Mixing New and Old, a Pair of Cabins Achieve Rustic Harmony

With a design and material palette rooted in durable sustainability, these cabins in Washington State are built to be cozy for years to come

Mixing New and Old, a Pair of Cabins Achieve Rustic Harmony


Ellen Eberhardt


John Granen

Pennsylvania raised and Brooklyn-based, Ellen is a designer, outdoorist, and sometimes dancer.

Designed by Seattle-based Kathleen Glossa of Swivel Interiors in collaboration with architecture firm Board & Vellum, this pair of cabins in Eastern Washington state use efficient design gestures, sustainable materials, and a hodge-podge of vintage and custom furnishings to create long-lasting, comfortable spaces for the owners' family and friends.

Designed as guest-houses, each 900-sq-ft cabin was placed on previously developed locations on the client’s property, reducing the number of trees needed to be cleared and giving the cabins access to established utility lines. In the hotter months, deep-set porches create cool pockets and cross-breezes flow through the house while a woodstove heats the interior when winter rolls around. (Unlike more temperate areas west of the Cascades, Eastern Washington is characterized by cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers.)



Inspired by the client’s outdoor lifestyle, the interiors are low-maintenance and ruggedly handsome, incorporating a mixture of local and salvaged materials and furnishings. Concrete flooring runs through the entirety of the house while reclaimed wood from a nearby barn (with original lichen still attached in places) covers a central wall—an impressive puzzle of exposed plywood take up the rest.



The furnishings are an eclectic mixture of family collectibles, vintage store finds, new custom made pieces-like cabinet hardware and accessories from a local forge- and curiously-plywood cabinetry. The cabins each have under-the counter fridges and a small kitchen sink area, but the real cooking is meant to take place in the main house on the property, which is a short walk from both.

Perhaps more bric-a-brac than the interiors we generally favor at Field Mag, the quality of design and build of these cabins can’t be ignored. They’re familial and inviting while pushing the boundaries ever so slightly with hyper-specific use of materials. Designed to last, you can practically see generations of feet tromping in and out over the thresholds.



See more images from this peaceful project here.

Published 11-13-2020