Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

November 9, 2018 by  
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Strict building restrictions often dictate the design of home additions, but in certain cases, savvy architects know just how to work around them. Case in point is architect Nicole Blair, head of Austin-based Studio 512 , who has just unveiled The Hive guesthouse, a tiny home that expands as it rises upward, evoking the shape of a beehive. Built as a guest house for a residence in Austin, The Hive’s unusual shape is a solution to local building codes that required that the footprint of structure be confined to a maximum of 320 square feet. Not one to be limited by such regulations, architect Nicole Blair found a smart way to abide by the rules while still creating a gorgeous extension. Inspired by the shape of a beehive, Blair simply added a second story using walls that slant upward and outward from the base. This way, the walls expand as they rise, providing extra space to the second floor. Related: This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn Clad in large cedar shake siding  repurposed from old roofing material, the charming tiny home with a very unusual shape is certainly eye-catching. The dramatically slanted walls and large windows framed in white add a touch of fairytale whimsy to the dynamic design. From the tilted kitchen walls to the spacious, angular bathroom to the sloping bedroom, the structure’s geometric character — and quirky personality — is evident. The small, covered entrance features an outdoor shower installed adjacent to the front door. Inside, the living space and kitchen are found on the first floor, where an open layout seamlessly connects the two spaces. In the kitchen, the angled walls also provide more counter space. Between the kitchen and living room, a wall of multiple glass panels bring in  natural light . A set of dark wooden stairs leads up to the second level, which houses the bedroom, bathroom and a small work space. Throughout the tiny home, bright white walls and ample natural light lend to the vibrant, modern aesthetic. The neutral color palette is contrasted nicely with a smart collection of modern furnishings and a mix of unique features such exposed copper pipes, blackened wood flooring and kitchen cabinetry made from  reclaimed longleaf pine . + Studio 512 Via Dezeen Photography by Casey Dunn and Whit Preston via Studio 512

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Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

How to host Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny home or small apartment

November 9, 2018 by  
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If you live in a tiny home or apartment, the idea of hosting Thanksgiving dinner can seem like a daunting task. A few hundred square feet, no dining furniture, small appliances and limited seating can definitely present some challenges. But if you have a plan, you can throw a successful, delicious feast, even in a tiny house or micro apartment. Here’s how to do it. Make a detailed plan for the menu, and keep it simple The items you need for your Thanksgiving dinner can overwhelm your small space, so you want to plan ahead and develop a strategy for your shopping and cooking . Private chef Amanda Elliott says to keep things simple and stick to four homemade dishes, including the turkey. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need for your menu, and think about your refrigerator and pantry space. If you have a large oven, the turkey is going to take up this space for most of the hours before the meal. Choose side dishes that you can make ahead of time and reheat just before the dinner or ones that you can prepare on the stove. You can also choose menu items that can be served at room temperature, like salad. Related: How to cook and enjoy 10 types of squash other than pumpkin If you have a small oven, you can purchase a prepared turkey from a local restaurant or grocery store to avoid cooking the turkey yourself. There are amazing options out there, just be sure to order it well in advance if that’s the route you want to take. If you have your heart set on making your own turkey, you can cook it outside in a deep fryer or on the barbecue, so you can use your oven for other things. If you would like to have more than four items on your Thanksgiving menu, ask your guests for help. There is no shame in requesting assistance with your menu items. Consider asking one guest to bring a dessert and another to bring an appetizer. Just remember to be specific about what you need, and avoid saying “bring whatever you want.” You don’t want to end up with multiple green bean casseroles or macaroni and cheese dishes. When it comes to serving the food, make your kitchen counters and stove a buffet, and let guests serve themselves. Get creative with seating If you don’t have a large dining table and a lot of seating, don’t panic. A casual dinner where guests can eat wherever they please is just fine. People can sit on the couch and the floor — just be sure to provide guests with trays to hold their plates, cutlery and glasses. Use things like step stools, ottomans, lawn chairs, desk chairs and pillows for extra seating. If you still don’t have enough tables or chairs, you can try renting some from a local party store. Be sure to remove all of the clutter from the space. Clear off all flat surfaces, so people have a place to put their drinks. If you want to do some decorating for the occasion, one statement piece with a couple of decorative elements works well for the festivities without adding clutter. Have a plan for coats and bags. The easiest solution is to keep them all in the bedroom, so your guests aren’t taking up valuable living room space with their bulky outerwear. Have everyone help with the clean-up When you send out invitations, ask guests to bring their own containers to take some food home at the end of the celebration. This will prevent you from getting sick of leftovers, and it keeps food waste to a minimum. Consider asking your guests to help take care of their finished plates. You can do the scrubbing later, but getting help with clearing the tables and throwing away the trash will quickly free up space and give you a little time to make room in your belly for dessert. Experts also agree that the key to keeping your sanity in a tiny home at Thanksgiving is to clean as you go. While you are preparing your food, tidy up the work space throughout the process, and don’t let dishes pile up in the sink. If cleaning as you cook doesn’t work for you, hide the mess by piling all of your dirty dishes in the bathtub and draw the curtain. Then, clean everything after your guests leave. Finally, don’t stress! Sit back, relax and enjoy the day. If you are super stressed, your guests aren’t going to have any fun, either. Put together your plan of attack, and if things don’t go perfectly, it’s okay. Just smile and enjoy some red wine (white wine takes up too much space in the fridge!). Happy Thanksgiving! Images via Shutterstock

