1A glass cabin in West Virginia
For their very first date, photographer Nick Olson took designer Lilah Horwitz on a walk in the mountains of West Virginia. While getting to know each other during a particularly scenic sunset, they jokingly wondered what it would be like to live in a house where the entire facade was windows.
Less than a year later, they left their jobs and embarked on a road trip to collect dozens of windows from garage sales and antique dealers. When they arrived in West Virginia, they built their glass cabin in the same spot where they envisioned it on their first date.
2A moving wall cabin in Washington state
Designed by Olson Kundig Architects, this moving wall house on San Juan Island in Washington state is a great escape, offering privacy when you need it, and openness when you want it.
This compact cottage has a most unusual feature — timber walls that fold up for privacy and fold down to reveal a glass wall house with breathtaking views in every direction of the surrounding countryside. Inside, a fireplace featured at the center of the home is an instant hotspot in this small but sweet book nook.
3Allandale House in Mountain West, California
Check out this unique “triangular” cabin called the Allandale House. Designed by William O’Brien Jr., it is a modern version of the forest cabin based on an extruded A-frame and was constructed for an idiosyncratic connoisseur and her family.
4A homesteading cabin in Silicon Valley
Social networking giant Twitter surprised workers in its San Francisco offices with a homesteading cabin built right in the middle of the cafeteria in 2014. Twitter now occupies seven of the 11 floors in the 77-year-old SF Mart building and bought the cabin (built in the 1800s) to go along with the cafeteria’s forest theme.
The cabin was purchased from a Novato, California contractor who salvaged it from a remote Montana ranch and reassembled in the cafeteria without its roof to add intimacy and a space for workers to eat lunch. The cabin was then outfitted with booths, TV monitors and a coffee station.
5A portable cabin built for any season
Check out the Vista — a 160-square-foot portable cabin that stands on its own pretty much anywhere. With cozy cedar walls, insulated floors, and a glowing, spacious interior, you can hide out here all season long.
This cozy cabin starts at $39,900, which isn’t too bad considering a permanent vacation home will likely set you back tens of thousands more. It can withstand blizzard temperatures and go anywhere a pickup truck or SUV with a hitch can take it.
6A prefab "green" cabin in Italy
This modern prefab dwelling is meant to be adaptable to wherever you decide to vacation. Project Green Zero from Studio di Architettura Daniele Menichini was designed for the hospitality industry as a green alternative to larger hotels.
Atop the solid stone base, a shell of sustainable material houses only the basics — a bedroom and bathroom and a bit of storage space. The suite is a stylish refuge and easily adaptable to the cabin’s location.
7A shipping container cabin in Ottawa, Canada
Joseph Dupuis of Carp, Ottawa built the “Off Grid Shipping Container Cabin.” He constructed it from three 20-foot shipping containers. At 355 square feet, it comes insulated with heat — necessary for those Canadian winters — and a cooling system. The shipping container home is also outfitted with solar panels, a wood stove, full kitchen, and shower, with room for a “future” toilet (right now, it only has an outhouse).
The cabin was listed for $58,000 in Canadian dollars (roughly $46,500 USD) in 2015, and we think it’s one hell of an idea.
8A mobile "pixie" cabin in Surrey
The Pixie “Tiny House” Cabin was built from leftover timber from past projects, discarded pallets, broken branches, logs and trees. It comes fully equipped with a small log burner and is powered by rechargeable power packs that run the low voltage lighting but can also supply enough electricity for small power tools.
9A concrete cabin in the Swiss Alps
Our favorite on the list — this cabin is constructed almost entirely from concrete. The exterior façade has been sculpted in such a way so as to mimic the appearance of wood from a distance.
Designed by Georg Nikisch and Selina Walder, the three-room abode is minimal in both size and style but features traditional elements such as peaked roof lines. Its two large windows and a skylight provide the interior with natural light.
10Wine barrel cabins in Sasbachwalden, Germany
Are you an oenophile? If so, we’ve found the perfect bed and breakfast for you in Sasbachwalden, Germany. At several locations in town, you’ll find pairs of giant wine barrels doubling as cabins. Inside each pair are two beds, a bathroom and dining area. Just BYOB.