This Modern California Cabin is a Music-Inspired Retreat for A Family of Four
Name: Caley Kevlin, husband, two kids, and dog
Location: Mariposa, California
Type of Home: Cabin
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: We retreated from busy city life to settle in the majestic Sierra mountain foothills to raise our family of two young boys, Fynn and Bodhi. And our sweet but mischievous dog, River. Our home is set on five acres of magical mountain paradise. Nestled next a river and a few large granite rockpools, we can swim in the summer, catch frogs in the spring, and enjoy spectacular sunsets everyday. It’s our little piece of Yosemite. It was built in 1987 by a local musician, who tragically died in a car accident a few years ago. Rumor has it he was a nudist and cultivated one of the most beautiful properties on the entire area. We fell in love with the extremely unique home and have slowly pieced together details about it from neighbors. Supposedly, he designed it to look like a large boulder, to fit into the granite landscape.
It boasts 30-foot ceilings in the main living area and a wrap-around deck that overlooks the river. It is the most unique house I’ve ever seen. And there is something that just feels special about the property. It’s hard to put into words. We put an offer on it the day we saw it and have been so happy to be able to continue the musical spirit of the house. We’ve kept the inherited piano as a feature in our living room and plan to teach our boys how to play it. We often host musical gathering with our friends and play music into the night around the fire. This house was a bit of a diamond in the rough. We did a ton of painting and DIY projects to transform it, like pouring a concrete countertop over tile in our kitchen and painting the tile floors.
Music is a huge influence in my life. I play many instruments and am fascinated by how universal and fundamental music in every culture on earth. In our home, I pull inspiration from the rich colors, patterns, and cultures of the instruments I collect. The instruments themselves become the building blocks of the interior. I build everything to complement them. I have a variety of drums, guitars, mandolins, flutes, ukuleles, and a piano, that I have hung in ever room of the house, that serve more than decoration. These are an invitation to create. And to participate in a universal human experience. I love it when someone comes into my home and says “I have always wanted to learn to play music.” I always take it as an opportunity to grab an instrument off the wall teach them a basic chord. I love being able open people’s eyes and hearts to their own inner musician.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic bohemian inspired by music
What is your favorite room and why? It’s a toss up between our main living area or our outdoor clawfoot bathtub. In our main living area, the high ceilings create a feeling of spaciousness and creativity. But while the room is expansive, it feels cozy at the same time. I love afternoons with the large sliding doors open, watching the hummingbirds, and listening to the gentle flow of the river. We built a deck with an outdoor clawfoot tub with running hot water overlooking a river and granite rock pools… what else need I say?!
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We are constantly weaving in natural elements that we find on the property into our home. In the master bedroom, we recently created two matching bedside tables from a large fallen pine tree.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Be authentic. Choose objects that feed your soul and then build your home around those things. Also, don’t be afraid to paint tile.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: A Modern California Cabin Has a Delightfully Musical Past (and Present)