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400 Sq. Ft. Cabin in Mountains of British Columbia

Nestled deep within nature and surrounded by a lush man-made pond this totem style cabin is a guest house oasis. Henry Yorke Mann, architect, designed this small cabin for clients who wanted to give their guests an experience they would not forget among the 10-acre property in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

Once inside you will notice there is a skylight that runs the length of the home at the peak of the roof. This feature gives so much sunlight inside the wooded cabin.

There is a fireplace that divides the home from the living and dining area in the front half and the kitchen and bathroom in the back corners. With the sleeping loft above.

The owners decided to stay in the cabin a few times and soon discovered they were ready to downsize from their 5,000 sq. ft. home to the 400 sq. ft. Totem cabin.

Check out the inside of this cabin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

400 Sq. Ft. Cabin in Mountains of British Columbia


Images © Stuart Bish

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Images © Stuart Bish


  • Stuart Bish (Photographer)
  • Henry Yorke Mann (Architect)
  • Small House Bliss (as seen on)
  • Country’s Best Cabins (as seen on)

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Andrea has lived simply in small spaces for more than 7 years and enjoys sharing her space saving (and space multiplying) tips from experience.
{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Bev

    Quite a piece of art!

  • Avatar Karen R

    Really nice!!

  • Avatar Canyon Man

    A awesome house. I would be honored to stay even one night.

  • Avatar Toby

    It’s gorgeous!! How much did it cost to build?

    • Avatar Catlynn

      I would like to know the cost as well!

    • Avatar kris

      Me too.

    • Avatar Vivian Smith

      I would also like to know. I wish there were more interior pictures, like with the kitchen and bath. But I adore the details.

  • Avatar Liz

    Great place but I can just see myself waking up and hitting my head every single morning. The bed looks like it would be quite difficult to make.

    • Sorry – I hit the “report” button in error. The other thing about this loft is that I would be awake at sunrise every morning, which I’d rather not do! I’m speaking from painful experience here, as my present smallish house has two skylights in the bedroom.

    • Avatar alice h

      I think the photo is a bit deceptive about the loft and bed. It’s 150 sq ft loft, larger than many THOW. The top row of pillows on the left are just extras tossed up there, not where your head would actually be. The blue upholstered headboard is out of the way of the beams and your head rests in front of that. If the bed is long enough to be a decent size, as I imagine it would have to be, then it’s extra wide, which throws off the proportions in the photo. It might be nicer to have the bed go the other way but I think the current orientation gives the best view of swaying tree tops and stars. I don’t think it would be any harder to deal with than other loft beds.

      • Avatar alice h

        Another thing that might be throwing off the scale a bit is the size of the wood used. The eye may be translating the vertical pieces as 2×4 when they are actually much larger. Same for the horizontal pieces. Using the pillows for scale you can see they are much larger.

  • Avatar Trish

    Definitely an interesting design, love the wood, but I couldn’t sleep in that space. It would feel like a coffin to me.

    • Avatar Eric

      Well that’d make it good practice then wouldn’t it… lol, just kidding.

  • Avatar alice h

    Looks like paradise, but I wonder if that pond would be a mosquito ranch. You could keep koi in it but then it becomes a raccoon feeder.

    • Avatar Varenikje

      Raccoons eat koi? (I wonder why this is telling me I am misspelling raccoons?)

      • Avatar Lisa E.

        More like the koi would eat the raccoons! I saw a video clip (think it was on YouTube,) of these two cats harassing koi in a pool. Next thing you saw was the cat being dragged into the pool by a koi fish. This is true; I didn’t make it up. I think the raccoons should be careful they don’t find themselves on the bottom of the pond gasping for air!

      • Avatar Varenikje

        Wow! And they look so placid as they swim around in their pond.

      • Avatar Varenikje

        Eww! You’re right! The koi jumped out of the water and grabbed the cat. You can hear the bystanders scream!

      • Avatar alice h

        Raccoons are definitely pond predators. You can put mesh over the pond to keep them out but it looks crappy and that is a very large pond.

      • Avatar KJ

        Yes Raccoons eat Koi. I had a pond wiped out by three raccoons one night. by the time I got to them the damage was done

        • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee

          Oh my! I had no idea about racoons and koi 🙁 So sad!

    • Avatar Varenikje

      Oh, and by the way, I’ll bet the temperature there (like it’s probably cold) will control mosquitoes. Maybe?

      • Avatar alice h

        This place is just a bit north of Vancouver, BC so pretty close to the US border. It doesn’t get cold enough to discourage skeeters in Alaska or Yukon so unfortunately (sigh) not here either. Some people use foggers to be able to go outside comfortably in bug season. A lot depends on how windy your spot is. I did find this article on how to have a skeeter free pond. Seems koi are too big to eat skeeter larvae. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/ongoldfishpond

  • Avatar JAN

    Definately not impressed,, a carpenters daughter here,,, this bulky stuff in a tiny space is just too much,, and if I were to spend all the money on this, I would have spent it on a bedroom, not a loft to crawl around in .

    • Avatar Varenikje

      I dunno. At this stage of the game (for me) nobody crawls into my bed but me. And the occasional grandkid. And they would LOVE to meander about in my loft. The tricky part would be getting them to come out of there when it was time to go.

