In a picturesque plot of pines surrounded by farm fields, a trio of camper cabins defy expectations. Sure, they are simple — it’s strictly BYO linens, and bathrooms are in a separate building — but they are also modern, architect-designed and award-winning. The shingle-clad beauties in Whitetail Woods Regional Park, in Farmington, were designed by Minneapolis’ HGA Architects and Engineers, and earned an American Institute of Architects award in 2015, a year after they opened.
These humble cabins share something with much grander properties, such as the Pole House, perched on steel stilts above an Australian beach, and the Palmer House, a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Ann Arbor, Mich. They are all available as vacation rentals at plansmatter.com, a local start-up website. (Pole House goes for $434-plus/night; Palmer House, $350-plus/night; Whitetail Woods Camper Cabins, $70/night.)
Connie Lindor and Scott Muellner, the duo behind the much-missed Redlurered design shop in Minneapolis, founded PlansMatter as a way to connect consumers with architecturally significant vacation rental properties. The site lists 30 homes; a number they expect will grow to 100 within a year. The architecture-trained duo chose properties that are thoughtfully designed, recognized with awards and, ultimately, “places where we’d like to stay; places with high quality design that excites us,” Muellner said.
The collection includes Gunflint Lake Cabin, clad in corrugated steel and windows, near Grand Marais ($400/night) and the industrial-chic, farmhouse-inspired Black Shed, on Scotland’s Isle of Skye ($115-plus/night).
PlansMatter manages several of the properties. For the others, it links to booking sites free of charge. The company aims to ease the search for high-styled rentals. In that endeavor, the site is as sleek as the homes it highlights.
Send your questions or tips to Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.