Better Homes and Gardens BH&G Cozy Cabin Retreats

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United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min
editor’s letter

As the days become shorter and the cool, crisp evenings gently usher in the season of sweaters and hot cocoa, I couldn’t be more excited to share this inaugural issue of Cozy Cabins & Retreats with you. We spent many months scouring the country—and abroad—to find the most magical autumn and winter escapes, which perfectly capture the essence of this season: a time to unwind, reflect, and reconnect. These rustic hideaways are designed to not only honor their breathtaking surroundings but also provide a much-needed respite for their owners and guests. Take Kelsey Duda’s serene cabin, Fernhaus, located just a stone’s throw from the shores of Lake Michigan (“The Sound of Silence,” page 32). Kelsey built the cabin as a wellness retreat, featuring a modern-organic design that fosters a sense of calm at…

4 min
great escapes

1 @CAZCABINPROJECT San Francisco architects Brit and Daniel Epperson fell for the classic lines of a 1974 timber A-frame—and its surroundings—about two hours north in Cazadero, California. “It’s a huge draw to go up into the redwoods,” Brit says. “But they’re very dark, so we wanted to create a contrasting brightness in the cabin, kind of the sense of a beacon in the dark.” Gutting the interiors and adding large windows brought in daylight, and from there the couple experimented with materials and methods to create a warm, sophisticated feel. With no TV and the need to tend to the wood fire heat source, the cabin is designed for slowing down. The couple often cooks in the well-fitted kitchen and hikes on nearby trails. A creek in the backyard leads to a swimming…

4 min
gathering place

As a boy growing up in Brunswick, Maine, Braxton Jarratt explored nearby Bailey Island year-round, daring the waves to catch him on the geologic formation called Giant’s Stair and stomping along Casco Bay’s rocky beaches with friends. As an adult, he introduced his own kids, Julia, 17, and Quinn, 15, to rustic island life, renting shorefront cottages in the summertime and visiting his folks in Brunswick at other times of year. These days, Braxton, his kids, and his partner, Tanya Lacourse, fly up from their home in Atlanta to spend holidays at the cottage he’s since purchased on Bailey Island. Historic homes rarely come up for sale, so when Braxton saw one, known by locals as “the house with the red roof on the cliff,” he jumped. “It had the look,…

4 min
living the dream

By the ocean edge, in Falmouth, Australia, just above reef level, Whale Song looks out easterly across the Tasman Sea. It’s a place where time stands still and hours turn dreamily into long, hazy days. For Ingrid and Clif Daniell, the fisherman’s shack had them at first sight, but for Ingrid personally, the emotion ran far deeper. “We visited the property by chance and before looking at the house, it was the ocean view that drew me in,” she says. “It reminded me of a place I had experienced in my dreams: standing on a rock, with the ocean lapping at my feet, a whale had glided past, turned on its side, and looked me straight in the eye. It sounds far-fetched but the memory had remained and this spot…

5 min
the sound of silence

Snow doesn’t announce its presence like rain does. It simply falls quietly, blanketing the landscape in a hush. Kelsey Duda pauses by the kitchen island in her cabin to watch the flakes falling. She has been busy changing bed linens, stocking the coffee bar with a custom brew, and preparing a charcuterie board. Soon, guests will arrive. It’s a moment in between, and she treasures it. “I like the time when I put that final thing in place and feel satisfied,” she says. Kelsey, who recently opened her own interior design firm, designed and built her cabin, Fernhaus, in 2020 with the intention of renting it out. Located within feet of Grand Traverse Bay in Elk Rapids, Michigan, the cabin is in a prime Lake Michigan vacation spot. Kelsey provides kayaks…

3 min
small but mighty

With its gambrel roof and black-stained siding framed by a grove of trees, this tiny bungalow appears nestled in a faraway, enchanted forest. In reality, it’s a few dozen steps from the back door of Eric and Ginger Curtis’ Dallas home. From humble beginnings as a garden shed, the storybook retreat is the stuff of dreams. Ginger envisioned the shed hosting small gatherings, quiet alone time, and lazy-day lounging as she put her skills as an interior designer to work, planning every inch of space. The couple spent six weeks cleaning out the shed, removing most of the ceiling, putting up drywall, installing additional electrical boxes, laying European white oak flooring, and decorating to Ginger’s exacting specifications. The hard work produced a cozy living room, tucked-away dining area, and two lofted nooks…