Skip to Content

Tiny Maine Cottage is Completely Self-Sustainable

Sharing is caring!

20 miles off the coast of Maine on an off-the-grid island, journalist Bruce Porter built this gorgeous little cabin with the help of his architectural designer daughter, Alex.  

It took over 30 years of abandoned building plans for the Porters to take the leap and settle on a design. The cabin takes advantage of the beautiful waterfront views and is completely self-sustainable.

The Porters’ vision when creating the cabin was to build an “unobtrusive abode that would blend with the local color”, with a simple interior that could be made with local materials.


Photo: Eirik Johnson

The exterior of the cabin is clad in corrugated aluminum to help protect it from the elements.  Large panels made of the same material can be shuttered over the windows and doors for additional protection.


Photo: Eirik Johnson

The interior of the cabin is clad completely in white pine.  Some unique features of the design include cattle fencing in the loft and metal pipe hand rails for the stairway.


Photo: Eirik Johnson



A tiny wood stove provides enough warmth to heat the entire cabin in cold temperatures.


The minimally furnished front deck offers a spectacular waterfront view. Large windows and glass doors afford plenty of natural light for the cabin.


Photo: Eirik Johnson

The screened porch offers maximum southern exposure for the solar panels that feed power to the entire cabin.


Photo: Eirik Johnson

Water for the cabin is provided exclusively through rain catchment. The catchment system disposes of the first five gallons of rainwater as it fills, ensuring that clean water is sent into the cistern, which then sends water to the kitchen and to the outdoor shower.  

The cabin utilizes a composting toilet in lieu of a septic system.


In addition to seating areas in the kitchen, the screened porch serves as an auxiliary dining room.


Photo: Eirik Johnson

See the full article about the Porters’ Maine cottage where it is featured on Dwell.

Photos by Eirik Johnson