Tents That Look Like Houses (A Home Away From Home)

When I think of camping and our tent, it looks like a typical dome tent. Our tent looks like all the other tents. This is fine for our family and many others.

Some campers want more of a home away from home kind of tent. This is why I can imagine the allure of buying a tent that looks like a house. But, more than just looks, tents that look like houses have desirable features. 

Depending on where you are camping and for how long may determine what kind of house-like tent you are interested in. Maybe you have a large family who likes to chill in the tent; maybe you just like all the extra space. Maybe you like to set it up like a vacation house with personal touches a regular tent might not have.

Either way, if you have a tent that looks like a house, you will surely turn some heads. So don’t be surprised if your neighbors get curious and stop by for a visit. This post will discuss the features, pros and cons, and many types of tents that look like houses. 

What Are Some of the Features of Tents That Look Like Houses?

Even though there are different house-like tents, many have similar features. These unique features make tent living much more comfortable and homey. 

Multiple Room Dividers

Some of these tents have multiple room dividers perfect for families needing a little privacy. Room dividers allow campers to have a little space to themselves. This is especially desirable if you are camping with the family for an extended time. 

A tent with multiple rooms may encourage hesitant kids to go camping. If the kids are intimidated by the limited space, they will enjoy the privacy of room dividers. 

Even though you can still hear through the room dividers, not having everyone right in front of you is helpful. Also, it is easier to have some alone time when there is visual separation. 

Lots of Windows

Most people that have house-like tents stay in them for extended times. They also may be spending several hours a day inside the tent.

Tent that looks like a house, with lots of windows Pin

For this to be comfortable, good ventilation is essential. Nobody wants to hang out in a stuffy, closed-off tent. You want fresh air and a nice breeze blowing through the tent. 

These tents often have several large mesh windows allowing maximum airflow. Visually, the large windows will make it more relaxing to spend time in. 

These large windows will have shades for privacy and protection from the rain. They can either be unzipped and rolled up or down when not used. 

Great Headroom

Most people don’t walk around their homes bent over at the waist. You also won’t walk bent over if you have a house-like tent. Tents that look like houses usually have excellent headroom. 

Spending extended time in a tent would be difficult if you cannot even stand up. But, again, house-like tents are designed to be comfortable for the camper, which means plenty of headroom. 

Durable Material for Extended Use

Tents that look like houses are made of more durable material than your standard weekend tent. They should be made of high-quality polyester, polyester blend, or canvas material. 

These tents need to withstand outdoor elements and extended camping trips. Therefore, they should also come with sturdy poles and heavy-duty stakes. 

You will want to look for tents with quality seams and zippers to keep out cold weather and bugs. When camping with a family, the zippers will get tested frequently, so durable zippers are a must. 

Your tent materials need to be very high quality since they will be getting a lot of use. For example, the window covers will be rolled up and down, flaps pulled back, and zippers opened and closed constantly. All these moving parts need to handle the wear and tear of extended camping. 

Stove Jack

Large canvas tents may come with a stove jack. This is helpful, so you don’t have to cut your own hole for the stove pipe. 

You can only have a stove in a tent designed for this. The stove jacks are usually 5 inches in diameter, the standard size for a tent stove pipe. 

A tent stove will allow you to actually live in your tent by keeping you warm and cooking food. A tent stove will also dry out wet gear and help with condensation on your canvas tent walls.

Screened Front Porch Area

There is something about seeing a house with a cozy screened porch in the front. Many house-like tents will come with a screened-in porch. This is a perfect place to take off your shoes and relax in a comfy camp chair. 

If there are any pesky bugs, a screened-in porch is a very nice feature. You can have fresh air and a breeze without bug bites. 

A screened-in porch is also a nice place to take off shoes and coats. This is helpful with keeping the inside of your tent clean and tidy. 

Cabin Shape

The shape of a cabin tent resembles the shape of a typical house. The walls are tall, and the roof is peaked. As a result, there is plenty of headroom in most cabin tents. 

The tall walls allow tons of interior space and are big enough for large windows. Tents with a cabin shape are also great for small parties or camping with lots of friends and family. 

Resemble an Actual Log Cabin

There are house-like tents that look like log cabins. The outside material has painted logs and rocks to resemble a rustic log cabin. They are eye-catching. 

They are the shape of a cabin tent and have a lot of interior space. These log cabin tents also have several mesh windows for ventilation and a screened-in porch. 

How Do You Make a Tent Look Like a House?

You can do several cosmetic things to your tent to make it feel and look more like a regular house. If you are not into the rustic part of camping, some touches of a home may help. 

Making your tent look like a little house is also fun for the kids and may help with their reservations. It also may help encourage the kids to be a little less messy. 

Lighting Inside and Out

Lighting is one of the first things interior designers address in regular homes. So this makes sense that lighting makes a huge difference in camping too. 

Spaces are always a little cozier, with a few lamps, flameless candles, and accent lighting. You can accomplish this camping too. 

Place string lights between two trees for ambiance and charm. You see these in backyards and outdoor restaurants. String lights are inviting and say, “Come hang out here.” 

Place a few lanterns around your campsite and one inside the tent. Lanterns are like your lamps at home. You can put them where needed, turn them up or dim them down.

