Couple converts $7,000 Joshua Tree cabin into a sophisticated desert oasis

April 19, 2018 by  
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When Kathrin and Brian Smirke decided to buy an abandoned property in the desert landscape of Joshua Tree for $7,000, they knew that they had a massive undertaking on their hands. The old cabin , which dated back to 1957, had been left rotting in the desert for years. But with a lot of vision and hard work, the ambitious duo converted the 480-square-foot homestead into a beautiful desert oasis. The couple chronicled the massive renovation project they lovingly call “The Shack Attack” on their blog, We Are in Our Element . The poor state of the structure meant gutting the interior down to the base boards to start fresh. Over a period of two years, the couple revamped the cabin into a beautiful desert home. “We spent over a year planning, demolishing, building, planning again, building, and then finally decorating this little gem,” Kathrin explains. “What makes this home special is that we did a lot of the work ourselves, including the design, complete demolition, framing, plumbing, trim electrical, and we even built a lot of the interior fixtures and art.” Related: Stunning Lucid Stead Cabin Reflects the Colors and Movements of the Mojave Desert The process was quite detailed, with the Smirkes focused on reducing the project’s footprint at every turn. They also had to deal with several building restrictions included in the sale of the property, namely not being allowed to increase the square footage of the structure. Nevertheless, they were determined to fit a comfortable living room, kitchen, full bathroom, and bedroom that would accommodate a king-size bed into the compact space . Using various reclaimed materials, they converted the space into a light-filled home. Large sliding glass doors in the entrance and the bedroom open the interior up to incredible views as well as an abundance of natural light. Additionally, they managed to salvage some materials from the original building – Brian created a few decorative pieces by repurposing timber from the original structure. In the kitchen, Kathrin and Brian formed and poured the concrete countertops themselves and made the floating shelves out of leftover clear pine and plywood. At the back of the home is a compact sleeping area that fits a comfortable king-size platform bed. Again, multiple windows in the room add a light and airy touch to the small space. To take full advantage of the desert landscape , the couple put a lot of work into creating a seamless connection between the interior and the exterior. A large covered porch offers stunning views. But, without a doubt, the heart of the project is the outdoor bathtub, an old water trough painted white. Surrounded by a wooden deck, this is the ultimate space for relaxing while the desert sun sets. The Shack Attack is available to rent via Airbnb throughout the year. + We Are in Our Element Via Dwell Images via We Are in Our Element

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Couple converts $7,000 Joshua Tree cabin into a sophisticated desert oasis

Couple restores 1969 camper into chic vacation home on wheels

April 18, 2018 by  
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When couple Matt and Beau saw a friend’s DIY camper restoration , they got inspired, and they decided to take on the same task themselves. Amazingly, it took the ambitious couple just 3 months and $10,000 to breathe new life into a run-down 1969 Globestar camper, which they lovingly renamed Rosie . The result is a beautifully hand-crafted living space that retains the original charm of the old camper while providing a sophisticated home on wheels . With a little help from some crafty friends, the determined duo worked on the challenging DIY project themselves, posting detailed tutorials on their blog, Probably This, along the way. Restoring the old camper wasn’t an easy feat, but the guys learned a lot: “We learned more than we thought we could ever know about 60’s era automobile construction, concrete mixing, bed-building, light hardwiring, shelving, painting-sealing-and-re-sealing, and appropriate methods of begging friends and family for help.” Related: How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer The camper renovation began by giving the camper’s old exterior a complete makeover. With help from an artist friend, Faye Kaucher Bell , they converted the old rust- and cream-colored facade into a Southwest-inspired color palette, complete with Rosie’s name on the back end. For the interior, the project began with replacing the old peel-and-stick tiled flooring with tiny wooden triangles made out of reclaimed cypress . Next up were the living space and the sleeping quarters: Matt and Beau gutted all of the old built-in furniture and created their own. A complete twin-size bed frame replaced the former bunk/sofa area, and they also installed a built-in night stand. For the kitchen space, the guys kept it simple by repainting the old cupboards and adding a hex tile backsplash and brass knobs. However, they did embark on a massive DIY project for the countertops, which they refinished with a concrete overlay themselves. In the dining area, they painted the dinette table and bench bases a cream color and  reupholstered the seat cushions with a neutral fabric. They even cut out a custom-made sleeping nook for their sweet dog, Fox. As for the rest of the home, the guys filled it with their own decorations and trinkets, including a rose-print wallpaper that pays homage to Rosie’s new makeover. + Probably This Via Dwell Images via Probably This

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Couple restores 1969 camper into chic vacation home on wheels

These timber tiny houses use bold pergolas to shade against the glaring sun in Israel

