A couple and their friends constructed this cabin out in the woods to spend more time in nature together.
Building a cabin out in nature in order to spend more time in the great outdoors is a dream for many people. But what is a dream realized if one cannot share the joy with friends? For Jeff Waldman and his partner, Molly Fiffer, building their own cabin among the redwoods of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains meant also getting their friends to participate in the adventure too, constructing not only the main house and deck, but also a modernist, cube-shaped outhouse, a wood-fired hot tub and a gorgeous outdoor shower that sits between two redwoods.Taking the better part of two years to complete, the couple explains:
It’s a place we share among our friends as a way to get away, commune, and learn new skills. it’s a gathering spot to spend quality time and as a retreat and a social honeypot, it’s really enhanced the lives of the ever-growing group of friends who frequent it. This was our intention from the outset and so far, it’s worked out wonderfully.
The cabin and its surrounding structures sit on a 10-acre forested property that faces south. The elevated, sloped-roof cabin is designed around the large, salvaged door and windows, which took the couple almost a year to find. Some of the beams and materials were purchased at the local Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Having little construction experience, Waldman, Fiffer and their team of friends learned new skills along the way in order to complete the project.
To minimize their impact, the group uses decks and bridges and ziplines to move around on the site. Great care was taken to carefully select trees to cut during the site clearing, and used as raw material, as Waldman tells Inhabitat:
The loft floor is made from madrone slabs, which we milled from the trees we cleared from the site. On that note, we’ve been proud of the fact that we’ve cleared small problematic trees, or end of life heart rotted large madrone, but have yet to cut down any redwoods. We cherish those.
The minimalist outhouse, seen here, was designed in SketchUp and sits about 100 feet behind the cabin. It's covered with Swedish pine tar, a customary Scandinavian method of preserving wood against harsh winters.
The rest of the site hosts other delights like a swing, tons of hammocks, a spot for practicing archery, axe-throwing, tree-climbing, as well as places for guests to camp that are nestled among the forest paths and on constructed decks and bridges.
Nothing quite like building and enjoying something together with a group of hard-working and fun-loving friends; to follow along and see more, visit Jeff Waldman's Instagram.