Dreamy modern cabin home
What they weren’t looking for but got anyway was a cramped red cabin with no insulation and a slight tilt. But the family—including daughter Alexandra, now 21, and son Jonathan, now 18—toughed it out for three years of rugged vacations. (The family’s permanent home is in Portland.) “It was charming and sweet,” Harry says. “But it was hot in the summer, and freezing and damp in the winter.”
With a new structure in mind, the couple—both physicians—contacted Seattle-based architecture firm MW Works to translate the wide-open features of homes in their native South Africa into a modern, low-profile retreat. “I wanted an indoor-outdoorness that makes the best of the Northwest climate,” Harry says, “where it’s so easy to be inside, yet almost feel outside, even on the rainiest day.”
Whether it’s just the couple or a crowd, though, the agenda remains pretty much the same: kayaking, beachcombing, foraging for mushrooms, even oyster farming (they’re expecting their first harvest this summer). The dwelling may be modern, but it’s a cabin life.
“Mornings we can sit here and stare out for hours,” says Harry. “The other day, we saw some western tanagers,” Claudia adds. “I said, ‘You make the coffee,’ and Harry said, ‘No, you make it.’ ” Neither of them could walk away.