Thoreau would envy this small cabin. It’s in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, near the winding Marys River, not far from the town of Corvalis and Oregon State University. Kathleen Dean Moore, a philosophy professor at OSU commissioned this tiny house as a writing studio. She tapped her daughter, an architect who also teaches at OSU and runs her own firm to design a retreat that was wide open to nature, but also with a touch of modernist elegance.

The result is this adorable writer’s studio built back in 2007. Unsurprisingly, considering its remote location and tiny size, the writer’s shed is completely off-grid. There are no power outlets, no running water. It was even built without digging a foundation to keep from marring the landscape. The materials are largely recyclable and were carried in to avoid vehicle tracks tearing up the land. There is no immediate road access to the cabin.

The only distractions for Moore, or anyone else pecking away at a keyboard in this writing shed, would be the sound of the rain on the roof (the roof was built to accentuate the patter of rain drops), watching wind stir the trees, the scattering of small animals, the chattering of birds.


Actually, the animal life might end up proving enormously distracting. A small water basin at the front of the cabin is meant to draw birds and deer in for a drink. There are worse ways to procrastinate than commingling with wildlife, however.

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