*Today’s guest post is by house enthusiast/writer John Miller. House Crazy Sarah is taking a nap this week.
There is something about cozying up next to a stone fireplace in the winter, especially when the mood is intensified by the smell of warm wood, the comfort of thick rugs and a breathtaking vista outside an oversized window that just makes me long for the mountains.
There are houses that just whisper warmth, coziness and intimacy. To me these are the mountain lodges huddled among pine and fir groves, in the thick of the woods, at the foot of snowy peaks, like out of fairytales.
When I first came across a photo of the Cathedral Mountain Lodge in Field, British Columbia, it simply took my breath away. It looked like a drawing or a place where forest elves might dwell. I just needed to know more about it, even if for now it sits on my bucket list of places to visit, awaiting its turn. Since then, I have developed something of an obsession for mountain cabins tucked away in the wild like secrets.
Situated in the Yoho National Park in Canada’s picturesque Kootenay Rockies, the complex of log cabins overlooks the rushing glacial Kicking Horse River and is towered by the impressive Mounts Field and Stephens.
Each open-beam cabin is its own little masterpiece, equipped with a large wood-fed stone fireplace that is its central feature. The entire lodge is completed using recycled timber from a long-gone grain elevator. The wide plank wooden floors and the atmospheric antique rugs and moose-print throws are among the details that really make the interior design come together.
Yet, I think the true beauty is in the tiny details I have managed to scrape together from variety of photographs of the cabin’s interiors. Since décor differs from one to the other, each cabin has its own personal character and special charm. A pair of rattan chairs and a set of antique wooden skis hanging on the wall in one cabin are replaced by an ornate iron gas stove and pine cone lamps in another. Other Canadian antique objects, such as decorative pillows and vintage snowshoes, are originally fit within each interior.
Another impressive feature of the cabins is the two-floor 24-foot high open beam ceiling, lending the interior a spacious feel. The tall windows allow for a delightful scenic view of the mountains and woods and sliding doors lead off to authentically designed bathrooms with deep soaker tubs.
I believe the summer season would offer plenty to explore and observe from the large private wood deck of each of the Mountain Cathedral Lodge cabins. Artful beam-supported eaves and the central position of the backside of the river stone fireplace would keep you cozily protected from rain or snow, while still being able to enjoy the outside.
Each little mountain house sports a river stone base and green metal roofing that ensures the warmth doesn’t escape, although anyone who has sat next to a wood burning fireplace knows that this sort of heat is among the warmest in a snowy winter setting. As you take a look at the exterior of the cabins, you are struck by the seamless way the wood, stone and green metal structure blends with its surrounding environment.
I’d surely enjoy a getaway in this faraway, romantic lodge. Do you know of other wood mountain cabins that look like they have stepped out from a fairytale’s illustration? What has impressed you about their interior and exterior design?
John Miller is fascinated by unusually designed houses and loves writing about his latest finds, as well as his thoughts on home improvement and design, on a variety of websites and online publications.