A Tiny Dream Home for an Aspiring Model

Boston model Sterling Folkestad is traveling west to LA to further his career in the fashion industry. But first he's building a tiny house in Ipswich, MA to serve as home base. His new fashion-forward home ─ co-designed with his architect father ─ features a roll-up garage door for expansive views and a gorgeous rooftop deck.

Modern in Miniature

Sterling Folkestad's tiny house in Ipswich, MA features sophisticated design and is thoughtfully customized inside and out. Key features include a retractable garage door that essentially doubles as a picture window and a rooftop deck — both perfect for enjoying the dramatic sunsets.

Let the Sunshine In

The compact interior feels bright and expansive with panoramic views and lots of natural light provided by a total of thirteen windows — including the glass-panel garage door, bedroom skylight and entry door with single glass pane.

A Family Endeavor

Prior to construction, Sterling looks over the tiny home's design plans with his parents. Sterling's father, Lyle Folkestad, is an architect. He collaborated on the home's design.

Father & Son

Sterling's father Lyle has been designing homes for forty years, but this is his first opportunity to work on a tiny home.

Architect's Renderings

The basic design calls for a floor plan of 380 sqare feet, including a loft. 

Work in Progress

Once the basic structure was complete, doors and windows were installed prior to adding the exterior siding. "I think the exterior, the shape, will be unique," says Sterling. "I didn't want it to just look like a block. I wanted it to be somewhat modern, but unique."

No Place Like Home

Sterling's career in the fashion industry involves a lot of travel and he's lived in a lot of places, most recently in a one-bedroom apartment in LA. He wanted a place of his own that would serve as home base. "I'm ready to have all my stuff in one place," he says.

Open, Efficient Design

The interior is open and multifunctional, with a combined galley kitchen and living area, and a loft above that serves as the main bedroom.

Defined Areas

The nook at one end of the living space features a multifunctional sofa that can double as a guest bed. The rustic wood accent wall is made from reclaimed barnwood that's from Vermont and more than a century old. A second loft bed is suspended above this space using a pulley system, so the home can actually sleep up to six people.

Stylish Kitchen and Bath

The palette is kept simple and monochromatic, with black, white, shades of gray and stainless steel appliances. White subway tile creates a cohesive look that flows through the kitchen and adjacent bath. 

Kitchen Details

Sterling personally fashioned and stained the kitchen's custom concrete countertops which coordinate visually with the contemporary fixtures, stainless appliances and farmhouse sink.

A Master Bath in Small Scale

The bathroom features wood paneling painted in powder blue, recessed lighting and a pocket door.

A Master Bath in Small Scale

The open shower is lined in classic white subway tile with dark grout, and the floor is gray stone tile.

A Master Bath in Small Scale

The bathroom closet provides an enclosure for extra storage as well as a small stackable washer-dryer.

Loft Amenities

The loft bedroom features two windows, a skylight and a concealed closet located behind the bed. The closet has sliding doors made from the same reclaimed barnwood as that used for the downstairs accent wall.


The tiny house was completed within budget and on time — at a total cost of $70,000 and finished in a four-and-a-half-month time frame.


"It turned out better than I expected," says Sterling, "I can be off the grid now. Life is pretty good."

Epic Views

The roof deck, with artificial turf and outdoor seating area, is accessible either via an integrated ladder on the exterior or from inside the home via the skylight hatch.

Safety First

The roof deck includes a safety railing constructed from 4x4 supports and steel cable.

Celebration Time

Sterling poses for a pic with his mom outside his newly completed tiny house.

Celebration Time

Sterling's girlfriend Callan monitored the construction progress firsthand. "Sterling's been talking about a tiny house ever since I first met him," she said. "Watching it come to life has been absolutely unreal. I'm so proud of him"

Celebration Time

Family and friends raise a glass to toast the successful completion of Sterling's new home.

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