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Interiors Pinspiration: Compact Cabins in the Woods

This week on Pinterest, I’ve been fantasising about a mini dream house in the forest … 

Last month, the world’s largest log cabin – a sprawling estate in Michigan comprising almost 5,000 acres – was put on the market for $40 million. As impressive as a national historic landmark with miles of Lake Superior frontage may be, I tend to prefer my cabins to conform to the Oxford English Dictionary definition – “a small wooden shelter or house in a wild or remote location”. Indeed, the teenier the better.

When you search the regular internet for cabins in the woods, you can expect to wade through a certain amount of zombie-monster nonsense related to the 2012 horror film before you get to the good stuff – and by good stuff, I mean unadulterated house porn with an alpine flavour. But in the rose-tinted world of Pinterest, it’s a different story.

Here, you can wander uninterrupted through hushed hill after secluded vale, perusing the cloistered lakeside and mountaintop huts of any introvert’s dreams to your heart’s content. Here I have gathered a small but special selection of the Pin-worthy, OED-appropriate cabins that I’d love to spend my winter in.

Cabin 02

Environmentally minded industrial designer Ross Stevens built this beautiful, weatherproofed house for himself and his family in the Wairarapa Valley of New Zealand, using recycled cool-store panels rescued from an industrial demolition yard. He says his goal was to “establish a lifestyle that made the most of the country’s natural landscape”, and, by all accounts, he appears to have succeeded. The cabin is surrounded on all sides by stunning views, of the nearby Palliser Bay, the adjacent fields and a neighbouring lake – which is, rather randomly, owned by James Cameron. (Photographs are by Simon Devitt.)

Cabin 04

In September, Lonny magazine celebrated a trend they termed “the sexy cabin” – acknowledging the yearly autumnal yearnings for a cosy log-cabin fireside, but in a manner in keeping with the general trend this year towards darker, moodier interiors. Their take suggested that when it comes to the new weekend house, “the outside is stained ebony, and the interiors are layered with rustic-meets-urbane eclecticism”. Unsurprisingly, the Danes are all over meeting this need – Copenhagen-based Vipp’s all-inclusive prefabricated shelters provide what they call a “plug and play nature retreat”. With a transparent shell and stunning, inky interior, they seamlessly blend a love of nature with sleek, modern design and smart technology.

Cabin 01

This cabin by Andersson-Wise architects hangs over a granite and shale cliff overlooking Flathead Lake in Montana – the US state best known for its awe-inspiring mountain ranges. Though it demonstrates a more traditional design style, it has no heating or cooling system and so is essentially passive. Set on six steel piers, it feels almost like a treehouse, and its wooden façade is absorbed effortlessly into the surrounding pine forest. My favourite detail is the lake-facing deck, perfect for hosting your morning coffee.

Pick up our current issue to see a traditional Tyrolean ski chalet in the Austrian Alps take on new life… Available from newsagents now, priced €3.99 (see inside for details of how to nab yourself a FREE Foxford Woollen Mills blanket in gorgeous grey).

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