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Inside a whimsical hobbit house with an expandable living room

The cottage in Årjäng, Sweden, is on view for a one-day only exhibition

House in woods Courtesy Swedish Design Museum

This tiny cabin in the Swedish forest is the stuff of fairytales. Owned by architects Maartje Lammers and Boris Zeisser, the fisherman’s cottage called “Dragspelshuset” (translated to “accordion house”) is meant to be a summertime getaway for the couple.

Lammers and Zeisser wanted to expand the cabin, but Swedish bylaws stated that they could only add an additional 322 square feet to the property. Instead of adding on a permanent structure, the architects designed a retractable living room that expands and contracts via a system of pulleys and roller bearings.

Clever.

Rocking chair sitting next to large window Courtesy Swedish Design Museum
Wood clad interior of kitchen and living room Courtesy Swedish Design Museum

The lakeside home’s small size only adds to its appeal, though. The Hobbit-like lair is clad in cedar on the outside, while some interior walls are draped in reindeer skin. The effect is one of complete and utter whimsey, with nods to the organic style of Frank Lloyd Wright and Antoni Gaudí.

Ceiling covered in reindeer skin Courtesy Swedish Design Museum

If you’re curious to see more (and happen to be around Årjäng, Sweden), the house will be on view to the public for one day, May 12, as part of the Swedish Museum’s “The Home Viewing Exhibition,” which takes people inside Sweden’s most intriguing homes.