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250 Sq. Ft. Rustic Micro Cabin in San Diego, CA

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Here’s a 250 square feet micro cabin I thought you might like.

It’s a studio set up but it’s self contained so you’ve got all the amenities you need in here.

There’s a bathroom, water heater, kitchenette, oven, microwave, mini-frig, coffee maker, etc.

And I love the deck out front and how you can open up the doors and windows and get a nice breeze through the house.


I encourage you to take the rest of the tour below:

Side Entrance

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Bedroom Area

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Toilet & Shower

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“Nestled in SouthNorth Park, a hipster city neighborhood, the Art Studio Retreat is on a quarter acre canyon lot which is lovingly maintained with lots of places to read and rest. It was designed for “Green conscious” travelers. Many guests have said that “the studio called to me”. And it does! It was handmade with a lot of love and good vibes, to be a healing & creative space for unique guests. It is cozy and romantic. The studio is a self-contained cabin with all the amenities you need to enjoy your stay.” (source)

Learn more about this San Diego studio/cabin and book your stay here if you want to.

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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!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • LaMar
    August 23, 2013, 2:52 pm

    Very nice use of recycled and rustic materials.

    Good air flow is important in a tiny house in warm weather. Shade trees and a cool breeze beats AC. Love the landscaping. Now just put some solar panels or a wind turbine and take it off grid.

    • November 11, 2013, 8:45 am

      It’s hooked up to our solar on our home! We don’t use a lot of electricity and so, we have yet to get a bill for electricity, even with the Art Studio retreat on it!

  • Cahow
    August 23, 2013, 6:31 pm

    From the owner’s website: “If you like hotel chains & standard motels, you might look elsewhere;” ~sigh~ Well, I guess I’ll look elsewhere, then.

    Aesthetics are the driving force in my business and personal life. Heroes are Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Llyod Wright, who believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. Both believed that even the most mundane object such as a down spout from the gutter or even a lowly light switch could be designed to be the most GORGEOUS and INSPIRING gutter/light switch you ever encountered.

    This wee house piqued my interest with their description. Then, I saw the creative use of corrugated metal siding, skillion roofs (twins!) and lovely porch/landscaping…I was EXCITED about seeing the interiour!!!

    Waa-Waa….Boo! Raw plywood walls?! The cheapest and ugliest of metal shelf brackets that I didn’t even use at Uni?! Exposed insulation in the ceiling?! REALLY?????????? How much would a can of paint have cost (still allowing for the Wall of Hope handprints) or a couple more bucks dumped into the shelving brackets? $100 bucks of materials and sweat equity could have made for such a more “organic architecture. ”

    But hey, what the heck do I know? People are raving like crazy over their stay at this place so I guess looking at a raw/unfinished interior is a real Turn ON to them while for me, it’s the ultimate Turn OFF! Even a By-The-Hour Motel has paint on the walls, for Peet’s Sake. πŸ™ And Yes!, I’ve stayed in hundreds of those motels from one coast to the next, so I know what they offer; I’ve just extended my stays beyond the ‘hour limit’. LOL

    • alice h
      August 23, 2013, 8:08 pm

      Yeah, there’s “rustic” and then there’s, hmm, well, maybe “unfinished” is polite enough. I just got a book out of the library, Artists’ Handmade Houses http://www.dwell.com/books/slideshow/artists-handmade-houses#1 has a few photos from it. Not necessarily tiny but definitely inspirational. Some are pretty out there but there are lots of ideas a person could adapt.

      • Cahow
        August 23, 2013, 9:25 pm

        Oh, thank goodness you chimed in, alice h, with your accurate description. And the link you provided was balm to my injured sense and sensibility. Yes, rustic is one thing and primative is another and then there’s just.plain.unfinished. I see too many of those kinds of tiny homes offered on Tiny Home Listings: the outside is tricked out and the inside is just raw plywood. Almost always in the ad are the words “…must sell”. So, you know they ran out of money or interest or a combination of both.

        All real estate agents know that the cheapest way to add curb appeal to a property is a can of paint. Had the exterior of this tiny home not telegraphed follow-through and care by carefully painted trim and matching window sizes, then I could have given them a pass as to their choice of a “garage” interior. And that, sadly, is what it reminds me of: they pulled the car OUT, added furnishing and put the people IN. With all their ad-speak about being holistic and working with cancer patients, etc., you’d think they’d know how important a serene enviroment is to wellness. Honestly, more than half of my clients have garage’s that are more finished than this. It just sets my teeth and harmony on edge. Looking at the unfinished walls, the exposed U-Bend of the poly pipes…geez, can’t you find a nice piece of fabric and staple it to the base of the sink?!

        Oh well, the advert DID say I was better off in a motel, now, didn’t they. πŸ˜‰ They probably have me pegged as a boring old cow that can’t handle their “hipster city neighborhood.” pffffftttt….

