This DEN Bunk Plus cabin is called Mala Ziemia, translating from Polish to English as "Little Earth." Built just an hour outside of Warsaw, Mala Ziemia was built by Michal and Monika as a minimalistic place where creativity and nature reign supreme.
Mala Ziemia is a 270 square foot A-frame complete with a bathroom, kitchenette, and lofted bedroom. Designed with minimalist approach, each item inside of the cabin has been carefully curated by Michal and Monika to provoke thought, consideration, and a slower way of life. They chose DEN because the design ethos aesthetic fit, and approachability was a perfect match for their vision.
We sat down with the pair to hear more about their story, their design approach, and their experience building their first cabin. Read our conversation below!
Tell us About Who You Are
Who are you and why did you want to embark on this project?
I’m Michał, a graphic designer and author from Poland. Monika is a yoga instructor. During the pandemic we lived and traveled in a van in southern Europe for a year. After coming back, we wanted to be closer to nature and dreamed of building our own cabin.
What are you passionate about in life?
Being in nature and realizing creative projects is what drives us. One of us loves minimalistic design, the other one is more spiritual.
What’s special about the area/region you’re building in?
Our cabin lies on the border of the national park, just outside Warsaw. Squeezed between two rivers and a giant forest, it’s a beautiful region.
Show us Your Project
What drew you to this piece of property? What’s special about it?
Our family bought it 10 years ago, as they fell in love with this region. It’s a 2.5 hectare meadow with many trees.
What DEN design are you building and what drew you to that model?
We are building the A Frame Bunk Plus. For us, we liked the compactness and minimalistic design. We were considering building A-frame Weekender, which we would do if we had more money.
What stage are you at in your build?
It’s just finished. We have our first guests tonight.
Share More About Your Build
What modifications did you make to your DEN design, if any?
We made it 1 meter longer and we slightly enlarged the kitchen window. We also changed the foundation so the cabin sits on a slab.
How long did your build take?
5 months from 0 to 100%
What was your cost per square foot or meter?
All together, with furniture, accessories, media and everything was $47,000 (USD). $174.07 per square foot.
Did you work with a builder, DIY, or a combination of both?
95% builder, 5% DIY
Did you run into any challenges during your process? How did you overcome them?
Many! First of all, weather. We started in December so we had to work around the cold and snow. We didn't have a road leading to the build site, so that had to be built from scratch. We did have a few issues with our builder underestimating costs, and they ultimately walked off the job leaving us to finish with another contractor. Lots of other things, but we made it work and all in all 5 months to complete a build is really fast.
What do you love most about your DEN?
How it looks, the size, all of the windows. Inside, it's beautiful with simple plywood and only the most necessary objects. The roof is visually stunning, with a gorgeous front view of the sleek triangular structure.
Share your DEN Experience
How did you find DEN?
What drew you to the DEN designs?
Minimalistic design, beautiful graphics, professionalism. The fact that you made building it feel so possible.
Are you glad you chose DEN? If so, why? If not, why not?
How would you rate your overall experience as a DEN customer?
All photos from the build are from photographer Dominik Cudny @domcudny