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Earthy Tiny Dome Home in the Woods

Can you imagine living in an earthy tiny dome home in the woods like this one?

If you ever dream of living so simply- or at least having a little getaway like this for the weekends- then you’ll probably love this post.

Whether you wish for a tiny house on wheels, a little cabin in nature, or a backyard shed to work in.. This structure is sure to inspire you.

Meet Jeffrey the Natural Builder. After being inspired by Lloyd Kahn’s Domebook and getting to live in a 30′ dome for a little while he decided he would design and build his own.

The structure took the form of a geodesic dome, a structural form I had long been a fan of. My interest was first peaked by chancing on a copy of “LLoyd Kahn’s – Domebook” at a WWOOF farm I stayed at. I was then lucky enough to live in a beautiful 30ft dome that was hand crafted without power-tools in Dunster, BC. I loved the feeling of living inside a bubble, like something from the future, only crafted from beautiful wood over 40 years ago.

The design is very small with just enough room for a desk, bed, wood stove, and a little bit of storage.

Tiny Dome Home with Roof in Nature

The structure sits on a hill and overlooks a stream.

Earthen Plaster Used in Tiny Dome Home to Insulate and Protect

Jeffrey used earthen plaster which is a combination of clay, fiber, and fine aggregate to help insulate and protect the dome.

Tiny Dome Home in Nature with Roof and Earthen Plaster

One of my favorite features of this build is how he set it up with a roof to further protect the structure from weather.

Tiny Dome Home Framing and Skeleton of Structure

Above is the framing, or as Jeffrey likes to call it the skeleton of the dome.

Custom Made Door to Tiny Dome House

A 2×4 was found and used to surround the decagon porthole to the cabin. Let’s go inside!

But first, let’s take a peek through that porthole.

Window Peeks into Sleeping Loft Inside Tiny Dome Cabin

That’s the bed platform up there! Let’s go inside for real now.

Bed in Tiny Dome Home

The table you see to the right is the only rounded item in the cabin. You can see it better below.

Rounded Desk inside Tiny Dome Home

The wood used for the bed and desk were milled on site. The wood on the wall and around the bed was salvaged from a shed that was torn down.

Inspiring View inside Tiny Dome Home

What an inspiring view. This would be a nice place to write, wouldn’t it?

Reclaimed Timber used on Ceiling of Tiny Dome House

Reclaimed timber was used for the finishing touches on the ceiling that’s surrounded by earthen plaster.

Triangle Shaped Earthen Plaster

Jeffrey decided to keep the triangle shape in the plaster instead of smoothing it out. I like that.

Reclaimed Peg Boards Used for Wall Surface in Dome Home

In the picture above you can see the reclaimed peg board used to cover the walls before plastering them. This photo was taking during a workshop that Jeffrey held.

Tiny Dome Home Wrapped in Green Vine Maple in the Woods

The outside was wrapped with green vine maple (which was harvested from the forrest you see in the photos) to help protect and hold the plaster.

Total construction time took approximately two months.

Reluctantly, tar paper was purchased to help build the roof while reclaimed cedar shakes & shingles were used to finish it up.

For the rest of insulation a combination of recycled rigid foam insulation and local sheep wool were used.

Lime plaster was chosen to plaster the exterior.

The wood used was finished with Land Ark oil which consists of linseed oil, tung oil, pine rosin, beeswax and citrus solvent. (Thanks, Steve R!)

For more information on this project visit Jeffrey the Natural Builder’s website. Maybe you can join him for his next workshop.

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Deek August 13, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Love that table by the window! great find/post!
    -Deek

  • SteveR August 15, 2012, 2:47 pm

    The outside was finished with lime plaster, not limestone.
    The wood finish would be Land Ark Wood Finishing (not arc) which also contains tung oil as well as pine rosin.
    Interesting build.