April 13, 2018 by  
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These beautiful tiny houses designed by Israeli-based Ron Shenkin Architecture provide relief from the glaring sun thanks to their dynamic pergolas. Located on the northern coast of Israel, the Dor Holiday Bungalows offer a serene seaside retreat for those looking to get away from it all. The cabins are built with horizontal timber slats and they feature pergolas that provide shade from the hot summer sun. The open-air decks offer views of private gardens and the sea in the distance. Related: Charming timber-clad bungalows blend into Portugal’s bucolic landscape From the deck, large sliding glass doors lead into the interior, which is illuminated during the day with an abundance of natural light. Inside, a spacious living area leads to the kitchen. The bathroom, complete with a hot tub, is located in the back. The timber bungalows are available in various sizes with studio layouts or separate bedrooms. Cozy furnishings make the living spaces quite comfortable and welcoming. Behind the bungalows, guests can enjoy a shared pool and lounge space. The compact cabins were prefabricated off-site and built on concrete slabs to reduce their footprint on the landscape. + Ron Shenkin Architecture Via Uncrate Photography by Albert Adot via Ron Shenkin Architecture

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These timber tiny houses use bold pergolas to shade against the glaring sun in Israel

This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

April 9, 2018 by  
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Washington-based company Handcrafted Movement is making quite the name for itself with custom-made tiny homes. The company’s latest micro dwelling — called the Coastal Craftsman — is so gorgeously designed that you’ll forget it’s only a mere 238-square-foot space. The energy-efficient tiny home has a stunning interior design that is not only open and airy; it is also handcrafted with various reclaimed materials. The home, which is built onto a transportable trailer , is clad in a cream-colored board and batten siding with Pacific Cedar accents, complimented with a dark metal rooftop. A lovely glass-panel door leads into the living space, which has distressed oak flooring that contrasts nicely with the white walls. Throughout the home, the interior design gives off a relaxed beach vibe, enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials The furnishings were all strategically custom-built  to provide personal touches to the home without adding clutter. A chaise lounge-style sofa bed is at the heart of the living area, providing a comfy place to read or watch television. There’s an electric fireplace to keep warm in the winter months, and a vintage desk and chair sit in a small nook under a window. The tiny kitchen has plenty of shelving and cupboards. The space is compact, but efficient and includes a dining table made out of Oregon-sourced, salvaged walnut wood . In the corner of the kitchen, stairs lead up to the sleeping loft, which has enough space for a king-size bed. Matt Impola, the founder of Handcrafted Movement, framed the walls himself and even inserted custom-made roof trusses to add dimension to the tiny home design . The craftsmanship of the project is incredibly impressive. “I built much of the tiny home components—the exterior shutters, kitchen cabinets, bathroom doors, stairs, electric fireplace, television cabinet, coffee counter, dining table, etc. — from scratch, and had two production assistants help me assemble and finish all them,” Impola said. “I’ve seen too many tiny homes with minuscule couches that will not realistically be comfortable for very long, so it’s important for me to be able to fit full-size furniture in every tiny home I build.” In addition to its amazing design, the home was also built with various energy-efficient features such as rock-based Roxul insulation, 10 large energy-star windows, LED lighting, an instant water heater, and a propane oven and cooker. Thanks to these features, the home’s monthly energy costs are incredibly low — an estimated $12 to $25 per month. + Handcrafted Movement Via Dwell Photos via Handcrafted Movement

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This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

This couple turned an old RV into a five-person home for just $3,000

April 5, 2018 by  
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Renovating an old RV is no easy feat, but ambitious couples are taking on the challenge with some seriously incredible results. When sky-high rental prices in California forced Ashley and Dino Petrone to look for alternative housing options for their family, they decided to convert a 2003 Cougar Keystone camper into one very sophisticated living space. Although it’s a mere 180 square feet, their new home is spacious enough for their large family and includes a beautiful interior design. Even more surprising, the family spent just $11,000 to create the tiny home of their dreams. The Petrones sold their five-bedroom house with hopes of building their dream home on land they purchased in Ventura, California. However, they needed a place to live while they built it. Soaring rental prices in California forced the couple to look for an alternative living situation; they solved this problem by purchasing a dilapidated Keystone camper for $8,000 and spending just $3,000 to renovate it, proving once again that brilliant home design doesn’t have to be expensive. Related: Family of five moves from a 2,100-square-foot-house to a beautifully renovated school bus After purchasing the camper, they gutted the entire rundown interior, saving absolutely nothing. “The state of the RV was old and blue and dirty. The curtains were horrible and huge and the whole feeling just felt dark,” explained Ashley. They kicked off the renovation by ripping out the camper’s carpet and replacing it with beautiful pale timber flooring. They took down the original wallpaper in the camper and replaced with it chic wooden trim. They also replaced all of the old kitchen cabinetry, as well as the built-in furniture, which took up too much space. An Ikea desktop was custom cut for the new kitchen in order to make the space as efficient as possible. Once the camper’s shell had been renovated, the family began to add custom furniture and storage solutions that would help avoid clutter. The living space is light and airy, with an abundance of natural light . The family’s sleeping quarters take up the opposite sides of the camper, with the parents in the master bedroom at one end and the kids in triple bunk beds at the opposite end. Throughout the space, the decoration is minimal, but sophisticated – the Petrones found most of the items at garage sales or discount stores. The family posts updates on their fabulous RV conversion on their website, Arrows and Bow , as well as on their Instagram page . + Arrows and Bow Via Dwell Photographs courtesy of Arrows and Bow

