When people ask me how to decide on what type of a small home to build, I tell them one of the ways we figured out our size and floor plan was to stay in small cabins during our vacations.
Last week, we had the opportunity to visit Sevierville, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. During our trip, we had the opportunity to stay in a couple of small cabins at Oak Haven Resort, a community of log cabins built in the mountains outside of the city.
Unfortunately, when we were doing the research to build our own little cabin in the woods, we didn’t know such places as Oak Haven existed. We were mainly confined to looking at sizes in the very basic cabins we rented during our research.
None of them had that homey feel to them.
I say “unfortunately” because Oak Haven could have provided us with 11 types of 1-bedroom floor plans to try, which would have also given us a sense of what felt more like home.
We had the very fortunate experience to stay two nights in cabin #22. Not only was the cabin decorated in bears – just like Our Little House – but it was 600 square feet with a layout that felt cozy, but not cramped.
This cabin came complete with two closets in a decent sized bedroom, a full bath with shower and Jacuzzi tub, an open kitchen/living room with space for a small dining room table, space above the bedroom that could have been an extra loft (but was closed off as storage space) and nice outdoor living space on a screened-in porch overlooking the woods with a private hot tub.
The cabin also had a closet in the small hall into the bedroom with a stackable washer and dryer, as well as a few built in bookcases.
Had we stayed in a cabin like this before building Our Little House, we definitely would have went with the cathedral ceilings, which gives the home a bigger feel.
On our third night there, we had to move due to a previous booking, but that gave us an opportunity to stay in cabin #47, a 2-bedroom. While it was also homey and cozy, we knew immediately it felt too big for us. The result, I would say, of living in 480-square feet now for five years.
In addition to the comfortable home type feel, the resort also had luxuries we don’t have at Our Little House: A full service spa, swimming pool and game room where we could shoot a few games of billiards.
For us and anyone seeking a vacation (there are cabins with up to 7 bedrooms), it gave us an opportunity to “get away” while still allowing us to feel at home sitting on the covered front porch in the rocking chairs or drinking coffee in the morning on the back screened in porch facing the woods.
For anyone considering building a tiny or small home or cabin, this is an excellent place to try some floor plans to experience what size of cabin would best suit your needs, but to also get a real feel for what type of floor plan most feels like home.
If you can’t travel to the Smoky Mountains, I would suggest to anyone wanting to build a small home to find a resort such as this closer, one where you can really experience not only different sizes and floor plans, but get a real sense of what feels like home for you.
Are you looking to downsize? Have you stayed in a resort such as Oak Haven?