cabinland comes to the sunny southwest, beginning with its salvaged timber 'desert cabin'

cabinland comes to the sunny southwest, beginning with its salvaged timber 'desert cabin'

from the mossy woods to the cactus desert


Sara Underwood and Jacob Witzling take to new landscapes to grow their Cabinland series, unveiling the newly completed Desert Cabin. The duo has so far built six mossy structures across their forested plot in the Pacific Northwest, including the Diamond Cabin, Castle Cabin, and a collection of smaller utility cabins scattered throughout the woods. Now, Sara and Jacob have expanded the boundaries of their fairytale world from the fern-cloaked woods to the cactus deserts of the American Southwest.


As always, the team unveils its latest cabin with new plans just on the horizon — Sara notes on social media that they are ‘patiently waiting for plans to be approved on our main cabin.’

Cabinland Desert Cabinimages courtesy @saraunderwood and @jacobwitzling



built entirely of salvaged materials

During the sustainable design/build process of their Desert Cabin, Cabinland founders Sara Underwood and Jacob Witzling make use of entirely repurposed materials. Jacob tells designboom: ‘Every piece of material you see, from the doors to the siding, has been salvaged.  It is important for us to consume and use as little new material as possible, from an environmental perspective.
We also believe using salvaged materials gives our structures character. Each window and piece of trim has a story and a history it tells through faded paint.’

Cabinland Desert Cabin



the desert cabin’s living rooftop


Respectfully celebrating the rich ecology of the vast landscape, the Desert Cabin is topped with a garden terrace, accessible by ladder, out of which grows native cacti and ocotillo. These indigenous plants thrive on the dwelling’s roof as they grow from sandy loam — fertile soil — sourced from the surrounding desert.
Not only is the rooftop home to living plant-life, it is thoughtfully engineered to adapt to its natural context. The team continues: ‘Water easily drains off the roof as a result of our innovative design. We’ve engineered the structure to be able to sustain the additional weight of the soil and flora, as well as the strong winds and heavy rains that come every summer during monsoon season.’

Cabinland Desert Cabin



Inside the detailed dwelling


The sustainable spirit of the Desert Cabin continues along its interior. The tiny dwelling is able to remain comfortable even on the hottest days with blackout curtains to limit solar gain. Meanwhile, cross ventilation takes advantage of the near constant breezes along the open plain to provide a steady, cool atmosphere inside the cabin.
As always, Sara and Jacob pay attention to detail and quality of craft: ‘We created the pattern on the large French doors to reflect the constellation, Orion, which nearly every night has watched over us from the vast open skies of this desert oasis.

Cabinland Desert Cabin
a living rooftop is home to indigenous cacti and ocotillo cabinland comes to the sunny southwest, beginning with its salvaged timber 'desert cabin'the rooftop terrace is accessible by ladder


the pattern on the large French doors reflects the constellation, Orion

cabinland comes to the sunny southwest, beginning with its salvaged timber 'desert cabin'the structure is made entirely with salvaged materials


the team unveils its latest Desert Cabin with new plans for Cabinland just on the horizon

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