Have you ever woken up with an idea and from that moment on you couldn’t shake it? Your rational brain jumps in and tells you “GIIIIRL there is NO way.” but the little kid in you is still shouting “Go for it! Adventures are the best!”. That’s how the idea for this cabin popped into my head. One of the funny things about being a twenty-something woman in the world is that you are a grown up and you’re out “on your own” doing things…but if you’re like me, every once in a while you look around waiting for a “real” adult to show up and tell you what to do. An adultier adult. Someone who is better at adulting than you are. A little PSA from yours truly; if you don’t step out in the world and take chances and try new things you are never going to become that “adultier adult”. So whatever that thing is in the back of your mind that you’ve been “thinking about doing” for months on end, I challenge you to get out there and do it. Here’s what happened with mine:
Since my fiance and I bought our property two years ago, we had been discussing adding a vacation rental cabin at some point. It is a fairly common thing where we live; because we are so close to Yellowstone National Park, many people capitalize on the high volume of people passing through during peak season (May-September). Once we got the farm up and running, I knew I wanted to share this place with other people.
We spent 3 months pouring our blood, sweat and tears into creating a cozy little guest cabin for our farm outside of Yellowstone National Park. And I know what you’re thinking…”Chelsea, YOU. ARE. INSANE.” …yes, I probably am, and yes, I am amazed we are still engaged after all of this. hahaha JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING. (But for real, if you ever want to test your relationship to its very extreme limits, try building a vacation cabin and chicken coop simultaneously) Aaaaaanyway, I thought it would be fun to share our journey from start to finish with this cabin, and then after we get a season under out belts, I will write another post about lessons and things I would do differently next time!
From the inception of this idea, we knew that with our full time jobs and wedding planning, we wouldn’t have the ability to build the entire cabin ourselves, so we looked high and low for places that do prefab cabins. We finally landed on purchasing ours from a place called Montana Structures. We were able to work with them to customize the cabin to exactly what we wanted and that was great! From the conception to the delivery of the cabin was about 4 months time total.
Due to some late winter snow storms, our cabin delivery kept getting pushed back and we were worried we weren’t going to be able to complete the cabin in time for guests this summer. Fortunately we were able to work extremely hard every weekend and complete the cabin just in the nick of time.
We chose to make this cabin off-grid initially for a few reasons. 1) it is better for the environment. 2) it is more cost effective for us up front. And 3) we thought making it a more rustic experience would hopefully draw more guests like us; who really wanted to spend their time outdoors enjoying the beauty of Montana. Once we landed on that, we were grappling with the obvious issue of “WHERE WILL THEY GO TO THE BATHROOM?” If you know me at all by now then you know that I tend to research things TO A FAULT. Seriously. I am downright annoying about it. I had recently started following Doug and Stacy at “Off Grid with Doug and Stacy”, and they had a couple great Youtube videos talking about their composting toilet, which explained how they built it and why they loved it so much. Alas, we decided to build an outhouse with a composting toilet for our guests. This little outbuilding also has a very small sink with a tube draining into a separate 5 gallon bucket where we will provide water for folks to brush their teeth. I am going to do a separate post all about that structure, so keep your eyes out for that!
Both of my sets of parents, as well as my fiance’s parents are retired and we wanted the capability to have guests sleeping in the cabin during the winter as well; so we decided to go BIG on the insulation. We used a spray foam insulation kit for the ceiling and regular bats of insulation in the walls. I will link all the products we used at the end. We are so thrilled with how this space turned out and I can’t wait to share all the details with you!
I was extremely fortunate to know ahead of time that we wanted to use vinyl plank flooring in the cabin. I set an alert on my phone to check out local hardware stores each week for flooring sales until Lowe’s finally put a gorgeous vinyl plank flooring on sale for $0.49 per square foot! We don’t live in town so I ordered them online for store pickup (so that I could get the sale price in time) and just picked them up on my next trip to town.
We knew we really wanted to create that “cabin feel” on the inside by having floor to ceiling wood boards. If I am 100% honest; this was by far the most difficult and time consuming portion of this project. All pre-stained boards I could find would have broken the bank, and we had a certain look we wanted to achieve so we bought regular pine tongue-and-groove siding and stained it to save dollars and achieve the color we wanted. I am extremely happy with the end result, but if you choose to replicate this process in the future, just know that it is VERY time consuming.
We also really wanted the cabin to have a “rustic farmhouse” feel, so we googled different types of trim to make a farmhouse looking window; and found one that we thought would be perfect for the space!
The interior of the cabin is only 8 feet by 12 feet; so we are talking SMALL. I wanted to maximize the space and make it feel bigger than it is while still keeping it classy and functional. I would definitely describe the decor style we went with as “minimalist”. All of the decor is a white or ivory color and helps bring a bit of extra light into the space! We added a brand new memory foam mattress so that our guests will get the best sleep possible after a day enjoying Yellowstone National Park! We added some white metal chairs to the front porch. We needed something sturdy that wouldn’t blow away in the Montana wind and all of the wood chairs I found were a little out of our price range. These metal chairs had great reviews and were budget friendly!
Trim paint-Magnolia Home “True White”
Sheets– Color “Grey”
Duvet cover– Color “White”
Cowhide rug I purchased linked here, but I think if I were doing it again I’d use the link below.
Cowhide rug– Here is a similar one at a cheaper price!
You can check out our Airbnb listing here! I would love to hear your feedback on the cabin! Feel free to leave a comment below.
Have a beautiful day! Go out there and be a super adulty-adult! You got this!
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