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How to host Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny home or small apartment

Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch

November 2, 2018 by  
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If there is one thing that typically eludes tiny home design, it’s open-air space. That’s what makes this gorgeous, modern farmhouse so incredible. Designed by Perch & Nest , Roost 36 is a tiny home on wheels with a large front porch, which was built out of 100 percent recycled composite materials. Even better, the house, which is listed on Airbnb , is located on an idyllic 4-acre farm, letting guests enjoy the amazing scenery from one very cozy front porch. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Roost 36 was created for a family of four. It boasts non-toxic materials and many energy-efficient features . The exterior is an elongated volume painted white with an A-frame roof, reminiscent of barns and farmhouses found in the area. At one end of the tiny home is a surprisingly large deck, which was built from 100 percent recycled composite. A glass entry wall can be opened completely, blending the interior and exterior spaces. A brilliant system of retractable screens lets residents further open the space or close it off completely while still enjoying fresh air. Related: This tiny farmhouse on wheels starts at 63K On the inside, a comfortable sofa faces a wall with built-in shelving with enough room for the television and various knick-knacks. Large windows and four skylights on the cathedral ceilings naturally brighten the space. There is a fully-equipped kitchen with concrete countertops, a deep farmhouse sink and a very cool, renovated SMEG icebox as a refrigerator. Past the kitchen, a rather spacious bathroom comes installed with a farm-style tub and a composting toilet . There are two sleeping lofts on either side of the tiny home. The master bedroom is reached by steps that double as storage. Underneath the master bedroom is a smaller sleeping nook that can be used as a kids’ room or guest room. On the other side of the home is another sleeping loft, which is 8 feet deep and reached by a library ladder. The tiny home is available for rent on Airbnb , starting around $120 per night. Guests can enjoy the serenity of the area, especially the roaming farm animals and expansive nature found on the site. Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain state parks are a short drive away and offer tons of hiking and biking trails. + Perch and Nest Via Tiny House Talk Images via Perch and Nest

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Enjoy a mint julep on this tiny farmhouse’s charming front porch