  • Charlie August 15, 2012, 4:20 pm

    Regarding the compact cabin book (if this is the correct place to respond), I bought it several years ago after much anticipation in waiting for it to be published. I was very much let down. Perhaps too much anticipation like when I had my first (and last) Coors beer in college. I thought the designs were uninspired and lack luster. Maybe I was putting too much emphasis on the “cabin” side of things but I was still greatly disappointed. Maybe I should find it and look through it again. The only cabin that really struck my fancy was the one on the cover and even it seemed to have many shortcomings.

    • SteveR August 15, 2012, 4:57 pm

      I didn’t quite understand if this was the right place to comment on the book either – but I would agree with Charlie. Not very inspiring or a particularly good book. Save your money for Moose Tracks ice cream. You will get more enjoyment out of it.

      • jerryd August 15, 2012, 10:12 pm

        Nice use of available materials. It’s really a wall dome which I’ve found much more practical than just the Hemisphere type. Next I’d go for the 5/8’s dome but the straight walls help use space better.

        I’m not on Amazon, Facebook, etc and I too bought the Cabin book mentioned and while it looked great in the store when I got it home it had so many mistakes I had to measure any drawing I was interested in to see if I should believe it. I was especially interested in the 12×12′ modules which turned out had little thought in them with sizes that didn’t make sense.

        On a 1-5 scale I’d give it a 1 because it was so poorly done. I wouldn’t promote it. Get one and measure the drawings and see.

        Door placement was terrible as was the baths taking up too much space in tiny homes. And few it any RV’s have baths as big as the ‘RV’ ones he shows. One can do a nice head/shower/sink in 2.5’x3′.

      • Alex August 16, 2012, 9:38 am

        I guess it depends what you expect of the book.. I thought it had great ideas for floor plans and layouts that are worth being able to look through if you ever plan on building. Thanks guys!

  • jim sadler August 15, 2012, 5:10 pm

    This is a wonderful creation and I particularly applaud the earthen plaster. However it is in the wrong setting. Dead fall from the surrounding trees, the nature of termites and other pests, easy to vandalize and the constant threat of forest fires all signal to me that this is a better unit for a lawn in the suburbs than in a remote setting full of natural hazards.

  • Zanab August 16, 2012, 2:34 am

    Alex, this is very interesting. But even more interesting is that you updated your web page here with easier to use side bar buttons with images. VERY NICE job!
    Just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts of posting all the information and bringing us great variety! I think you are doing an amazing job!
    Take care and have a great day! Well done! 🙂

    • Alex August 16, 2012, 9:41 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you noticed! Took me a few days to finish that but thought it was well worth it. I’m happy with it too. Hope you guys all like it. Have a great day as well and thanks again! 🙂

  • BOB August 16, 2012, 9:35 am

    Это очени интересна информация, особенно по миниприцепам жилым, плавающим минидомам. Получил большое удовольствие!

  • Alex August 16, 2012, 9:42 am

    Спасибо Боб! 😀

  • BOB August 16, 2012, 3:19 pm

    This site is class!!!

  • Glema August 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

    Nice Little hut Alex! I think the family did a nice job. A suggestion for space saving, might be to put the table hinged against the window on the wall with some fold down legs. There when you need it down when you don’t . Might treat the wood for termites or use cedar in the first place? A hut or cabin does belong in the woods. I think it’s a fine weekender or a week vacation hut. I would suggest they make a couple more and have a mini village rentals. Ok enough from me. I like it two thumbs up!
    Thanks for the comments on the book reviews fellas. Thank you Alex for all you do! Keep up the fine work!

  • sesameB August 20, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Oh, this is so nice, so very nice. Thanks for sharing again another excellent find. I give this post 4 stars, Alex.

  • Jeffrey November 14, 2013, 6:04 pm

    How fantastic, thank you for featuring my dome!

  • LaMar Alexander LaMar January 16, 2014, 2:24 pm

    I think I would call it more of a Hogan design than a dome but excellent build and interior guys. Good use of natural materials.

    With the semi flat walls it would make putting furniture against the walls a lot easier.

    LaMar

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