My kind of people:
Imagine a place so off-the-grid that, if you wanted to make a phone call, you’d have to amble down to a pond, pull a canoe from the muddy bank, row quietly across the surface, and float in the middle of it—oars pulled in—to get enough service.
The couple set about rehabbing the cabin together (with the occasional help of Greg’s brother, who has his own off-the-grid cabin in Maine). They kept the budget low, investing in a few essential elements (“a new metal roof, which only ended up being around $2,500 since our cabin is so small and simple, and a system of Goal Zero batteries, the rechargeable lithium ion batteries that we use to power the cabin”), installing a few systems to account for the lack of electricity and water, and upgrading the interiors with simple, rustic finds. Now, with this weekend marking two years since they bought the place, they’re almost done. The final tally? “About $4,000, which includes the cost of all the tools we needed.”
The design has come together intentionally slowly over the past two years. “Ninety-five percent of the pieces in the cabin are from the antique store in our town, flea markets, estate sales, Craigslist, or the swap shop at the town dump. It definitely takes much longer to outfit a space this way, but I would much rather take my time and find pieces that mean something to me than buy something online just to fill a space,” Saunders says. “I also need to be mindful that while our cabin is beautiful and cozy, it’s also an uninsulated cabin in the middle of the woods. It gets very damp and cold, so I try to bring in things that can hold up well in that environment.”