Rustic Retreats

Home Architecture Rustic Retreats

This Adult Version Of A “Treehouse” Reminds Us Of Our Childhood Dreams

This 800sf treehouse by Castanes Architects brings a modern twist to the idea of what a treehouse is, and shows us that remembering what it was like be young again has its advantages. 16 foot tall ceilings and a towering wall of glass highlight the single-story cabin, found in Hood Canal, Washington.

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The distorted scale makes it appear deceptively small from afar, but a closer look reveals a behemoth of a structure that has room enough underneath it to give shelter to a pair of cars. A motorized staircase lowers to the ground, and raises when the owners are away for security. A cantilevered deck extends the main living space past the tall glass facade.

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The interior displays simple decor, with light toned woods radiating a gentle warmth. A vintage wood fireplace anchors the space and draws attention upward to the exposed beams high above.

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5 Funky and Adorable Cabins From The Blue Moon Rising Ecovillage

Blue Moon Rising is one of the most interesting ecotourism places we’ve encountered. Located in Deep Creek Lake, MD, they offer a dozen tiny cabins available for rent, each with its own distinct name and personality. We picked a couple of our favorites to share with you below.

Bella Donna

This little cabin was built by the crew at Hobbitat, and it packs a ton of charm into the small space. They managed to fit a queen size bed in the first level, and a second queen in the loft space above. By using “bump-outs” on either end they also allow enough room to move around freely in the kitchen and living area.

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Kaya Cabin

The Kaya is positioned in a spot overlooking the property, and this little cabin was built using a unique combination of reclaimed metal, wood, and other materials, resulting in a truly distinct appearance.

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Cairn Cabin

Cairns are normally ornate piles of rocks used to guide people through barren landscapes, but in this case they describe the Cairn cabin as a way to lead people toward thinking differently. At 13′ x 19′ it’s tiny but still remains spacious inside, with two twin beds that double as couches and a single queen in the loft. The architecture is a unique blend of gothic /rustic/salvaged styles, with a high peak roof, gothic revival porch, and closed gables for when storms roll through.

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Funkomatic 513

With a name like “Funkomatic” you know this one has to have a bit of personality. One of several “Walden” model cabins on the property, this one was named by the owner of Hobbitat, who also built it. The purple door and trim add some pop, complimenting the reclaimed barn woods and aged metal roofing. Inside you’ll find a cozy nook with a queen bed, and another queen bed in the loft.

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Sugar Magnolia

As you approach the property, this is one of the first cabins you’ll see. Based on the “Walden” design, this version pays tribute to the flowing water and river life nearby, with heart pine flooring and accents, room to seat 4 for meals or relaxation, and two beds.


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All Photos courtesy Blue Moon Rising

To see the other cabins and learn more about Blue Moon Rising be sure to visit their website at


Old Meets New In This Stunning Ancient Stone Home Remodel

Some of the most emotionally visceral architectural achievements are a result of a properly handled adaptive re-use. Blending the old with the new is a delicate exercise in restraint and creativity. So when one comes around that achieves such a sought-after level of success, we feel the obligation to share it with you.

Wespi de Meuron Romeo Architects renovated this ancient stone building, which has long-since resided in a historic and picturesque Swiss village. The rustic, monolithic shell provided an apt base of inspiration for the architect to draw upon when designing the interiors and carving openings into its facades. Although there is much that is new, contemporary and modern to be found inside, you are never far removed from the history that exists in what remains of the stone ruins.

This project shows us the importance of our history, and to take the time to appreciate where we’ve come from as we move to where we are going.

photo credit: Hannes Henz

10+ Rustic Hand Built Little Cabins We Adore

1Kevins Tiny House

A very unique tiny home that includes a large sliding panel in the front and plenty of rustic charm throughout. Check it out.

2Rustic Guest Cabin Makeover

This Socal barn was reborn as a classy rustic cabin.

3Topanga Cabin

A simple cabin built for weekend getaways and surfing trips. Check it out.

4Pocket Shelter

Situated outside Asheville, NC you’ll find this gorgeous tiny house on wheels built by Aaron Maret. Check it out.

5Humble Abode

This tiny house was built entirely from salvaged materials and shows off incredible detail. Check it out.

6Japanese Forest Home

Perhaps one of our favorites is this secret getaway, built entirely by hand using locally milled wood. Check it out.

7Sauvie Island Cabin

This 300sf cabin located on a farm is available for rent and guests are treated to fresh milk, eggs, and homemade bread, not to mention an amazing setting. Check it out.

8Timberclad Surfer Cabin

When two brothers wanted to build a special retreat for their families, they ended up with this clifftop cabin. They worked with WMR Architects to design a low-impact home on a budget. Check it out.

9Freecycled Cabin On Puget Sound

Olson Kundig is not stranger to eco-friendly designs with a big wow factor, and this cabin built using mostly salvaged material is no exception. Check it out.

10Wheelhaus Caboose

This stylish “park model” RV remains in its own class, and with a perfect combination of rustic elegance and modern finishes. Check it out.

Offgrid In Normandy: How He Built This Modern A-Frame On A Budget

When you think of living off the grid, various images come to mind, and no doubt some of you envision grizzled people huddled together for warmth, living in some remote forest.

A Little Caesars commercial recently illustrated this in a funny way:


However, that’s not the most accurate portrayal of life off the grid. As Jean-Baptiste Barache demonstrated, building an offgrid house for cheap doesn’t mean you need to compromise living conditions. His A-frame barn, stationed in the middle of a field in Normandy, France, is a perfect example.


He paid a local barn builder to construct the rough frame, and then collected various salvaged materials from all over the place – lumber from theater sets, veneer and particleboard, and red cedar shingles for the exterior cladding. All said and done after 18 months of working on the build, he estimates it cost around $105k.

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Going without electricity doesn’t mean forgoing power, but it does cast daily life in a much simpler mold. A gas canister fuels the simple stovetop in the kitchen; a homemade wood-burning stove diffuses heat through the house in a slow, steady burn.


The front of the barn looks decidedly antique…


While inside, the rough, unfinished walls and ceiling keep costs down. Upstairs you’ll find three “pods” for sleeping.


At night he and his wife light candles and oil lamps, and Jean-Baptiste refers to Junichiro Tanizaki’s “In Praise of Shadows” as a source of inspiration for living comfortably without electricity, noting the appreciation he has for the shadows cast by the flickering flames.


Images: Céline Clanet

This Sleek Shipping Container Studio Hides Among The Trees

In the last 10 years we’ve seen a massive influx of structures being designed and build using recycled shipping containers. Take for example this forest studio, which transforms the rugged steel boxes into sublime interiors, all the while celebrating the rough aesthetic of the corrugated steel exterior. Large glazed openings insert into the open ends of the container allowing for sweeping views of the surrounding foliage.


The interiors are minimal and white, allowing the surrounding forest to be the star of the show.

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Multiple containers are fitted together to extend the limited footprint that a single container can occupy. The studio was designed by Maziar Behrooz Architecture as part of their Insta_Houses series of pre-fabricated homes.


Photos by: Dalton Portella & Francine Fleischer

The Ultimate Cold Climate Solar Cabin Of Our Dreams