This rustic cabin, nestled among the trees on a remote site in South Lincoln, VT, is far away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
When homeowners Eric and Phiona Milano decided to build, they had three things in mind: (1) they wanted to stay within their budget; (2) they wanted an eco-friendly, green getaway; and (3) all building materials would have to be hand-carried over a metal pedestrian bridge that crossed the New Haven River, then up a narrow footpath to the actual building site.
Over the river and through the woods
The metal pedestrian bridge, spanning the New Haven River, was built first. The bridge took three months to complete and was positioned so it would not be seen from the road. All materials for the cabin had to be hand-carried over the bridge and up the hill to the actual building site.
The cabin is small—just 600 square feet—but has plenty of space for the Milano’s and their son to live well and comfortably. There’s a master bedroom in the loft area and a smaller bedroom below.
The great room features large windows and wood throughout—a high, natural pine ceiling with exposed beams . . . reclaimed wood flooring in a variety of species . . . and white pickled pine walls. A ceiling fan helps circulate heat from the wood stove throughout the cabin. The small antique dining table is on wheels, and can be moved easily.
All wood was milled locally. Homeowner Phiona Milano pickled and marbled the pine-paneled walls. Antiques and an earthy décor in forest hues blend seamlessly with the surrounding Vermont woodland.
Old doors and a claw-foot tub were purchased at Mason Brothers Architectural Salvage. The bathroom sink sits on an old metal grain feeder that Eric and Phiona picked up at an antiques shop. Hot water is from a propane heater; the Milanos have to carry in the propane tanks. Exposed copper piping allows the Milanos to easily drain the pipes when shutting the cabin down.
A high, natural pine ceiling with exposed beams adds volume and a sense of space to the small cabin. All walls in all rooms are paneled; there is no drywall anywhere.
The cabin was built with as little impact on the land as possible. Round logs from trees cleared from the site were used as porch supports.
Exterior siding is a local rough-sawn pine. Using one material helped keep the costs down. Green barn doors glide over windows and outer doors to easily close the cabin when not in use.
Architect: Joan Heaton Architects.
Builder: Silver Maple Construction.
All photos: Susan Teare, Architectural Photographer.
Phiona Milano’s website and blog: Nido.