Nick and Lilah’s Glass Cabin

glass cabin

Guest Post by Jordan Long

In 2012, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs and set off to build a glass cabin in the mountains of West Virginia.

Nick is a photographer who specializes in tintypes taken with a camera he made himself. He currently works for a landscape company in Milwaukee designing one-of-a-kind objects and spends his off time travelling the country looking for adventure.

Lilah is a designer. She has made several clothing lines, each one coinciding with the city/place she inhabits. She currently sells her work in New York boutiques and also works for a landscaping company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Half Cut Tea

glass cabin landscape

Nick and Lilah

interior

interior 1

interior 2

looking at the view

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di - August 6, 2013 Reply

Looks just like Derek Diedrickson’s design.

di - August 6, 2013 Reply

Would like to see some interior images.

alice h - August 6, 2013 Reply

Yikes, that’s a lot of wndows to wash! Hope they get a disount on cleaner of choice. I’ve always liked window houses though, especially if there’s a special view. Seem like very interesting people too.

Karen - August 6, 2013 Reply

Wonderful. Try stenciling and etching cream. You will love the subtle nature of etched glass.

elaine - August 6, 2013 Reply

what an awesome view, I also like your simple way of life.

melika - August 6, 2013 Reply

such a warm, heartfelt story – a beautifully made video. i’m wondering: how is the home kept warm during the winter months? is there insulation? thank you for sharing!

    lilah - August 7, 2013 Reply

    Thank you!
    We havent spent any deep winters there yet, but it keeps pretty warm with the late afternoon sun and the little wood stove!

Zoe - August 6, 2013 Reply

Such a beautiful place to live 🙂

Renee - August 6, 2013 Reply

It looks so eloquent. I definitely feel the full side of windows speaks to minimalists and artists alike. Wonderful film as well! I too am curious to find out about heating efficiency or whether this is just a warm weather residence?

Scott - August 6, 2013 Reply

Great video and cabin! Just a note, though – the link says ‘cup’ instead of ‘cut’.

TomLeeM - August 6, 2013 Reply

It has a nice blend of hillbilly and modern design. I like the design. It looks really nice.

    Nick - August 8, 2013 Reply

    Thanks! We were definitely attempting to make an interesting and beatiful design, but also keep in our minds what space it inhabits and in some way work with the local vernacular style

    D. Whit - August 9, 2013 Reply

    What exactly is “hillbilly” design ?

    Those of us from the mountains would like to know ?

Giuseppina Zampini - August 6, 2013 Reply

I LOVE IT CONGRAT THAT IS MY WISH……

Cindy Wilde - August 6, 2013 Reply

Living heaven on earth god has blessed you well.

william araujo - August 6, 2013 Reply

Thats really really really really sweet!! What a marvelous creation… wow!
Hope to see more pics or videos!

afisher - August 6, 2013 Reply

love the short on this and their other shorts on artists. very lovely. and the house is just right up my alley. an artist’s retreat in every way that i love. pdx rocks i am told. must to visit soon!

    Jordan - August 6, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the kind words about our documentaries. Their cabin is an oasis indeed.

    Portland does rock, we’ve shot a few docs up there and LOVE it.

      Nick - August 8, 2013 Reply

      Half-cut Tea is awesome and they have been busy making many more good looking docs. Check them out, thanks Matt & Jordan !!

bob adams - August 7, 2013 Reply

Handcrafted!!!!

lucy bobb - August 7, 2013 Reply

Hummmm …. now I know what to do with that stack of windows I’ve stashed in the barn! (have a barn but no house yet!) Love the combo of pioneer cabin & modern window -views. Just being able to look out the windows at the view would be both peaceful & invigorating. I couldn’t get the video … any hints on how to fit the windows together?

    lilah - August 7, 2013 Reply

    fantastic, please send pictures when you begin to build!!
    regarding fitting the windows together, we started off trying to use math and make a plan, but both of those are not our strong suit so we basically were winging it and it worked out almost perfect! tip-trust your instinct, and dont put all the screwing in right away!

    Nick - August 8, 2013 Reply

    Also using a post and beam frame helps a lot, it supports the roof and leaves all the wall space you want available for whatever you desire!

      Tom Buese - August 9, 2013 Reply

      Nice design & workmanship!

