written by:
April 2, 2015
What better way to celebrate the springtime than to build a pop-up retreat in your own backyard? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
tent, bedroom, bed, turquoise

The El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas had a brilliant idea when adding outdoorsy room options for its guests: furnishing tents and teepees with items that would be normally found in a standard bedroom. For families looking to "get away," a few days in the backyard, with comfortable bedding, seating and lighting borrowed from the indoors, is the perfect last-minute weekend respite.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Hotels We Love: El Cosmico Hotel in Marfa, Texas
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swamp hut night

Boston-based architects Keith Moskow and Robert Linn co-built this woodsy weekend retreat, named Swamp Hut, in the suburbs of Massachusetts. The 580-square-foot structure, which was partially built with prefabricated trusses, has three cabins that are topped with a semi-translucent fiberglass and cluster around an open sitting area with a picnic table. The project cost only $7,500.

Originally appeared in 5 Outdoor Campers
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Stubb and her family moved to their home, located on 2.25 acres just north of Baltimore, in 2001. "The outdoors here are a big playground," she says. "We had always wanted to build something for the girls that looked natural." In the summer of 2008, they

Architects Laurie and Peter Stubb built this 128-square-foot, fort-like structure when their family moved to Baltimore. The two-level wooden tower was built near their main home and has been used as a getaway for their young daughthers, a reading retreat for adults, and a place to entertain visiting guests.

Originally appeared in Baltimore Tree House
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Jaanus Orgusaar NOA Cabin

Designer-inventor Jaanus Orgusaar’s modular cabin in the Virumaa region of Estonia is used as his family's vacation house. While the 270-square-foot structure is situated away from their main home, the geometric shape would work well with any number of larger backyard properties.

Originally appeared in Estonian Designer’s Tiny Geometric Cabin
4 / 7
Yellow North Face tent atop a wooden deck

One couple in Japan visits the Chichibu mountain range, just outside of Tokyo, every weekend for a unique camping experience that includes North Face tents for sleeping atop a wooden structure that contains a kitchen and dining area. To honor their untraditional vacation dwelling, Setsumasa and Mami Kobayashi serve their food in traditional camping cookware.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Platform for Living
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writer's cabin oregon

Architect Erin Moore designed this 70-square-foot writer's retreat for her mother, Kathleen Dean Moore, in Oregon. Constructed using a prefabricated steel frame, a tongue-and-groove red cedar enclosure, glass, and concrete, the structure is off the beaten path, so to speak. “We didn’t want to put in a road,” notes Kathleen. “We didn’t even put in a trail.” 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Modern Off-the-Grid Retreat in Oregon
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Josie’s tepee playhouse stands on a platform, where she and her friends erect sets for their theatrical productions.

When a pair of environmentally conscious architects purchased a small property in a Los Angeles canyon, they couldn't have known that years later they would end up with two lots that contain both their modern dream home and a work studio, along with a backyard teepee retreat for their young daughter.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Compound Addition
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tent, bedroom, bed, turquoise

The El Cosmico hotel in Marfa, Texas had a brilliant idea when adding outdoorsy room options for its guests: furnishing tents and teepees with items that would be normally found in a standard bedroom. For families looking to "get away," a few days in the backyard, with comfortable bedding, seating and lighting borrowed from the indoors, is the perfect last-minute weekend respite.

Photo by Nick Simonite.

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