A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

November 1, 2018 by  
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The sustainable builders at ArtisTree are known for creating some seriously beautiful and green structures. The company has just unveiled a charming treehouse located in a remote eco-retreat in Texas. Perched 25 feet in the air between two cypress trees, the Yoki Treehouse is an exceptional example of the company’s artistry and deep respect for nature. Located in central Texas, the Yoki Treehouse is Austin’s first treehouse resort at Cypress Valley. Designed to be a luxury retreat, the  treehouse sits 25 feet above a creek, which served as the inspiration for the design and name (Yoki is the Hopi Native American word for rain). According to Will Beilharz, founder of ArtisTree, “Water is life — one of our most precious resources, and ArtisTree treehouses are designed to let people experience nature’s resources more intimately.” Related: World’s most active volcano harbors a tiny off-grid home — and you can stay overnight Built with sustainable woods such as elm, cypress and spruce, the treehouse holds court high up within the tree canopy.  The retreat is comprised of a 500-square-foot suspended treehouse and a separate bathhouse, which sits on solid ground. The two buildings are connected by a 60-foot-long suspension bridge with various platforms to provide plenty of open spaces for enjoying the surrounding nature. In the main house, this strong emphasis on nature is apparent at every angle. The entrance is located on the roof, which doubles as an observation platform perfect for enjoying the lush green forest views and the babbling brook. There is also an open-air porch where the branches grow through the floor, further connecting the structure into its environment. Inside, the walls of the treehouse are clad in a warm birch wood, creating a cabin-like aesthetic. Again, an abundance of windows, including an all-glass front wall, allows guests to reconnect with nature. The interior design and furnishings were inspired by Japanese minimalism, while touches of Turkish decor add a sense of whimsy. The separate bathhouse was built with solitude in mind. It features a spa-like atmosphere, complete with a large Onsen-style soaking bathtub. Ample floor-to-ceiling windows offer guests a serene spot to enjoy a bit of bird watching or stargazing. + ArtisTree Via Dezeen Photography by Smiling Forest via ArtisTree

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A treehouse made from sustainable wood hides a luxurious interior

The adorable Acorn tiny cabin is made of wood salvaged from an old mansion

October 19, 2018 by  
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We’ve seen a lot of tiny homes over the years, but the Acorn has to be one the most adorable designs we’ve ever come across. Created by the team from Ojai-based Humble Hand Craft, the sweet tiny home on wheels is built from reclaimed wood and felled trees, including the western cedar shingles that were salvaged from a mansion in Montecito, California. At just 16 feet long and 8.5 feet wide, the Acorn is one seriously tiny home on wheels, but its strategic and space-efficient layout makes the interior seem much bigger. Built on a trailer of the same dimensions, the Acorn takes us back to the basics of traditional cabin design with its warm facade of cedar shingles, a corrugated metal roof and a welcoming front porch. Related: This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood According to the builders at Humble Hand Craft, like most of their cabins, the Acorn was made out of wood salvaged from various sources. The Western Red Cedar shingles used to clad the small structure were reclaimed from an old mansion in California. The porch posts were made out of a dead tree that had fallen near one of the builder’s favorite hiking trails in Ojai. Much of the cabin’s interior, such as the trim and the front door, were made out of reclaimed redwood salvaged from a 5,000-gallon wine barrel found at a vineyard in Santa Cruz. The all-wooden interior creates a homey living space, enhanced with an abundance of natural light . A space-efficient layout was essential in designing the interior. To create more living space on the ground floor, a sleeping loft was installed on a platform. The living room, which is big enough for a small sofa and table, is kept warm and cozy thanks to the small wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen features a beautiful redwood countertop finished with a natural bio resin as well as plenty of storage and shelving to avoid clutter. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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The adorable Acorn tiny cabin is made of wood salvaged from an old mansion

