Two Creatives Carve Out a Blissful Home in a California Redwood Forest

Two Creatives Carve Out a Blissful Home in a California Redwood Forest

By Jen Woo / Photos by Margaret Austin Photography
Nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains, surrounded by old-growth redwoods, this dreamy home is a spiritual sanctuary for a creative couple.

Interior designer Eva Holbrook and artist Jamie Williams purchased their cabin for the vibe. Surrounded by lush forest and located just 15 minutes from the beach, it’s the perfect setting for a retreat that doubles as their main residence. Their goal was to develop the property into a space that would allow them—and visitors—to "disconnect from civilization, breathe in the fresh air, and rejuvenate on a cellular level," explains Eva.

In designing the space, Eva and Jamie were all about bringing the outdoors in—hence they incorporated lots of wood and reclaimed materials. The living room sofa and chair are from Article.

The wood flooring is sustainably sourced windfall maple from Heritage Salvage.

Eva is a lead designer for the luxury home staging firm Bella Casa SF, and she’s well-versed in revamping a space—although she also spends much of her time dancing, studying Zen Buddhism, and practicing tea ceremonies. Her partner, Jamie is a professional painter, a surfer, and in the past few years has been studying with the Yawanawá, an indigenous tribe in the Amazon of Brazil. Their "Bonny Doon Forest Temple" was created with healing in mind, and the two worked together to give the home’s "great bones" some extra TLC.

Eva and Jamie incorporated as many organic products as possible—including Coyuchi sheets and Avocado Organic mattresses.

This bathroom features a custom-designed vanity with Kohler fixtures.

To create a grounded atmosphere, Jamie and Eva incorporated as many handmade, reclaimed, sustainable, and found objects and materials as possible. Eva often walks barefoot through the woods to feel the damp forest floor between her toes. She’s also inspired by Japanese-style onsen bathing. The couple channeled these rituals to develop an outdoor spa complete with a cedar hot tub, cedar sauna, shower, cold plunge pool, and sweeping redwood deck.

The art of bathing extends beyond the outdoor spa—a standalone soaking tub in the master bath looks out to the redwoods. The lighting fixtures are from Anthropologie, Serena & Lily, and Warmly. 

The tiles in the bathrooms are by Clé Tile and Zia Tile.

Shop the Look
Secto Design Octo 4240 Pendant - Walnut
The Octo lamp, designed by Seppo Koho for Secto Design, has a wooden shade which is hand-made from Finnish birch by highly skilled craftsmen. As the other Secto Design lamps by Seppo Koho, also the Octo lamp is well-known outside Finland as well for its clear Scandinavian feel.
Avocado Green Meditation Pillow
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Eva and Jamie’s guiding principal for the interiors is "uncluttered simplicity." The home is swathed with tan oak, redwood, and Douglas fir finishes peppered with modern accents. Think: exposed beams on high, slanted ceilings, floating cabinets and shelves, midcentury stools, brass fixtures, and designer tile. The home is also infused with cozy elements, like vintage rugs and floor cushions, and lots of plants to create healthy, meditative spaces.

Vintage rugs from Loon & Kiln are dispersed throughout the home. 

A view of the cozy guest bedroom in the main residence.

The remodel was completed in five months, after which the couple immediately moved in and began organizing events. Outside, a large yurt with a wood-burning stove hosts retreats and events—including weekly tea ceremonies for friends and neighbors, weekend Kundalini yoga workshops taught by Jamie, and monthly Kirtan song circles. They’ve also held a women’s cha dao and qi gong workshop and a holotropic breathwork retreat. Overnight visitors can even spend the night in the guest house for full immersion.

Nature lovers that they are, Eva and Jamie knew they needed a space to dine al fresco and take in the landscape. 

The Northern Lights outdoor hot tub and sauna top off this wooded retreat. 

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