“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
When we learn to live simply, we have mastered the art of living. Also known as “downshifting”, the simplicity-oriented lifestyle leads to a less pressured but more fulfilling life.
People consciously leave materialism behind and focus on a more sustainable lifestyle. As new generations are turning to sustainable and smart designs, many find tiny and simple homes with less stuff much more attractive than luxurious mansions.
Back in 2012, a couple, Lilah Horwitz, and her boyfriend Nick Olson, started planning their perfect getaway somewhere within the vast forests of West Virginia.
Living in a tent, on a modest diet of canned and boil-able foods, they managed to erect an idyllic cabin in the woods in only a few months.
They were unemployed at the time, but previously, Horwitz worked as a designer, and Olson was a photographer and carpenter.
The location was not picked by accident. On their first date, Olson brought Horwitz there to watch the sun set over the West Virginia mountains.
“We thought: Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a house where the whole wall was windows? Then you would never have to be trying to fit the sunset into one little space.”
After quitting their jobs, and a few months on rice and beans, they made their dream come true.
They made their towering cabin a perfect place to see infinite sunsets and breathe the fresh air, as its front wall is made entirely out of old windows of varying sizes, which contribute to its rustic and modern look.
Horwitz explained the amazing light show created through these windows as the sun is setting:
“That’s when everything inside is on fire.”
The creative duo used wood from an abandoned barn nearby for the rest of the cabin, and managed to complete their cabin in the woods with a shoestring budget of $500!
“We were able to make it a reality because we are first artists and creators. We had to be resourceful to do it cheaply.”
Yet, the land is owned by Olson’s family, and there is no electricity or plumbing.
Nick and Lilah both agree that the special hideaway boosted their confidence and perspectives.
Nick now works for a landscape company in Milwaukee, designing one-of-a-kind objects, and travels the country looking for adventure, while Lilah is a designer, whose clothing lines coincide with the place or a city she inhabits at the time. She also works for a landscaping company in Milwaukee Wisconsin.
Therefore, they do not use the enchanting retreat year-round, but they visit it whenever they want to escape from the noise and rush of the city.