A Tour of the Cabin Kitchen and Bathroom

August 1, 2011 · 31 comments














I think it’s pretty ridiculous that I felt like I needed 27 photos and a novella-worth of text to share a less-than-200 square-foot space with you. But, well, that’s what’s here. I did clean/rearrange/remove a few things for these photos, but with such a small space, there’s not much a person can do to make it look better than it really is, so this is more or less what it would look like if you came to visit on any given day.

This space is the original cabin before we added on the current living quarters. It’s 10′ x 20′, including a 4′ x 4′ utility room accessed from the outside and a 4′ x 4′ bathroom.  Henry, his dad, and his brother built it starting in the winter of 2004/2005.

That’s a bottle of locally produced Pheasant Court Maréchal Foch and a “bouquet” of Queen Anne’s lace and thistle blooms. (Henry walked in the house and asked, “Do you know you filled that jar with weeds?”)

Rake head hooks.

I go to the Coburg Antique Fair every September with my fabulous neighbor Mary and her daughter Anna Rose. I picked up this rake head last year because Mary suggested I use it for a set of hooks.

Quarter-sawn Oregon white oak dining table made by my father in law, Henry, and me

These are some kinda ugly home-grown carrots on our dining table. Our friend John milled the oak lumber because he thought he could sell it to a local winery to make barrels. That deal fell through, but we got some beautiful quarter sawn oak for furniture projects.

Some serious cast iron.

I love cooking in cast iron pans, and I love having them on display almost as much. Most of our collection came from various thrift stores and such, but I did order the Lodge “drop-biscuit” pan from Lehman’s, and I’m very happy with it.

All the windows and doors in this room were reclaimed.

That’s fresh chèvre draining into the bowl. Kitchen chairs: one we made (right), but it’s kind of rickety and not too comfortable, one came from a thrift store (green on left) and has been shoddily repaired several times, one was my mom’s as a kid, and the wood high chair was a gift from a friend and then was refinished by the aforementioned fabulous neighbor Mary. Someday I will buy a good set of chairs, but I haven’t found them yet.

Madrone log coat rack made by Henry.

We’re lucky to have quite a few madrone trees on the property. They are so very cool that you will probably see them on the blog coming up.

Door made by my father in law with a madrone handle.

Henry traded horseshoeing for this used woodstove.















We heat our house with wood exclusively. With only two rooms, a small fire will warm the whole place up in a hurry. Our biggest problem is being too hot in the winter. It’s not uncommon for us to have to crack open a window in January because we’re feeling cooked.

Hand-forged hinges.

Henry made these awesome hinges for the bathroom door. He is fairly proficient at blacksmithing, but he’d rather be shoeing horses or gardening that forging metalwork. I can talk him into the occasional custom project, though.














Our bathroom is really just a tiny room with a genuine, standard-issue flush toilet. The oil lamp is from Henry’s grandma’s family, and the vase on top of the john was a wedding gift from my parents’ neighbor who is a full-time metal artist.

Bigleaf maple shelf made by my father in law.

I studied geology in college, and Henry’s into rocks, too, so we keep a little rock collection on a shelf in the bathroom. The ice-tong TP holder is another one of neighbor Mary’s good ideas, and this one came from the Coburg Antique Fair.

Bigleaf maple slab shelf made by Henry and me.

The shelf is made out of a leftover maple slab that would normally be discarded after milling. The horse is an heirloom from Henry’s side of the family.

I've bought most of my earrings on Etsy.

When I saw a similar cheesegrater/earring holder at my friend Rebecka’s house, I knew I had to have one of my own. Now I have two that also came from the Coburg Antique Fair.

The spice cabinet in the background was made by Henry's brother, Trevor.

Repurposing rules!















The dish towel is my favorite from margotbianca. The 12v flexible light is a fixture meant for a boat that we bought at Englund Marine.

Henry traded horseshoeing for a gallon of local frozen crab meat, and with the help of some neighbors, we eventually ate the whole thing. It was delicious, and now we have a cute utensil holder.

Cupboard-counter unit with bigleaf maple panels, CVG fir, and madrone pulls made by Henry and his dad.

Before I moved in, Henry and his dad made this custom cupboard. When I arrived on the scene, this unit, the neighboring little book shelf, the propane fridge (now outside in the mudroom), and the woodstove were the only pieces of “furniture” in the house. The bed and the toilet were built/installed shortly before I officially came to live here.

Madrone twig pulls.

Someday I’d like to sell madrone drawer pulls in my Etsy shop, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. (Hey, copycats, don’t steal my idea!)

