Tiny Homes: A Dream Holiday Cabin in Latvia becomes a Reality


Originally from Latvia, Ilze Upatniece and Gunars Upatnieks have lived in Berlin for ten years. They have long harboured a dream to own a house in Latvia as a place to return to for vacations with their children.  Three years ago, their dream became a reality when they found a plot of land near Saulkrasti on the east coast of the Gulf of Riga. Read on to find out more about the build and see pictures of the fabulous holiday cabin they've created! 

What was the plot of land like before you started?
It was a forest plot which meant we had to do everything from scratch. The electricity was already connected but we had to arrange water and sewage as well as countless other things! 

What was your vision? 
Originally, we wanted to build a larger house, but soon understood that with two full-time jobs on the side of Europe and two young children, a prefab tiny home was perhaps a better idea. For inspiration, I spent half my life on Pinterest, reading different interior blogs and following numerous cabin and tiny homeowners on instagram.

Who did you work with for the prefab cabin?
We chose a small, young, local company in Latvia to help us develop the idea of having three tiny houses connected to one another via terrace. 

(The cabin as built through My Cabin in Latvia - also available in the USA).

What is the idea for having three different houses connected? 
My husband is an orchestral musician, so it was important for us to have enough space for practising his double bass. So, we decided on a 'living house', a 'sleeping house' and a 'sauna house'. Despite working with a prefab, we made a lot of personal changes including adding a triangular window, installing a second toilet and upgrading to higher quality materials.

How long did it take to build? 
Altogether it took over a year. I think evert building project has critical moments. Ours was no different. But looking back, we can say that we learned a lot, met great people along the way and are really happy with the result! 

The result is beautiful, it would look equally in place in Scandinavia, would you say there are similarities between Scandinavian and Latvian design?
In my point of view, Latvian design has developed in a very exciting direction. It has many similarities with Scandinavian design, for example, minimalist and clean shapes, and also the choice of material such as wood, glass, linen etc. At the same time, Latvian history also brings in other tones - the close existence with various eastern nations during the Soviet period, or Latvian folklore and the tradition of pagan mythology, which is relatively actively lived here. 

How big is the cabin, and can you tell us about the layout? 
Our 'living house' is about 25 m2. It has a well-equipped kitchen with all modern convinces. In the bathroom we have walk-in shower, washing machine, washing machine and a water filtration system. Furthermore, we have a living room area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden and forest. There's also a sleep loft one rate kitchen. 

Our 'sleeping house' is 15 m2 and has a bed, wardrobe and guest WC with washbasin as well as a second sleep loft. 

Our Finnish sauna with a woodburning stove is about 12 m2. 

Can you tell us about the interior design and the inspiration behind it? 
We wanted to keep the design simple and functional. Most of the furniture is custom made from solid wood and was made by regional carpenters. Since we sometimes spend as much as 6 weeks at a time at the cabin and like to cook together with family and friends, a well-equipped kitchen was important. 

We used a lot of natural materials, natural colours but since we rent the cabin on Airbnb we were also keen for the furnishings to be resilient and not too expensive, so we have also bought furniture from IKEA, Jysk and H&M Home

Can you tell us more about the garden?
Since our plot is 2300 m2 and we like to do outdoor sports together, my husband said 'let's build a beach volleyball court'! So we did! We also added a basketball court and hot tub. Then the small terrace grew to 170m2 and our garden was made! We planted hedges and foliage as well as many grasses that like to grow in forested coastal areas. We also plan to grow fruit and vegetables. 

What are you most happy with? 
Although building the cabin became a bit too challenging at times, w are super happy with how everything turned out, it's our little paradise! We love the secluded beach and watching deer roaming the garden. We also love our summer evenings on the terrace, playing games together and cooking. For us, it's the opportunity to slow down from our fast-paced life in the city and enjoy moments together as a family in a conscious way. We hope that through our vacations at Cabin Jūrada, our children will also call Latvia home.

What a lovely project - and such a beautiful result too! Id' happily wile away my summer here, how about you? 

In case you're tempted, you can rent Jūrada on Airbnb here - and see more pictures at @cabin_jurada.

I was fascinated to hear about the garden as I'm starting to plan our tiny cabin surroundings soon, no easy feat! I'm now thinking we need to add a few fun things - even if it's just an outdoor table tennis! 

