Our Country Cabin: A Photo Tour

This tiny cabin is only 600 square feet! You have to get creative--and simple!--to keep a space like this looking uncluttered and organized!

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…

Our Alabama Cabin

The front porch adds an extra room to the cabin! We’ll be out here a lot when the temperature cools down!

Front Porch

The porch has seating, a grill, and overlooks a little lake!

Cabin living room

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.

Our Cabin Kitchen

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.

Cabin Kitchen

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!

Small kitchen

Pans and knives hang on the wall to free up space elsewhere, and the kettle stays out 24/7.

Dining Room

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…

Rustic cabin bathroom

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.

Rustic bathtub

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.

Our cabin bedroom

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.

Outside of the cabin

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  1. This looks SO cozy! When we moved from FL to TN I seriously downsized my kitchen. I’ve been pretty surprised how not difficult it is to eat real food in a small kitchen! I complained with my larger kitchen and I actually am not too bothered by the lack of counter space, smaller fridge, fewer cabinets, etc. You just gotta get creative – and you sure have! 🙂

    1. Yeah! I thought this kitchen would be a huge headache (and our fridge is a small one, too) but it actually isn’t bad. We just have to do the dishes after every meal or two to keep our counter free. It’s really not bad.

      Let me know if you’re ever in this area (near Birmingham) and want to stop in!

  2. I love it Elsie! So cute and homey! It’ a reminder to me on how much I sitll want to simplify. I’m trying to hold back a bit till I move out of my parent’s house in a few months since I don’t know what I will be needing. Anyway… your cabin is delighful!

    1. I got the simplifying bug! But it does feel nice to have “arrived” a little bit, now! We can just enjoy the fruits of our labour, and hopefully maintain. I’m sure down the road we’ll realise that even some things we kept we didn’t really need or want, after all.

  3. What a lovely cosy home! Thanks for the tour. I loved the pans hanging on the wall by the stove and was a bit jealous of the ability just to hammer a nail into the wall (our walls are pure concrete). Very delightful.

  4. Love your place! And we love to simplify too. We crossed paths…we were in Alabama for a little over two years before returning to Michigan late last fall. We moved into a two bedroom apartment here in Michigan while waiting for our house to sell. Now that it has sold we’ve decided to stay in this 950 sq ft apartment for a while…plenty of room for a family of 4 while we pay off the rest of our school loans. Hope you’re able to settle in quickly.

  5. Love it 🙂 Thanks for the tour and hope to visit sometime! You guys were great hosts last time! Love Gastons

  6. I’m so happy I stumbled upon your website and the many other people who choose to live a more simple life. It is so inspiring and liberating. I have been purging stuff now for about 3 years. After my adult children moved out and started their own lives I was left with a lot of unnecessary things. I have successfully gotten rid of the things I don’t need and kept the sentimental things. So much more space to live and breath. Now I concentrate on enjoying life and my quiet time with scripture. Thank you for your cabin tour. I really enjoyed it and you have really made it a cozy, sweet home. I was raised in Birmingham, Alabama and moved to Ohio 28 years ago to start a life with my husband. I visit my mother in birmingham twice a year for two weeks each time. May and November are my favorite months in birmingham. I’m sure I miss alabama like u miss Michigan. Thank you again and I’ll be visiting your website often.


    1. Martha, thank you so much for stopping by! And for you kind comments. I’m so glad that it’s cooling off here now! It was HOT when we first moved! We can start to enjoy some meals out on the porch now(:

  7. May I ask you how much it cost you to build that cabin? Did you build it yourselves or hire someone? I ask because we are transitioning into a smaller home in the Spring and we really want a log cabin but from any research I have done they cost a fortune! Unless you buy a cabin kit and even still those can be costly if you want them on a foundation with a well etc. Any suggestions advice you have is GREATLY appreciated! We are working with a tight budget sadly 🙁

    1. Actually, the cabin was already built when my parents bought their property. It was very rustic, and they had to spend a few thousand dollars to get it insulated, a bit of remodeling, fixing the fireplace, etc. I think if you were building a cabin from scratch, it would definitely cost a lot. Likely much less than a “regular,” full-sized house, but still a lot! Have you thought about renting something small while you save up for a cabin/owned home? If anyone in your family has the skills, one option might be to live in a converted bus or trailer! I’m sure that would be cheaper than a cabin. My friend Shalom Mama bought a bus (through Craigslist, I think) and her husband fixed it up for their family of 6 to live in! Here’s her blog with more info: https://shalommama.com/our-bus

      I hope your move goes well, and that God provides just what your family needs!

  8. It’s lovely. People can manage with smaller & simpler lifestyles….it’s all about ‘needs’ not ‘wants’…… when you realise you have what you need, just be happy.

    1. Thank you! I came across this quote by G.K. Chesterton recently that puts it really well: “There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”

  9. This is a beautiful home! Thanks so much for sharing, it looks awesome and quaint. I would love to one day have my own little country cabin, and I love how much you are able to accomplish in a smaller space!

  10. Why did you move so soon? My, how I could totally live in a similar cabin! My husband however would not be willing to get rid of enough of his stuff!

    1. In short, it was the baby! The cabin would’ve needed some updates to make it baby-friendly, and we didn’t have the means to execute those.

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