Photo courtesy of Humble Hideaways
Need a Vacation? This Connecticut Business Delivers One in Your Own Backyard
For many of us dipping our toes back into “normal life” after the past year, the thought of a relaxing get-away is at the top of our wish lists. But while the call of far-flung locales will always hold appeal for our inner adventurer, one Connecticut business is giving the definition of “getaway” a makeover. Get to know Humble Hideaways, a Killingworth-based company dedicated to helping you escape the stress of daily living, one custom cottage and tiny hideaway at a time.
The inspiration behind Humble Hideaways
For Rob Nevins, the joy of a “home away from home” began in upstate New York, where several years ago he customized a shed on his farm to enjoy with his fiancée. The couple found themselves retreating to the shed for a glass of wine at night, or for a nap under its tin roof during a rainstorm.
Nevins realized that even though the shed was just a short walk across his own yard, entering a space that was “simple”—without the distractions of technology, to-do lists and myriad stresses of daily life—allowed him to fully relax and be present in a way that mimicked that “vacation” feeling so many of us have missed during COVID-19. Soon, friends were asking to visit with the couple in the shed, too, and after much encouragement to create such spaces for other people, Nevins founded Humble Hideaways.
Once COVID-19 hit, the idea of escaping right in one’s own backyard became incredibly appealing. “People are sick and tired of being in their houses during Covid,’ notes Nevins. “They’re going stir crazy, they’re not going on vacations, they’re stuck on Zoom calls. The thought of having a safe place to leave the world behind has really resonated with people on a whole new level.”
What makes Humble Hideaways different? Everything.
While “she sheds” and “man caves” have been enjoying popularity for several years, Nevins has made a commitment to doing things differently. His vision for Humble Hideaways is to create spaces that deliver an experience. “When you open the door to one of our cottages, it’s an ‘Oh, my god’ moment,” Nevins says. “I want people to feel they’re away, even though they’re in their backyard. Nothing else exists—it’s a safe space where you’re present. You’re forced to slow down and just be.”
To that end, each “hideaway” is built in upstate New York by hand. They are then transported to Killingworth, where the interiors are customized and finished by hand by Donald Logodicio and Elliot Gonzalez, Nevins’ business partners. Each cottage comes complete with flooring, electricity, a roof, windows and hardware. Then, Nevins creates lighting fixtures, chooses fabric and decorates each cottage with vintage pieces and antiques he’s collected over the past decades from Brimfield and beyond.
“Each of these one-of-a-kind tiny houses is truly special,” Nevins shares. “They’re not fabricated; they’re truly custom. We all put a lot of thought into these spaces, from the old school nails to the hardware we use. Everything in these spaces is included and yours to keep: The bedding, lighting, bed or other furniture, hardware and even bluetooth for those who want it. And we are committed to making this a truly joyous experience, which means we pull the permits, deliver it, assemble it and plug it in. The only thing that’s left for the owner to do is to enjoy it!”
In addition to these amenities and special touches, Nevins and his team surprise people with “leave be-hinds”—something secret for owners to discover over time that’s just for them. “It’s our way of taking customization to the next level,” Nevins explains. “It’s our labor of love.”
Humble Hideaways also offers charming options such as screened-in porches and tin roofs, and while each is truly custom, Nevins stresses the beauty of the simplicity they offer. The goal is not to create another house outside of a house, but to create a kid’s playroom, a nap nook, a date night escape or a virtual office—whatever best works for the buyer’s lifestyle. However, they’re used, these cottages can be easily picked up and moved if you sell your house, so you can have a “staycation” wherever you live.
To contact Rob Nevins about Humble Hideaways, visit myhumblehidreaways.com.