The house only has one sink, and back when this was just kind of a bachelor shack, Henry and his dad decided to instal a tiny bar sink instead of a full-sized one to save space. In my opinion, having a half-sized sink is like having a half-sized toilet. It’s not good for much. We lived with (and I complained about) the impossibly small sink for two years until we got this nice deep one. It’s such a huge improvement.

The two-burner stovetop runs on propane.

Proud member of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

I got the soap dispenser from an Etsy seller who is apparently now out of business. My mom made the soap. My OPB thank you gift doubles as a toothbrush holder.

Madrone branch pot rack with hand forged hooks (by Henry).

One of the keys to making use of small spaces is to get thing off the ground and onto shelves or, in this case, into the air. This pot rack was one of the first contributions I made to the house back when I was just settling in. The egg basket/rag storage also came from the Coburg Antique Fair. We generally use rags instead of paper towels for wiping up spills and such.

Radio box made by my father in law with the radio taken out of my grandfather in law's boat.

Because we don’t have or want a TV, we listen to lots of radio. We have only recently moved on to part-time Pandora and podcast listening, but apart from that, OPB is on almost all the time. I can tell time by the change of the shows.

At least 25 years ago, my mom bought this crock at Gerding’s Grocery Store. (Any of you long-time Corvallis residents remember Gerding’s?).

Lots of kid's books.

Even though we’re at the library pretty regularly, I have a weakness for buying books. Most of these are favorites that get read over and over and over.

The buckets to the left are full of corn, flours, and California brown rice.

Bigleaf maple shelving unit made by my father in law, Henry, and me.

Most of the foods that we buy are bulk staples with a smattering of packaged favorites. I think dry goods in canning jars are as pretty as any art we could hang on the wall. They come in lots of cool colors and textures to match the wild shape of this set of shelves.

I love half-gallon Ball jars with reusable plastic lids.

This is what we eat. It’s pretty healthy especially when paired with lots and lots of fruits and vegetables.

 This is one of two similar light fixtures suspended from the exposed beams in the kitchen ceiling. It’s pretty cute, but the 12v car backup bulb,  doesn’t put out a whole lot of light. Wintertime in our house is pretty dim, so we go to bed early.

If you’ve already seen this post, you’ve now seen the whole interior of our home. I hope you’ve enjoyed your little tour. Feel free to comment with questions or suggestions.

I wanted to apologize to anyone who’s had trouble commenting in the last couple days. I was having issues with both spam and a new spam filter, but I think it’s now cleared up. If you have any further problems with this site, please feel free to contact me via the “Contact” tab at the top of the page.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggy August 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

My dream is to live in a cabin someday. I love, love, love your place. :)


holly c. August 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

I love your home and all the repurposing and space saving ideas you have!


cynthia August 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

i think we have matching bathrooms! mine has a tub to the right of the toilet, a small 4 ft. one. but i have no more real estate, floor wise than you. i love the simplicity of living in a smaller space. my current, and last home is the smallest i have ever had, situated right on the beach of northern lake huron. ahh tiny house, big yard! huge! wind, water, birds. my soul is at peace in this place. right now, about 3000 ft. offshore, i have a 1000 foot ship that the coast guard is coming to tow because it has lost all power. i called them. ‘-). i wouldn’t trade my little house in paradise for a mansion. winters? we go to bed early here, too! and the woostove is waayyyy, to big for this house! especially if you’re menopausal like me. love your work!


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

Living on a lake sounds like paradise to me!


Sharon Jones August 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Great inspiration. We just bought our first house and everything we own and plan on furnishing it with is second hand, either hand me downs or pulled from the roadside the evenings before garbage pickup. I’ve always been simple but you’ve inspired me to make a goal to keep my house even simpler. No fuss and only the necessities. We don’t even have a dryer, but luckily the house comes with a laundry line. So many people I know (here on Long Island) are hell bent on material things and their homes are more like showcases to prove how much money they have or whatever. Thanks for the tour and thanks for the inspiration.


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:31 am

Fortunately or unfortunately, we’re at the dead end of a gravel road, and the nearest house is a half-mile away, so we don’t really have anyone to show off for except for invited guests. I kinda like it that way.


abby August 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm

That sounds exactly about right to me too. We somehow managed to find a place that is hard for any and everyone to find, so if we have uninvited arrivals they are usually lost : )


catie August 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm

i loved this tour ~ thank you, camille!
my favorite things are the repurposed rake, cheese graters, and ice tongs.
i love all of the handmade furniture, as well.
those madrone drawer pulls would be a great addition to your etsy shop.
your home is lovely & so snug.
i love a well-edited space like yours.


