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Off the grid New York cabin in the woods

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This stunning off the grid cabin in the woods is owned and designed by fashion stylist and interior designer Scott Newkirk as a weekend summer getaway in Yulan, New York. The 300 square foot house has no electricity or running water, no TV, no computer. Here he can slow down, sleep late, and take his daily bath in the nearby brook. The designer had been already living close to the land on the property in a wood-frame tent but it burned down. Not long after he across a book on handmade houses that are constructed out of recovered and scavenged materials. He then decided to build a house on his property based on the same principal.

Although the main cabin is only fourteen feet by fourteen feet, it took two years and three different builders to complete; Newkirk had a hard time finding builders who got his idea for a simple, rough-hewn look. “I finally found a talented and dependable local guy, Craig Petrasek, to complete construction with reclaimed wood, extend the deck area, and build the stone patio,” he says. The traditional post-and-beam frame of the house uses old square-head nails on the exterior siding and floor, with a few modern ones for the roof. The smaller side windows are handmade, and the glass-paneled fronts both upstairs and downstairs are standard aluminum frames clad in wood. The completed complex (including an outhouse, guest house, and outdoor shower) sits on about three acres of Newkirk’s 50-acre property.

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The downstairs panels slide open, and an upstairs panel pivots. To complete the indoor-outdoor feel, there is a twelve-foot strip of window across the rear with an eye-level view of the backyard.

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The painting is by Diane Wiencke, who lives on Peaks Island off the coast of Maine; the wrought-iron horse came from a nearby shop.

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Newkirk’s builder used aged hickory planks to fashion the ladderlike steps that lead up to his bedroom.

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Newkirk uses this to heat up water for an occasional outdoor shower.

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As in Newkirk’s main house, this guest cottage has no insulation in the walls and the windows are simply screens; it’s furnished only with two cots and a vintage George Nelson bench.

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From June to September, Newkirk bathes in the same spot every day (he uses biodegradable soap).

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This is one of the best I’ve seen. I’d love to live in this cabin.

Gwendolyn Washburn

Just saw your cabin very nice. Are you still living in the cabin now? What i would like to know if you have put in a bathroom inside cabin yet? Does it get really cold where you are in the winter? Seems like when there is snow on the ground going out to the outhouse would be a little chilly. I do love the cabin and you did an awesome job.

Mike H.

I would like to ask about some plans and prints for this really cool cabin Thanks!