With our mountain location, most Utahns with a hankering for a vacation home won’t dream of a coastal cottage and beachcombing, but instead fantasize about a cozy cabin just up the canyon with cool mountain breezes and the sounds of chickadees. So, if cabins are your pleasure, I’m sharing a sweet one with you this week. 

Upland Development (Ryan and Jessica Taylor) has made a mark in the building industry with upscale luxury living, but with this secluded mountain canyon cabin, they show they can equally master small and beautiful. The starting point was a client’s purchase of a long-established rustic cabin next to a stream that needed some love and indoor plumbing. 

With restored pylons and foundation supports, a big party deck out the back was a natural addition. It’s the perfect place to start the day with breakfast and end it watching the sunset and all the points in between. Closed, the barn door sliders can cover the glass sliding doors to block the sun or provide extra insulation, but decoratively they set the scene with whimsy and pick up the red accents. 

In contrast, the arrival side of the cabin offers a much more sedate impression. The left side shows the existing and heavily restored original portion, and the right is a small addition of an entry, bathroom and laundry facilities. Previously, there had been no indoor facilities, and this rustic experience probably made vacationers look forward to their return to civilization. 

Living in small homes calls for efficiency, and here efficiency begins with the entry. The material choices like the ceramic flooring, corrugated metal, and painted wood are durable and easy to maintain with the mud and soil from in-and-out cabin foot traffic. The custom cabinets on the left appear as a unit with similar purpose, when, actually, the first is a floor-to-ceiling ski locker, and the others have shelves and drawers. And, is there a more efficient way to store tools than a big red, wheeled toolbox? 

The small bathroom addition houses the laundry, as well. The copper tub/shower must be a tempting place for a relaxing soak, and the wall heater is also a faux fireplace.

Color and life explode in the main one-room cabin that combines kitchen, dining and living areas, plus a stairway to the loft. The same wooden plank floor and corrugated metal ceiling are common throughout. On this side, the efficiency kitchen features a half-refrigerator, two-burner cook top, soapstone counter tops, and wooden cabinets with playful variations in the hardware. A small table sits by the stairway, and a larger family table is in the foreground that is big enough for dining, cards and games. 

Looking toward that larger table, the canvas bins on open shelves demonstrate another efficient method of storage. The bookshelf over the window is one of three in the cabin that innovatively and conveniently display books.

If in the midst of a busy stressful day I could close my eyes and think of an ideal cabin, I would want a perfect hangout space for reading, watching movies, or catching a nap. That’s just what you find on the other side of stairs. 

Looking the other direction, in the corner is a wood-burning Heartland stove, very similar to the stoves some of our great grandmothers relied upon for cooking, baking bread, and warming the kitchen. I hear stories about what an art is was to heat the stoves to the correct temperature and maintain it through the bake cycle just by choosing correct pieces of wood. 

A partition separates the sleeping loft into two areas. This one has two built-in bedframes.

As for the photos, I made images both in the middle of the day and at twilight, and I prefer the evening images. They better convey the warmth and friendly welcome of the cabin. While under a thousand square feet, there is plenty to see and to photograph because it is so well loved and lived in. I found it filled with inspiring ideas on how to live small with verve and style. 

Want more Photo Friday? See all of Scot Zimmerman’s galleries here! 

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