In Style + Design

Go Off-Grid With Tiny House Revolution

Tiny houses, big lifestyle benefits.

As life gets busier, so do our minds. It can be a challenge to switch off. Often, it’s got to do with our environments. CABN, the tiny house getaway experience in the Adelaide Hills, has set out to solve this. The tiny houses create a setting where you can slow down, drop the need to succeed, and just be. No distractions, no comparisons, no emails.

CABN’s houses are designed to let individuals, couples and families disconnect from city life with off-grid, handcrafted, sustainable, and eco-friendly tiny houses in some of South Australia’s most stunning and stimulating landscapes.

For Michael Lamprell, CABN’s creator, it was a mix of transcendental meditation and a chance encounter that planned the seed to go off-grid.

Lamprell met two guys from Harvard University, who were building their start-up, Get Away. They were building tiny houses in the beautiful woods and forests of New Hampshire, a couple of hours drive from Boston. Get Away spoke to the “terminally busy” – Lamprell loved the concept.

Having grown up and spending so much time outdoors and living an adventurous life, Lamprell realised that every happy memory that he had as a child involved camping, hiking, cycling and travel with the most important people in his life.

“It made me want to encourage people to love each other, rather than things. It might not be possible as an everyday reality for most, but to be able to escape for a short break is enough to recharge,” says Lamprell.

CABN source as much local materials as possible, from design to build, food to firewood. The 100 percent-sustainable houses have composting toilets, rainwater catchment and solar power. The whole philosophy is to live, leaving no footprint.

CABN’s fit-out & features

Inside each CABN, there’s a king or queen bed, toilet, shower, heater, two-burner kitchen stove, full-size sink, mini freezer fridge and cooking tools. If you visit in summer, stay cool naturally with trees surrounding your tiny house. Open up the screened-in windows or put the fan on. In case of emergencies, there’s a fire extinguisher, blanket and first aid kit.

CABN works for people who are serious about downsizing their life, as well as those looking for a temporary lifestyle change, even if it’s just for the weekend.

Lamprell builds the CABNs off-site and brings them to new buyers to put on their own properties. They work well as second homes, studios, mini retreats, holiday homes and guesthouses. They’re quick and easy to install, which is one of their major drawcards. Lamprell wanted CABNs to be flexible, so you’re not bound to one place.

Optional designs are virtually the same as the CABNs in the Hills, however Lamprell sits with his clients to design and build what they need, within regulations and budget. It takes the CABN team 12 weeks to build a completely off-grid cabin with a cost of around $80,000. And with house prices on the rise, a CABN becomes extremely attractive.

When asked about the type of people attracted to CABN, Lamprell was delighted to discover it went beyond his younger market expectations.

“It is certainly a much more diverse mix. As well as small families, we have had a few retirees and groups of friends. Some people even come alone, looking for solitude. However predominantly, it’s couples looking for a real escape and unique experience.”

Looking ahead, Lamprell said he’d like to see as many people as possible experience the benefits of simple, uncluttered and meaningful living.

“We see our cabins offering custom-made accommodation that fits into the environment – allowing people to experience our national parks and the wonderful space we have in Australia. Also, we see opportunity in affordable housing and temporary housing and one or two more very exciting opportunities we are working on,” Lamprell added.

The team are currently building three extra CABNs and the locations will be announced in the next few weeks.

Take a deep breath and take in the 180 acres of natural scrubland and park, conserved for its walking trails, waterfalls, and forest.

Rediscover the beauty of waking up when the sun does, feeling actually rested… sitting next to the (still crackling) fire, coffee in hand, as the fresh morning breeze takes the steam from the cup softly with it.

Forget Wi-Fi. Connect to nature’s circadian rhythms.


Published 19 February, 2018