As we set out for Flat Rock, North Carolina to stay in a tiny home at Simple Life we didn’t really know what to expect…so we packed light. After a six-hour drive from Jacksonville, Florida as we made our way down the winding road into the community, we caught our first glimpse of a real tiny home. Prior to this, tiny homes were just something we had seen on HGTV’s hit shows. Never the minimalists yet always the adventurists, Anastasia and I were looking forward to a unique experience.

And there it was. 24 Empire Lane, also known as The Fox Den. It was precious (a fitting adjective for something so tiny.) The landscape was perfectly manicured, the adorable signage on the home identified it as The Fox Den and the screened front porch looked to be ideally suitable for morning coffee or evening cabernet.

We opened the door, held our breath and hoped the next few days would be the experience we had hoped for. (Exhale!) Tiny? By measurements maybe. By design and feel, absolutely not! Okay, maybe I didn’t have my large sectional from home, but I had an extremely comfortable seating area plus what practically every American considers a necessity, a large screen television. (For us it was, of course, to enjoy episodes of HGTV’s Love it, or List it and Property Brothers. Okay, and maybe an episode or two of Bravo’s The Real Housewives.)

Beyond the living room was the most spacious and well-designed kitchen with full-size stainless steel appliances. Let me restate that so you understand the importance of my shock: In our tiny home of less than 400 square feet, we had a spacious kitchen with FULL SIZE APPLIANCES.

Quite honestly, I’m not certain whether we were more shocked about the size and functionality of the kitchen or the fact that our tiny home at Simple Life also had a bathroom as large as the average guest bathroom. (This was a HUGE relief as I wouldn’t necessarily describe Anastasia or myself as simple ladies when it comes to hair, makeup and wardrobe. We are lifestyle bloggers after all.)

When you think about how much time you actually spend in the bedroom awake, you likely realize it’s probably the least utilized space in the average home. For this reason, we were pleased to know that with the many floorplan options Simple Life offers, we landed in the design that incorporates more space in the common areas than in the sleeping areas. Our sleeping arrangements (I slept in the downstairs master with a queen sized bed and Anastasia enjoyed the upstairs loft) were perfectly suited to our needs. I had a bed, a dresser, closet space uniquely designed with barn doors, windows for natural light and wall-mounted sconces for my nighttime reading.

Anastasia accessed the loft through “stelves” (this is tiny home lingo – it’s a combination of stairs and shelves that lead you to the second-floor loft). We learned from our neighbors that most tiny home residents utilize the loft space for additional storage in their tiny home.  Anastasia enjoyed the privacy the loft offered along with windows on both sides.

Additionally, we had a full size stacked washer and dryer, a designated office area and stunning upgrades throughout like hardwood floors, tile backsplash, tile shower and plenty of storage including a shed outside that matched our precious tiny home.

After living in the Fox Den at Simple Life for the week, Anastasia and I often found ourselves talking about the excess in our lives. I’m a mom of two that lives in a 4,000 square foot two-story home filled with STUFF. I’m still not sure why I’m holding on to more than half of that STUFF but like most moms I just do! Anastasia is soon to be married and of course that means boxes and boxes of STUFF that engaged couples register for. Don’t get me wrong, Simple Life and tiny home living isn’t for everyone. But after the experience, we realized these important elements:

When you live in less than 400 square feet, you are more likely to get outside and enjoy life! The Simple Life community takes outdoor living to a five-star level. The amenities are just gorgeous and include a dog park with breathtaking mountain views.

When you live in a tiny home you realize how important community is! Simple Life residents seem to almost live in a nostalgic world. It’s a throwback to the days when neighbors would stop by for a cup of coffee instead of the fast-paced crazy life of zooming from one place to the next without the much needed social interaction. And the activities and events at the clubhouse keep the neighbors busy!

When living in a tiny home you understand that we have plenty of stuff that serves little to no purpose. As one of the Simple Life residents put it, “When I moved from my spacious ocean front home on St. Petersburg Beach into my tiny home here at The Village in North Carolina, I realized my stuff doesn’t have a heart beat. It’s just stuff.”

If you’ve never experienced tiny home living or are ready to make a change in your life, we highly recommend visiting Simple Life The Village at Flat Rock, North Carolina!

Written by Lifestyle Blogger: Maria Chrissovergis