388 Exterior House Cabin Design Photos And Ideas

Architect Guillermo Acuña’s sprawling getaway lines the coast of Isla Lebe in the Chiloé Archipelago in Chile. He developed it in stages, first building a boathouse with a modest living space, then adding two cabins and later remodeling the boathouse. An avid sailor, he often sets out to explore the nearby fjords. The archipelago is midway between Santiago and Tierra del Fuego and comprises more than 30 islands and islets.
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
Pole Pass Cabin | Olson Kundig
The entrance to the Orchid Tiny House.
They tiny house connects to the outdoors with clerestory windows, floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, and a garage door that opens up an entire wall.
To protect against water penetration, the walls and roof are assembled with three-quarter inch pressure-treated OSB sheathing, Typar housewrap, an ice and water shield, asphalt paper, furring strips, and stained penofin cedar.
This cabin has a commodious kitchen and living area that encourages family and friends to come together for meals and conversation.
Shaped like a cross, this four-cornered villa offers four different views of its location on an island in Finland. Avanto Architects created a black exterior, dotted with large windows, to make it invisible from the nearby lake.
Built in 2005 for a client looking for a compact, easy-to-maintain shelter for his and his friends’ adventures, Delta Shelter’s design was inspired by structures like tree houses and fire lookouts.
Planning regulations required a gable roof, which the architects split into four shed roofs carefully designed to respond to heavy snow shed and meet spatial and aesthetic wishes.
A shot of the two houses from across the pond. “It's campfires by the pond, dinner cooked in the wood fire oven…we are living the dream,” say the brothers.
The exterior terrace, water channel, deck, and window wall of Matt and Jon Andersen-Miller's renovated midcentury home.
A simple and restrained material palette kept construction costs low.
Cedar platforms near the ground extend beneath broad eaves to create spaces that frame outdoor views.
The program is pushed to the property edges to screen adjacent neighbors and directs framed views to a large central courtyard.
The material palette consists of concrete, bleached flooring, pine plywood, and lots of matte black and white.
Enough House by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects resides on Brian MacKay Lyons' Shobac farm in Nova Scotia, a campus that allows the firm to experiment with form, materiality, and building. The Cor-Ten steel cabin, which features exposed Douglas fir plywood sheathing and stained pine flooring inside, houses an intern architect.
This 1,900-square-foot home was assembled on-site in just two days with wall panels consisting of staggered 2' x 4' studs on a 2' x 8' plate, which eliminates thermal bridging and maximizes energy efficiency.
The base of this cabin is constructed out of cast-in-place concrete with formwork using the same wood as the floor cladding above.
"The 900-square-foot cabin perches on one piece of granite, projecting precariously over a steep drop-off to afford dramatic eastern views across the valley below," says Isamu Kanda, principal at I-Kanda.
Stairway to Heaven is located on the clients' parents' land, just steps away from the homeowner's childhood home. Two siblings were also building homes on the property, making it a true family compound. The architects were mindful to create a home that utilized the views, but also allowed for privacy between residents.
Architects Stéphane Rasselet and David Dworkind delivered with a strikingly simple concept, anchoring two stacked, rectangular volumes into a steep mountainside surrounded by awe-inspiring vistas.
Located in California’s Sugar Bowl neighborhood, this shadowy lair by Mork-Ulnes Architects looks like something out of fairy tale. "We call the house Troll Hus, with a reference to the otherworldly beings in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore that are said to dwell in remote mountains," architect Casper Mork-Ulnes says.
An extension of Treehotel’s mission of bringing modern design to a serene natural environment, the 7th room is a cabin lofted among the treetops that blurs the distinction between indoors and outdoors. Designed by the renowned firm Snøhetta, the structure hovers 10 meters above the ground with a black-and-white print of the canopy covering the bottom façade, creating a trompe l'oeil effect.
This elevated prefab cabin in the Chilean Andes has a buffer zone that helps protect it against harsh climatic conditions.
The entrance is located between the two volumes, which are oriented in slightly different directions.
The first volume contains the living areas, while the second contains two bedrooms.
The Kustavi has a monopitch roof, high windows and ceilings, two sheltered terraces, and a master bedroom with either a tall panoramic window, or a sliding door.
The cabin’s exterior walls and roof are clad in overlapping stone plates that mimic the look of traditional wood paneling found in Western Norway. “It provides an affinity with the cabins nearby,” partner and architect Nils Ole Bae Brandtzæg explains. Solar panels cover the chimney pipe, lighting LED lamps inside.
Cabin Knapphullet is small cabin inspired by its location nestled between large rocks and low vegetation of the Sandefjord coast in Norway. It is only 323 square feet, but contains an open living space with a bathroom and a mezzanine bed that sleeps two people. Although the building occupies a small footprint, the space expands vertically over four levels including a roof terrace.
The natural slope of the site was perfect for dividing the house into split levels. The exterior is clad in heat-treated pine that has aged to a soft gray, which contrasts nicely with the charcoal bricks.
“At night, the chalet is transformed. When it is dark, the mirror effect of the reflection of the interior space in the windows completely changes the cabin’s relationship to its site and makes it appear larger,” adds Rasselet.
La Binocle is segmented into two volumes that reach outwards towards the tree canopy.
Winner of the 2011 Log House of the Year Award, the 1,206-square-meter Lokki, which was designed by as architect Kari Lappalainen and furnished by interior designer Hanni Koroma, has an inverted pitch roof that’s inspired by seagull wings.
This stunning forest retreat in England uses prefabricated panels to minimize site impact, shorten construction time, and protect against weather.
Built for $148,500, Casa Montaña was manufactured in a Madrid factory before being assembled in a mountainous, coastal region in Northwestern Spain.
An architect and construction engineer couple build a sustainable, 624-square-foot abode for $221,580 in their Southeast Portland backyard.
Perched atop a mountain on over six acres of woods, this young couple's weekend getaway incorporates the old with the new.
Choosing not to make a big to-do of itself, this cottage blends in with its surroundings. A wall of glass on one end allows a merger of the outdoors with the interiors, while white trim leaves the appearance of a snow-kissed façade year-round. Berlin, Germany. By Atelier st Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH

from the book Rock the Shack, Copyright Gestalten 2013.
Transformer or beach hut? Positioned in a coastal erosion zone, this holiday retreat for a family of five is completely capable of being relocated. An oversized shutter allows for protection from the elements when not in use and opens to allow sun in during the winter or provide shade on hot summer days. Waikato, New Zealand. By Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, from the book Rock the Shack, Copyright Gestalten 2013.
According to Remijnse, since the only direction they could build on the small site was up, they decided to add height with a gabled roof.
The solar panels on the roof often get covered in a heavy layer of snow, but with periodic clearing, they are as effective during the sunny days of winter as they are during fairer weather.
A bright-yellow “R” sign, from a truck that used to deliver furniture from Jens Risom Design, sets off the southern facade. When Jens designed the house, he stipulated that he wanted cedar shingles, not the asphalt ones that came with the original design from the catalog.
On the north-facing facade, it’s easy to discern where the original glass doors used to open directly to the deck. In spring of 2012, Block Island contractor John Spier replaced the entire wall of glass panels.
Originally, glass doors opened to the deck, but after years of gusty winds, it was decided that a side entrance, protected by a sliding steel door, would be the preferred entrance.
Mid-century designer Jens Risom's A-framed prefab family retreat, located on the northern portion of Block island, is bordered by a low stone wall, an aesthetic element that appears throughout the land.
Designed by architect Tanja Rytkönen, Vista is a compact log home with a high pitched roof, and fully glazed façade.
Designed by architects and experienced sailor Kari Leppänen, Honka’s Saari villa was built with 134-milimeter thick square logs treated with a dark finish, and has three-meter wide eaves that provide shade, and wind protection for the outdoor patio.
Honka’s Kippari log homes come with large windows that are perfect for framing beautiful natural sceneries.
This wilderness sauna cabin in the west coast of Finland was built with 112-millimeter thick squrae logs, and has a 1,028-square-foot outdoor terrace.
This house has a sauna and four bedrooms, including a master bedroom on the second level that looks down onto the lake.
A Honka model called Kommodori was used for this seaside home,
Cho’s recently completed vacation retreat, the Concrete Box House, was inspired by the use of raw materials. Cho decided on grape vines as an unusual landscape element.
One of the main goals of the construction was to do as little harm as possible to the existing environment, which includes waterways that salmon depend upon. Herrin and his team created a garden roof that covers the full extent of the home to meet this objective. “This helps control storm water runoff and also replaces lost insect habitat—insects being a critical food source for juvenile salmon,” he says.

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.