      The glass wall does not appear to have any “shear resisting” capability? You either need to have “moment resisting connections” in the post & beams on the glass wall, or “shear walls” to resist the lateral force of the wind on the building. That is the most critical part of designing this type of structure in places where there are building codes, large wind, snow, or earthquake conditions.

      Best Regards,

      Tom Buese, Architect

        Sally - August 10, 2013 Reply

        I was wondering the same thing myself. Where’s the caulking? Where’s the support!!!! In high winds or serious thunderstorm, that side of the house is a catastrophic domino theory in the making. Yes, the rustic interior is beautiful. I love windows and this place is very artsy but looks like an emergency room visit waiting to happen. Sorry to be so negative, but the photos are showing beauty, not structure.

Pelle - August 7, 2013 Reply

I’m running my own window cleaning company in Sweden, but I love the cabin!
Love all creative ppl who challenge old ideas.

Alexandra - August 7, 2013 Reply

I love this glass cabin! It’s simple, beautiful and serene. Well done!

John in Brisbane - August 7, 2013 Reply

Nothing but love for these people, the idea and the little vid that I just watched. Time to start hoarding windows!

PS – West Virginia – almost heaven I’ve heard 🙂

Nancy - August 7, 2013 Reply

I’ve seen things like this done before. I didn’t see a kitchen/bathroom? I’m assuming they’re not living off the grid since I didn’t see solar/wind, or gardens for growing food. Is this more of a weekend cabin then? Not full time? And no kids…

Nancy - August 7, 2013 Reply

Also- are there any out buildings? Garage, shed, barn?

    lilah - August 7, 2013 Reply

    There are several other buildings on the property about a mile and a half from the window house, one with a bathroom and kitchen. Thus far the longest we have spent there is 6 months. There is a small garden we keep about a mile down the road, and no power in the window house, just passive solar heat in the evenings, candles, and a wood stove! and no kids yet maybe someday!

Artist81 - August 7, 2013 Reply

Wow!!! So inspiring!!! I love everything about this. 🙂

phil - August 7, 2013 Reply

Love the cabin. The exact placement is what I’m wondering about. I’m in Louisville Ky, and I know West Virginia is about the same latitude we are here, which means summers in the 90s and winters in the teens sometimes. With those windows and (I guess) southern exposure, winters should be great, but why not set the cabin back into the woods a bit so you’d have shade in the summer, and with those deciduous trees, sun in the winter?

    lilah - August 7, 2013 Reply

    We are at the most southern point of WV. The cabin is set back in the woods with the front wall right at the edge of the field. The southern sunset really warms the place up nice in the winter, but if the summer you have to hope for an afternoon breeze!

Tiny Houses and Sustainable Living | sustainablespu - August 7, 2013 Reply

[…] are certainly some tiny pads that make the prospect look very appealing. Take this dream-like glass cabin for instance, built by Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz in the mountains of West Virginia. Fully […]

carrie monday - August 7, 2013 Reply

GREAT JOB, FOLKS!!!! I, too, built my own cabin (30′ x 30′) in the woods. My ex husband, my son and I worked on the cabin for 7 years, and documented the entire process with the camera. I’m sure we nailed 10,000 nails, but what reward when it was finished! Happy Life in your little corner of the world!!

lilah - August 7, 2013 Reply

A large thank you for all the wonderful comments. We are so lucky to have this beautiful documentary made by Half Cut Tea (http://www.halfcuttea.com)!
-Lilah and Nick

Br. Curt Beardsley - August 7, 2013 Reply

Wow! What a gifted and wonderful couple you are. All involved in this video are truly blessed with talent. The house is truly a work of art and I can only imagine the wonderful times you have there. Enjoy your journey through life.

Howie - August 8, 2013 Reply

Turning a whole side of a house into windows of different sizes, now that’s beautiful.

sallymander58 - August 8, 2013 Reply

Loved this. It is wonderful to see young people who have a vision of what life is all about and goes for it. Beautiful

william carlisle - August 8, 2013 Reply

I love it,absolutely beautiful !

Deek - August 8, 2013 Reply

Great build and video…LOADED with heart! Congrats on the completion of your funky oasis.

Deek - August 8, 2013 Reply

Ps….I’d love to feature it in a book on micro dwellings I’m working on…..who do I talk to? Kidcedar at gmail.com

carolyn - August 8, 2013 Reply

I’m from Williamson, WVa! Are you close by? I don’t recognize the terrain. It is so comfy, cozy looking and would be a very inspiring yet peaceful place to spend time. Love it!!

