Taking up a well-preserved nature lot deep within the Canadian woods, this compact home by YH2 Architecture is meant to provide a weekend respite for its owners and their guests. The dwelling is designed mostly around a spacious yet cozy core made up of a kitchen, living room, and master suite. In addition to those rooms, a darker-hued inset wing off to one side contains space for up to four guests. Everywhere you look both inside and out, wood varieties cover each available surface, making for a smooth and uniform feel throughout the residence. Large banks of windows compliment every room, letting in as much light as the forested landscape will allow. This concentration of windows combines with a number of other elements to help free up space inside, making the cabin feel expansive despite its small footprint.
Two sides of the cottage are completely free of dark wood. Where windows and doors are set right into the face of the building, a three-sided awning is constructed to keep them clear. Where such glass elements are set into the structure, the roofline and walls around it angle inward for visual effect.
Though compact, the cabin has a number of relaxing amenities. This hot tub, set into the rear patio, sits just outside of a built-in sauna room. The lighting set into the roof overhang is angled just right to illuminate the deck at night.
The dwelling consists vaguely of two volumes, the darker of which is set inside the lighter one. The former finish responds over time to the climate, taking on a weathered tone while remaining structurally solid.
Under the angled roof, the interior of the cabin is laid out around a large central room made up of kitchen and living areas. Around this space, one large master suite and a small set-aside area for guest quarters are arranged.
The same light, warm wood finish that makes up the majority of the exterior siding of the cabin also dominates the inside, reflecting light that enters through the windows to brighten and enhance the space while not being so white as to make any room seem artificial or cold.
Because of the compactness of the house, certain elements of its interior design serve a dual purpose. The kitchen’s island counter forms part of a hallway line, and the flooring along certain edges contains soft, square accent lights to illuminate a path by night.
Every section of the cottage benefits from the light provided by banks of large windows, most of which have a door inset to provide an exit onto the property from almost any room. In addition to a steady supply of light, the impression of space inside is also aided by the height of the single-story structure’s ceilings.
The home’s couch is minimal and low, barely rising above the steps which lead down into the central portion of the residence. An art deco hanging fireplace is provides the room’s focal point, framed by two uninterrupted window walls.
Up the short series of stairs and inside the building’s darker volume is the guest area, with one large bed and two bunk-style children’s beds. All of the furniture and storage here is built into the room’s walls, keeping the finish uniform and the small space uncluttered.
On the other side of the living area, a freestanding tub down the hallway signals the start of the cottage’s master suite, which takes up almost a third of its floorspace.
The sauna, on the side of the master suite, has plenty of bench space and a direct view out onto the scenic property in the cabin’s vicinity.