        • Mugur
          August 24, 2013, 2:47 pm

          Ditto!, Cahow!
          You have spared me the increasing pains of my carpial tunnel syndrome, or maybe it is the other syndrome – with pains after too much typing … You are 100% correct!
          On the other hand, the buyer has the opportunity of making the interior decorating upon his/her preferences, so, there is “hope” at the end od the”Wall of Hope”!!!

    • November 11, 2013, 8:57 am

      I assure you, there is paint on the ceiling, not exposed insulation. That said, it isn’t for everyone. As my first building project, it’s sturdy, level,
      and honest. I wasn’t aiming for awards in design, but I did take a year to plan it out. It’s a sweet little spot for rest and renewal. That looks different for all of us. Guests do self-select their stays at Airbnb.com, and we try to represent our Art Studio Retreat as accurately as possible. Those who choose to come seem to enjoy things for what they are. And we enjoy our guests tremendously and appreciate their reviews.

    • November 11, 2013, 2:55 pm

      I assure anyone who stays in this “tiny” house will come away better for having experienced what was built with love and patience and you will receive the same.

  • Anonymous
    August 23, 2013, 6:56 pm

    The outside is fabulous. Unfortunately the inside looks like a crack house with the plywood and graffiti.

    “Crack is whack.”
    -Whitney Houston

    • Cahow
      August 25, 2013, 12:20 pm

      “Crack is whack.” <<<ROFLMFAO!!!! Oh my goodness, I NEVER thought I'd see that phrase attached to a tiny house! Brilliant!

      I showed this place to my husband and he was initially silent and then went "Huh." His points were very valid, all concerning SANITATION. As he pointed out, "What you do in your own PRIVATE home is your business. How you maintain a RENTAL PROPERTY is EVERYONE'S business!"

      Unfinished plywood walls can NOT be scrubbed clean of filth. Anyone else ever accidently spill a cup of coffee or tea or drop a soda can, and it splashes EVERYWHERE? How do you clean those walls from prior guests and what they do in there? Also, unfinished plywood walls next to the kitchen sink will soak up any and all liquids, eventually swelling the plywood. And, a PLYWOOD base to the toilet???? How many MEN have "perfect aim" in using the toilet????????? Do you REALLY want to be sitting on the loo, surrounded by urine-soaked wood? Ewwwwwww! Lastly, I read on their website that the floor to the shower is painted concrete. You can't SCRUB concrete clean…that's why you wear flip-flops in public shower stalls so you don't get foot fungus. So, yet another potential health hazard that you could pick up for "$65.00/night."

      Any time you open your door to commerce, there's health codes you MUST adhere to. It's one thing if you're making spaghetti sauce for your family and you keep dipping the spoon in the sauce for everyone to taste. It's ANOTHER issue, however, if you're sampling the sauce for SALE at the local Farmer's Market!

      The owner's of the property have both a dog and cat, but I can't tell if YOUR pets are allowed to come with you. If so, I sure would want to make sure that someone else's Fido or Fluffy didn't spray the plywood walls or drop their fur all over the place before I checked in.

      Telling or not, the "cleaning fee" for this unit is listed at $20 bucks. My cleaning lady won't walk into my front door for less than $80! Well, I guess you DO get what you pay for. ~shrug~ I'm sure there's 10,000 people who would laugh at every one of my concerns and more power to them.

      • November 11, 2013, 10:03 am

        My sister is the cleanest clean freak I have ever known. This place is for free spirited people and may not be for everyone.But as I have observed the people get way more than they pay for . There is a lap pool available, a beautiful yard. My brother in law and sister often invite people in the main house to greet them or give them a meal. They are lovely people and watch over her guests well being guiding them to sights they may want to see. It is way more than you get in a cold hotel . It is fun and funky and many guest write her and stay in touch. You can not pay any amount for the service you get from loving people. I have slept there it is quiet peaceful and well stocked. Most people are out and about having fun and when you get back you can sit in a well maintained yard with a hammock. You can not pay any amount for the attention and care they spend on their guests. Like I said it for a certain type of free spirited souls.

    • Dona diCarlo
      November 11, 2013, 12:10 pm

      When my siter made this wall it was a gesture to all the people who mindfully and carefully helped her build her house after she had cancer. It is a homage to hope and friendship and it is sealed.

      • V
        July 14, 2014, 6:46 am

        DO NOT LET OTHERS DRAG YOU DOWN OR PILE THEIR GARBAGE ON YOU, a simple comment that they didn’t like the unfinished interior would have been sufficient, why people feel the need to insult and hurt others is beyond me, CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS ONE THING, OUTRIGHT RUDENESS AND LACK OF MORAL CHARACTER IS ANOTHER, you don’t need to defend your cabin against those who aim to harm you, if they don’t like it they don’t have to go there, simple as that. I’m sure many people who claim “cleaning” as the issue have never sanitized their tv remote or the handle on the fridge or the light switch in the bathroom and germs love these places, so carry on with your dream, I would come stay there in a second! God bless and best wishes for happiness πŸ™‚

  • August 24, 2013, 3:40 pm

    Agreed. The outside is finished; however, please finish the I inside!?