Rita - August 9, 2013 Reply

Can Life get any BETTER?

Lynne - August 10, 2013 Reply

Love the house and the video.
So are the windows just screwed together or is there some additional framework other than the post and beam? Did you put them in one at a time? Love the idea of repurposing

    Sally - August 12, 2013 Reply

    Still waiting for a response to the actual construction myself. “Stack and nail” is not good building practice when dealing with windows. I hope they have bracing and framing that just doesn’t show up in the photos. Otherwise, this is not remotely safe.

Chokyi - August 10, 2013 Reply

Wow – beautiful home, incredible light and space and view and beautiful little film. Thanks to Nick & Lilah for the home and being themselves and to Jordan & Matt for the film. You’ve all inspired me and made my Saturday!

Tiny House Blog – Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz | Half Cut Tea . com | Inside Art Creation - August 10, 2013 Reply

[…] Tiny House Blog was nice enough to feature our episode on Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz. […]

Shawn Dehner - August 12, 2013 Reply

It’s comforting to see places still being built that leave fingerprints : )

Tonja - August 12, 2013 Reply

Wow, but who of you cleans the Windows after a rain shower?

B Ratcliff - August 13, 2013 Reply

You two have captured more than just the creation of a delightful get-a-way, you’ve found that special spirit within each other.

My wife and me restored a 113 year old farmhouse. Only those who love old things can “really” understand how it changes not only our lifestyles, but also the way we approach life. Our greatest treasures are linens nearly 200 years old (yet perfect), imperfect yet perfect old furniture, and an Elgin/National pocket watch created between 1872 – 1876 plus of course our screwy old home. Living with the old somehow makes the present so much more precious. You two are a great example:)

Walter - August 13, 2013 Reply

This is so beautiful. It totally invokes a 1960s ethos that would have been at home in Woodstock and the whole handmade houses thing. And they make such a beautiful young couple too! There is hope for humanity when we see stories like this one!

Trevor - August 14, 2013 Reply

The cabin is truly inspirational and the video too. It is great that you have the opportunity to build something so wonderful without the local planning department sending in the bulldozers. Here in the UK it would be almost impossible to erect something such as this without incurring huge fines.

Oh to live in the USA where all things seem possible and where there is still personal freedom.

J Duffy - August 18, 2013 Reply

Love your story. wonderfully shot video, editing and imagery. Your glass house is an inspiration to all, myself included. Check out our similar story of a little house in a pepper tree. 90% recycled and reclaimed materials. I think you’ll relate. Teahouse Treehouse in Santa Cruz CA. on faircompanies.com. You can also find our video on youtube. Tell us what you think.

Beautiful Glass Cabin by Nick and Lilah %%post%% - California King Sets - August 23, 2013 Reply

[…] Nick and Lilah’s Glass Cabin In 2012, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs and set off to build a glass cabin in the mountains of West Virginia. Nick is a photographer who specializes in tintypes taken with a camera he made himself. He currently works for a landscape company in Milwaukee designing one-of-a-kind objects and spends his off time travelling the country looking for adventure. Lilah is a designer. She has made several clothing lines, each one coinciding with the city/place she inhabits. She currently sells her work in New York boutiques and also works for a landscaping company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. […]

Ian - August 25, 2013 Reply

Awesome but two things bother me 1. the flag being dirty and tied up like that. the flag has protocols and this is disrespect 2. the flaking paint on the table, windows etc is probably lead-based. even for adults it can be dangerous. I’d suggest painting it over

Ava Smith - October 9, 2013 Reply

Hi, nice pictures shared by you. Your glass cabin really looking awesome

– Glass cabin in the wood - October 11, 2013 Reply

[…] In 2012, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs and set off to build a glass cabin in the mountains of West Virginia. Nick is a photographer who specializes in tintypes taken with a camera he made himself. He currently works for a landscape company in Milwaukee designing one-of-a-kind objects and spends his off time travelling the country looking for adventure. via Tiny House Blog […]

Couple Builds Dream Cabin from Refurbished Windows | Blackle Mag - October 19, 2013 Reply

[…] where, inspired by the spectacle of the slowly setting sun, the couple first imagined plans for a house wherein one was enshrouded with natural light – whether the intense burning of colors amidst […]

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