Location: Western North Carolina
Size: The semi-custom manufactured white-pine log cabin's interior measures 11.5' x 34' to stay within legal size for travel trailers (max 400 sq. ft.)
My favorite resource is my wife, then myself as designer, carpenter, laborer.
What inspired you?
After living aboard our 37' ocean-cruising sailboat in the Pacific for seven years, we were determined to keep "living- small." The lack of space was welcomed - it's cozy, like the referigerator box we played in as kids. It makes a small footprint on the land, leaving more of the land bucolic. It took fewer resources to build. It means low heating & cooling bills. It's a more simplified, responsibe way of living on an increasingly crowded planet.
...Though it weighs 16 tons, it's in the same legal catagory as an
Airstream your uncle would tow to the beach with his Oldsmobile, thus
avoiding some building/zoning code hassles. It was towed to its site
and set up like a mobile home, though there's no reason these things
couldn't be helicopter-lifted atop a city skyscraper or to a remote
mountain- or lake-side. Quality is mixed: It was built in the South.
I had to redo much of it.
Build one long high bookshelf around the walls above
doors & windows to keep more wall space free. We can stand in our shoes on most of our furniture, so getting books down is no trouble.
-Top left: living room with corner of kitchen counter at bottom of
photo. "Coffee table" is an old ship's carpenter's sea chest in which
off-season clothes are stored. Large wooden bowl atop chest was carved & used by my mountain-man great-grandfather. A fifteen-light front door is to the left of the couch which opens into a wide single-guest-bed.
~Top right: Rest of livingroom. Antique boatbuilder's working
half-models and friends' bird & whale carvings on wall over oak
chest/cabinet. Almost all windows look out on the Blue Ridge
Mountains. Old oak dining table for four is by large window opposite
~Bottom Left: Boat galley kitchen with 4-burner stove/oven, double
sink; pottery & baskets kept atop cabinets.
~Bottom right: Bedroom w/ queen-size bed. Out of view is a large
cedar wardrobe for a closet (Tip: built-ins can't be moved for
rearranging rooms but wardrobes can) and two chests-of-drawers. View
out large window (out of sight to right) is of a large mowed field;
small window over bed looks into a large bamboo grove.
Another tip from Helouise's illegitimate brother here: In small spaces, install hooks to hold open doors back against walls. In tight quarters, you will bump into a door that's swung even an inch out of its usual position. And another thing: Angle a few pieces of furniture to avoid a boxcar feeling.