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You’ve probably heard your friend say, “I wish I had a mountain house—even a little cabin I could escape to on weekends.” Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the discretionary income to turn those daydreams into reality. But Zeppelin Development gets the sentiment. The developers behind the Source Hotel & Market Hall and Zeppelin Station planned their newest residential project as an urban retreat for city dwellers.
When Kabin (a Nordic twist on “cabin”) debuts in August with 194 one- and two-bedroom units, it will add another residential offering to the mixed-use Taxi campus, which previously skewed toward office and commercial space. The majority of Kabin’s units are 455-square-foot studios; the two-bedrooms are 830 square feet. (Units on the first floor get the added perk of 100-square-foot patios.) Like most Zeppelin projects, there’s a trendy design element—in this case, roll-up glass garage doors in the living rooms give the tight quarters more breathing room and allow for plenty of natural light and fresh air. Ceiling heights between 10 and 12 feet also add to the airy feeling.
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(Take a virtual tour of a one-bedroom apartment at Kabin.)
“We recognized that there really was a need, specifically in River North, to provide apartments that were design-forward but also economical,” says Justin Croft, vice president of development for Zeppelin Development. “I think these units work really well for the new reality that we’re all living in right now. People are working from home and might be for some time and…it’s that much more critical you’re in a space that’s comfortable and you get as much sunshine into your apartment as possible.”
Though Kabin was originally planned as an income-restricted property, Zeppelin Development pivoted after the company was unable to secure the necessary federal low-income tax credits. Still, Kabin’s initial rates can be considered affordable for the neighborhood. The pre-opening special is $1,200 per month—plus parking—for a one-bedroom residence. It’s not clear how that pricing will change after initial sales. The Zeppelin team imagines many of the units will be taken up by employees who work in one of the 150 businesses that call Taxi home.
Residents will have access to all of Taxi’s amenities (once they reopen), including a pool, fitness center, beach volleyball court, and two dog parks, one of which is being built next to four-story Kabin. (All of the units are pet-friendly.)
Dynia Architects, which has partnered with Zeppelin Development on about 10 projects, leaned into the minimalist Scandinavian design prompt, focusing on simplicity and comfort. They managed to avoid a stark feeling by wrapping the bathrooms in cedar, for a warm contrast to the polished concrete floors. Moving the bathroom to the center of the one-bedroom space created separate sleeping and living zones, which you don’t often find in studios. “Many studio apartments are one room…the bed is always present in the space. The importance of making you not feel like you’re living in your bedroom led us to this layout,” says Stephen Dynia, the firm’s founder and design director. “There’s a lot of precision that goes into designing things when you’re designing a space that small.”
Among those precise elements are ample storage solutions. There’s built-in shelving above the front door and in the closet, and the bathroom core doesn’t extend all the way up to the ceiling, leaving space to store items you want out of sight. (A stacked washer and dryer are tucked into the doorless closet.) A window in the shower allows additional light to filter into the bedroom from the living space.
“A context like RiNo inspires certain kinds of responses,” Dynia says. “The buildings are not overly corporate or slick. They have a sense of functionality to them that you would have found in an industrial zone, and we try to abide by that.” Because Kabin is residential, Dynia’s team added some softer touches, including extending the interior wood detailing to the lobby and ground floor facade, which is otherwise clad in metal and stucco, and adding outdoor planters. “It fortifies that notion of a cabin,” Dynia says. “Living is different than working, and there is the desire for some sense of coziness. I think the landscape around [Kabin] and the wood on the lower level is going to give it a residential sensibility.”
A Little Help With Furnishings
Decorating a small apartment can be tricky. Where exactly are you supposed to store all of your winter gear? How do you make room for your stand mixer and bar essentials? Enter Havenly. Zeppelin teamed up with the Denver-based online interior design and home decorating service to curate five distinct furniture and accessory packages that residents can purchase.
The five looks were designed around a variety of common Colorado interests and styles. “How you structure your space should be conducive to your lifestyle,” says Heather Goerzen, design lead at Havenly. “People come into these [small] spaces and think, I’m going to be really limited in my furniture choices. With expert help from a designer, you can see how much freedom and opportunity you have.”
The contemporary “Focus on the Food” design features a kitchen island with stools and storage solutions for barware, for example. “Work From Home” is all about clean lines and neutral tones, with a dedicated desk and other home office necessities. (The apartment shown here is outfitted in the funkier “Musically Inclined” design. View all of the look boards, which will eventually have 3-D renderings so you can visualize the items in the apartments, here.)
Residents can purchase a package wholesale—prices for the full layouts range from $4,000 to $8,000—or mix and match pieces to complement what they already own or to fit their budgets. “Most of us are not one-dimensional in our interests or styles. The best homes seamlessly blend across styles,” Goerzen says. “[Kabin] is a very Nordic-inspired space. It’s a really nice and clean backdrop for a lot of styles to come to life beautifully.”
Perhaps the most helpful aspect of this unique furnishing concept is that all of the furnishings and accessories are available from one source, so you don’t have to toggle between stores to find what you want. Havenly’s platform includes goods from more than 200 brands, including West Elm, CB2, the Citizenry, and even three exclusive private labels. Havenly designers can also offer their typical services, styling bespoke rooms with packages starting at $79.
Whatever direction you choose, it should be based on your lifestyle and how you plan to use the space, Goerzen says. After all, your “Kabin” isn’t truly a retreat unless it feels like you.