Cabin Façade

September 7, 2011 · 10 comments














This is where I live.  It’s a total cliché to call it a “little house in the big woods,” but well, that’s what it is.





Henry, his brother, and his dad built the cabin from the ground up. Almost all the building materials were either milled from trees off our property, reclaimed from other buildings, or purchased at an extreme discount. The roofing was probably the single most expensive component of the whole house because we bought it new, but really, knowing that our roof is sound for the long-term was worth the price.














This is a reclaimed mahogany door and chainsaw-carved log steps. The flower bed in front of the house almost always has something blooming. The hardy kiwi on the left side of the door should eventually grow up and over the little trellis, providing a bit of shade and green adornment to the doorway.

All the siding on the inside and outside of our house is from the local cedar mill. We got a great deal on it because we bought several huge units of it at the same time.














This is a kind of funky homemade habitat for solitary bees. We have tons of different little native bees buzzing around the homestead, and they like to make their little mud burrows in the siding of our house and in the window casings. I used to open the windows and inadvertently smash their homes, so Henry just drilled this 6 x 6 piece of fir and mounted it on the wall, and they moved right in. Mason bees are great pollinators, so we’re happy to have them around.

This is the original cabin that Henry and I lived in together for two years. It’s about 200 square feet.

The solar panels power our puny lights, radio, and computers.

Porch swings may possibly be the world’s greatest invention. This one was a wedding present from Henry’s dad, a professional custom furniture maker.

We got the tub for pretty cheap off of Craigslist. Henry got the outside sandblasted, and then he repainted it to match the cabin decor. It seems like the ultimate hillbilly move to put a clawfoot tub on the front porch, but there was literally nowhere else for it to go. Luckily, the nearest neighbor is a half mile away, so we don’t have any privacy problems.

The milk can came from the Coburg Antique Fair, which is coming up again this Sunday. The Coburg Antique Fair is probably my favorite scheduled event of the whole year, so if you’re in the state, you should make an effort to go.

I also got this dinner bell at the Coburg Antique Fair. I feel like it doesn’t get as much use as it should because I usually just call Henry on his cell phone when I want to get his attention. It’s not as quaint as a dinner bell, but it’s somewhat more effective.

Here’s the infamous outdoor shower and door to the utility room. The shower is pretty great about 50% of the year. It’s okay for another 40% of the year. About 10% of the year, it’s not much fun. The water is hot, so taking a shower when it’s cold outside isn’t a problem. It’s most unpleasant when it’s windy because then the part of the body that is directly under the water  is the only thing that stays warm. Sometimes I end up rotisserie-ing so much that I get a little dizzy.

That’s it, folks. If you’re interested in seeing the inside of the house, check out these previous posts about the living quarters and the kitchen.

We spent the holiday weekend working and then taking care of our very sick children. It all caught up to me yesterday, and I slept almost all day while my parent’s watched the kids, something I greatly appreciated. I think we’re all on the mend today, so it’s back to the grind. Hope you’re having a nice week.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

mae September 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I love the trellis in the front! Cityslicker questions: Do mason bees sting, and do you worry about inviting them to live around your kids and Kit? Do you have a greywater system for the shower runoff? Or does it go into the ground? Do you have to use specially biodegradable/natural bathing products?


Camille September 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I’m pretty sure that mason bees can sting, but I don’t think I’ve ever been stung by one. They’re not aggressive, and would probably only sting if you stepped on one. I hardly even notice that they’re around unless I’m watching them crawl all over the flowers. This time of year, we have trouble with yellow jackets that like to get in the house and will sting you for no particular reason.

The shower is connected to a greywater system (shhh…don’t tell anyone because I’m pretty sure it’s illegal). It waters several patches of bamboo. We don’t use it on edible garden stuff because of food-safety concerns. Soap contains a lot of phosphorus, which in general is good for plants. Our bathing supplies are not too special (Burt’s Bees, Dr. Bronner’s, and Herbal Essence if you must know).


holly c. September 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I love your little home!


Laura September 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for sharing, Camille. As always, very interesting.


Riley Wing September 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I absolutely LOVE the outdoor shower! We had one temporarily when my dad was remodeling the bathroom. We used it last year from June until mid-December. (It takes him forever to do anything!) At that point, it was full-fledged winter here in Maine. We were trudging through snow up to our knees and our hair would be frozen by the time we got back to the house, so we made my dad finish the remodel. I would really like a more permanent model for the warmer months, though!


Camille September 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I don’t think I could survive the frozen hair part. Yikes!


Sandra September 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hi Camille,

I really enjoyed reading about and seeing photos of your home. Your clawfoot tub reminds me of that we have but your setting looks much more enjoyable for a bath!


Camille September 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Clawfoot tubs are the best!


tiffany September 18, 2012 at 7:22 am

i had to laugh at your “ultimate hillbilly move” (; being a southerner, you see everything outside so it’s nice to see sometimes we’re not the only ones. only difference, probably would see it outside in the south minus the privacy! your path is very inspiring. my husband and i spent last year in 175 sq.ft in a vintage airstream we restored and drove all over the country, now we’ve been renovating a 528 sq. ft 113 year old bungalow. we love tiny living and the decisions it forces you to make about what to keep or not keep. i just wanted to say hello.. first time to your blog.



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