House of 200 m² in the forest, in which almost everything is made by hand.

An interesting story of one cozy house in the middle of the forest.

Our heroine Elena thought out the design of this house on her own. As a result, she got housing that is not inferior in comfort to a city apartment: it has autonomous heating, a sewerage system and a septic tank. We had to make our own well to have drinking water.

There are two more houses on the territory, but today we will talk about the construction of the largest one: study and adopt the ideas you like.

About planning and construction

The history of our house began with the fact that we bought a plot during a pandemic not far from my mother in an ordinary SNT. The site is extreme, forested – this is what attracted us greatly. There was an old 6×8 house on the property. For us it was not very modern – we wanted to turn it into a dacha. In the end, it all ended with us doing a more global project: as it turned out, the old house did not correspond to today’s technologies.

We wanted to come there not only in summer, but also in winter: it was necessary to build a heating system, the walls had to have appropriate thermal insulation qualities. They decided to demolish the house, leaving only the basement.

I like modern buildings – quite low, with access to the terrace.

I wanted to have something similar, so they implemented my idea of ​​pouring a slab next to the old foundation with a basement – this way steps appeared inside. We also benefited from the fact that we got high ceilings of almost 4 m (3.80 to be precise). In the rest of the house we have 2.80 m ceilings.

We designed a spacious kitchen-living room with large panoramic windows and access to the terrace. On the old foundation with a basement there was an entrance group, a staircase to the top, a sauna and a utility room combined with a bathroom. On the second floor we have three bedrooms (master with windows to the forest and two guest rooms) and two more bathrooms.

The house is small: the total area is about 200 m², but it is used only for housing – there is practically no storage, everything is in the basement. We made the house itself in what I call “forest” style. They covered it with an unusual “American” board: it took a long time to select the khaki color – it blended very organically with the atmosphere of the forest.

About finishing

Initially, we planned that it would be a dacha in the forest: we wanted to live in as much wood as possible. Therefore, all the walls in the house are lined with imitation timber, the ceilings are lined with wood, and somewhere we left real beams that were used in the construction of the house.

The colors I chose were in harmony with the surrounding nature – these are natural tones. I just wanted a contrast with my apartment, which is very bright. Everything here is conducive to relaxation.

I came up with the design myself: I was inspired by Pinterest, I had a lot of ideas. I used to travel a lot and liked chalets in Austria – I was attracted by the countryside forest flair. That’s why we asked to cast over the beams – when the soft layer is removed, the rough texture of the wood remains. The bathrooms have Spanish tiles.

On the ground floor, the entire floor is porcelain stoneware, and there are water-heated floors. The second floor has very basic parquet flooring from Leroy Merlin, but I liked the way it looked. He shows himself very well.

About the kitchen

The kitchen is my pride because it was relatively inexpensive. Natural solid oak was used for the table and tabletop – I dreamed of a large table. All contents are from IKEA, including the buffet. The only exception is the facades, I ordered them elsewhere, I needed the right green color. Relatives remained on the island and the buffet.

I’ll give you a life hack: since the storage in the kitchen is not very large, I wanted to make the kitchen as part of the living room space, the refrigerator did not fit in – I needed a built-in one. But they are small, and outside the city you need a decent supply of food. I came up with a pantry under the stairs, put a freezer there, and bought a refrigerator without it for the kitchen. Also, when ordering a kitchen, I ordered an additional bottom drawer and installed a refrigerator on it – I got another storage system for the depth of the entire refrigerator.

The buffet is another achievement, I assembled it as a construction set from METHOD modules. Due to the fact that I covered the facades on the sides with panels, I covered the bottom sidewalls with facades: the facade is 2 cm thick, and the panel is 12 mm thick, the difference was leveled by the tabletop – it turned out to be a skirt, very beautiful. We made the lighting ourselves and tinted the glass with film; I ordered the handles on AliExpress. From the remains of the panels and cornice we made a shelf for open storage above the coffee machine.

A similar buffet from furniture makers cost me about 200,000, but it cost me 83,000 rubles.

About furniture

There is nothing expensive on the second floor: the beds were bought in an online store, the curtains were from Leroy Merlin, I ordered hemp on Avito as bedside tables, they are used in the master bedroom. I ordered some items from La Redoute , a Belarusian buffet on the first floor from a Belarusian website. Floor lamp and lighting from IKEA.

Interesting fact: I wanted a fashionable modular sofa, chopped, square in shape. My husband and I went to sit on it and in the store we saw a French sofa – when my husband sat on it, he said that he wouldn’t look at others. After a year, all our friends say that we have a very cool sofa.

About the fireplace

If you look closely at the photographs of the fireplace, it seems that it is decorated with natural stone. In fact, all that is visible is essentially a drywall frame, including a shelf for firewood. I found a person who made decorative plaster for me: it cost 40,000 rubles (material including work). I was very pleased because it really looks like a beautiful black stone – not a single seam or joint.

About the basement

In the basement we have all the communications: a recuperator (we built a ventilation system throughout the house, air conditioning) plus storage – it turned out to be very useful for life. There is also a cold room where you can store potatoes, carrots, etc.

About storage

The house has several storage areas – small closets, each with its own purpose. There are two dressing rooms (men’s and women’s), as well as a utility area – there are additional pillows, blankets, an ironing board, an iron, and boxes with seasonal items.

There is a storage room in the hallway where outerwear and shoes are stored. One side is allocated for city clothing, the other for country clothing. Small closets allow you to avoid cluttering the space.

About the bathrooms

There are three bathrooms in the house. On the ground floor the bathroom is combined with a utility room: there are a washing machine and a dryer. The shower is located next to the sauna: a guest staying in the office can use the toilet on the ground floor. On the second floor there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. One for two rooms, the second for the master bedroom.

All bathrooms were made in the same style, only the decoration is different: wood is used, skylights are installed on the second floor, and decorative Spanish tiles are used. An interesting solution is shower cabins made in construction style. In the master bedroom, a checkered molding was pasted on, we really like it. A lot of woven wood elements are used.

About errors

We bought a ready-made house, the walls were already in place, so when I made the project, I was guided by the existing building. I didn’t know then that we would demolish it completely and leave only the basement. They planned to leave the entrance to the house where it was, but demolish the wall to immediately get into the kitchen-living room.

When we built the house, it turned out that the parking lot was on the other side of the entrance to the house – food was served through the living room window. Construction continued: we added a new porch, and moved the window at the end of the corridor further down. It turned out to be a porch from the parking lot, and the old corridor was turned into another room (office) – this is very convenient.

Advice to readers:

Take your time, because building a house is a serious step and you are spending quite a lot of money. As practice shows, the amount that people plan to spend usually has to be multiplied by two, because all construction companies are a little disingenuous when they talk about how much it costs to build a house. 

If people want to get a comfortable space, I advise you not to skimp on the project, but to think it through completely with an architect and designer in order to create the ideal housing specifically for your needs.

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