These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials

October 12, 2018 by  
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Ambitious tiny cabin crafter  Jacob Witzling  has taken inspiration from childhood fairytales to build some seriously dreamy woodland dwellings for himself and his friends. Using  reclaimed wood  and other materials scavenged from construction sites, Witzling has designed and handcrafted a series of gorgeous tiny cabins tucked deep into lush forestscapes. Inspired by a deep respect for nature, all of his amazing cabins run 100 percent off the grid with no running water. It seems as if Witzling was destined to be close to nature. As a teenager, he moved into a 1920s cabin tucked into a wooded forest near his parents’ house. Although he would go home to do laundry and eat, he said that he always found himself drawn back to his real home in the woods. He has always preferred to live with simple pleasures. “Inside was a wood stove that I fed and stoked through the harsh winter nights,” Witzling explained. “I had my freedom and my fire. They were all I needed to be happy.” Witzling has taken his love of simple living and turned it into an amazing craft based on sustainability. Not only are all of his cabins built with reclaimed materials , but they are completely off-grid. They are powered by 12-volt D/C systems using deep cycle batteries. All water needed for drinking, cooking and bathing is collected from a well, and separate outhouses are equipped with composting toilets . Most of his wooden cabins are built on land owned by friends or acquaintances. He builds the structures with the agreement that he will have complete access after their completion. To date, he has built six amazingly unique cabins, including an innovative home on the bed of a pickup truck. Take a look below. Cabin 1 Witzling’s very first cabin was built for just $800. The two-story structure with a sloping shed roof was constructed out of reclaimed building materials , including salvaged wood, nails and screws leftover from construction projects, a local reuse store and straight from garbage pits. The cabin has two levels, a ground level of 100 square feet and a 70-square-foot sleeping loft. Witzling lived in this cabin for three years. Related: 9 brilliant backwoods cabins for reconnecting with nature Cabin 2 The second tiny cabin was built with wood salvaged from an old warehouse. Certainly fairytale-inspired, this 200-square-foot cabin takes on a cruciform shape with two pitched roofs covered in thick moss. Inside, there’s a compact living area and a 90-square-foot sleeping loft, all illuminated with natural light. Cabin 3 The third cabin (perhaps the most impressive) is a tiny octagonal structure with a pyramid roof featuring eight A-frame dormers. Witzling built the geometric cabin with his lifelong friend Wesley Daughenbaugh. Two large wooden doors open into the 135-square-foot interior, where many windows flood the space with natural light . The roofs are covered with metal sheets, chicken wire and a layer of moss. Cabin 4 The fourth cabin is quite distinct from the previous work in that the roof design is so eccentric. The cabin, which he built with his brother, Ethan Hamby, is set on an 80-square-foot, irregular base and topped with an  undulating pitched roof layered in small wooden shingles. The cabin was built with all reclaimed materials and is 17 feet long, 11 feet tall and 7 feet wide with a small, 30-square-foot sleeping loft inside. Cabin 5 The fifth cabin was a collaborative effort between Witzling, his brother Ethan and a childhood friend, Scott Pearson. The 200-square-foot wooden cabin , again made out of reclaimed lumber, is built on 25-square-foot alcoves on each side. A pitched 4-foot spire adds a chapel-like aesthetic to the cabin, which is surrounded by forest and adjacent to a small lake. Truck Cabin From off-grid cabins nestled into evergreen forests to homes on wheels roaming the highways, Witzling’s sixth project is a surprising twist to the traditional tiny cabin. Using the roof design from Cabin 4 as inspiration, he and his partner, Sara Underwood, built a tiny asymmetrical cabin on the bed of a 1979 pickup truck. The crafty duo are currently exploring the U.S. in their amazing creation. You can follow their adventures on Jacob’s Instagram . + Jacob Witzling Via Dwell Photography by Jacon Witzling, Sara Underwood, Forrest Smith, Chris Poops, Andrew Kearns, Erik Hecht, Justin D. Kauffman, Allen Meyer, Peter Crosby all via Jacob Witzling

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These enchanting, off-grid cabins are handcrafted from salvaged materials

