If you can afford it, go with a main floor bedroom. Although our loft is cozy in small doses, I could not imagine sleeping up there every night. It is much warmer up there and having to go up and down a ladder all the time would get old.
Also having an over-range microwave is really nice. You will need the built-in fan for cooking and it is much more energy efficient in reheating food than a stovetop or oven. Hooded vents look awesome, but take up a lot of precious space with minimal function.
I would go rent a tiny house. It can be a bit pricey but it really helped us think if we could live tiny or not. We got to see the difference of a rental tiny house and one that is made to live in, for example, more storage! It made us realize right away what we wanted in our tiny home and how we choose to live. We ended up staying a week in one and even one day stayed in the home for 24 hours to see what it would be like cooped up on a rainy day.
My best advice is two-fold:
Sounds simple but… stay in one first—for a bunch of days! Change the bedding, do the dishes, do normal life things and make sure it’s what you really want.
We stayed in a total of four different tiny houses while working on designing our home. This was a HUGE help and I can’t recommend it enough! It’s one thing to design your tiny in SketchUp, or on paper, but actually being in the space while you are planning will go a long way. Something may seem like a great idea in your mind, but might not pan out well in reality.
There are more options than ever for finding a tiny house to rent, so the good news is you most likely have an option available semi-close to you.
PS don’t forget to pack a tape measure!