The Pinafore House

The Pinafore House

Zyl Vardos is a dynamic, custom builder of unforgettable small structures. We offer a wide variety of original designs, or can create something completely new. Our workshop is located in Olympia, WA, USA.  

Our designs are artistically conceived, then assembled by hand to the highest standards. They have safe, functional, well-engineered systems. Interiors are known for customized hand-finished woodwork, and bespoke cabinetry and trims. We are widely known for our handmade windows and doors, which are not only eye-catching, but are long-lived and functional.

Zyl Vardos has been building tiny house structures since 2007, which places us as one of the most experienced builders in the field. We have the best in-house 'concept to creation' ability of any tiny house builder. Because of this, our tiny houses are recognized worldwide as some of the most charming, memorable, and functional structures of their type.

The founder, Abel Zyl, has 25+ years of residential building experience. Abel is a founding member of the American Tiny House Association, and is the consulting board member for construction and design. He (and his work) have been featured on HGTV, National Geographic News, Forbes Magazine, OPB’s State of Wonder, ADR Germany TV, The San Francisco Globe, and in the book Tiny Homes on the Move, by Lloyd Khan. 

Abel is known for his educational and informative efforts in the DIY tiny house world. If you haven't caught him at a local library, tiny house festival, or live on YouTube -- you can book him for an instructional workshop or informational visual presentation. Booking info here:





Here at Zyl Vardos I spend my time designing and building small structures, studios, and modular art structures. These begin as a pencil sketch, then a working model, and finally a fully-developed structure containing thousands of hand-finished parts. This is very difficult work, but it is immeasurably rewarding. Indeed, this is what keeps me going at the end of the day.

I founded Zyl Vardos in 2007 after having built a wide variety of structures since 1994. I have worked in the building trades since 1992. I created my build shop in my hometown of Olympia, WA, USA. From the start, I worked hard to make it a place where artistry and function become one. Now, it has become a place unlike any other in the world. Here, we can create all the elements of a project: windows, metal work, doors, cabinetry, and other fittings.

I created the structures you see on this site with the support and encouragement of people like you. And I could never do this difficult work without the amazing crew of carpenters and thinkers that work with me every day. 

If you keep dreaming... I'll keep building. 


Abel Zimmerman Zyl - Founder/Owner/Engineer

Abel Zyl at his office - the 'Squirrel Hut'

Abel Zyl at his office - the 'Squirrel Hut'