I used to think guesthouses only existed on grand estates. They were the kind of thing I'd see in a teen comedy and wonder how these kids got to have another house next to their house, solely for the purpose of partying. Now, it seems, they are a badge of ambitious entrepreneurship (thanks, Airbnb!) and maybe even a thing regular people can put together in their regular backyards. At least that's what this listing on Amazon would have us believe.
This week, the Allwood Solvalla studio cabin kit caught the internet's attention and quickly sold out on Amazon, mostly, I'm guessing, because it looks too easy to be real. In just eight hours, Allwood claims, two people can construct this rather attractive 172-square-foot cabin. It features an indoor space (86 square feet) with floor-to-ceiling windows and a sliding door. The other half is a pleasant covered patio area. Before it sold out, it was going for $7,250.
Though the kit does not include a foundation, electricity, plumbing, or roof tiles, you can see how this sort of project would spark imaginations of a lot of homeowners. It looks so modern and airy — not like your grandfather's prefab garden shed. Plus, you can start to picture how, with some Ikea furniture (and maybe some insulation?), you could really turn this into a vacation rental and make back that investment, assuming you live somewhere people want to visit.
Now you kind of want it too, right? If the Solvalla remains sold-out, you can look into some of the other options on Amazon. Allwood's boxy Arlanda is missing the cute patio but offers more indoor space. There's also the smaller, less expensive (and less attractive) Halmstad. Or, you could plunk down $24,800 (plus $1,000 for shipping) and get this expandable container house that comes complete with plumbing and solar-powered electricity.
Those of us without the kind of cash or backyard square footage for this kind of investment can still partake in the dollhouse joy of these small spaces. Airbnb has all sorts of tiny-house listings, some of which might even include working toilets and lights.