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Eco-minded cabin in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State

Huddled in the shadows of the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, a compact cabin opens up its walls to the surrounding forest.  Tom Kundig designed the steel-clad cabin to fade into the surrounding forest. Although it appears to sit on the ground, the cabin is actually perched atop a 16-foot foundation that raises the living quarters so they are level with an outcropping in back; a terrace atop the mound more than doubles the available living space (the homeowner, a contractor, devised his own table and benches). The chimney's height was dictated by thermodynamics rather than aesthetics: The fireplace is so large that the stack had to be tall to guarantee a draw.

Eco-friendly home (Metropolitan Home, June 2009)

Eco-friendly cabin outdoor perched in trees

Custom doors crafted from salvaged fir swing open at the corners and sides of the small building, exposing the riverside cabin to the elements. Marcel Wander's Knotted chair nestles by a concrete fireplace that opens to both the sitting area and the kitchen near a portable counter.

Eco-friendly cabin interior with custom doors"Everything had to be tightly organized, like a ship," says interior designer Maryika Byskiniewicz, whose custom sectional sofa features lidded drawers that double as tables; mohair cushions can accommodate overnight guests.

Eco-friendly cabin living area

The property is bordered on two sides by the Tye River.

Eco-friendly cabin by Tye River

Corner windows dissolve the cabin's boundaries.

Eco-friendly cabin kitchenA river bay skirts the land below the cabin.

Eco-friendly cabin river view

Inky mosaic tiles from Daltile cover the walls and the soaking tub surround in the cabin's sole bathroom.

Eco-friendly cabin bathroom

The exterior is wrapped in 16-gauge steel plate, left natural to acquire a patina of rust. Each bed culminates in a floor-to-ceiling window, which the owner leaves open so it feels as though he's sleeping in the woods. Woven shades provide protection from insects; the blanket is from Pendleton.

Eco-friendly cabin window

Source: Metropolitan Home (June 2009)

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