From time to time, we all want to escape our everyday life, full of stress and tension, and retreat. An isolated cabin in the mountain is the place to go, as these tiny homes are an ideal opportunity to disconnect and enjoy the simplicity of life.
Have you seen some of the work of cabin-builder extraordinaire Jacob Witzling before? He is now building a truly enchanting place called Cabinland, together with his life partner, Sara Underwood.
Their idea is to create eight-to-ten handcrafted, artisan cabins amid the peace under the trees, ferns, and woodland, in the temperate rainforests of Washington state.
The cabins will offer a unique chance to enjoy time off-grid, as they will be built using reclaimed wood and other materials scavenged from construction sites, thirty miles from the nearest town, and will be cut off from modern utilities.
Power will be provided by portable generators, water currently comes from the nearby stream, and there will be a composting toilet and outdoor showers.
Two cabins have been completed since the beginning of the year.
The first one, the Diamond House, almost entirely blends into the surrounding forest. Its hexagonal base is topped with long beams tapering upwards to a diamond-pointed roof.
There is a living room with a stove and furniture on the ground floor, and a ladder-accessible loft space outfitted as a bedroom. There is an outdoor shower and hot tub, where they have installed a propane on-demand tankless heater to provide warm water.
It is a magical place to hide away from the rest of the world!
The second house, called the Pump House, has an angular roof, heaped with moss, and a triangular-patterned door. It holds the entire filtration system, and will house the pump for the new well.
In the meantime, the two keep their clothes and things stored away in the new wardrobe cabin, which has an asymmetrical and pitched roof clad in the same lush moss.
The community will be interconnected via a network of trails.
Jacob Witzling says:
“We like to make our structures do many—sometimes contradictory—things at the same time. We want them to look as though they grew in the environment, but they were also built to stand out. We want those who view them to think they look natural in their surroundings, yet at the same time, supernatural.”
Witzling came up with the idea when he was a child, and read his father’s copy of Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art.
When he was a teenager, he moved into a 1920s cabin tucked into a wooded forest near his parents’ house. He explained that he was always drawn back to his real home in the woods, and enjoyed the life filled with simple pleasures.
“Inside was a wood stove that I fed and stoked through the harsh winter nights. I had my freedom and my fire. They were all I needed to be happy.”
At the age of 22, he built his first mainly-upcycled cabin for a mere $800, and with the help of his family and friends, designed and constructed several other off-the-grid cabins in forested spots around the US.
They are all built in a unique style, with polygonal frames, geometric-patterned walls and doors, and moss-covered roofs. The cabins measure no more than a couple of hundred square feet at the base and have loft spaces for bedding and extra storage.
Underwood is a popular model and an actress, and now, the couple dreams of creating this wonderful Cabinland together. They met several years ago when she contacted Witzling to use one of his cabins for a photoshoot.
Soon, they discovered their shared passion for cabins, and after brainstorming the idea for Cabinland, they constructed the Truck Cabin, a 40-square foot cabin built into the flatbed of a 1979 Ford pickup.
They toured the states to find the perfect place for their vision and eventually chose the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The 15-acre plot of land is the ideal spot for this self-sufficient vision.
They estimate to complete the project in two years, and by now, they keep the exact location in secret. Yet, the document the entire journey with a YouTube series and a dedicated Instagram page.
Netizens can take a look at the design and construction processes, and Witzling also shares instructional videos. Some of the cabins may be available for renting as soon as the site is completed. Yet, the pair haven’t announced their future plans.
Until then, let’s all enjoy the pictures and videos of these magical cabins in the forest! Be careful, you might become jealous of the couple and their amazing life there!