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Outbuilding of the Week: A “Secret Room” in Upstate New York

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Outbuilding of the Week: A “Secret Room” in Upstate New York

December 22, 2017

When Norwegian-British visual artist Jason Koxvold built his home in Ellenville, New York, he got an added bonus. He was able to salvage wood from the red oak trees that fell during the construction to build a freestanding timber cabin he named “Hemmelig Rom,” a Norwegian phrase which means “secret room.” Koxvold uses his secret room as a library and guest cottage. (It’s not available to rent, but we’re hoping that might change—we’d love to hole up there during a snowstorm.) Here’s a look inside.

Photography by Jason Koxvold.

 Koxvold worked with architecture firm Studio Padron to build the small cabin, keeping the design simple so that he and his friends could build it themselves.
Above: Koxvold worked with architecture firm Studio Padron to build the small cabin, keeping the design simple so that he and his friends could build it themselves.
In addition to salvaged red oak, the cabin is also made from cedar cladding and black-stained plywood (to give it a charred shou sugi ban look).
Above: In addition to salvaged red oak, the cabin is also made from cedar cladding and black-stained plywood (to give it a charred shou sugi ban look).
Inside, the tiny \290-square-foot cabin is snug and efficient.
Above: Inside, the tiny 290-square-foot cabin is snug and efficient.
The wood burning cast iron Jøtul stove warms the cabin in winter. Floor-to-ceiling windows maximize views of the surrounding forest and take advantage of natural light.
Above: The wood burning cast iron Jøtul stove warms the cabin in winter. Floor-to-ceiling windows maximize views of the surrounding forest and take advantage of natural light.
The cabin is just big enough to fit a bed, desk, and chair. Twin sconces save space and provide ample reading light; built-in shelving holds books and serves as nightstands.
Above: The cabin is just big enough to fit a bed, desk, and chair. Twin sconces save space and provide ample reading light; built-in shelving holds books and serves as nightstands.
A modern touch: the cabin has wifi, enabling Koxvold to work remotely.
Above: A modern touch: the cabin has wifi, enabling Koxvold to work remotely.
Rustic built-in timber shelves line every interior wall and evoke traditional log cabins. Koxvold estimates that they hold several thousand books.
Above: Rustic built-in timber shelves line every interior wall and evoke traditional log cabins. Koxvold estimates that they hold several thousand books.
 The salvaged red oak was cut, then dried for years before being used to construct the cabin. The cabin&#8\2\17;s slanted roof makes for easy snow maintenance in the winter months.
Above: The salvaged red oak was cut, then dried for years before being used to construct the cabin. The cabin’s slanted roof makes for easy snow maintenance in the winter months.

See more winter-worthy outbuildings:

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