handbuilt home of sustainable designer Lilah Horwitz

This is the wonderful eco cabin built by sustainable fashion designer and ceramicist, Lilah Horwitz and her partner, photographer Nick Olson.

Hi Lilah, you and Nick built the cabin from recycled windows and wood on a very tight budget.  How did the project come about?


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Hi Cand, well, the story goes that we dreamed of a small house built for watching the sunset on one of our first dates!  We came to a point where suddenly we could actually do this, and in a bit of a mad moment we picked up everything and moved down to Nick’s family land in West Virginia.


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We made some crayon drawings of the house and got to work.  Nick is a builder so he knows the basics, and we spent a lot of time at the library looking at books and learning how to create structures.


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From personal experience I know it’s fantastic being in a creative partnership – bouncing ideas off each other and dreaming up a magical future.  But it also has its flipside!  You get so many ideas that it’s hard to know where to start, what to do and what to put on hold.  And there just isn’t enough time or cash to do everything…!

Hah!  There is never enough time and never enough cash – but I guess that’s what keeps it interesting!


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Nick and I can dream like no other, but it’s a true bliss because we can work together equally as well.  We throw around a ton of ideas at all times, whether they are collaborations between the two of us, solo work, or just what to eat for breakfast or how to hang a laundry line.  The ones that appear the most often tend to be the ones we chase.


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We are currently in the very early stages of looking for a piece of land.  We hope to build many little dwellings as seasonal rentals, a studio for ourselves, and start a small subsistence farm.  It’s a big dream, probably the biggest we have had yet, so its going to take time, but we are very excited by the whole thing and once that train starts rolling its hard to put the brakes on.


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You and Nick both love to travel and don’t spend all year in the cabin.  When will you next be there?

This year it will be over Thanksgiving, which means lots of guests.


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But we always manage to make some time for a little quiet.  We walk in the mountains there a lot, you sometimes feel like the woods go on forever!


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Thank you so much, Lilah, and good luck with all of your’s and Nick’s adventures.  And what better way to end than with this wonderful video of you and your cabin…

WORDS: Cand Juskus and Lilah Horwitz

IMAGES: Lilah Horwitz, Nick Olsen and the fabulous blog Free People

VIDEO: Half Cut Tea