After a few weeks of nightly brainstorming sessions where we could fit them in – we have finished up the main layout and design of the cabin project (click on the picture to the right to expand and see details). The future cabin, now of course named “Casa Del Vino” (The House of Wine) – will be tucked away in the northwest corner and will overlook the vineyard and farm. If you missed the original article on the cabin project – see: The Cabin Project.
The goals for the cabin are simple. We want it to be completely off-grid – and made from as many recycled and reclaimed materials as possible, much like we have with our barn and other buildings (see:barn project) In addition – we created the plan for the landscaping around the cabin to carry on the same recycled and self-sufficient theme. Using reclaimed brick for the patio, transplants from our existing space for the plantings – and a planned kitchen/herb garden for those who stay at the cabin to use at their whim.
The Interior Design:
Using the shed design we found online (seans.com) as a starting point – we then added a few windows and doors to the plan to fit our needs. Instead of sliding barn doors – we added a set of double french doors off of the patio as the entrance – and then placed additional windows in the front and side of the cabins to allow for plenty of natural light into the space.
We kept the interior layout as simple as possible, using an open floor concept to make the small 24 x 16′ main space seem as large as possible. The kitchen area is dominated by a large 9′ x 3′ kitchen island – with cabinet space below to hold cooking utensils. It will be made from recycled metal roofing and reclaimed lumber – and a concrete counter for the top. It will double as an eating table with a few bar stools placed in front.
We will create a built-in pantry and storage cabinets along the west side of the cabin, and use a combination of a sofa-hideaway bed in the main open space to keep the floor space clear during the day. A small wood burning stove in the front corner will heat the cabin during any cold stays – and the cross ventilation of the windows, along with the shade of the tree line should help keep it cool in the summer.
A single sink and a small 2 burner gas stove and mini fridge that will run off of propane will go along the back wall – along with a little more counter space. All in all – it should be more than enough room for a few people to stay comfortably for a weekend. We will wire the interior to have both power from the solar panels – and also be powered by a small generator if needed.
Exterior Layout :
We spent a lot of time designing the landscaping and exterior around the cabin as well – making sure to create the space as a private area on the farm. All the while of course – using as many recycled materials as we can to keep with the concept. We will create the patio from reclaimed brick – and then have large plantings of ornamental grasses to provide privacy to the patio area and cabin. We also want to create a small vegetable and herb garden into the landscape – for those who stay at the cabin to use. We’ll finish off the patio area with a small outdoor grill and a set of table and chairs to be able to enjoy the outdoors. Crazy as it sounds – we both think it would be pretty neat someday to stay there and be able to have a little breakfast or brunch from the fresh eggs and produce from the garden – or a glass of wine from our grapes!
Now that we have figured out the main details, we will spend the next few weeks creating and gathering the material list – and weather permitting, begin building after the first of the year. And so begins the daily checking of Craigslist, Freecycle, and other recycling sites for free or salvaged materials – staying on the lookout for shipping crates, pallets, old barn wood, bricks, windows or whatever else we can re-use! We will keep you posted on the progress!
Happy Gardening! – Jim and Mary