Meet the Cabineers: Pines and Cones December 06 2015
We found Pines and Cones on Instagram over a year ago and were immediately inspired by their photos and cabin lifestyle, and we've eagerly been following them since. So we got in touch recently to find out more about them and how they built their forest retreat.
The Molin/Högfeldt family consists of Oskar, Amelie and the bird hunting dog Brutus. For the last couple of years they have split their time living half the year in Stockholm and the other half in their 40 square metre log cabin. The cabin is located about an hour west of Stockholm, in a forest surrounded by old pine trees and a stunning view of lake Mälaren.
Pedal + Tread: You built the cabin yourself, when and why did you decide to build it?
Pines + Cones: Amelie grew up in the countryside, on the farm and the land that the cabin is located on. One day three years ago when we where walking around in the forest we found the perfect spot, and we just knew that we were going to build something there. Soon!
P+T: How long did the build take, what materials did you use and what was the hardest part?
P+C: From idea to finish it took about a year. The hardest part is all the planning and paperwork to the municipal authorities. We wanted it to be very simple and Oskar is in love with trees of all kinds, so the choice to build it as a log timber cabin was obvious.
P+T: What was your main inspiration for the design and why did you choose to build a log timber style cabin?
P+C: We didn't have a specific inspirational design in mind when we scribbled down our ideas on paper. We just wanted it to be as simple as possible, no strange angles or complicated constructions. Oskar worked with architects at that time and when he showed his colleagues the drawings of the cabin they all laughed as they thought it look like a house you would draw as a child, a square with triangle formed roof. A pine timber log house was a natural choice for us, we thought it would fit in with the environment and it was going to be much easier to build, as there was no good infrastructure near the plot we built on.
P+T: Your cabin is "off the grid", what does this mean?
P+C: It means that we do not have access to either a power grid or water system. We have solar panels and take water from the lake or bring it from the farm a few kilometres away. In the future we will drill for water, but we are in no hurry. For now we have a great water filter called Berkey, that we use for drinking water.
P+T: Was being off grid a conscious choice from the start?
P+C: We fell in love with the location first and foremost, so we didn't see the off grid part as a problem. We think that you shouldn't be intimidated by an off grid life as it doesn't have to be a big hassle. Today there are clever solutions to everything and life can be comfortable without having the amenities you are normally used to in the city. To be honest we really don't need even half of it!
P+T: How often do you go there and what do you enjoy most about being there at this time of the year?
P+C: In the wintertime we go as often as we can, mostly on weekends. As Swedish winters get very cold you need to keep the fire burning all the time and that means that the wood burning cast iron stove is always warm and ready for some cooking. It's something rather special and very nice to cook your meal cooked on a cast iron stove. Old school, heart warming and delicious.
P+T: What are the most essential things you keep in your cabin, any favourites?
P+C: Apart from our cast iron wood burner, the essentials are blankets, candles, lamp oil for the storm lanterns for the atmosphere, and light of course. A tired and happy dog at our feet to help keep us warm. Solar panels are also good to have....
P+T: Do you consider your cabin complete now, or do you feel there is more to do, any plans?
It will never be complete; there is always something we can do. Our next project is probably to build a sauna.
P+T: Any advice for aspiring cabin builders?
P+C: We're no experts and the good thing is you don't have to be, just do what you think feels right. And even if it doesn't feel right, try it anyway, and be quick about it. We've heard that it's not until you build your third house that you get most of it right anyway, so you might as well start practising. Just enjoy the ride! Also, go off grid, it's less costly and you will likely get a better view, and there are great solutions to most problems.
P+T: And finally, what does fresh air living mean to you guys?
P+C: Amelie: When I come out in the nature I am walking a lot slower than in the city to take it all in, maybe that's what it's all about, taking a break from the fast pace life that you are used to. Otherwise, fresh air living is a privilege that one should be very grateful of, not all people get to experience it today.
If you're interested in trying out an off grid cabin life, you can do so by renting the Pines and Cones cabin. Amelie and Oskar want to share their cabin with people who love the outdoors and nature as much as they do.
Pines & Cones IG: @pinesandcones
Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.co.uk - type in Selaön, Sweden in the search field