A budget-friendly cabin surrounded by forest in Methow Valley

This modern cabin of just 850 square feet was designed by , located on a 2-1/2 acre property near Winthrop, Washington. Nestled into the magnificent Methow Valley, the area is known as a four season recreational wonderland. The homeowners searched throughout the area to find this quiet retreat to build a streamlined, cost-efficient cabin.

To meet budget goals, the architects designed an efficient plan using budget-friendly building materials. This helped to reduce construction costs, with the resulting design being a simple box. Fir plywood was applied inside and out, infusing warmth into this home, while costing less than standard wood paneling. Metal wall grids helps to conceal rough-cut edges. Concrete is used as the foundation of the box, enabling it to cantilever over the hillside. This also helped create minimal site impact.

By elevating the cabin, the homeowners gained unobstructed views down the sloped site to the mountains in the distance. This helped to transform this modest home into a viewing platform that merges indoor-outdoor boundaries. This project establishes that even on a budget, you can still achieve an architecturally pleasing living environment without forgoing quality or aesthetics.

By keeping the materials simple and the layout of this small footprint uncomplicated, the homeowners ended up with a clean-lined, warm home that serves as a jumping-off point for many outdoor activities in the area.

What We Love: This budget-friendly cabin provides a casual and comfortable living space in a small yet spacious floorplan. This home is perfect for those that appreciate and enjoy spending time in nature. Surrounded by a pine forest and rugged mountains, the views from this home are very relaxing. This would be the perfect retreat to de-stress from work and get away from urban living.

Readers, what do you think of this home, do you find to be too small or just the right amount of living space?

Above: The sliding doors in the main living area provides access to the deck, which overlooks the surrounding forest and rugged mountains beyond.

Above: The architects designed a casual kitchen with thrifty selections that includes a mix of open shelves and laminate cabinets.

Above: The open floor plan groups the cooking/dining /lounge areas at the front of the cabin, next to the deck. The result is a relaxed flow that adds a sense of spaciousness.

Above: The number and size of windows were limited in the bedroom and elsewhere. This helped to offset the cost of the expansive opening in the main living area—which floods the space with light and views.

RELATED: Spectacular light filled lake house overlooking Lake Washington

Photos: Steve Keating Photography

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frederick joswick
frederick joswick

Very simple and very nice


I love this project, but please don’t invite me to stay there. Without fire proof interiors, this will light-up like a flash in a fire.