Small home, big life: the not-so-sinister cabin in the woods that allowed one family to opt-out of the rat race in style

It could be any other ultra-modern apartment in any city in the world... but look a little closer and you may notice that all is not as it seems in this bijou home

It's something we never seem to have enough of and we are constantly trying to come up with new and inventive ways to create more of it... But for one Oregon couple giving up their space was the beginning of a whole new way of life.

Gabriella and Andrew Morrison had spent years questioning how much their lives revolved around struggling to pay the mortgage and decided to opt out of the rat race by building their own bijou home.

The result was the creation of hOMe (no, we have no idea why they spelled it like that), an Oregon property they designed themselves to be big on style and home comforts and, more importantly, mortgage free.

cabin with high end appliances cabinetry furniture and fixtures

(Image credit: TBC)

Gabriella, 43, from New York, says: 'It took us four months to build and it cost £13,000 ($22,000), £19,000 ($33,000) if we include the high-end appliances, cabinetry, furniture and fixtures. We are now debt free, off grid, joyful, closer as a family and enjoying living our lives in our full-time hOMe.'


Husband Andrew was a building contractor when the couple decided they were both working too hard to support their lifestyle and consequently not seeing their children enough.

Gabriella says: 'We sold our "dream home", purchased our own five acres in Oregon and began to create our vision of off-grid tiny living.'

kitchen with kitchen hub kitchen storage unit and kitchen hub oven window

(Image credit: TBC)

According to the couple, the interestingly named hOMe is 'a modern tiny house on wheels', and offers bijou living without compromise. With everything from a full-sized kitchen with conventionally sized appliances; a comfortable set of stairs to the master bedroom; copious amounts of storage; a home office with space for two and a fully functional bathroom, the compact home has everything the family needs to live a stress-free life.

The hOMe concept allows the forward-thinking couple to have their own space, while 14-year-old daughter Terra has her own tiny cabin nearby. Son Paiute, 17, now attends college.

bedroom with bed cupboard and window

(Image credit: TBC)

hanging rails fireplace storage boxes and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

mini house cabin

(Image credit: TBC)

Gabriella says the dynamic works perfectly, with Terra spending half her time in her own personal cabin, but coming to the hOMe to spend time with the rest of the family.

The family did have to make some sacrifices, though: downsizing meant that they had to sell or throw away over 90% of their belongings in order to accommodate their new lifestyle.

But was it worth it? Well, the couple have now turned their dream home into a dream lifestyle: Andrew has followed his true calling to be a teacher and now dedicates his life to helping other people build their own homes.

And we're very happy for them!

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