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This couple turned an old RV into a five-person home for just $3,000

The Buitenhuis is a tiny house you can rent in the woods of the Netherlands

March 20, 2018 by  
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Chris Collaris Architects and the designers from Dutch Invertuals just unveiled a series of beautiful tiny house rentals designed to bring people closer to nature. Slated for construction in Droomparken—a series of holiday parks located across the Netherlands—the minimalist Buitenhuis cabins let guests enjoy a peaceful living space surrounded by scenic parkland. While these tiny cabins are just over 400 square feet, their strategic design makes that space feel much larger. A floor-to-ceiling glass door serves as the entrance and opens up to an almost entirely glazed wall, which creates a bright, airy interior and it provides stunning views of the surroundings. Related: Timber cabin on wheels lets you hit the open road in luxurious comfort Each home is two stories, with the living space on the ground floor and a sleeping loft on the second. The Buitenhuis cabins will be placed in Droomparken locations all across the Netherlands, but every tiny home will have a customized interior designed by Dutch Invertuals artists and based on the wishes and needs of the guests. The team at Dutch Invertuals designed the Buitenhuis to bring guests closer to the nature. By providing a window onto the parkland and an interior environment that mirrors the natural world, they hope to create a space where anyone can “retreat peacefully into nature, immersing [themselves] in personal rituals and feeling the Earth’s warmth – either in solitude or the company of loved ones.” The Buitenhuis design was unveiled at Dutch Design Week last year, and construction on the various Buitenhuis locations has already begun. Guests can choose from a variety of lodging options at the parks, such as campsites, luxury chalets, and bungalows—and now they can also enjoy the view from the comfort of a brilliant tiny home . + Dutch Invertuals + Chris Collaris Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Ronald Smits and Tim van de Velde via Dutch Invertuals  

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The Buitenhuis is a tiny house you can rent in the woods of the Netherlands

Meet the Monocabin, a tiny home rental mere steps from the Aegean Sea

March 15, 2018 by  
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Milan-based Mandalaki Design Studio has created the gorgeous all-white Monocabin – a prototype for micro-living rentals located on the Greek island of Rhodes. At just over 270 square feet, this micro-home is made out of modular concrete panels and inspired by the island’s traditional architecture – which is simple, clean and cozy. This miniature piece of Greek holiday heaven, which is just steps away from the Aegean Sea, can currently be rented on Airbnb . The Monocabin’s modular concrete panels give the structure a traditional yet modern feel. The interior space, with a “hidden” bedroom and compact kitchen and living area, is simple but elegant. The walls, as well as most of the furnishings, are completely white, exuding an ethereal character. Related: Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet Large and small windows located in every room provide plenty of natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting. Additionally, Mandalaki’s own solar-powered lights are featured within the project. Outside, the cabin offers a beautiful open-air terrace that pulls double duty as a lounge area where guests can dine al fresco, under trees that provide plenty of shade. The courtyard is open and uncluttered, again paying homage to the simplicity that defines the island’s architecture. According to the architects, the cabins were inspired by idea that the island’s laid-back, minimalist lifestyle could be transported to other parts of the world via architecture. “The dream was to build a livable and modular design object we could place anywhere in the world sharing our design philosophy,” says George Kolliopoulos, co-founder and designer at Mandalaki. “And the story had to begin in Rhodes, my home island.” + Mandalaki Design Studio Via The Spaces Photographs via Mandalaki Design Studio

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Meet the Monocabin, a tiny home rental mere steps from the Aegean Sea

