Tag Archives: wooden cabin

House Tour: the house that dreams (and $500) built

23 Oct

Light is my number one priority when deciding where I live. I love big windows – for looking out to watch the world go by and for the sunshine they allow in. Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz felt the same, but took things one step further when building their getaway home in the wilds of West Virginia.

house of windows built for 500 dollars

house built from reclaimed windows

Their first date was a walk in the mountains and, while watching the sun set (awww), they mused about building a house entirely of windows so that nothing could come between them and the view. Less than a year later they left their jobs and set off on a roadtrip around Pennsylvania, collecting hundreds of old windows from junk sales they passed en-route. $500 dollars later they returned to the mountains and began building their dream getaway.

glass getaway in forest

exterior of glass house made from old windows

view from house made from windows

These pictures don’t give much clue as to the inside, but you can have a really good look around (and hear more about the couple’s story) in this Kinfolk-esque video made by Half Cut Tea. It’s well worth a watch to see the beautifully rustic wooden interior.

glass house at night

{Photographs & Video: Jordan Wayne Long / Matt Glass / Half Cut Tea}

If you could build a dream house anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Or, life in the woods

19 Sep

I studied English Literature at university and one of the many books I read there was Walden by Henry David Thoreau. In America it’s pretty much a seminal work but it’s not widely read over here. If I’m honest, it’s a bit slow and preachy for me, but its core themes of a simple life, communing with nature and the beauty of solitude are all things I value enormously.

If Thoreau had happened to be Swedish rather than American, his cabin on Walden Pond would almost certainly have been this fisherman’s hut in Gotland!

{all Karin Björkquist for Lantliv}

The tiny timber hut is lit only by kerosene lamps and warmed through in autumn and winter by a traditional cast iron stove. I can just imagine snuggling up in a heavy sheepskin blanket with the smell of woodsmoke in my hair and only the lapping waves and forest creatures for company.

If you too love this simple style, click here for more rustic house tours.

Live like a cavegirl

26 Mar

Despite the whole London thing, I’m a proper country bumpkin at heart. While the other girls were dressing up as princesses, I was usually happier playing cavemen with my brother, smearing my face with mud, running around barefoot and cooking up delicious ‘meals’ from plants and berries foraged from the garden.

Twenty years on, not much has changed really – when it comes to holidays you can forget sun loungers and piña coladas, I’d much rather be somewhere like this:

Urnatur Woodhermitage is a collection of magical little huts and treehouses in a wooded clearing in rural Sweden. Visitors are encouraged to get back to nature (and back to basics) with almost everything built, cooked or crafted from the immediate surroundings.

I’d find it impossible to choose which one to stay in – reading the descriptions of the Hat Cabin, the Charcoaler’s Hut and the Little Treehouse, each one sounds even lovelier than the last.

Aspiring cavemen (and women) are welcomed – there are courses about gathering wild herbs and mushrooms from the forest, simple carpentry, haymaking and the intriguing sounding ‘fire & knife’.

{all Ulrika Krynitz / Urnatur}

By now you’re probably either recoiling at the idea of staying in an unheated, electricity-free shed for a holiday, or desperate to know when you can go. If you’re amongst the latter, Urnatur is open from April to October and you can book via the website. If you’ve been captured by the magic, check out these photos and videos Anthropologie took when they visited Urnatur to shoot one of their look books a couple of years ago.

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A remote and rustic cabin in Croatia

A beautifully understated Moroccan Riad

Another amazing Norwegian house

18 Jan

I find it really interesting that two individual house tours can end up with exactly the same tags (vintage, Norwegian, wooden house, reclaimed…) yet the overall style of the homes can be so very different. While last week’s house was all about fresh, effortless elegance, today’s has a striking rustic look, with battered dark wood, artistic clutter and a worn-in homely feel.

I love them both equally, but differently. Maybe I could have last week’s as my main home and this one as my weekend escape! Which do you prefer?

Everything inside the house feels like it’s been there forever, but the building (an old rectory) was almost completely derelict when the owners bought it, and all the materials and fittings were painstakingly sourced from reclaim yards and architectural salvage specialists all over Europe. The fireplace is a mish-mash of various antique French surrounds, cleverly pieced together.

Another themed picture wall for me to ponder over. This one’s made from paintings and sketches collected from San Francisco flea markets where the couple lived for 25 years before moving back to their native Norway.

This bedroom looks so warm and cosy, though even the hippy in me recoils from a bed made from straw bales *shudders at the thought of the dust*

{all Trine Thorsen via Sköna Hem}

I don’t even know where to start with this amazing bathroom! I adore the colourful turtle tiles, the enormous beaten bathtub, the bird etchings on the walls, the shell panel curtain… even the house plants which are normally one of my pet hates actually look lovely in here.

I have such admiration for people who can pull together creative chaos like this… it’s so much more difficult than it looks!

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