All Girts Draugs wanted was a place to relax—but making that happen turned out to be far from a vacation. "I tried to renovate a country house, but it was a long and expensive process," he says. "After that, I was trying to find something I could buy." But he knew he didn’t want a finished home.
Instead, he envisioned buying ready-made products that would make it possible for him to quickly construct and customize an address. In other words, he was on the hunt to buy a seamless prefab vacation home. "There were unintelligible products on the market with unspecified costs, and there was no possibility to see the products for myself," he says. "So I decided to design my own."
Girts founded My Cabin as an unlikely solution for needing a comfortable yet customizable hideaway. "I developed three products with the idea that they can be purchased either individually or together," he says. There’s My Milla, a two-floor structure that can accommodate a kitchen, bedroom, living space, and bathroom across about 265 square feet. Next is My Kalmus, an open space of about 187 square feet that can be used as a private office or detached den. And finally, My Galia is intended as a sauna across 110 square feet.
After establishing My Cabin earlier this year, Girts built his own retreat that includes each of the three structures, which are now available for purchase in Latvia. "We’ve sold 17 houses so far," he says. "The most popular product has been My Milla, for living."
All homes are designed in a Scandinavian aesthetic with a pitched roof and spruce exterior, which can be stained to customer specifications. A simple spread foundation is poured at the construction site before the house is framed, insulated, and waterproofed. My Milla and My Kalmus come with electrical, while My Galia comes with sauna stones and LED lighting. Customers can designate the position of the double-glaze plastic windows and doors, and they can also purchase furniture for the spaces at an additional cost.
Girts notes that it typically takes about two months to construct each structure in its basic form, excluding delivery, and the average price for the home is about $40,400. (On average, that’s about a fifth of the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city of Riga, where My Cabin is based.)
"Being in nature is very important, particularly at the moment," says Girts. "And speaking of the moment, My Kalmus is specially designed for working at home—I can set up a separate space and have that sense of calm."
As he looks ahead, Girts doesn’t plan on slowing down. In the coming year, My Cabin is set to launch larger versions of its offerings, making it easier for a wider audience to find their own place to relax. "Our goal is to create a practical and well-designed residential house," he says.
Designer of Record: My Cabin and Girts Draugs
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