Some lanterns are battery-operated, and some use a 1-pound propane tank. They are easy for the whole family to use. 

Flameless candles are great for the outside dining table or inside the tent. They create a warm sense of home comfort. I especially love them inside the tent; they create a small amount of light.

Flameless candles are the perfect amount of light to keep little ones from being scared in the dark, but they aren’t so bright. They keep people awake. 

Raised Beds/Cots

Nothing says camping like sleeping on the ground. Nothing says back pain like sleeping on the ground, either. I am a fan of raised camping blow-up mattresses or cots. They get you off the ground and are easier to get in and out of. 

Blow-up mattresses look like a regular bed more than a thin sleeping pad. If you plan on camping for a while, investing in a comfortable mattress is worth it. I may think I’m in my late twenties, but camping on the ground makes me feel like I’m eleventy billion years old. 

Cots are fantastic for kids; our kids love their cots. It gives them their very own personal space to put their stuffies on and just hang out. There is something more appealing to a cot than a sleeping bag on the ground. 

Our kids will sometimes hang out on their cots, reading or napping, or just getting away from us. Cots are fantastic for storage; you can slide bins under them and clear the floor space. 


Area rugs anchor a room and instantly make a space feel like home. Plus an added layer of warmth and comfort is nice for your feet. You can take the rug out and shake it whenever needed. 

Rugs on the floor of a tent that looks like a housePin

If you have little ones, the area rug can be fun colors, have silly animals, or have roads and scenery for toy cars. These rugs are inexpensive and can add that touch of home you may want. 

Organized and Tidy

Most people feel at ease when their small space is tidy and organized. Items with a specific spot aren’t just tossed around. Your tent will feel and look more like a place you live, not just a dumping ground. 

If you have kids, it is immensely helpful to have some organization. They also enjoy the ability to find things themselves when items are organized. 

Vertical Storage

Vertical storage is excellent for tiny apartments and works for tent camping. Hanging shoe racks are a favorite; they hold many small, easy-to-lose items. Tall, slender drawers are a great way to hide all your clothes, and you can also set personal items on top. 

If your tent has a gear loft, this is a great place to put coats or sweatshirts, and your kids can put their stuffed animals up there. 

Play up the Porch/Vestibule Area

Add a chair, side table, basket for shoes, and a lantern, and you instantly have a functional charming front porch. It can be a great place to relax, read, and be protected from bugs if you have a screened-in porch.

Porch area for a tent that looks like a housePin

Even if you don’t have a screened-in porch, this area can still be homey and inviting. Add an area rug, a couple of chairs, and a small table for a lantern or flameless candle. I love to place a bouquet of wildflowers and grasses in a recycled plastic bottle. 

Small Side Tables for Lanterns, Drinks, and Small Items

Small tables are functional and a great place to have lighting. Side tables can hold your drink, a book, and a flameless candle or lantern. 

Collapsible plastic end tables are affordable and can quickly cozy up a space. You can put items under them, too, for more storage space. 

What Is a Tent-Like House Called?

A yurt or ger is a permanent tent home, usually circular, and can be lived in for years. They can be broken down and moved if needed but are designed to be solid and sturdy to handle the elements. 

The walls of a yurt or ger have an accordion lattice wall that can be collapsed down and is covered with fabrics impervious to moisture. As a result, they are quite spacious and can sleep 8-15 people. 

They have windows for ventilation and tons of headroom and are designed to have a stove inside for cooking and warmth. You can even have running water and electricity in a yurt.   

Can you live in a cabin tent?

You can live in a tent, depending on how many comforts you can go without. A bathroom, for one, a real bathroom, I mean. You can have a bucket with a seat for a toilet and a solar shower too. 

Traditional running water is not something you will have in a tent. However, you can have a camping kitchen with a tank of several gallons of water and a pump system. The bad water drains into a bucket that has to be dumped. 

They do make heaters specifically for tents, so this is greatly helpful. However, be sure to follow the safety guidelines with tent heaters. 

Safety is a significant consideration with living in a tent. Unfortunately, you don’t have any solid walls or locks to keep animals or intruders out. 

Many people live in travel vans which are smaller than several large tents. But with a van, you are more protected with solid walls and doors that lock. 

What Types of Tents Are Best for Glamping?

The most popular glamping tents are safari, glamping dome, bell, and yurts. They come in many shapes and sizes, have great ventilation, and are cozy. They are frequently made of canvas material, which is heavy-duty and naturally water-resistant. 

Many glamping tents offer modern conveniences and are a home away from home. They can have heat from a stove and luxurious beds and furnishings. 

What Are Some of the Challenges With House-Like Tents?

House-like tents are spacious and comfortable but have some downsides too. They are big and bulky and may take several people to set up. 

Because of the size, some of these tents can be heavy, especially the canvas tents. They also will take longer to dry out, so this is a factor to consider if in a wet climate. 


Tents that look like houses are unique and fun for the whole family. It is a great way to bring a touch of home out into the wilderness.

These tents may help reluctant campers get over their worries about camping. Whatever helps to get you out into nature is worth trying. And as always, camp s’more worry less. 

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About the author
Steve Morrow
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.