Miniature Modern Cabins

Vacation homes were once only for the rich, but modern cabins are packing big design into small footprints...and small price tags.

As originally reported in the Los Angeles Times, students at the Woodbury University School of Architecture have proven that - with a simple storage shed, a $1,500 build-out budget, and some creative thinking - mini-cabins can achieve high design that's actually within reach. Land not included, of course.

Under the guidance of professors Sonny Ward and Jeanine Centuori, the students were tasked with transforming 10' x 10' "over-the-counter" tool sheds into hospitable mini-cabins, affordable summer homes with light, insulation and sleeping space for two. For kicks (and added educational benefit), the professors added a wrinkle to the project: each of the three design teams were charged with incorporating a material - either wood, paper or plastic - throughout the design.

Mini cabin interior designs

Cabin interiors were kept understandably rustic, and with a 100 square foot footprint, space was utilized to the fullest.

While these cabins were clearly more case study than residential solution, the project raised an interesting point. There are tons of ideas circulating for prefab vacation homes that are affordable, design savvy, and can handily withstand the rigor of part-time use.

Check out this shipping container solution by Texas-based Poteet Architects, utilizing a durable steel shipping container as it's structure: 

Shipping container architecture

Clean and unobtrusive, use modern close to ceiling lights to open up the constrained feeling of a small space. 

Affordable shipping container home

Modern prefab homes have been a boom industry for a few years now, because they're relatively easy to deploy. This Sommerhaus Piu Prefab Vacation Home by German industrial designers Patrick Frey and Björn Götte is billed simply as "affordable." We might add stunning to that description.

modern prefab homes

The use of wall lights and small contemporary sconces keep limited airspace clean and clutter-free while stowing away neatly in the kitchen.

Modern prefab vacation homes

And for those who are looking for the turn-key approach, there's this contemporary loft design by Zenkaya:

Prefab modern cabin

Summer is just around the corner. When your wanderlust kicks in, consider surveying the landscape for a location that's amenable to housing modern cabins. Look for level ground and affordable property prices in areas within a days drive or train ride from home. Drop a design-savvy structure on top and you're ready to vacation in style. And should you ever need a house sitter, you know where to find us.

 Images: Los Angeles Times, Home Dsgn, the Coolist, Zenkaya