project O cabins finland

These Self-Sufficient Island Cabins Have All the Comforts of Home

Do you ever think while flying through another busy day, walking down your noisy street, or cleaning up the rooms in your home that you rarely use: “Wouldn’t it be great if life were a little simpler, quieter, and serene?”

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While for most of us this is just a dream, this couple in Finland has made it their reality.

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An Island Cabin Oasis 

Spacial designer Aleksi Hautamäki and graphic designer Milla Selkimäki have built for themselves and their son a completely self-sustaining and environmentally-friendly quiet oasis on a rock island in the Finnish archipelago. Designed for both work and leisure, it’s every nature-loving peace-seekers dream. 

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Maximum Usage, Maximum Comfort

The 5-acre  island itself is located on the southwest edge of Finland’s Archipelago National Park where the couple has two wooden cabins that total 750 square feet surrounded by 1500 square feet of deck space. Designed with optimal space-usage in mind, these two small cabins can comfortably sleep up to 10 people.

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“The vision was to have all things necessary with as little space as possible,” says Aleksi. “All individual spaces have been designed to be as compact as they can without compromising functionality and comfort.”

Two Cabins, many purposes

The main cabin is the primary living space, with a common and dining area, a kitchen, bedroom, and lofted sleeping space. There is a covered terrace for outdoor entertaining with the sauna, toilette, and shower on the opposite end. 

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The second cabin functions mainly as the couple’s workshop with another outdoor covered living space. The design both inside and outside the cabin is simple, natural, and intended to blend in with the aesthetic of the island itself.

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The couple made sure to include as much outdoor cooking and entertaining space as possible to make as much use of the long Finnish summer days as they can.

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Sustainable and self-sufficient

The entire cabin is solar-powered, with traditional Finnish wood stoves in each room for heating and cooking. The wood stove in the sauna even heats the water for the shower and the floors of the sauna itself.

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The best part about their little island retreat? While when you are on the island it feels extremely remote, it is actually only a 20-minute boat ride from the closest harbor. 

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The rise of sustainable living

With both housing prices and the cost of living on the rise around the world it’s not surprising that more people are beginning to think about designing their own, self-sustaining and eco-friendly “tiny homes” in more peaceful locations.

Alex Porter designed and built this nature escape for her father in Maine. This eco-home in New Zealand is not only entirely self-reliant but is also on wheels so it can be easily moved if you decide you want a change of scenery. Sick of land? This family in British Columbia built themselves a floating home and garden tucked into a quiet bay. Others are turning old shipping containers into small, cozy, renewable-energy using homes.

Build your own eco-friendly home and garden.

This may seem like something only feasible for designers, architects, builders, and craftsmen, however building yourself a small, eco-friendly home is actually much less daunting – and expensive- than you think.

Lamar Alexander, writer of the site Simple Solar Homesteading as well as many ebooks on the topic can teach you how to build your own self-sustaining home for $4000 or less. He has plans and designs to suit every need and also teaches how to design your home so that they are as environmentally friendly and self-reliable as possible. 

Live the simple life

Imagine this: You get up in the morning, make yourself a coffee, and head out on the water for a short morning paddle around the island. You return to find your kids and partner awake, breakfast almost ready. You spend the afternoon in your office or shop getting some work done, then in the evening, you have a few friends over for an evening cook-out. Once the kids are off to bed, you and your friends enjoy each other’s company with a few leisurely drinks on the other end of the house. The night ends with a sauna and a quick dip in the sea before heading off to bed.

For Aleks and Milla of Finland, this is a regular day. Perhaps it could be yours too?

Julie Hambleton
The Hearty Soul Team
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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