DIY





Compact Cabins: How to Make the Most of Small Spaces

Using good design principles and the plans and techniques shown here, you can start building a small cabin that has enough space to meet your needs.

| September 20, 2010

Most of us dream of having a place where we can get away, and one of the most economical options is to build a small cabin. No matter your lifestyle or location, you can find the small cabin you want among the 62 creative floorplans in Compact Cabins (Storey Publishing, 2009) by Gerald Rowan. In this excerpt from the chapter “Design: Architecture, Logistics, Environment,” Rowan offers ideas for how to make the most of small spaces, as well as a small cabin floorplan that puts those ideas to use.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS STORE: Compact Cabins.

Small cabins are small because they have a small footprint. Though cabins may have a small footprint, with good design, they can offer a comfortable living space. The challenge is to create that feeling of space in a small cabin. I find that, in particular, high ceilings and strategically placed windows are a good way to make the most of small spaces, creating a comfortable space in even the smallest cabins. (Take a look at a compact cabin plan and exterior design to see these principles at work.)

High Ceilings



High ceilings give a sense of roominess and space in even a small footprint. They also let in more light and make ventilation easier. And increasing ceiling height yields space with less expense than adding floor space.

The additional ceiling height can be used for storage. (After all, small cabins, by definition, have small storage spaces.) For example, two rows of cabinets could be hung in the kitchen, one over the other, doubling the kitchen storage. A small folding kitchen stool provides access to the higher set of cabinets. In the bedroom, additional shelving could be mounted on the walls; using clear plastic storage tubs on this shelving would add visible, climate- and insect-proof storage. In the living room, a kayak or canoe could be stored by hanging it from the ceiling with a pulley system. That same pulley system could double as a wash line to dry wet clothing on rainy days.

www.EasyWoodwork.org
5/26/2018 9:39:41 PM

I use the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)


Celtic
5/31/2012 3:32:54 AM

The materials needed for that space would also be rather efficient.


Celtic
5/31/2012 3:31:43 AM

You don't need to go tiny to be efficient. A large open space with divided areas for bed and bath would work as well without having that cramped feeling.







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