Much more than merely quaint and quirky—these structures also promote sustainable living. Check out the following 10 tiny cabin homes—they really do prove that good things come in small packages.
Located on an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, this thoughtfully designed writer's getaway cabin was built by a retired Columbia professor with the help of his architect daughter.
Built atop the foundation of a previous greenhouse was a cost-cutting measure for this Dutch collaboration between Zecc Architects and designer Roel van Norel. Built in a forest north of Utrecht, this tiny cabin lets the owners "flee daily life" while taking in as much or as little of nature as they like.
Inspired by structures like tree houses and fire lookouts. This three-story cabin in upstate Washington was described by Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects who designed it, as "basically a steel box on stilts."
These 290-square-foot tiny cabins were built on the North Island of New Zealand by Cheshire Architects. Their structures enhance the landscape like minimalist sculptures—and embrace efficient small-scale living.
Built in a clearing near a 200-year-old pine and fir forest in the Virumaa region of Estonia, and made out of sustainable materials—this tiny cabin was intended as a summer home for designer/inventor Jaanus Orgusaar’s family. His modular, hexagonal housing concept utilizes a shape found in nature and creates space in its geometric patterns.
An innocent conversation among friends led to this ambitious project where 28 graduate students created 14 micro cabins to serve as dorms for instructors of the Colorado Outward Bound School. Built on a site so inaccessible that no cranes or semi-trucks could reach it, each cabin has a unique floor plan and is less than 200 square feet. To top that, the budget was less than $10,000 per unit and the project was completed in just 19 weeks.
Modest in size, but big on design—this 191-square-foot cabin on Salt Spring Island, just southwest of Vancouver, boasts cedar floors and ceilings which were milled from salvaged timbers, and is heated by a wood-burning stove.
With an enterprising spirit and just over $11,000, Boise, Idaho–based architectural designer Macy Miller literally built her own 196-square-foot home for her growing family.
By maintaining the small footprint of an old shed on her property in British Columbia, an illustrator of children's books was able to create a small, airy, modern cabin workspace with the help of builder Riley McFerrin of Hinterland Design—who ensured that the project had a contemporary feel while still maintaining the property’s rustic country charm.
Designed by Jonas Wagell for his master's thesis, the Mini House is his modern interpretation of a Swedish Shed, or a "friggebod." Though this cabin doesn't include a kitchen or bath, they can be added as modular units, along with a sauna or solar-power system.