  • Cahow
    August 25, 2013, 12:26 pm

    Casual observation I just noticed.

    Look at the header: Kitchenette. There are 3 photos posted under that heading.
    The first photo shows a long shot of the door and enclosed kitchenette.
    The second photo shows a close up of the kitchenette.
    The LAST photo shows a ?Before? or ?After? long shot of a lovely 2nd patio door and a completely OPEN kitchen with loads of more space and shelving.

    Wonder which one is which, now? Can’t imagine they’d rip out an enclosed doorway for a patio door but maybe they did. I like Version 2.0 better.

  • Deborah
    September 6, 2013, 2:37 pm

    I don’t think so – exterior 10+ – interior . Just a guess but I don’t think this would or could be code in ANY state! They would have done better by parking a used FEMA trailer out there and then doing the same exterior finish on it. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth for tiny homes. Glad I am not the only one that finds this place disturbing to say the least.

  • Simeon
    February 1, 2014, 6:35 pm

    Okay, I am new to the whole Tiny House culture, but so far I have been really encouraged by what I have seen and heard. That is until I came to THESE COMMENTS. Is there no shame in speaking discouraging things about someone else’s project that was built for positivity. You are very entitled to your opinions, but who or what are you helping by moaning and groaning to cyberspace about how much you hate what many other people have already said they love. So you disagree; pick up your bags and go elsewhere. Hell, build your own. That is more beneficial to everyone than spewing toxic, negative thoughts to the world? If anything, a simple “I like the outside, but I prefer a more finished look when it comes to interiors.” would have been fine.

    Search your heart and think of why you chose to go the route you did. Was it noble? Was it wise? Was it directly beneficial to anyone? Was is nice? Did it encourage anyone? Could whoever built that be beaten down by your words? Was that your aim? Just be real about it with yourself.

    Lets try to be more supportive of one another in this culture of less, because those who know nothing about it are already calling us weirdos. We should at least show love to one another.

    • Alex Pino
      February 3, 2014, 8:52 am

      Thank you Simeon

      • V
        July 14, 2014, 6:49 am

        Beautiful comment, couldn’t have said it better!

    • Jen
      July 14, 2014, 12:34 pm


  • kev
    March 2, 2014, 7:35 pm

    Hi, yes the outside is amazing and sweet! Being from the design world I can understand why your some readers here complined that the interior, could have been stellar..and less like a fort. Does the bath have actual plumbing or just a hole dug under the toilet seat? I don’t want to offend anyone but san diego rentals are shamefully overpriced and if you have ever lived there you know that every village is deamed “location” and its just an

    • kev
      March 2, 2014, 7:47 pm

      (Cont) in SD every village is a (good?) Location and therefore one can charge in the thousands for a piece of filthy crap apt or quaint but unfinished fort. My suggestion would have been to create a blog about the construction of the project and many designers would have been happy to offer interior suggestions or inexpensive sollutions to pimping

  • Sally
    May 21, 2014, 5:37 pm

    Do the owners know if there is any sort of tiny house community in San Diego County, either for rental or purchase/build? For people who want the independence and privacy of a house but not the enormous cost.

  • Cosy
    July 14, 2014, 12:06 am

    I have to agree with Simone. The remarks on this house are extreme and if that’s not enough, some have found that they need to add additional remarks. I’ve seen much worse than this house and not nearly the reaction that this one has received. Sadly it seems that the authors who ridicule others work rarely if ever produce their own projects for critique. I suppose they couldn’t handle the wonderful ‘critiques’ they might receive. One of the most important lessons in life I’ve learned is the ability to pause before speaking (or in this case typing ) & really think about what is going to be said & if it’s really what you want to be remembered as saying. Because people will always remember the negatives much more than the positives.
    Thank you for sharing your tiny house with us & I get it. The guest who chooses to stay here doesn’t want a tricked out Holiday Inn.

  • Kimberly
    July 14, 2014, 7:45 pm

    I think it’s wonderful! I surely can’t build my own at this point in my life and think it’s awesome that people are even building these structures. The outside is beautiful and the inside is fun and quirky. The hope wall is a wonderful touch. If anything it can be seen as a work in progress. Things can always be improved upon. It gives you a chanceto let y ourimagina tion fill in the gaps and for a person entering the tiny house world who’d like to give it a test run its a great way to get a feel for the general amount of space you’ll be working with. Great job and carry on! πŸ™‚

  • Gisele MacGibbon
    October 23, 2017, 3:48 pm

    I would like more information on availability.

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