Whether you've settled into working remotely, balancing a hybrid model, or back at the office, focusing on work can still be difficult to do these days. Changing up your routine is one solution to extricate yourself from a rut (personally, I find sitting in a different spot around the apartment to be effective, even if that means the other side of the sofa). But, of course, there's nothing quite like the luxury of escaping your apartment, your office, or your surroundings altogether to really get things done.
That's the idea behind Offsite, a recently established startup aiming to provide city folks a calming space to both escape their daily routine and comfortably work remote. Founded by New York City-based designer Brian Vallario, the nascent concept is now live with its first off-grid prototype cabin set on a 60-acre farm in the Catskills.
On a recent weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a long weekend at the new cabin in Wassiac, NY. And you better believe my desktop monitor was in tow.
Offsite's first cabin was installed at the beginning of January 2023, placed in a secluded hilltop glade just walking distance from the property's other on-site dwellings. After reaching the property and briefly getting the car stuck in this winter's mud, I arrived at Offsite's cabin just before dusk.
Trained in architecture, Vallario himself designed the cabin, and it was prefabricated in Texas before its delivery on-site. With a footprint of 225 square feet, its modest dimensions are not disimilar to other prefab units covered widely here at Field Mag, although with Offsite's design a heavy slope to the roof proves a clever design strategy in the Northeast's humid continental climate—and a nod to the vernacular New England shed.
Both the interior and exterior are clad in white pine, a traditional material used in the area, paired with sustainable cork flooring. At one end of the space, a custom bed unit built by local craftsman Anthony Masina holds a sunken mattress, storage, and a mini-library of curated design books.
On the other end of the cabin, a kitchenette features a mini-fridge, a spacious sink, a two-burner gas cooktop stove, and bar style seating. As an avid home chef, I can gladly say it was equipped with just the right accessories: Caraway pot, a VSSL JAVA coffee grinder and Chemex, two sets of utensils, knives and cutting board, and various serving utensils to boot.
The "home office" is at the heart of the space, comprised of an adjustable standing desk, whiteboard, and notably, a handful of easily accessible outlets. The no-frills set up makes it easy to plug and play, with the workspace looking out over an unobstructed view of the surrounding trees. Easter eggs like Gathering Growth Slide Mountain candles, a mini Barebones lantern, yoga mats, and a JBL portable speaker add finishing touches.
Nearby on the property sits an Almost Heaven barrel sauna and cold plunge tub for guests to use on request. Of course, one does not miss the chance to sauna, but as I poked at a thin layer of ice atop the cold plunge tub, I opted out of the full send and just dipped my face in, for I would argue, equally refreshing results.
Besides puttering around the cabin and taking a brief walk around the property's woodland walking paths, I also ventured further away to nearby Millerton, NY, an upstate outpost with all the chic homeware boutiques, antique stores, and coffee shops one would expect to find. For further exploration, natural attractions like the Appalachian Trail and Kent Fall State Park are a short drive away, and local restaurants and bars come recommended by the Offsite team.
All this being said, this is just the beginning of Offsite. Besides opening the Wassaic cabin for public booking and managing the rental with wife Kate, Vallario plans to focus on fundraising and searching for land partners this year in the hopes of establishing more cabin sites outside of New York City. He's also in the process of developing additional models, like an office unit, a larger living cabin, and perhaps, a pared-down version for a more traditional camping experience. Otherwise, the Offsite team plans to host meet-ups in NYC when the weather is warmer through their Outing Club.
My stay at Offsite's Wassaic cabin was happily interspersed with meeting the folks who live full-time on the property, and their two dogs and cat that mill about. Although it's just in its initial stages, as Offsite exists today, it's a homey, inviting experience. And hanging out around the property might just fill up your whole weekend.
Visit Offsite's Wassaic cabin for yourself for $204 per night.