Dunkin’ Donuts unveils a tiny home powered by recycled coffee grounds

October 11, 2018 by  
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Now this is one sweet tiny home! Dunkin’ Donuts has long claimed that ¨America Runs on Dunkin’,” but now, the company has created a gorgeous tiny home that is truly fueled with coffee. Recently unveiled at NYC’s Madison Square Park, the 275-square-foot “ Home That Runs on Dunkin’ ” is powered entirely by an eco-friendly biofuel created out of recycled coffee grounds. The tiny home project was a collaboration between Dunkin’ Donuts and builder  New Frontier Tiny Home . The custom-made home was built on a trailer with wheels for easy transport. The design was inspired by the doughnut company’s dark, rich coffee and bright orange and pink logo. Related: This beautiful tiny home doubles as a tasty doughnut shop The house is clad in dark, black-stained cedar, inspired by the color of a cup of coffee. On the corners of the home, weathered steel panels add an industrial touch. Although compact, the interior of the tiny home is warm and cozy — just like a cup of Joe. There is a master bedroom with a king-sized bed, a spa-like bathroom, a chef’s kitchen with high-end appliances and an elevated dining area with an extra-large window that brings in natural light. From the living room, a garage door wall opens up to an open-air cedar porch. The interior design, spearheaded by actress Olivia Wilde, is fresh and modern. Reclaimed wood siding and shiplap add a warm touch to the living space. The home’s furnishings, many of which were also made out of reclaimed materials, are multifunctional to add space. Throughout the house, the company’s iconic pink and orange logo colors can be found. Of course, the most spectacular aspect to the beautiful tiny home is its clean energy , which is produced out of recycled coffee grounds. Developed by Blue Marble Biomaterials , a sustainable biochemical company, the home runs on biofuel converted out of approximately 65,000 pounds of used coffee grounds. To create the biofuel, excess oils in the coffee grounds are extracted and then mixed with alcohol to undergo a chemical reaction known as transesterification. This process produces a biodiesel that burns efficiently. Once the biodiesel is washed and refined, it is ready to be used as fuel through the use of a standard biofuel generator. According to the project description, 170 pounds of recycled coffee grounds produce about one gallon of fuel. The Dunkin’ Donuts tiny home is an excellent example of how to reuse waste , and it also shows the importance of creating a sustainable energy system for homes of the future. Your morning cup of coffee now powers you and your home! + Dunkin’ at Home Via Apartment Therapy Photography by Cindy Ord / Getty Images for Dunkin’ Donuts

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Dunkin’ Donuts unveils a tiny home powered by recycled coffee grounds

Martian tiny home prototype champions zero waste and self sufficiency

October 10, 2018 by  
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International practice OPEN Architecture has teamed up with Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi to design MARS Case, a futuristic proposal for Martian living that takes inspiration from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden . Designed for easy transportation, the lightweight and compact housing prototype was unveiled to the public for the first time outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing as part of China House Vision, a multidisciplinary and experimental platform for ideas about the future of housing. The tiny home combines the principles of zero waste and self-sufficiency in a rejection of modern consumer excess. When asked to explore new possibilities for the future of housing, OPEN Architecture decided to push the envelope and begin its project with a dystopian premise that envisions humanity forced to settle on Mars . To design a home fit for human habitation on the planet, the architects designed a tiny home that is built on the idea of recycling. “There, we have no choice but to reduce the excessive consumption of four former lifestyles and carry only minimal essentials,” the firm said. “ Recycling will be the only way we survive. As we find new appreciation in every drop of water, every bite of food and every breath of air, will we at last discover the freedom of truly simple living? Is this what we should define as the idea house of the future?” Related: This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world Measuring 2.4 meters by 2.4 meters by 2 meters, this “ideal” MARS Case house relies heavily on green technology, namely with the integration of domestic appliances in Xiaomi’s current product lines that can be controlled remotely via smartphone. The heat and condensation generated by the electronic devices would be harnessed, filtered and recycled to create an “integrated ecosystem.” + OPEN Architecture Via ArchDaily Images by WU Qingshan and Xiaomi

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Martian tiny home prototype champions zero waste and self sufficiency