Looking for more inspriation? See more cabins and tiny homes in the archive. 

Happy mid week friends - half way there! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Cabin Jūrada


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A Wabi-Sabi Inspired Getaway in the Bay of Fires, Tasmania

I love living in Scandinavia. Having been here for 18 years, I consider it my home. But sometimes - especially on a Monday morning - it's great to dream about faraway places! As you know, I've had my eye on Tasmania for many years (and now my sister Charlie - also has her heart set on on Tas thanks to some of the places here on MSH! I tell you, it's catching!). 

Maybe you'll also be tempted once you've seen the pictures of the beautiful SABI cabin in the Bay of Fires, designed by Fred and Jessica Eggleston. Described as a 'refuge of calm, free from distraction' the handcrafted stone cabin is serene, simple, raw and refined. Intentionally sparse yet rich in texture, romantic, spacious yet intimate - the cabin is located a short distance from the bay with its many hidden coves and cliff walks. The only thing you need to decide is whether to enjoy a book by the fire, soak in the Japanese-inspired tub or head out for a walk by the sea. I vote for all three. 

The kitchen has been kitted out with custom ceramic dinnerware and cast-iron cookware as well as everything you need to brew yourself the perfect cup of coffee (this could well be the tipping point for convincing Per - he does love his morning coffee!). 


The bathroom is inspired by a Moroccan hideout complete with floor to ceiling micro cement for a spa-like feel. My eye is on the rain shower.


Could you imagine getting away from everything here for a few days? 

Even if Tasmania is a little bit of stretch for many of us being so far, a girl can dream! Plus, there's lots of inspiration to take away from this striking interior.

I particularly love the wooden tub and can well imagine a soak in it. It's been made from a repurposed barrel and features a liner handcrafted from salvaged copper.  So clever! 

Is there anything that stands out to you? 

See more of SABI cabin at @sabi.stays and book your stay on Airbnb

Oh, and here are a a few other dreamy Tasmania hideaways: 

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography: Marnie Hawson 

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A Cosy Beach Retreat In Inverloch, Australia

I actually wrote this feature a few months ago in the same week as a dreamy holiday let in Kefalonia (that pool!), a Mallorcan Finca and a Danish farmhouse. And today, with a touch of a chill in the air (is it the same where you are?) I thought we could all use a little 'beach retreat' dreaming! Inlet House is situated metres from magnificent Inlet beach in Inverloch, Victoria, Australia. Guests are invited to snuggle up on the sofa in front of a wood fire, or come summer, stroll on the beach before returning for a shower under the open sky. Sounds like heaven to me! Take a look through the pics, and decide for yourself whether you'll be adding this one to your travel list (perhaps I'll see you there!). 


How lovely - rain or shine! 

I guess the only question is, which book would you pack? 

I'm currently reading Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell - I can highly recommend it! 

Let's stay Down Under today with a look back at these wonderful residences (all available to book!):  


And it's summer there right now too! 

Niki

PS I'll be back tomorrow with a rare Friday post - as I'd really like to share a few pics from my recent trip to a Danish castle! 

Photography by Marnie Hawson courtesy of Inlet House

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Dream weekend getaway: Le Viti Barn

The title of this post might be slightly misleading. This is only really a weekend getaway for those living in the vicinity of Byron's hinterland in Australia. For the rest of us, we'd need to book it for a month at least to make the long trip worthwhile. Count me in! Le Viti Barn is nestled among lush surroundings on a two-acre hilltop estate (the views, people, the views!), and combines rustic elements with a luxurious touch. Step through the large timber front door and you'll discover herringbone tiled floors, whitewashed walls, soaring ceilings and a bathroom worthy of a soak with a very high stack of books. And then there's the lovely outdoor setting from where you can watch the sunset over the rolling hills. What a perfect escape for two - or a small family. Scroll on to see more! 

What a dream! I could certainly escape the cold (we woke up to a dusting of snow today) for the Australian summer right now, how about you?

More info over at Byron Beach Abodes. Definitely one to add to the future travel list!

See more dreamy holiday rentals I love here

Well guys, that's it from me this week! Thanks so much for stopping by, I've loved reading all your comments and mails! 

Have a great weekend! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Byron Beach Abodes

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