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Modern cabins create dreamy family getaway in the woods

The ultimate indoor-outdoor retreat

Two modern cabins with dark exterior sit in a wooded landscape. Andrew Pogue

When building a woodsy retreat for a family of avid bird watchers, the architects at Wittman Estes took a cue from the family’s dispersed locations. Instead of building a single house in the forest outside of Seattle, they built a cluster of cabins that can accommodate family members flying in from various parts of the country.

The architects demolished the old cabin that sat on the 1.13-acre site in Washington’s Hood Canal region and replaced it with three separate structures—a main cabin, smaller cabin, and a bunkhouse and bathroom.

An interior view of a kitchen with pale wood interiors and wooden dining table and chairs. A sliding glass door leads to a wooden deck. Andrew Pogue
A Murphy bed is pulled down from a wooden module, which is surrounded by glass walls. There is also a sofa and rocking chair in the room. Andrew Pogue

The cabins, which gather around a central yard, are intentionally low profile with dark facades, lots of windows, and timber decks that extend living spaces into the surrounding landscape. “We sought to dissolve the barriers between the inside and out, between forest, garden, and structure,” the firm’s founder Matt Wittman explained.

Inside the main cabin, countertops and walls were constructed from reclaimed materials from the original house. A Murphy bed drops out of the wall, turning the living room into a bedroom.

Playing off the natural surroundings, the pale wood interiors catch the glow of the sun, while windows let in lots of green and sliding doors open wide to make all three cabins feel interconnected.

A white lounge chair sits on a deck of one cabin. Another cabin is seen in the back. Andrew Pogue
A glass cabin with roof overhang and deck sits in a forest. A similar cabin sits in the distance. Andrew Pogue