The backdrop of our lives changed drastically just two weeks ago. But it already feels like two months. After calling Michigan home for three years, we’re learning to fall in love with Alabama, and expecting to live here for many years to come.
I do miss Michigan terribly. We sunk our roots down deep, celebrating the first few years of our marriage while we explored local restaurants and trails through the woods and collected beach glass along the Lake. Michigan was a wonderful fit for our personalities, and we could’ve lived there happily all our lives.
But good things brought us to Alabama, and already we see the possibilities. The little cabin where we live is perfect, and although we’re renting it (from my parents!) it’s a far cry from apartment living.
I feel like our living situation is pretty unique, and many of you have expressed interest in our little cabin. So, I’d love to invite you inside for a little tour! The cabin is small and cozy, but I think it’s absolutely perfect for this stage in our lives. (I wouldn’t mind a big house, someday!) I’ll walk you through and explain how we made the space work for us! For more on how you can simplify your own home, check out my new book!
Come on in…
The front porch adds an extra room to the cabin! We’ll be out here a lot when the temperature cools down!
The porch has seating, a grill, and overlooks a little lake!
When you enter the cabin and looks towards the left, this is what you see. The fireplace is in good working order, and that’s my “office” in the corner, from whence I’ll write many riveting blog posts(: The wooden chest is our coffee table and game cabinet. We have THREE tall bookshelves that span the corner to the left of the fireplace (even after simplifying a lot, we still own plenty of books!) You can see the stairs beginning next to the A/C unit; they turn sharply and ascend over the couch, as you’ll see in the next picture.
The couch separates the living room from the kitchen. Our biggest storage issue in the cabin is no closets, so we turned the area under the stairs into a storage space. We can slide items out next to the fridge. The left-of-the-fridge space doubles as our “cleaning closet,” with a broom, dustpan, and small cleaning caddy. To the right of the fridge is our “pantry” (open shelving), and the back door. The small table behind the couch gives us a little extra counter space, plus storage for our pots.
Here’s our kitchen! As you can see, there’s not much counter space or cabinetry! (And the water heater on the left takes up a lot of space!) We simplified like crazy before we moved, so we were actually able to get everything to fit. The main thing is that we tried not to have too many duplicates, infrequently-used items, or items that aren’t multi-functional. We did keep these 10 kitchen champions, but I drastically cut back on the amount of jars we owned!
This built-in shelf is wonderful! We can store bulky produce on the bottom, and the next shelf up is the perfect place for culturing kefir and storing dry goods in my antique Mason jars!
Pans and knives hang on the wall to free up space elsewhere, and the kettle stays out 24/7.
This is looking back towards the front door. We found the table and chairs on Craigslist! When we have guests over, we can pull the table away from the wall and use grab the fourth chair from my office. That door on the left leads to the bathroom, which I’ll show you next…
We put up a shelf above the toilet to store towels and toilet paper, and simplified our other bathroom items so that the sink is clear, and only a few things are stored underneath or in the small stack of drawers to the left.
Yep, it’s rustic and takes some getting used to, but it is a pretty sweet tub! We keep a very simple shower area, so we didn’t miss the storage here!
This is our loft bedroom, which overhangs the kitchen and bathroom half of the cabin. The chest by the window is our linen closet. We don’t have a bed frame, so we were able to slide the mattress under the eaves for more floor space.
Again, no closets in this house! So we made our own. Eric put those bike hooks into the wall, and we hung a sturdy bar that houses our simplified wardrobes, including winter coats and jackets. We keep winter and summer clothes out together now, since we don’t have as many clothes any more! Hanging the clothes here also allows us some storage space under the eaves.
I’m standing at the window here looking back at the stairs and fireplace. The ceiling fan helps to circulate the air so it doesn’t get to hot up here!
Thank you for going on this little tour with me! If you have any questions about our cabin, or how we make small spaces work for us, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Thanks for visiting, and come back soon!
Update 6/2/2016: We no longer live in this cabin. ): The good news is, Meadow Lake Cabin is now open for anyone to stay in, whether you want a getaway vacation or you’re just passing through Alabama. You can find the cabin listed on Airbnb. The folks who rent it out are very nice. In fact, they’re my parents(:
Meadow Lake Cabin is located in Chelsea, Alabama. Search Airbnb by city and state and you’ll find it! The Listing ID is 13055845.
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