Building a House Among the Trees with Hygge Supply

By Jenny Gumbert

Hygge Supply is ready to change any preconceived notions you may have about prefab homes. Kelly Sean Karcher, Hygge Supply owner and designer, prefers the term “kit home,” a reference to catalogue homes from the early 20th century.

Combining a love of design and the Danish aesthetic, Hygge Supply creates sustainable and accessible designs in an easily combinable home kit package—all the ease without losing the aesthetics. From architectural plans to final interior paints, the company delivers goods in a system that is simple in its approach and allows one to achieve a look that is clean, modern, and comfortable.

Karcher’s other business, Hygge Stay, was created in order to rent out properties that he had built or renovated, including a stunning example of one of his kit homes, the Birch Le Collaboration House. Solo Stove is happy to be a contributor to the Birch Le home (a Bonfire sits at the center of a sitting area nestled in the stunning yard space).

Take a photo tour of the house below, and learn Karcher’s inspiration for the two businesses and how nature inspires his designs.

Q&A and House Tour With Hygge Supply

The exterior of the Birch Le Collaboration House
(Photo for Hygge Supply by Will Johnson @this_simple_life)

How did the idea for Hygge Supply and Hygge Stay come about?

The idea (for Hygge Stay) originally stemmed from my love of another property of mine, The Modern Farmhouse in Northport (Michigan). I bought that property with the intention of renovating it into something very simple and clean—with the end vision of it arising from the design concepts coming out of Scandinavia. 

I renovated the house almost completely on my own, but when it was finally finished, other work I was involved in took me away from the farmhouse. I decided to rent it out on Airbnb for the time I was away, and it became really successful—people loved it and really found a personal connection with it. I had no idea people would find the house to be so special, but it sparked something in me to want to create unique, high design homes that people could stay in and experience. That was the inception of Hygge Stay, our short-term rental management company, which focuses on the guest experience in unique homes.

The living room of the Birch Le Collaboration House
(Photo for Hygge Supply by Will Johnson @this_simple_life)

I bought another property, The Wayfarer Treehouse, which was originally a kit home that I ended up completely renovating as well, and that property also became inventory of Hygge Stay. The kit home piece of the Wayfarer Treehouse intrigued me, and after two renovations, I wanted to create something from scratch that was completely my own vision.

This is how the original Hygge Supply home was conceived. My intention was to create a simple and inexpensive way to build a home with a high design concept that could also be built relatively quickly. It made sense to create a system for the build concept, employing a panelized structural design with prefabricated pieces and parts for rapid assembly. I added a bunk room for additional sleeping space, lined all of the walls with floor-to-ceiling windows, and planned for a large kitchen and living area for guests to engage with each other in. Soon after the home was complete, I received many inquiries about the home and a large interest in replicating the process for new clients.

Interior of the Birch Le Collaboration House
(Photos for Hygge Supply by Will Johnson @this_simple_life)

Tell us about the Birch Le Collaboration House. What inspired the design?

We had built several of our Hygge Supply homes and felt we had refined our system. We wanted to create a home that employed all that we had learned and that would highlight the best of our designs. We also wanted to showcase the materials and products that had become part of our system and aesthetic into a space that could become an experiential showroom. So we put together a design that included our most popular model—the 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom—and added a large covered porch to incorporate an outdoor living space. 

The covered porch of the Birch Le Collaboration House
(Photo for Hygge Supply by Will Johnson @this_simple_life)

Tell us about indoor/outdoor living at the Birch Le Collaboration House and the intention behind it.

All of our homes are really connected to nature with the intention of allowing even the enclosed spaces to flow from indoor to outdoor through the use of our floor-to-ceiling windows. But the large covered porch was an essential element to this design and this particular property. The home is built on a hill amongst several trees, so looking out the west side of the house, whether inside or out on the porch, it gives you the sense that you are up in the trees. We wanted that outdoor living space to allow a connection to nature, and offer a chance to unplug. It also is a great communal space and natural spot to engage with family and friends around the fireplace or dinner table.

What’s your favorite part of the home?

The covered porch with the outdoor living area is probably my favorite space in this home.

The Solo Stove Bonfire + Stand sits at the center of a seating area in the backyard of the Birch Le Collaboration House (Photo via Hygge Supply)

Why did you decide to include a Solo Stove fire pit in the backyard design?

With the home being a short-term rental and also an experiential showroom, we wanted a fire pit as part of the experience, but we wanted to make sure that we had something in place that was safe and easy to use. The fact that the Solo Stove was self contained and wouldn’t burn the ground below was a huge attraction, since we wanted to make sure to protect the landscape and property surrounding it. It is also easy to clean and portable so a guest could take it to the beach with them if they wanted to.  

Ultimately, though, the Solo Stove is a great design that practically offers a very functional and safe design with a simple aesthetic, which is very in line with the philosophy of our business.

Photo via Hygge Supply

Thanks for sharing the Hygge Supply story and philosophy with us, Sean! If you have the chance, stay at the Birch Le Collaboration house. If you do, be sure to tag Solo Stove and Hygge Supply on Instagram or share your experience via our submission form!