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

I can’t take credit for the repurposing of the rake, cheese graters, and ice tongs. I just know some pretty creative and frugal folks who come up with all kinds of good ideas.


ga447 August 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I just realized I have way too much stuff need to downsize. Being simple you have time for more fun things.


mae August 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

So happy you did a tour of the rest of your cabin! You are SO right– with small spaces, building/storing vertically or overhead is essential! The closet in our apartment has a “roof” forming an 8’x2.5′ cubby space above it that is the perfect size to store my canvases, finished artwork and some supplies. Plus, I love looking at them stacked up neatly, just like I love your open-cabinet food storage…. Clever utility is definitely just as aesthetically pleasing and artistic as actual artwork on a wall :)


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

I would hang art on the wall if I had wall space to do so. Maybe someday…


mae August 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Oh! I also wanted to mention that throughout both house tours, it made me smile to think that though your family’s priority is simplicity and utilitarian living, there are a zillion suburban McMansion residents would kill for your furniture, textiles and gorgeous rustic charm ;)


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:36 am

Henry’s dad (a professional custom woodworker) is considering branching out from the local market to the wider world of the internet. If anyone you know has money burning a hole in his or her pocket and wants a piece of gorgeous furniture, we can talk.


Ashley Browning August 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm

so where is the shower?


Camille August 2, 2011 at 10:37 am

I’ve been taking some photos of the outside of the house for a future blog post, but if you really want to see the shower, there’s a photo here http://waywardspark.com/?p=1731.


Ashley Browning August 5, 2011 at 8:22 am

looks awesome! so hows the shower during winter?


Salem Waters August 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

i love using the cast iron as well. wondering how you season yours and what your daily cleaning ritual is. my husband and i have not figured out the best way to care for ours yet. thanks for sharing your home with us. i love all the fun ideas you share.


abby August 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I was hoping you might do a little tour of the rest of your house. If this is how it looks on any given day, I am really impressed! I tend to feel amazed most days, how easy it is to make a mess.


Camille August 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

This is the clean version. It gets messy super fast, but cleans up relatively fast, too, so I guess that’s a good thing.


Jill @ The Prairie Homestead February 11, 2012 at 6:35 am

So. I just found your blog this morning, but I just spent the last 5 minutes drooling over your kitchen. Your little cabin is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I recently wrote a blog post on why I love living in a small house (we have a 1200 square foot farmhouse) but heck, looking at your pics makes me want to go even smaller! :)
And also, just so you know- all cool bloggers have Blue Heelers. (we have 2)
Keep up the great work- I will be back! :)


Barbara A. February 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

Love the cabin! I’m a cast iron nut. Would recommend getting the rust off and start using them even though they look all homey that way.


Lulu February 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

you have a lovely home..I looooove cozy homes, its so nice..


Chrisie C February 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Wow great home. a friend sent us this link to your post and i just realized we live in the same area. we are looking to build a 200 sq ft home and can’t find any to look at to compare size and stuff. thanks for your pics. would it be weird to ask to see your home? we live in elmira. Email me if you like. Thanks so much.


Dick Schlenk April 8, 2013 at 2:46 am

I liked your cabin very much and it reminds me of our 400 sq ft rock cabin in Volente, Texas close to Austin where we have lived for almost 40 years. We also have an even smaller 300 sq ft cabin in the Davis Mountains in far west Texas that we love. I’m now retired but spent most of my working years doing construction work which I still enjoy.

I liked your use of artifacts and madrone door pulls. We have madrone trees in Texas too, but I have made many door pulls here from Mountain Juniper. Would you like to see some pictures?

Take Care, Dick Schlenk


shower pods December 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site
with us so I came to give it a look. I’m
definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be
tweeting this to my followers! Great blog
and great style and design.


Elizabeth February 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

The light fixture from the exposed beam is that a canning jar? And I am wondering what kind of light is in it. How did you do it. I like it and would like to try it. Please let me know.
Thank you for your time.


kathy April 10, 2015 at 3:05 pm

I’m curious how you have a standard flush toilet if you don’t have electricity? I know they don’t run on electricity, but does it simply need plumbing to work? Hate to sound stupid, but a plumber I am NOT!! LOL A lot of people with these small tiny homes have compost toilets and just wondering why you don’t have one of those. Thanks. I really enjoy reading about your life and your garden. Its very interesting.


Furniture Store Parker March 20, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Wow great home. thanks for sharing with us.


Debra Parveen April 9, 2018 at 12:35 pm

A beautiful tour of the cabin kitchen and bathroom. Good work I am really appreciate your work for every one. Keep it up.



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