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Jens Risom’s Oceanside Prefab Cottage

Built back in the 1960s, this prefab house still stands strong today. Owner, Jens Risom, a legendary furniture designer, had this small house built on a seven acre plot of land located at the northern tip of Block Island, Rhode Island.

When he had the house built he knew exactly how he wanted it positioned on the lot to allow the most amount of sunlight inside. Risom says his favorite times of day are early morning and late afternoon.

The home is bolted down on a foundation to stay strong during winter winds and rough weather conditions. There are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sleeping loft, large living and dining area and kitchen.

At age 97, Risom still visits the island. There’s something peaceful about the island. It’s a unique feeling when you are there. Maybe because he has created so many family memories here over time. Now his grandchildren also come to visit the beach home.

Please enjoy and re-share the tour, video and interview below. Thank you.

Jens Risom’s Oceanside Prefab Cottage


Image © John Zimmerman


Images © Gary Nadeau / Dwell

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Images © Gary Nadeau / Dwell

VIDEO: Jens Risom’s Block Island Retreat by Gary Nadeau for Dwell


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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Justin
    June 3, 2015, 10:26 am

    This is one of my all-time favorite houses, but the term “a-frame” is incorrect.

    • Alex
      June 3, 2015, 11:03 am

      You’re right, Justin! It’s not quite an A-frame. Almost, but not quite! We should change the headline. Thanks for the heads up 😀

    • Alex
      June 3, 2015, 11:06 am

      Fixed! Thanks again, Justin!

  • Justin
    June 3, 2015, 11:07 am

    The title is perfect. Cheers!

  • lesa
    June 3, 2015, 1:35 pm

    Quite sensational; I need one of these.

  • Cahow
    June 3, 2015, 6:49 pm

    Ah, I want to give this man a wee cuddle. That photo of him, framed in the doorway of his home with a cane just about broke my heart…in a good way, not a bad way! Bravo for this foresight (rather than the more common “hindsight”) in knowing EXACTLY how to position this charmer but also the dimensions, too.

    I’m mad for the original furnishings; I’d call them Retro but they ARE original so I gather you can’t use that description. I could cozy up in this space in a heartbeat.

    Thanks, Alex. This home has a special place in my heart because of the backstory. <3

    • Patty
      July 1, 2015, 3:48 am

      1960’s would be vintage. I remember those colors and style well. We had them. Looks quite appropriate in this home.

  • Heater
    June 3, 2015, 9:22 pm

    What a sweet story, and you can see the love that this man has for the home and the memories it has helped create for his family. For some reason it reminds me of the story by Shel Silverstein: The Giving Tree. The video was very well done!

  • Rue
    June 4, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I’d still call the furnishings and general look retro, even though they’re original – from the colors I’d say those pieces probably have been there since the 60’s or 70’s. So many Browns and oranges.

    Still, bless the old guy – I hope he’s still visiting here when he’s 100!

  • Lynnette
    June 5, 2015, 1:01 pm

    In ♡!

  • Ganni
    June 6, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Totally and completely AWESOME!!! What a piece of paradise to escape to!!!

  • Nancy
    June 6, 2015, 9:08 pm

    What a beautiful video and charming house. How many sq ft is it? Doesn’t really look all that small
    Also love the furniture, a fine craftsman indeed. Don’t care for the colors of the cushions though but it does give it that 60’s look.
    Imagine being able to visit the island every summer, something I can only dream of. Sure hope they keep that house in the family when he passes.
    Thanks for sharing Alex

  • Tena Northern
    June 9, 2015, 10:21 pm

    Where can I get the building plans?
    I really love this cottage/cabin layout!
    I really hope someone knows how to get the building plans for me:-)

    • Cahow
      June 10, 2015, 8:05 am

      Try contacting the architect who built it, Jens Risom.

    • Sander
      August 4, 2015, 5:07 pm

      Hi Tena,

      Did you find any building plans?

      Best regards from Holland,


  • JoLene
    June 30, 2015, 1:00 pm

    Today is my 50th birthday and viewing the wonderful home on Block Island feels like a gift. Thank you for sharing this beautiful home. Mr Risom is a true inspiration! Cheers to all with a dream.

    • Cahow
      June 30, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Happiest of 50th birthday’s to you, JoLene!!!! <3

      I wish you another healthy, happy and memorable birthdays ahead of you…and a tiny house of your own…on the water, too!

      All the best to you on this special day, Cahow 😀

  • David Pritchett
    June 30, 2015, 1:37 pm

    I love this. While I enjoy looking at the tiny, tiny houses, something tells me that I (and many others) would probably hit a point pretty quickly where I’d yell “I need a little more space than this!” I could see myself living in something like this (or many of the other 500-or-so square ft houses I occasionally see on here. A mentor of mine once told me, “Life is the battle of balance,” and I think there is probably an optimal balance (at least for me) that lies somewhere between the tiny tiny house on wheels and the traditional three-bedroom two-bath home. This house may be it!

  • JoLene
    June 30, 2015, 8:05 pm

    Cahow: Thank you for the kind birthday wishes. A tiny house on a lake would be a dream come true!

    Kind Regards,
    JoLene (Another MI gal)

  • Lynnette
    July 2, 2015, 2:40 am

    What an honor it would be to be the owner of this little slice of heaven. ♡♡♡

  • robert Gregg karmin
    February 17, 2020, 9:38 am

    Has anyone found the plans for the Risom home yet? Are there any prefab contractors making something similar?

  • sander
    February 18, 2020, 4:01 am

    I am also interested in a plan…..

  • Jeff
    April 17, 2020, 8:28 am

    Is this “pre fab” model or kit still available if so where can a person by one or see the actual design and prints? Would love to see more and current cost

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 17, 2020, 1:48 pm

      Hmm I doubt it being that they were from the 60s but maybe Jen would know?

  • Jeff
    April 17, 2020, 5:49 pm

    I believe associated news article on the Block Island cabin said Jens had passed away a few years ago. Sure would be nice to find this actual design and see current pricing. A pre-fab such as this is very appealing. Hopefully someone out there can chime in and guide us to more info??

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