THE RIGHT MATERIALS
Having sunk his savings into the property, Mehosh was faced with the additional challenge of procuring building materials. In the early 1990s, the “reclaimed materials” aesthetic was not extremely popular. But, with an eye toward thriftiness and ecological integrity Mehosh began amassing unwanted and unused lumber, hardware, furniture, and more. In fact, he spent several years just collecting materials before he began construction.
“I needed to save where I could if I was going to complete this project in a timely manner,” says Mehosh. “And being familiar with people in the trades, I was tipped off when a demolition was about to happen. I d go to the job site and load materials up in my van, W’hether I knew or not if they’d end up actually being used in the construction of my cabin. I knew that to be of clear conscience I would need to do my part and use recycled materials wherever I could.
THE PERFECT ESCAPE
Eventually, with a lot of hard work and assistance of friends, Mehoshs dream retreat took shape. Ten years after he purchased the property, the project was finally done. Low-slung and wood-sided, the cabin nestles into the hillside, surrounded by mature trees, simple landscaping, and native plants. Warm and inviting, the interior is exquisitely decorated with Native American art, Southwestern-style furnishings, and rich earth tones. Paneling and plaster bestow a natural, rustic feel, and windows provide gorgeous views of the surrounding forest.
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Today, Mehosh uses the space just as he originally intended: as an escape from his hectic, on-the-go lifestyle. With nearly 3,000 square miles of national forest on the doorstep, opportunities to commune with nature are virtually unlimited. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails traverse Los Padres, rising from sea level to nearly 9,000 feet in elevation. When the mood strikes, Mehosh can w’ork in the digital photography studio he built in the basement or party with neighbors. The location is ideal: As a professional photographer, he has easy access to the city and his work. But when it comes time to relax, Mehosh need only drive up the mountain to find himself in the heart of the wilderness.
“It’s perfect. I’m surrounded by national forest and have deer that come righr up to the deck in the mornings. Lm only thirty minutes from rowrn, bur it feels like I’m far from civilization. All of my friends comment on how peaceful it is,” Mehosh says. “Traveling as much as I do, I never tire of coming home to my cabin in the woods.
Me moment that San Francisco natives Josh Fdd man and Britton Watkins toured a woodland property for sale near Santa Rosa, they knew they need not look further. The 964-square-foot rustic retreat nestled amid nature’s splendor. Surrounded by old-growth trees beside the soothing trickle of Mark West Creek, the place seemed as though it were deep within the forest, despite being surrounded by the Northern California wine country. (Sonoma Valley is directly south, Napa is just east, and the Russian River is to the west.)
Only sixty miles from San Francisco, the location was ideal for a weekend getaway.
There was just one problem. The 1930s cabin was erected in an era when structures were built solely for utilitarian purposes in this instance, as a cooking cabin for the property owners who used their land for camping. As a result, “the cabin lacked connectivity to the creek, ’ explains Britton. “If you wrere doing anything other than standing at the sink washing dishes, you couldn’t see the creek.”
This revamped creekslde cabin ts Just what the owners wanted an intimate sanctuary Situated in the heart of California wine country, the cabin is only sixty miles from San Francisco