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, 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, and follow her on Twitter: @kerriwestenberg.