Montana accessory dwelling as writer’s retreat & guest cabin




Crissie McMullan and her husband Jeremy Smith wanted more space for their Missoula home. The couple live with their daughter and college-student niece and often have out-of-town guests. Plus, Smith works from home and Mcmullan was planning to take a year off work to write a novel.

To make extra room for guests and a writing retreat, they hired local designer Charles Finn to craft them a cabin out of recycled and reclaimed materials.

Charles Finn:

Original story:

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40 Comments

  1. The JemmaGrl
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Missoula <3 Home of the amazing Hank Green!! I'm seriously considering living there…

  2. schuuichiminamino
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    This seems so peaceful. I have noise sources coming from all sides in a daily basis. Sometimes… most of the times it's hard to concentrate.

  3. Maureen O'Brien
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    It's beautiful! Enjoy!

  4. not2tees
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Love her books and her philosopher, Simone Weil.  Good luck with that novel, Crissie!  Let us know if she ever finishes it –

  5. Jessica Bower
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    I'm from missoula!!!

  6. Neb Omashin
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    You pay your taxes for your little piece of paradise and some "nosy parker" has nothing better to do than complain to the City because you want to do something more with your plot than cover it with the same blank green lawn they think everyone should have to conform with them…nice retreat…to heck with the neighbor!

  7. nuudaaa
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Love your channel!

  8. Phresh Ideas + Designs
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Nice retreat. That aside, please run that extension cord through some PVC pipes. Safety first.

  9. Bob Vance
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Seems like more of a philosophical story then a tiny house story. way to change it up Kirsten.

  10. kyle0091000
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Love the design of the house. Does the owner have any heat outlet installed in the cabin (or will she be planning to install one in the future)? Because it would function better in the winter time (I'm from Canada, not sure about Missoula weather condition).

  11. felix schreiber
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    dear kirsten… 60fps really harshly increases the processing power required to see your videos in a decent quality. for footage like yours its not necessary and doesn't add much to the viewing experience but costs a lot of energy and bandwidth…  you can even try it out yourself by monitoring your pcs thermal output or cpu/gpu usage while running 720/1080p60 against its 30 counterpart.  thanks for your work and the amazing quality of your content 🙂 best wishes, felix

  12. DreamingCatStudio
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    I liked the pace of this story, with lots of silences. Really got a feel for the space. And the idea that being disconnected from the Internet allows for a deeper connection to her writing and herself. I am wishing to know more about the house, like who designed and built it, and where the other materials that she didn't mention came from. Thanks for a great video!

  13. Granviviente
    July 23, 2015
    Reply

    Love the wide large desk with the window above, looks like a pretty confy work space

  14. Stu VS
    July 24, 2015
    Reply

    So tangential but the program Scrivener gives long form writing some serious tools. Heavenly!

  15. Lifeholder
    July 24, 2015
    Reply

    Really great video. I liked the focus on how she writes in addition to talk about the tiny building.

  16. Gary G
    July 24, 2015
    Reply

    Hope you interviewed "The Minimalists," while your in Missoula. They would make an appropriate story on your channel.

  17. Pakken11
    July 25, 2015
    Reply

    I would love a place like that with just a grand piano, a shelf full of music, and a desk with staff paper and writing utensils.

  18. Random Button Pusher
    July 26, 2015
    Reply

    Annie Dillard made the case for having your writing desk face a blank wall so you won't spend your writing time staring out the window, distracted by what's outside, and I tend to agree. But she gets points for having DeLillo's White Noise in her book lineup.

  19. Jacobus Scheeres
    July 26, 2015
    Reply

    do not fall out of bed!

  20. Property Pinpoint
    July 26, 2015
    Reply

    Very well done! Just stumbled upon your channel & wow! Very well executed with good audio & editing too! We do property videos as well and we can tell lots of hard work went into this! You've got a new Subscriber and we're looking forward to more of your videos!

