For designer Eva Holbrook and her partner, Jamie Williams, their cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains is more than a spot to escape the bustle of San Francisco — it's a place to commune with nature and heal. Holbrook sees the home as "an opportunity to disconnect from civilization, breathe in the fresh air, and rejuvenate on a cellular level." The cabin's setting, surrounded by old growth redwoods, tan oaks, and Douglas firs, inspired the relaxed design. "We wanted to promote grounding by using as many handmade, reclaimed, sustainable, and found objects/materials as possible," says Holbrook.
The house had a lot to love from the get-go, including wood beams and skylights, so they focused on updating the bathrooms and floors. The designer infused the interiors with soft neutral hues and earth tones to create a calming atmosphere and added soft textures, such as knit throws, sheepskins, and vintage rugs, for coziness. They transformed the outdoor area into an onsen-inspired sanctuary (an onsen is the Japanese term for a hot spring) with a redwood deck, cedar hot tub and sauna, outdoor shower, and plunge pool.
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While they've turned the cabin into an oasis, Holbrook says they see themselves as caretakers of the property rather than owners. "Technically we own this land recognized by the systems we live in as a society, but really we are just protecting and tending to this little part of the earth with love and care from the heart."
The designer installed Heath tiles and white quartz counters in the kitchen. "I would have liked to put in new kitchen cabinets, but in the spirit of sustainability we kept them because they're well made," says Holbrook. "Eventually one day we will probably re-face them for a more modern look."
In the living room, the designer kept things casual with a plush Article sofa topped with cozy pillows and a throw. "I wanted the interior space to be just as beautiful as the surrounding land," says Holbrook. "I did the best I could to mirror her majestic beauty by brining in natural textures, warm wood tones, and plants."
The meditation loft displays items Holbrook and Williams found on their travels to China and Japan. Buckwheat and canvas cushions sit on a found rug.
In the guest bedroom, Holbrook put the mattress directly on the floor and dressed it up with crisp Coyuchi bedding. She finished the space with a vintage rug from Loom + Kiln and a found crate. "The Wabi-Sabi concept is a fundamental part of my design process and approach to life in general," says Holbrook. "I cherish the wear, cracks, pain and joy that come with time."
Outdoor Dining Area
A porch became a dreamy dining area with a custom table, wishbone-style chairs and string lights.
The outdoor spa area was outfitted with a Northern Lights cedar sauna and an outdoor shower. A galvanized horse trough is used as a cold plunge tub.