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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 tour of an idyllic Finnish summer cabin

If someone asked me to describe my dream Scandinavian summer cottage, this would be it (you may recognise the idyllic Finnish cabin from this post). Situated on its own island on the West coast of Finland, the lovely owner, photographer and graphic designer Johanna Lehtinen, her husband Jari and daughter Tilda take the 10 minute speed boat ride out to the cabin as often as they can. "We try to use it the whole year round but because of its location there are times when we cannot get there - for example, when the ice is too thick for the boat but to thin for walking or using the snow cat." With no running water or electricity, the cabin is a true back-to-basics experience, where the family spend their time "chilling, playing board games, taking boat rides to other islands, visiting and welcoming friends, fishing, rowing, swimming etc," But most of all it's about soaking up the surroundings - "I love the wonderful sea and nature, and the peace and tranquility that the island brings. It's great to be in such close contact with nature," Johanna tells me. And I can totally see why.











 



Photography / home-owner Johanna Lehtinen

Could you image having a wonderful get-away like this to escape to?

I'm not sure I'd ever leave!

Get the look from Johanna's cabin: kitchen - Marimekko teapot and cups, I love the vintage jugs here. bedroom - this vintage shop sells a selection of one of a kind locker units, pick up an old milking stool here and paint it white. And above all else, the details - like Johanna's stacked pebbles, vases of fern and candles in stones collected from the cabin's surroundings. It seems like the best interior decor of all, is waiting on the ground right outside our backdoor (the theme of my first book Modern Pastoral!).

If you feel inspired by Johanna's cabin you might want to check out her latest photography and graphic design projects on her blog and instagram, and also visit her wonderful webshop where she sells her own nature inspired art photography such as Waves and her book Laiturilla, featuring eleven Finnish summer homes by the sea as well as other items (yes, she ships worldwide - woohoo!).

If like me, you're feeling truly inspired by Finnish design today - here are a few other links to beautiful summer cottages and hide-aways: an idyllic Finnish cabin with a sea view, a dreamy lakeside cabin with a twist, and a beautifully simple modern cabin.

Have a wonderful start to the week!

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This Beautiful Danish Summer Cabin is on Airbnb!

I am not sure if you know that I write a regular feature for Simply Scandi UK. It's a quarterly magazine focusing on Scandinavian design, and I've had the pleasure of contributing for two years, writing about everything from Scandinavian culture to travel and more. My latest feature involves researching Airbnb's (it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!) and I've been stumbling across all kinds of beautiful properties, including this one! 

Located in Tisvilde, the cabin was designed in 1934 by a female relative of Kaare Klint - and although newly renovated - many of the original details shine through (as do items by Klint such as the safari chair and pendant and table lamps!). Visitors are invited to treat the cabin as a home from home in which to unwind beside the beautiful Tisvilde Hegn woodland, an hour North of Copenhagen. Feeling active? Tisvilde is a popular summer idyll among Copenhageners and boutique stores, farmshops, cafes and restaurants as well as a sandy beach are a short cycle ride away! 

I'm definitely adding this little cabin to my airbnb list, if you're visiting Denmark this summer, you might want to as well! Here's a peek inside. 

What a lovely cabin! I'm already sinking into one of those safari chairs - or cycling to the beach with the warm wind in my hair! How about you?

It would be perfect getaway to combine with a few days in Copenhagen - that way you'd get the best of both worlds. 

Find out more on airbnb here

Would you like to see a few more Danish summer cottages today? Here are some lovely ones I've featured in the past: 


I hope this fills you with inspiration for the weekend! Have a great couple of days, and see you Monday!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Airbnb with thanks 

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Settle: A Rustic Hideaway In A Former Railway Carriage & Boutique Cabin


I have a total weakness for rustic spaces, do you? I spotted this cosy gem of a retreat over at Desire to Inspire yesterday and fell in love! 'Settle' is a retreat in Norfolk, England created by John - who owns and runs a reclamation yard, and his partner Jo - a well-known floral designer.  The incredible resort offers guests a choice to unwind in rustic railway carriages, bell tents or a boutique cabin overlooking woodland and lakes. I'm particularly in enamoured by the railway carriages and cabin which combine earthy textures and heritage materials with contemporary comfort - so, it's just to turn up, light a fire, maybe run a bath (wait till you see the outdoor one!)... and relax

The carriages: 


My eye is on one of the three beautifully restored retired railway carriages. Each offer two berths, a lounge area with a wood burning stove as well as a bathroom and small kitchen - although you might prefer to cook supper over the lakeside fire pit! 

The Cabin

If you'd prefer something a little more spacious, there's also the boutique cabin which looks like something out of a magazine (actually scrap that - it has been in a magazine!). Hand built by Jo and John, the fully equipped cabin has everything you might need for a relaxing retreat - a real home from home! 

The questions is, would you go for the freestanding indoor bath, or the lakeside wood-burning tub? 


Meet you there? 

In case you're keen - hop over to Settle to find out more (or simply dream!). 

Shall we indulge our shared love of rustic further today? How about these cosy gems? 


Have a hyggelig day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Settle, via Desire to inspire - with thanks. 

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