This Eclectic Cluster of Cabins Once Housed Mill Workers

Photos by James Roberts
exterior
credit: James Roberts

What do you get when the owner of a design firm and his partner — both bargain hunters — buy a collection of cabins in California's Mendocino County? An upscale, rustic getaway called The Brambles that feels as if it's plucked from another era.

The couple (who also own The Madrones next door) sought to dial things back to the '40s and the '50s, when the lodgings accommodated mill workers. "We wanted to do something (to the four cabins) that was turn of the century and keeping with the history of the property," says co-owner and seasoned designer James Roberts.

Nestled under towering redwoods, the place's style is definitely more eclectic than anything else, blending steampunk elements with Victorian-era antiques. Throughout the restoration, there was also a focus on repurposing. "We recycled almost everything we could (from the property)," says Roberts, including shingles, redwood and siding.

interior
Slideshow
4 Photos
credit: James Roberts

Rooms in the cabins are a sea of neutrals with pops of red and orange hues, along with multi-paned windows that draw natural light in. Shown here is the Back Porch cabin.

interior
credit: James Roberts

Living spaces in the cabins are packed with quirky details. Here, in the Faller's Cabin, artwork of animals wearing clothing and a side table mimicking dice balance the soft browns in the decor.

bath
credit: James Roberts

Trend-forward thinking (a bathroom that combines black and white accents) works well with craftier elements (a print with an owl sporting a beret).

back porch
credit: James Roberts

The goal was to make the entrance to each cabin — including this one, the Back Porch — unassuming and rooted in a rustic vibe.