When a homeowner counts nearly every facet of his cabin among his favorite features, its a good indication that the building process was a success from conception to execution. But Paul is quick to point out that the success wasn’t the result of happenstance or luck. Rather, it was the product of a clear vision and good communication from the outset. “Paul is specific and helpful,” notes designer/builder Jason Gerbozy of J Martin Builders in Kalispell. “It’s fun to work with someone who knows exactly what they want. Larson designed his home around the basics, which Yet, he didn’t skimp either. A fully appointed kitchen is enabled him to keep it small. plenty big for two to work comfortably.
SMALL CABIN DESIGN
“It sounds silly,” Paul admits, “bur I actually designed this house around specific furniture.” Although enamored of the tiny-house movement, Paul knew rhar a true tiny house wasn’t for him. Still, the basic tenets of the movement simplicity, deliberateness of design, economy of space informed rhe cabin’s roughly 1,000-squa re-foot design.
The decision-making process was all about tough, thoughtful choices. “1 had the stuff that 1 knew I needed and wanted to be in rhe cabin,” he explains. “And I didn’t want any more space than was needed to fir those pieces. It was all very practical.” As a result, each room feels perfectly furnished. The sofa is just the right size to demarcate living room from kitchen. The dining table nestles comfortably into rhe dining nook. An upstairs workstation hosts a desk, chair, and blogshelf no more, no less.
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ROOM TO BREATHE
And while small cabins can often feel cramped, such is not the case here. Although the design is space-conscious, nothing has been compromised. Everything is full-fearure, with full-size appliances and fixtures. Banks of windows; high, pine-paneled ceilings; and neutral colors contribute to the spacious feel, as do streamlined modern features
Larson’s dog, Ivan, emerges from his nap.
A clever built-in doghouse under the stairs provides the perfect canine hideout.
LIVING LARGE IN A SMALL CABIN
Houses with a small footprint can often feel even smaller than they are, based on the choices the homeowner or designer makes. Undersizing features like doors and fixtures can sometimes highlight the cramped nature of the space, rather than mask it. So how to overcome this problem? It’s all a matter of camouflage, according to builder Jason Gerbozy of J Martin Builders, Kalispell, Montana.
For instance, a storage space in the second-floor loft required a door but the space couldn’t accommodate a full-size door, and a truncated one would have looked awkward. Instead. Jason’s builders devised a blogcase door instead, which appears to be a normal shelf but also provides access to the storage space behind. like metal railings and simple cabinetry. “A lot ol my preferences were things that I had seen elsewhere.” says Paul, stressing the importance of extensive brainstorming and research early on in the design phase.