The promise of cabin living is that with a little land and some ingenuity we can have simpler times and more nature.

Shope and his wife carefully designed an eco-friendly landscape: For instance, they did not fell any tree with holes that could support an owl’s nest. They also planted flower species that feed hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. Shope laid out the pathway of reclaimed granite slabs that leads toward the Hudson River below.
A door next to the bed drops down, opening the room to its surroundings. "It's a fantastic way to ventilate the space, but also makes sleeping in the loft feel like camping when it's down," Eerkes says.
A concrete wall between the garage and the main house is fortified with external insulation and covered with wood cladding and plaster. The additional protection prevents heat transfer between the concrete floor and heated living space.
Look no further than online shop Rodale's for a well-edited selection of eco-friendly items. Products span clothing to kitchenware to bedding, all selected because they're manufactured in a responsible manner. Rodale publishes some of the world's best-known lifestyle magazines, including Runner's World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening, and its e-commerce venture fits with its mission to promote healthy living. We've gathered a handful of items from the site to give you an idea of the wealth of designs available.

Vintage Patchwork Blanket ($625–675)
The simple materials and forms represent continuity with traditional Acadian architecture. The retreat is sheathed in metal sheets.
A simple design was key to keeping the Casa Cuatro environmentally friendly. "You can go a long way to make a house sustainable in the early parts of the design process instead of throwing a lot of expensive technology at it later," Foster says.
Dogfish Head Brewery (Milton, Delaware: 2009)

What’s more off-centered than a steampunk treehouse? When the eccentric craft brewery needed a quick expansion, DIGSAU delivered a playful design, filled with tilted angles and expressive geometry. Salvaged materials, LED lighting, and daylight modeling give the new space its green credentials, and the treehouse conference space adds a fitting outdoor touch. 

Photo by Halkin/Mason Architectural Photography
The design team used 3/4-inch PureBond Maple plywood from Columbia Forest Products, featuring formaldehyde-free, soy-based assembly.
The eco-friendly Ann Arbor home of Tom McMurtrie, Genia Service, and their son Gary features a brilliant reflective steel cladding.
Bunyesc was asked by a family of four—a couple with two young children, aged 1 and 2—to transform this aged structure into a modern home.

The architect wanted something energy-efficient, and while he had several renovations under his belt, he turned to an unusual material to harness the sun's energy: polycarbonate, a rugged plastic common to industrial architecture, sheds, and other lightweight construction.
Perched high in the Spanish Pyrenees, this old stone building needed major changes to become habitable again. Originally built in 1900 as a hostel of sorts, its strucutre was not incredibly robust: for instance, its windows couldn't be expanded for risk of weakening the wall. But architect Josep Bunyesc still saw a chance to turn it into a model of energy efficiency.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of the project was trying to pack so many energy efficient features in under a budget. Not only does the bathroom feature NuHeat radiant floor mats but all water is heated with a GE Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater, saving on heating expenses by around 67%.
The cabin was designed so that the north half can be closed off when not in use to reduce energy consumption. When the northern half is closed, the radiant floor heating can be turned off and the main area can be heated by the high efficiency wood fireplace. Photo by Shai Gil.
The firm's first home model for the development is dubbed Spahaus. Meant as vacation homes, the site's 21 cabins are designed to take advantage of the area's natural setting with large windows that overlook the forest.
As the untreated cedar boards and shakes weather and bleach out over time, the cottage will blend further into its landscape. Photo by Shai Gil.
Bunk beds keep the sleeping arrangements flexible and low-key, like any good cabin should. Photo by Shai Gil.
Walls and ceilings fold like origami, sheltering the interior with tent-like flaps. On the enclosed porch, horizontal slats, a modern hallmark often seen in the pages of Dwell, is palatable for a traditionalist thanks to generous use of cedar. Photo by Shai Gil.
Architects: Kirsten Murray, Tom Kundig
Since Dwell’s first visit in 2006, Gary—now 14 years old—has outgrown the swing, and the home has seen a few final updates: The second-floor deck is now covered in reused barn wood, and the terraces have been finished with railings, awnings, and recycled plastic decking.
One of the custom design alterations made to the original 1700 Series prefab kit is roof access by way of strand-woven bamboo stairs and a hatch. The top floor boasts three bedrooms and two baths, while the lower levels include one bed and one bath in addition to an airbnb rental space.