Hannah Fuller grew up in a home her parents built (her father is a boat builder), so it was only natural for her to follow in their footsteps. Tim Eddy, on the other hand, has never built anything but fires. With that in mind, Tim and Hannah started out with 20 acres of land and no blueprints, and built one of the most impressive houses I've ever seen in my life — not to mention it's fully off the grid.
Tucked away amid dense forest and surrounded by wildlife, Tim and Hannah's Tahoe, CA tiny cabin boasts a storybook view of treetops and purple-bluish mountains. You'd never guess it's only 15 minutes to town. The cabin is connected to a private road by a 100-yard trail, which their friends helped clear. It was only after a few steps down the trail that I spotted the vibrant colors of the cabin: warm wood shingles against mint-green siding and a bright-orange roof. Upon closer inspection, you'll notice the craftsmanship, as if human hands carefully put each piece into place — and in fact, that's exactly how it was done. And the interior is just as impressive, covered in cedar wood from ceiling to floor. It felt very new, very clean, very honest.
The cabin's modest footprint meant the couple had to create smart storage solutions and keep only what was needed. Tim and Hannah have learned to live with less, while also becoming super organized. Everything in their home has its place. They made use of hooks and vertical space by hanging most of their belongings and stacking.
Less maintenance and fewer repairs, along with the couple's sustainable living style, makes it less costly to own a home like theirs. And it means Tim and Hannah can spend less time working and more time enjoying the outdoors together. The two integrated as many recycled, salvaged, low-impact materials into their design as possible. A good amount of building material was acquired for free from Craigslist. Seconds, off sizes, and salvaged materials were sourced from their local lumber yard and the Habitat ReStore. Their pier-like deck is supported by large pine trees they cut themselves. The logs provide adequate leveling for the home, which sits on a hill. Furthermore, they lift the home off the ground to prevent snow drift during cold winter months and heat retention during summer.
Tim and Hannah's refrigerator consists of a cooler and ice packs, which, in the winter, they easily refreeze by keeping the water packs outside. At night, their main source of light is oil burning lanterns, a few LED lights, and headlamps. Small solar panels collect more than enough energy to generate electricity to charge their phones and batteries, which in turn powers the cabin's LED lights. In the future, the two plan to build a 400-square-foot home as their primary residence on the property, but their next project will be an outhouse with a solar water heater.
This article originally appeared on ApartmentTherapy.com. It is reprinted here with permission.