The off-grid Eucalyptus tiny home radiates cool, Californian vibes

September 26, 2018 by  
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Canada-based  Minimaliste Houses knows a thing or two about building tiny homes that stand up to harsh winters, but even when charged with building a home for the California coast, the designers used many of the same principles to create an energy-efficient and durable structure. The 28 foot-long Eucalyptus tiny home is completely off-grid , relying on roof-top solar panels, tight thermal insulation and natural light to make the home completely self-sustaining. When the builders were approached by a client who wanted a tiny home to live on the California coast, there’s no doubt that they felt it would be an easy project. However, the client also requested a structure that would have a strong resell value years down the line for potential buyers looking to live in a colder climate. This meant that the tiny house had to be durable to withstand various climates for years to come. The result is a gorgeous, custom tiny home that boasts a timeless design for virtually any location. Completely off the grid, the structure generates its own power thanks to a large grid of 260-watt solar panels on the roof. The energy hub of the home is comprised of eight batteries and a 4,000-watt inverter to power the home’s electrical needs, including all of the kitchen appliances. Related: 8 tiny homes built tough for off-grid living In addition to its energy efficiency, the tiny home has a fresh, modern aesthetic. The exterior is clad in white cedar panels, creating a contemporary cabin-like feel that continues through the interior. Inside, ultra high-ceilings add more space for the dual sleeping lofts and create room for people of above-average heigh t. The floors and ceiling are also clad in wood panels that contrast nicely with the all-white walls. The design is open and airy, with an abundance of natural light thanks to various large windows around the home. From the living room, a stairwell with hidden storage leads up to the main bedroom. A unique hand rail made of steel pipes adds an industrial touch to the design. On the other side of the living room is a loft area, which can be used as a reading space or guest room. The bathroom is compact, but there’s enough space for a large stand-up shower, combo washer and dryer and composting toilet . At the heart of the home is the kitchen. Typically an area that is cramped and dark, the Eucalyptus’ kitchen is anything but. The U-shaped kitchen is lined with bamboo countertops that add extra space for the client, who loves to cook. There’s a large sink, propane oven and even a floor-to-ceiling pantry that slides out to provide plenty of storage for culinary staples. + Minimaliste Houses Photography by JP Marquis via Minimaliste

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An off-grid cabin on a remote island is inspired by Japanese design

September 17, 2018 by  
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Tasmania-based firm Maguire + Devine Architects has created a gorgeous Japanese-inspired, off-grid tiny cabin tucked away into a remote island off the coast of Tasmania. The 301-square-foot home is designed to operate completely off the grid and comes complete with solar panels and a rainwater collection system. The tiny cabin is located on 99 acres of Bruny Island, a tranquil destination just off the Tasmanian coast. Using minimalist design features, the architects set about to create a soothing retreat that would evoke a sense of serenity and have a strong connection to the surrounding landscape. Related: This off-grid cabin in the pristine Alaskan wilderness can only be reached by sea or air The compact cabin is clad in bush fire-resistant wood siding at its base and enclosed on one side with zincalume metal siding, which is also used for the sloped roof. The shed-like roofline adds character to the design, but it’s also a strategic feature that allows more space for solar panels . Taking advantage of the location, the architects positioned the cabin to open up to the east and west so that the homeowners could enjoy early morning and afternoon sunshine. According to the architects, the design for the off-grid cabin was inspired by their client’s love of Japanese minimalist design. “Our brief was to capture that love and design a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built in,” the firm said. “The only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress on the sleeping loft.” Inside, the living space, which is clad in light-colored wooden panels, is bright and airy, illuminated with natural light from a large skylight. Two large sliding doors open up to two wooden decks facing east and west, creating a seamless connection between the inside and the outside. The low-lying platforms were built without railings, so nothing obstructs the views of the surrounding wilderness. To provide the ultimate retreat experience, one of the decks includes a recessed tub for the resident to relax while watching the sun go down. The two large sliding doors are made out of transparent glazing, another nod to Japanese design . “Translucent glass in the sliding doors references the light qualities of Japanese rice-paper screens, creating a sense of enclosure and privacy at night, while encouraging the occupant to open them during the day,” the architects explained. “They also prevent birds, including the endangered swift parrot, from attempting to fly through the building and striking the glass.” Located at the back of the home is a compact kitchen, equipped with a Nectre Bakers oven that is not only used for cooking but also supplies sustainable heating in the colder months. The bedroom is located in a sleeping loft accessible by ladder. An elevated seating area with a large window provides the most stunning views of the island. + Maguire + Devine Architects Via Dwell Photography by Rob Maver via Maguire + Devine Architects

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