An Off-Grid Cabin That’s Tight and Shipshape

The designer went from boatbuilder to carpenter to cabin maker.


The U.K.’s Rupert McKelvie trained as a wooden boat builder, then moved into furniture design, and now has moved on to a far larger scale, designing and building tiny houses and cabin, including the Out of the Valley oak cabin, located in Devon, England, right in the middle of Dartmoor National Park.

“I have always had an interest in small-scale architecture and after I built my first cabin it was clear that there was a demand for my craft,” McKelvie told Dezeen. “A large part of the process is carpentry based, but we also work with metal and stone and draw on skills including timber framing, cabinet making, boat building and engineering.”

McKelvie drew on friends and locals for the materials and construction, including finding and using storm-fallen trees to supply the wood for the cabin’s furniture.

The cabin is just 259 square feet but manages to sneak a king-sized bed into a cozy nook. It also has composting toilet, two-burner stove, wood stove for warmth, and exquisitely finished carpentry throughout.

“Cabins offer a space that allows their occupants to live more modestly and reconnect with simple pleasures. This brings about a greater sense of wellbeing, whether it be in a woodland or city garden. Our work is about the wild but you can honor that in any setting. This philosophy is amplified by integrating off-grid principles and technologies.”

Rental starts at $193 a night. Book it and learn more at intothevalley.co.


Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

 

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