You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled into a fairytale. This log cabin-style home in Oamaru is reminiscent of a picture-book gingerbread house. Outside, the pitched gables and logs stacked to curve demand a closer look. The approach is, in fact, very down-to-earth – all locally sourced Douglas Fir logs. You won’t find a splinter of treated timber on site. And despite its heavy-duty look, the 300sqm, two-storey structure treads lightly in its environment. Fully self-sufficient, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home takes care of its own power, water and heating. It’ll deliver the goods for five days without solar gain, at which point a back-up generator kicks in. A Rayburn cooker powers underfloor heating and radiators, while baking bread and boiling the kettle. Bright red accents – from cabinetry and appliances to the freestanding bath – break up the widespread use of wood. High bi-fold windows open wide for that outdoor-bathing effect.