After several decades as an airline executive (including Delta president, Virgin America CEO, and Lufthansa president & CEO), Fred Reid could have built a McMansion, but instead he chose to grow his home without taking on debt and embracing nature by adding small outbuildings.
When Reid bought his aunt’s Sonoma County property, he wanted to “recapture the indistinguishable border between indoors and outdoors that I had as a child in Ethiopia”. Instead of tearing down her tiny cottage, he made enlarged it a bit and opened it up to the outdoors with floor-to-ceiling windows or doors in nearly all the rooms, including the shower and toilet room.
Years later, he nestled a tiny cabin (a prefab from Modern Cabaña) in a redwood grove to serve as an office and guest space (it’s complete with a easy-touch pull-out couch and electric fireplace for heat).
In another Redwood grove, he built an observation tower treehouse as a second guesthouse or a personal retreat (see our story with architect Scott Constable of Wowhaus: Airline exec builds observation tower treehouse as tiny home). So not to harm the grove, it doesn’t rest on a foundation, but on 4 posts. This elevated cabin has minimal utilities, but basic cooking is possible (thanks to a small Japanese camping stove).