (60.96-by-60.96-centimeter) skylight, and one signature Zyl Moon window.
One final look at the outside before we step into the tiny home. The attention to detail in this gorgeous arch-top door is incredible, and the diamond-shaped window makes it even better. That lovely little lighting fixture by the door is a great addition too.
Enough gushing about the the outer details. It is now time to immerse ourselves in the enchanting interiors.
And what better way to experience tiny living than looking inside a well-loved home?
This is the first Fortune Cookie’s owner, Kera. With a wonderful tiny home like this, it is no wonder she is smiling.
As you can see, this sweet little Fortune Cookie has all the best features that come with tiny living. The bedding is conveniently placed in the loft, the kitchen is well within reach, there is plenty of natural lighting, and anyone can add their own special flair and decor to make the space their own.
Special mention goes to the lovely table in the right hand corner, which adds a bit of modernity to the classical wood cabin interiors.
Now that you’ve had a sneak peek behind life inside a fortune cookie, we should take a look at the finer details of this wheeled home’s inner beauty.
Here is a closer look at the kitchen, the dining area, and the sleeping loft. The interiors are made with mahogany paneling and the floors can be either strand bamboo or cork, depending on your personal preference. The kitchenette is well equipped, with a 2 -burner stove of your choice (propane or electric range), a sink, and a compact refrigerator.
The diamond window on top of the sleeping loft and the two doors leading you outside help bring some brightness into the home. There is a actually a little corridor hidden in between that white door straight ahead, where the toilet and bathroom are conveniently hidden.
Here is the area from up close, to give you a better idea. The toilet is on the left, the bathroom is on the right, and the door right ahead leads you into your own tiny balcony.
The Fortune Cookie has a small composting toilet, a stainless shower enclosure and a fiberglass base pan. Hot water is never an issue as this tiny house comes with an electric tank hot water heater.
This picture is actually from a newer Fortune Cookie model, but we wanted to give you an idea of the bathroom area too. Here is the bathtub, which is small in area but deep in surface. Proving that you only need a single special addition to make a room sparkle, this particular Fortune Cookie house has Zyl Moon windows installed in the bathroom.
Speaking of moon windows, we are going to return to the old model and take a 180-degree turn.
This is the view from other side of the classic Fortune Cookie house. A nice little refuge for those who want to sit back and relax indoors. The fold down table to your left is made from reclaimed plywood, and that armoire is, like many parts of this tiny home, completely hand made.
Those circular windows are Zyl Vardos signature Moon design. As we already alluded, you will find them in other tiny home models that this company produces. Continuing to show dedication to their craft, these moon windows are designed to open on all four sides. Functional and delightful to see, it is no wonder that these windows are a prominent theme in Zyl Vardos’ ravishing tiny homes.
Zyl Vardos’ Fortune Cookie brings an artistic and magical flair to tiny living. The care and precision in the handcrafted details, as well as the charming combination of the best geometric designs, make this wheeled home a true piece of marvel.