Hill Country Texas Cabin

by Kent Griswold on June 17th, 2011. 36 Comments
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by Sue Moak

Our little cabin is in the Hill Country area of Texas. We have 50 acres, so we live large outside but cozy inside! It has one main room that is 20 x 20, an 8 x 8 bathroom, a front porch and an 8 x 12 screened porch on the back. One half of the main room is the kitchen. The island is from IKEA but we widened the top and tiled it to make an eating area. We made the kitchen shelves from lumber left over from the cabin construction.

tiny house in Texas

The opposite side of the main room is used for both seating and sleeping. We have a queen size bed on one end and a trundle daybed on the other end. When we have guests, we slide the chairs back and fill the floor with air mattresses! The fireplace is made from limestone, which is plentiful in our area. The mantel is a solid piece of mesquite wood. This is a native Texas wood and has a beautiful red color to it. It is held up by two cedar posts that came from our property.

living room and fireplace

Our bathroom has a reproduction metal ceiling with a star design. The walls are 4 x 8 “beaded” board that we painted. A tiled shower is in the corner. Storage shelves and the hot water heater are hidden by a curtain I made and installed on a galvanized plumbing pipe.


A local builder constructed the cabin shell for us. We did as much of the work as we could and hired local contractors for what we felt we could not do. It cost approximately $45,000 when we built it in 2005.


Our area is very dry so we installed a rainwater harvesting system to help water the garden. We purchased the cistern in San Marcos and did the installation ourselves. We got a lot of information on how to do this from a book called “Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged.


You can find more photos and postings at rockinrsranch.blogspot.com. Sometimes I write about adventures and observations on our place and sometimes I write about my family or things that interest me.

floor plan

front porch

living room


cabin view

36 Responses to “Hill Country Texas Cabin”

  1. Anoa says:

    Very nicely done. Good use of space.

  2. the hand-painted bench on your front porch is a nice punch of red – an artistic foil to the palette of a dry landscape. and such a heart warming, welcoming sense of place, most likely a reflection of the owners.
    thanks much,


  3. mls says:

    Love, love, love this cabin. Fridays are my favorite day to visit you Kent!!

  4. Don Beams says:

    I just LOVE this place. I want one just like it.

  5. Irene says:

    I love how you are living and the home you have created. Your 20×20′ room is so well organized. I just love this. Thank you for sharing with us.

  6. alice says:

    Nice! Great photos and 3D drawing, makes it come to life for us. And there is nothing so homey as a couple of rocking chairs on the porch.

  7. Leone says:

    What a fabulous home! I love the combination of practicality and style. This is lovely and I would love to own a home exactly like this. Wonderful job.

  8. Felicity says:

    Thank you for sharing your home. Great pictures. It’s just beautiful and even better knowing that you had a hand in its creation.

  9. Cherie says:

    I love this!!!! I would love to have something like this. You have done such a fabulous job with everything! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Kevin says:

    Thanks for sharing your home, what a wonderfully inspiring way to live. To me it’s reminiscent of what life use to be like when things were so much simpler. Love the open shelves in the kitchen and the FP too.


  11. Rickles says:

    As our friend Quagmire would say – Giggity! I like it!

  12. Melly Sue says:

    Lovely place–just what I would want for myself. I’m feeling total cottage envy right now.

  13. Carlos in ATx says:

    Very nicely done! My only critique is that the Hill Country is only dry when compared to say Houston, New Orleans or Miami! Terlingua, Alpine, Marfa are dry! We do need some rain real bad this year.

  14. wyndwalkr says:

    Wonderful!!! Lovely!!! And bless you for not having a ladder to a crawl-in mattress in a low loft. Yippee! REAL life in small abode!

  15. gmh says:

    I love this. Now you have me planning and scheming to get some acreage of my own…

  16. darla long says:

    luv your “tiny house”…50 acres?…want to sub-divide?..

  17. Molly says:

    Thank you for sharing your home! I love this little cabin. Thanks for all the pics. I too can easily imagine a simpler life looking at them!

    Thanks Kent for this post; a real small house that is lived in with lots of character!

  18. cj says:

    “living large…”. Yes, indeed! All the comforts and a place that looks lived in. I love it when practical and whimsy connect. Thank you for sharing!

  19. MJ says:

    Nice, neat, cozy, comfortable…love the fireplace and the kitchen! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the info on water harvesting as well.

  20. Sylvia says:

    lovely, cosy, inspiring. It has everything in it that a person needs. Great life!

  21. What everyone else said plus I like the tin ceiling and mirror frame. Very nice job. I envy you.

  22. Benjamin says:

    Beautifully and thoughtfully made! And the photographs are expertly composed and lighted.

  23. Tara says:

    Yay, my favorite type of post on the tiny house blog!

    Love the kitchen setup and the cozy area in front of the fireplace. Thank you for sharing and providing so much detail.

  24. Lovely says:

    Oh how fortunate you are to live in the texas hill country. I just got back from a week long trip in Wimberly , Tx. We stayed in some cottages on cypress creek. It was wonderful. It is very dry this year in the hill country, but its still so beautiful out there with all the birds,deer and what not. Lucky you.

  25. Tonita says:

    Your cabin is so nice. Great layout. I love the ceiling tin in your bathroom. Have you thought of adding black shutters to the windows outside? I am day dreaming and now i am decorating your cabin. LOL. Sounds like you need rain and being I live near Seattle I need the sunshine badly – How about a house swap?

  26. JBG says:

    Lots of style packed into this small home. Very well done.

  27. mary melton says:

    This is a dream for me to have a cabin like this.My husband and I had dreamed together of having one for our retirment years but in 2001 we brought 3 grandchildren to live with us so our dream went out the window, so we still and always will live in our old doublewide but the kids are worth the loss dreams but happy for you to have this beautiful home.

    • EnergyZAR says:

      Go live in a cabin with your husband and three grandchildren. You will be better off and so will your grandchildren. It can still be done!

  28. Jamie says:

    Love this! Very nicely done! This is beautiful and looks entirely livable.

  29. Blake Voss says:

    I love the big kitchen. Cooking and eating are very important activities in our home. Tiny kitchens are useless unless you eat out most of the time.

  30. Kim says:

    I love everything about this cabin. Including the location. We live in the Dallas/FT Worth area and have been looking at country properties to have exactly this kind of cabin. Thank you for the pics. Your design and decor are wonderful. Great job! ~ Serious case of envy here! :)

  31. Mike Green says:

    I love it I live in Texas and am single 59 and want a house.You say it’s not that hard,but I have a hard time identifying a hammer.My problem like everybody else is buying one complete.I probably co with a smaller except I want a full size Fridge and decent bathroom,sleep anywhere.

  32. Charlie says:

    I just love this cabin. Did you all do this your self did a contractor do it? Does he work out of state? I would love to have this in my neck of the woods.

  33. Patti Campbell says:

    Did you build this yourself? I am looking for a contractor to build on my property in Harper, Tx.

  34. Betty Todd says:

    I love your home. I lived in a guest house on a ranch in Texas, but had to move. I loved the coziness, but also loved the wide open space and all the wildlife. You are so lucky.

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