News Home & Design This Unique Backcountry Cabin Is a Stargazing Retreat That You Can Rent This architecturally designed dwelling is made for nature lovers. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Updated July 7, 2021 06:41PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Living Big In A Tiny House News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Tiny houses are a pretty versatile bunch; not only do some choose to live in one to gain more financial freedom, but we've also seen some also being used as writers' studios, detachable and mobile "houselets," granny flats, or even as a way to bring in extra rental income. Located near the town of Twizel, in the southern part of New Zealand, the distinctive Skylark Cabin fits into the last category. Designed by local architect Barry Connor, the 538-square-foot dwelling doubles as a holiday home for owner Garry and his wife, but it's also an Airbnb rental when they are not using it. We get a short tour of this unique rentable residence via Living Big In A Tiny House: The cabin's charred Siberian larch-covered exterior is characterized by striking angularities that are accented with pops of orange-painted trim, which is meant to match the burnt tawny color of the surrounding grassy landscape. Living Big In A Tiny House There are a lot of carefully placed windows around the house that offer great views to the hilly vistas beyond, plus a lovely deck that has a picturesque rock resting right on it. Living Big In A Tiny House As one enters inside, one's eye is immediately drawn to the large circular skylight that sits above the bed, which offers great stargazing views at night, in addition to the other picture windows carefully placed at eye-level near the bed. As Garry explains: "The home is mimicked on a [skylark's nest], because on this ground here we have skylarks and rabbits, and we thought we would recognize the skylarks. So we wanted to make it look like the inside of a skylark's nest, so [we did that by using] all earthy colors and all the [wooden] ribs." Behind the bed, there's also a convenient recessed shelf for putting things down, as well as a small closet for hanging up clothes. Living Big In A Tiny House In the room behind the sleeping area, there is a laundry room with a window, which Garry says could be converted into a wardrobe. Beyond that, we have a lovely bathroom, which features much of the home's black and stony color scheme, as seem in the dark-toned sink and toilet, and the gray large-format tiles that echo the natural rocks outside. Beside the shower, there is a door leading outside.... Living Big In A Tiny House ...all the way down to the open air bathtub, where one can also watch the stars turn. Living Big In A Tiny House On the other side of the house, there is the open plan kitchen and living room. Living Big In A Tiny House Once again, we are surrounded by windows offering prime views of the faraway mountain scenery. Living Big In A Tiny House The walls are clad with the warm textures of plywood, which are then further defined by idiosyncratic dark wooden ribbing that ties the whole interior together, along with subtly placed strips of energy-saving LED lighting. Living Big In A Tiny House The fully equipped kitchen is minimalist and modern: the fixtures and countertops are done in shiny stainless steel, which is then offset the matte black cabinetry. Living Big In A Tiny House The compact dining table for two here can be folded up and put aside to make more standing room for extra guests if needed. Living Big In A Tiny House The home is heated by a small but powerful little green woodstove that sits across from the couch. Living Big In A Tiny House The lounge can be opened up further by sliding the tall glass doors to one side. Living Big In A Tiny House This effectively opens up the whole space to the outdoors, extending out onto the small deck and its rocky anchor piece. Garry offers up why they chose to place the rock there: "[The rock is a perfect symbol of how this house was built around nature, as] we have intruded into the natural landscape, so it's only right that the natural landscape should have a prominent place within the house." Living Big In A Tiny House With its location in the world's largest dark sky reserve, the Skylark Cabin is a great place for stargazing enthusiasts or for those looking for a backcountry getaway. Stays start at $282 per night; to find out more, visit and Airbnb.