    • Avatar Matt

      I agree. Not to take anything away but I think more time went into the art of it than the function. That loft is a tragedy, starting with those dangerous stairs leading up to it. Definitely beautiful and craftsmanship involved though.

      • Avatar Eric

        Actually, those “dangerous” stairs are in fact incredibly safe. These types of stairs are used in ships because they are so safe. Just because it looks odd to you doesn’t make them unsafe. At. ALL!

        • Avatar Matt

          1- the open shelf concept is a tripping hazard, foot can easily be caught on the stair going up

          2-incline is steep

          3-distance between each stair is really too much

          4- don’t like it because I build for a living and have and know building coded which in this case are designed for what is safe and best for natural human comfort.

          5-when someone disagrees, it’s not always because they are some hateful person who doesnt like something because it’s “different”. Sometimes the argument is valid. When did I say I didn’t like the stairs? I think they look awesome, but functionality wise, they are not a good choice.

    • Avatar anthony

      I agree, JAN, just way too much WOOD and heaviness here for me.

      And, yes, the bedroom needs to be opened up.

      I do not like this at all.

  • Avatar Lisa E.

    This so reminds me of the stavkirke in the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo. It’s very nice but it mus be a man-cave type of design; I can’t imagine a woman doing this.

  • Avatar Rue

    The fit-and-finish of the place isn’t my cup of tea but I like the basic design a lot, with the fireplace dividing up the house into living and kitchen/bath spaces.

    The more I look, the more I think I’d like to downsize into something about this size, instead of a THOW.

  • Avatar peewee henson

    now that’s WAY COOL

  • Avatar Jennifer

    Reminds me of a Norwegian ship. I love this! Very artistic craftsmanship. Looks extremely cozy.

  • Yes it is gorgeous and I LOVE the huge bed. The sun never bothers my sleeping and I would LOVE to awake with the dawn. I’m afraid this was REALLY expensive to build, plus it took a whole forest! BUT, I’d take it if it were offered to me! 🙂

  • Avatar Billy

    I can see this in a Stanley Kubrick movie.

    • Avatar Eric

      No you can’t. Stanley Kubrick is dead.

  • Avatar Denise

    The only thing I like about this is the stairwell. The rest is extremely awkward.

    • Avatar Kim

      It’s certainly unique, but I agree it’s a bit too compacted and laid out in a in strange way. Not sure how the sleeping area works either. But the woodwork and stairwell and beams are beautiful.

  • Avatar Mr. Lonnie

    i love it! love the setting!
    viking vessel meets indigenous village

  • Avatar cheryl

    I love it! I could live there!!!

  • Avatar andrea

    i think this is absolutely STUNNING!!! my ideal would be a touch longer for a bedroom & remove the loft entirely but i do love it!!!!

  • this is the bomb: nirvana: love it love it love it

  • Avatar kirche

    everything is awesome except for their taste in furniture.

    those staggered stairs would be a good sobriety test. probably not feasible to navigate if you dropped some acid, now that i think about it. the next morning you’d still be stuck on the first few stairs. last night was awesome!

    love the no-rail-next-to-the-pond patio and hot tub. i would have my adirondack chair riiiiight up to the very edge of the patio… because i like to live dangerously.

  • Avatar curt

    I like the bed. I would be ok with becoming a morning person waking up at the light of dawn. The timbers look massive for such a small house. I do like the fireplace it would be a heat sink for the house. Is it on a well and septic? is that a hot tub? is that a pond or a pool? How secluded is the place? I sill say. The woods get really dark and spooky at night and deer and moose can make you think a bear might be crashing around in the brush. Would need two dogs if I lived by myself. I guess having the patio surrounded by the pond almost gives you a moat effect and a nice opening to the sky for star viewing

  • Avatar Deborah Diehl

    Send me catalogs about tiny homes to live in thro7gh the mail also, so here is my home address to where you can send all the info about the tiny homes: Debbie Diehl. 530 W 14th St. Chanute, Is. 66720. I will be waiting to here from them, Thanks, Debbie Diehl. ??

  • Avatar Margot

    Marvelous. I am over 65 and would love this place. Who can get me the designs so I can build it for myself in the interior of BC. Mosquitoes are everywhere. I went on a tour through the arctic a few times and can say that you just prepare for them in your choice of clothing and bug off compounds as well as smoke smudges. I have created a hat for use in outside latrines that keeps mosquitoes off while you go about your business. Great for gardening also.

  • Avatar Rob

    Absolutely gorgeous!……the architectural details are well thought out and well executed…and the fireplace is awesome!…great job!!

  • Avatar ROSEE

    Whoo-eee! What a cabin! I am definitely impressed with the creative wood work done on the inside. Definitely!
    Too bad the cabin is not in Clearwater, when I visit my sister, I sure would like to rent it.

  • Avatar Judy

    Awesome carpentry but not for me. I love wood and this build is beautiful but the heaviness of it gives me a powerful feeling of claustrophobia. I find that a bizarre reaction since there is plenty of space.

  • I’m not so sure about those type of steps either. I’m left handed and when I go to step up stairs I naturally start with my left leg. The picture looks ok at the bottom for stepping off with your left leg but what about coming down? I’m not sure I would trip in a set up like that but perhaps I might be a bit dramatic about it all?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee

      I would certainly want to try them out first! I have wondered about them before, myself.

  • Avatar Susan


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