Jenny Carney’s Xanadu Cabin

Ecologist Jenny Carney grew up playing in the woods of rural Wisconsin and is now a Principal and LEED expert at YR&G in Chicago, a sustainability consulting service for organizations and communities. However, her love of nature urged her to return to her roots. Carney purchased six acres of wooded land in Wisconsin near the Mississippi River where she built Xanadu — a simple 150 square foot shelter.

Xanadu-Cabin-JenneyCarney

Recently featured in Real Simple Magazine, Carney’s “shed” for living in the woods reflects what she considers a modern angst: nature-deficit disorder. She used the term after reading the book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” by journalist Richard Louv. The book discusses our contemporary detachment from the natural world and how to remedy it. Continue reading

UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam’s Unusual Sleeping Pods

Unusual ways to go camping seem to be all the rage this summer and UrbanCampsiteAmsterdam may have taken the idea to the most extreme. Not only can you stay inside these unusual structures, but they are also an open-air exhibition open to the public.

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The Attic [Arjen Boerstra]

The installation is located in the Centrumeiland, or Centre Island, an artificial peninsula made of layers of sand. It’s an experimental process for the small country anticipating growth along its waterfront areas. Designer Francis Nijenhuis and economist Annette van Driel saw the area as a wasted opportunity and wanted to show the public a unique way of looking at, and utilizing, space. They commissioned various designers to create 14 mobile structures that will eventually be moved elsewhere. Continue reading

Try out a Tiny Cabin with Getaway

The modern tiny house movement tends to be centered in the Western part of the country, but now people interested in smaller living in the Northeast will have a few small ways to escape the cities. The Getaway project is building and renting out 160 square foot cabins available for rent for anyone wanting to try on a tiny house for size. Continue reading

Mike’s Unique Tiny House

Mike's unique tiny house

Pro-snowboarder, Mike Basich, gives a tiny house tour of his self-built 225 square foot labor of love in the middle of his 40 acre snow covered property near Truckee, California – and tells us how being closer to nature gives him his most creative decisions.

Several years after leaving the competitive snowboarding world, Mike decided to go completely off the grid. He sold his house, and after five years he managed to build his own off-grid home in Truckee, California with no internet, no indoor plumbing, and no traditional electricity. He has one fireplace that serves as his stove, furnace, and water heater. He says that living the way he does, away from the chaos of the city, allows him to slow down and be more in sync with nature.

Mike says that nature, and his desire to be close with it, was the ultimate inspiration for his decision to live off the grid. The sun is his main source of heat during the day. One wall of his home is entirely glass, which absorbs sunlight and heats the entire house. He built a chairlift on his property that let’s you ride up and down the mountain, taking in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. There’s even a water source close enough that allows him to have a hot tub off his back deck.

This home represents Mike’s childhood dream. He built it from his own inspiration, his own design, and with his own two hands. To him, it’s more fulfilling than anything else he’s accomplished in his life.