  21. IronicallyVague
    July 27, 2015
    Reply

    News clip –
    Apartment buyers in ridiculously expensive Hong Kong are now eagerly paying up to the equivalent of $500,000 (U.S.) for units not much bigger than a U.S. parking space (and typically physically self-measured by the applicant's wing-span). An agent told The Wall Street Journal in June that, for example, standard furniture does not fit the units and that having guests over requires sitting on the window sill. (The Journal pointed out that a typical such "mosquito" apartment unit in Hong Kong is 180 square feet, way smaller than the 304 of a basketball court's "lane" subject to a "3-second" violation.) A government lottery for subsidized units rewards barely one of every 100 applicants. [Wall Street Journal, 6-3-2015]

  22. plutoplatters
    July 29, 2015
    Reply

    When you write you can express  thoughts without having to worry/think about how you look when speaking directly to someone ?  makes sense to me anyways !

  23. piko burningmanmike
    July 29, 2015
    Reply

    shake shingles on the chimney? i've not seen that before. safe?

  24. piko burningmanmike
    July 29, 2015
    Reply

    cut the power cord, and install solar kit: panel, charge controller, inverter, & battery.

  25. dacow95
    August 4, 2015
    Reply

    This accessory dwelling is neat; s just wondering is there a rule to limit how many accessory dwellings units a property may contain?

  26. lcafilms
    August 6, 2015
    Reply

    I live in Missoula and having a hard time finding a place to park my 26ft RV, I am in the process of renovating it. love this video!

  27. B.J. Martin
    August 7, 2015
    Reply

    Traffic problems? Lol, sounds like government making excuses for making money.

  28. Inge Scott
    October 26, 2015
    Reply

    From one writer to another, your space is nice 🙂 and I like the view. As for your writing, do you belong to a critique group or have someone else give you feedback?

  29. Lillie Franklin
    November 11, 2015
    Reply

    Get solar panels and a wifi extender and have it all.

  30. Matt Lorah
    November 17, 2015
    Reply

    What kind of person could give a video like this a thumbs down?

  31. Matt Moore
    February 13, 2016
    Reply

    i live in bozeman mt this is cool

  32. Foggy8937
    April 2, 2016
    Reply

    Has this person accomplished anything as a "writer"???

  33. CandyMichelle Johnson
    April 21, 2016
    Reply

    I love it.

  34. CrankyBubushka
    April 29, 2016
    Reply

    Lovely!

  35. Sold to be Diers
    August 10, 2016
    Reply

    Found that whittlin words are best held between these 2 vice jaws and base.
    "Whatever gets you up in the middle of the night to write… never needs correction."
    -Saul Bellow
    "There are Artists that will wrest you up, and place you into them… rather than them, into you." -gilpin 8-10-16
    "Artists… Are These, Not They… Who realign the rollovers in the blade of your discernment?
    -gilpin 8-10-16

  36. Arabella Davis/Tried &True.
    October 31, 2016
    Reply

    Awesome, writing place. 🙂

  37. Karen Barr
    February 2, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Crissie, love your writers dwelling place love to have this myself.Interesting choice of books to inspire you, wanted to recommend Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch in particular because she bring the modern day to life but mixes it up Historical figures like Herodotus, plato ,and is clever with how she mixes her sentences up from modern day to historical times and most famous figures thoroughout history, get the hardback eddition of The Goldfinch as has 3d picture of The Goldfinch in the book based on the famous painting. Check her out on You tube aswell, one of the best books ive read in the last decade,she has given me great inspiration for my book, best wishes for the future!!!

  38. lisarichards1956
    February 3, 2017
    Reply

    Love this writing getaway. I also love the roll of toilet paper on the desk, lol. Maybe I'm not the only one who doesn't buy Kleenex?

  39. Monty Craig
    March 10, 2017
    Reply

    Kirsten, I love your videos, they inspire me, but please oh Please. Lose the wide-angle lens!

  40. Rosemary Grove
    September 25, 2017
    Reply

    Cute tiny house!! I live in Big Arm MT, NORTH of Missoula about an hour n half way. We Live on the West shore of Flathead Lake.
    I really want to build my own tiny house. Loved that she used lake bottom trees. Great job on recycling!! Great view from window.
    Live life n enjoy!!

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