These Sleek Prefab Cabins Radiate Scandinavian Style

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Koto prefab cabins not only bring chic, minimalist design to the housing market, but also a new way of living.

Named after the traditional Finnish word for "cozy at home," Koto is a new UK–based prefab cabin startup founded by husband-and-wife design duo, Johnathon and Zoe Little. After spending the past decade in Oslo where Johnathon worked for Snøhetta, the couple was enamored with the minimal aesthetics of Scandinavian design, as well as the healthy work-life balance promoted in the area. In particular, the Littles were mesmerized by the Nordic concept of Friluftsliv, an expression that translates to "open-air living." Together, all of these elements infused the couple with enough inspiration to create their new company.

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"They are a sculptural interpretation of the small buildings that you see across Europe, from Bothys to Alpine huts and Norwegian Hytte. These small pitched-roof buildings are an integral part of the landscape and provide warmth, shelter, and an opportunity to fully immerse in nature. That is the heart of the ethos at Koto," explain the designers. 

"They are a sculptural interpretation of the small buildings that you see across Europe, from Bothys to Alpine huts and Norwegian Hytte. These small pitched-roof buildings are an integral part of the landscape and provide warmth, shelter, and an opportunity to fully immerse in nature. That is the heart of the ethos at Koto," explain the designers. 

The cabins, which can range from a 161-square-foot studio to a 430-square-foot, two-bedroom home, allow for easy flexible living and are available in one, two, three, or four-bedroom combinations. The prefab models can also include special add-on features, such as an outdoor shower, sauna, or even bespoke furniture. 

Interiors include concealed storage walls to maximize the floor space and help maintain the minimalist aesthetic. 

Interiors include concealed storage walls to maximize the floor space and help maintain the minimalist aesthetic. 

The interiors are bright and airy, and the exteriors are clad in Siberian larch that has been charred black using the Japanese shou-sugi-ban technique. "We are creating beautiful small buildings that allow people to connect with nature and embrace outdoor living," the couple note. 

In addition to bespoke furniture, key pieces are from Hay.  

In addition to bespoke furniture, key pieces are from Hay.  

"Our ambition has been to create a lifestyle brand that is centered around Friluftsliv."

Each bedroom is designed to feel like a private retreat with a calm, minimalist feel.

Each bedroom is designed to feel like a private retreat with a calm, minimalist feel.

Shop the Look
HAY Noc Light Wall Lamp, White
HAY Noc Light Wall Lamp, White
The Noc wall light from wrong.london makes a perfect addition to any reading nook or bedroom. The faceted shade is die-cast aluminium and features a smooth powder coated surface. The 2-meter power cord runs though the wall stem and has an inline rocker switch.
HAY Bella Coffee Table
HAY Bella Coffee Table
HAY’s Bella Coffee Table is an understated table that is small enough to place anywhere and has enough personality to make its presence felt. The ultra-thin surface and solid legs combine different elements to result in a light yet distinctive expression.
HAY Sleep Well Neck Pillow in Black
HAY Sleep Well Neck Pillow in Black
With its soft, shaped design filled with tiny polystyrene balls, HAY’s Sleep Well Pillow provides optimal comfort and neck support when you’re on the go. Choose from several different colors to suit your traveling style.
Special features include hidden storage walls and fold-down beds.

Special features include hidden storage walls and fold-down beds.

Strategically designed skylights maximize natural light. 

Strategically designed skylights maximize natural light. 

The interiors of the ensuite bathroom contrast dark colors with elegant copper Lusso fixtures. 

The interiors of the ensuite bathroom contrast dark colors with elegant copper Lusso fixtures. 

Each cabin comes with a Morsoe wood-burning stove.

Each cabin comes with a Morsoe wood-burning stove.

Even though each cabin boasts a large glazed facade, they can be oriented so to retain plenty of private. 

Even though each cabin boasts a large glazed facade, they can be oriented so to retain plenty of private. 

Outside nooks provide storage for firewood. 

Outside nooks provide storage for firewood. 

Koto prefabs can be reconfigured to accommodate client needs and the constraints of the site. "They are designed to last a lifetime and can even be relocated to a totally different site years later," explain the designers.  

Koto prefabs can be reconfigured to accommodate client needs and the constraints of the site. "They are designed to last a lifetime and can even be relocated to a totally different site years later," explain the designers.  

Project Credits:
Architect of Record: Koto Design / @koto_cabins

Builder/General Contractor: Kudos

Structural Engineer: Kudos

Interior Design: Koto Design

Furniture Partner: Hay

Photos: Joe Laverty