DIY tiny cabin is made out of old skateboards and a horse trough

March 12, 2018 by  
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When it comes to DIY , sometimes just one simple tool can make all of the difference. Nick Orso spent two years researching, planning, and building an eco-friendly tiny cabin on wheels . Using a simple Excel spreadsheet, he created the final design to scale for the “Tiny Cabin That Excels.” Built with reclaimed materials such as old skateboards and a salvaged horse trough repurposed as a water basin, his beautiful timber cabin – which also includes a composting toilet and tankless water heater – may be compact, but it comes with a lot of character. Nick Orso’s mobile cabin is located in a picturesque lot near a historic estate just out of Center City, Philadelphia. With large french doors and plenty of windows, it makes a perfect woodsy retreat. That said, since it’s built on a standard flatbed trailer, the mobile tiny home can be installed just about anywhere. Related: Escape Traveler is a tiny cabin on wheels that can be moved anywhere Orso built the cabin using quite a few reclaimed materials , such as an old horse trough, which was installed as the shower basin. His passion for skateboarding is also reflected throughout. In the kitchen, for example, he lined the side of the bar with recycled skateboards salvaged from a friend’s skateboard shop. Now, almost completely finished, Orso seems a bit hesitant as what to do with his cool cabin , “I hope to put it up in the woods as kind of retreat, and then who knows what that could lead to? It was a passion I had, he explains, “and I decided to throw away my free time and sanity to achieve it”. Via Urban Engineers Photography by Urban Engineers , and video by Urban Video Productions

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DIY tiny cabin is made out of old skateboards and a horse trough

This amazing renovated school bus is a bright, airy home for a family of six

March 5, 2018 by  
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Converting an old school bus into a living space is never an easy task – but when you’re trying to create enough room for a family of six, the project becomes a whole ‘nother beast. When Gabriel and Debbie Mayes began to embark on their skoolie refurb, they knew it would have to accommodate themselves as well as their four children for years to come. The result is an amazing, light-filled home on wheels that has plenty of living and storage space for the entire family. The Mayes Team began their renovation by buying an 250-square-foot, 2000 Thomas High Top with the seats still intact. Excited as they were about their new adventure, the ambitious couple soon discovered that the old bus was a “rust bucket.” However, they moved forward by gutting the entire interior, and creating a specific layout that would meet their needs. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel After months of hard work, the family managed to convert the old bus into a comfy 250 square feet of living space by using several space-efficient tactics. Instead of creating a long, shotgun type of home, for example, the wanted to separate the living space from the bedrooms. Putting the living room towards the front of the bus, they created a natural barrier with an L-shaped kitchen, which blocks the view of the sleeping area in the back of the bus. For the sleeping area, the kids have four bunk beds positioned over the wheel wells, with the parents’ bedroom at the very back of the bus. The bed was positioned over the engine, leaving enough room for clothing storage underneath, again making use of every inch of available space. Upon entry, the living space is divided into two sides, with two couches on either side that can fit the entire family. The couches can also fold out into a full bed for guests. The interior design scheme revolves around predominantly black, white, and grey tones, giving the interior a polished look. Using white walls creates an airy, spacious interior, which is enhanced by various large windows that flood the space with natural light . The design also incorporates various wood accents to add a sense of warmth to the design. As is the case with most tiny living spaces, creative storage solutions were essential in this project, especially with a large family. Throughout the bus conversion, hidden drawers and cupboards were installed in every available inch of space. The team installed storage under the couch and even a shoe shelf by the front door. According to the family, these areas are incredibly helpful to help the big family avoid clutter, “This has been such a blessing and has helped us to keep the bus organized.” The family, who is now “parked” in California while the kids go to school, posts updates about the project and their travels on their website and Instagram . + The Mayes Team Via Dwell Images via The Mayes Team

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This amazing renovated school bus is a bright, airy home for a family of six

Pre-industrial carbon found in Canadian Arctic waters

March 5, 2018 by  
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Old or possibly ancient carbon is being released from Arctic soils, according to new evidence cited by The Washington Post . The work is an indicator that permafrost thaw could be aggravating the issue of climate change — although the paper said scientists are debating how much ancient carbon Arctic soils would discharge normally. Study lead author Joshua Dean of Vrije University told The Washington Post, “I would say if you’re looking at anything pushing several hundred years old to a thousand years old, then you have to start wondering whether that should be coming out of this kind of system.” A team of researchers from institutions in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands utilized radiocarbon dating on the content of waters in the Northwest Territories of Canada and found what they described as abundant pre-industrial carbon in research published late February in the journal Environmental Research Letters . They hoped to establish a basic measurement, according to The Washington Post, of the amount of old carbon flowing into Northwest Territories waters. Further research will be necessary to pin down whether the amounts of old carbon are unusual or not. Related: Why Alaska’s vanishing permafrost worries researchers Anna Liljedahl, a University of Alaska at Fairbanks professor who wasn’t part of the study, told The Washington Post when it comes to this area of research, a smoking gun is elusive due to cryoturbation, which means, “a mixing of soil layers due to seasonal freeze and thaw process, brings old carbon up and young carbon down into the soil column.” She did say she thought these scientists were on to something, and more studies would bolster the evidence. Dean said the study can’t prove the Arctic has altered to put out more older carbon, but the results are still worrying. He told The Washington Post, “Clearly it’s a warning sign for the future.” + Environmental Research Letters Via The Washington Post Images via Depositphotos and Good Free Photos

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Pre-industrial carbon found in Canadian Arctic waters

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