In the past spiritual hermits, or a group of hermits with disciples and students lived in isolated dwellings in forests or mountains in Himalayas or the plains below. The dwelling for students and disciples were shared rooms while for the principal hermit it was just a single large room that combined bed, living, study and store along with a veranda in front that was used for sitting, study, meditation or receiving guests in partially open space. The kitchen and bathrooms of such units were in separate structures. However with modern equipment used in kitchen and bathrooms, all can be combined in a single cottage that would lead to a plan as shown in the figure. The arrangement leads to a smaller additional room that may be used as a study or bed for an attendant or guest. The small room can have a window on the side too if there is a good open view on that side.
|Plan for a cottage with primarily one large room|
It must be noted that while a single large room leads to easier management for someone wishing to live a very simple life, the larger roof spans make construction more expensive or less durable. This can be avoided by dividing living space in two rooms, a bed and a living room. Several such designs have been published in earlier posts of this blog and may be discovered by searching/browsing. One of them is repeated below with some modifications that create space for a kitchen table beside a window. The plan shows room widths as 11 feet but they may be reduced up to 10 feet or expanded to 12 feet (with some other minor adjustments in plan) depending upon lay of land.
|Design for a two room cottage|
Top image was developed from clip art at: