ISSUE 3  |  Tropicana

Architect Visit: Rustic Living on the Beach, in Uruguay

January 26, 2014 11:00 AM

BY Meredith Swinehart

A beach home in Uruguay flaunts lofted ceilings, a wraparound deck, and a kitchen far more chic than yours or mine. This, and more, in one very tiny room.

The design employs several space-maximizing tricks: A jute rug with only a small cushioned “sofa” makes the singular main room feel like an adaptable space. An unvarying neutral color palette keeps the hut from feeling cluttered, and lets discrete spaces “borrow” elbow room from each other. Ample use of cushions negates the need for bulky furniture, and furnishings that do exist–such as cabinets, tables, and stools–are quite petite.

And yes, the surrounding miles of grassy beach and the ocean at its doorstep also help. (As does a wide-angle lens.)

Photos via EspacioLiving.


Above: Several glass doors and windows maximize light and views, even at night or in foul weather.


Above: A perfectly rustic white ladder leans over the kitchen and up to the sleeping loft.


Above: Scale is everything in this hut; What looks at first glance like a full bedroom is merely a sideways mattress on a small sleeping platform.


Above: The rustic-chic kitchen stocks the essentials: a propane stove, Bialetti espresso maker, and what looks a lot like an Ikea Magasin dish rack.

For more rustic kitchens, see 5 Favorites: Ultimate Outdoor Kitchens.


Above: If you were beginning to wonder if the hut really has everything you’d need: Yes, there is a bathroom (L). By forgoing actual furniture, the hut can offer several distinct spaces such as a compact “living room” (R).


Above: Replete with cushions and a hammock, the wraparound deck serves as the outdoor room. (N.B.: Find out how to make a DIY hammock in your own yard.)


Above: The hut’s small-scale furnishings include a stool, drum, and potted plants.


Above: On one side, the rugged deck juts out, creating yet another tiny but discrete space.

Looking for more inspiration? See more photos of Small Space Living in our Gallery.

N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published August 9, 2012.