Back Country House is an Idyllic Getaway Set Among the Forests of New Zealand

This house, titled Back Country House, is hidden away among the lush greenery of a forest in New Zealand. The two-story home has been designed by David Maurice of LTD Architectural.


The house aims to blend into the backdrop and connect with its surroundings. It can be found 40 minutes north of Auckland in Puhio, and takes inspiration from New Zealand’s back-country huts.



Traditionally, back-country huts were simple structures found in the wilderness and used to provide shelter for the general public. David Maurice has attempted to distill the open nature of those simple shelters, so as to create a dwelling that connects with its natural surroundings.



Back Country House was created for Maurice’s own family. Being a personal project, you can be sure the design and finish matches the architects own sensibilities, as opposed to those of a client. The house has a simple lean-to form (often referred to as a shed roof). A portion of the home’s body extends beyond the lean-to, in order to accommodate a few extra living areas.


Being set among a forest, wood is the material of choice for the exterior finish. Wood also features heavily on the inside, but many of the walls give way to a simple white finish. Maurice has struck a balance here, preventing the home from developing a log cabin atmosphere.


Back Country House is graced by a large wrap-around porch, which is partly sheltered along some walls. There’s also an outside fireplace and chimney, as well as a pair of bathtubs that are embedded into the floor of the deck. These exterior additions reiterate the architects desire integrate with the surroundings. The barrier between inside and out is reduced by introducing living spaces beyond the walls of the home.


In terms of layout, the ground floor contains a lounge, kitchen and dining area (which open up onto the terrace). The home’s upper level is occupied by the master bedroom. It also doubles as a home office with a long workstation. The other bedrooms can be through an adjoining annex on the ground floor.


For more small houses check out Dark Horse, a contemporary home amidst much more traditional surroundings in Australia. Or, this small family getaway featuring retractable glass walls and overlooks a lagoon. See all small houses.

Photos © LTD Architectural

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. Hi, like but I would suggest painting the outside either with exterior paint or stain and always have railing going up stairs or sideways which I saw on another house in another country. People can fall unfortunately. I do like the house.