Kootenay Lake Gypsy Wagon

by Kent Griswold on September 24th, 2012. 12 Comments

Inhabitat (one of my favorite sites) recently featured this rustic, but beautiful gypsy wagon (one of my favorite tiny houses) which sits in the forest near Kootenay Lake in British Columbia. The 8 foot by 20 foot wagon was built on a $100 salvaged 5 ton chassis, with 2×4 construction and curved rafters. It cost about $8,000 to build and took several years.

Most of the building materials for the wagon were recycled. The floor is locally milled hemlock tongue and groove and the windows were second hand finds from the local classifieds. The exterior shingles were cedar “seconds” split with a hatchet. The round window was ingeniously made from a 1970′s picnic table and is framed with rope for a natty, nautical style. The curved roof is covered with flexible metal sheeting and has two, curved Lexan skylights. The interior of the wagon is covered with stretched canvas, stapled into place and painted with white wash. Under the wagon is space for the storage of supplies and firewood. Continue Reading »

Mushroom Dome Cabin

by Christina Nellemann on April 23rd, 2012. 23 Comments

My husband and I have been utilizing the services of Airbnb for several of this year’s trips (New Orleans and Chile) and we’ve been very pleased with the ease and rental opportunities offered by the company. Airbnb is an online booking service that allows property owners to rent out their home or a room to travelers and it allows travelers to stay in unique places around the world. I was curious about the most popular rental location on Airbnb and was surprised to see that it was a beautiful tiny house shaped like a mushroom.

The Mushroom Dome Cabin in Aptos, California is rated as the number one listing on airbnb.com and consists of a semi-rustic cabin under a geodesic dome surrounded by oak, redwood and madrone trees. The cabin has a double bed located in the loft, an LCD screen with DVD player, a small deck, a couch, a small hot plate, refrigerator, toaster oven, blender and other kitchen supplies. The cabin has a tiny bathroom and shower. The owners provide clean linens and soap. Depending on the time of year, length of stay and amount of people, prices for the Mushroom Dome are about $90 per night and about $600 per week. Continue Reading »

Mad Woman in the Forest

by Christina Nellemann on December 26th, 2011. 30 Comments

Take a look at that window. That glorious window was the catalyst for the design of Laurie Halse Anderson’s cottage in the forest. Laurie is the author of several young adult books and historical thrillers and she writes in a small cottage in the forest. She expressed her need for a “room of her own in which to write fiction”, and her video from 2009 recounts the conception and building of her writing cottage. It was built over the course of a year by her carpenter husband and several of his friends. Laurie and her family wanted it to be off-grid, made with reclaimed materials and easy on the environment.

That amazing window (which Laurie called “a magic window”) was found lying up against a barn and turned out to be a church window from the 1800s. Custom glass was made for each round section of the window. She and her husband also perused the salvage yard and found old growth pine boards to use for the floor and chimney pots for the roof. Soybean based foam insulation was sprayed into the walls and the roof is Vermont slate. The house is powered by wind and solar. Continue Reading »