If finding design savvy Airbnbs was a profession I would have my dream job. I consider it my internet searching superpower to unearth vacation rentals whose aesthetic doesn’t make me want to gag. It’s either a superpower or a sign that I have waaayyy too much time on my hands.

Regardless, I think where you stay when you travel is just as important as the place you’re visiting. Our physical environments have such massive impacts on our mental health and we need all the self-care we can get right now. Today, I have a stunning new Daydream Destination for you. This one is just two hours up on the coast from San Francisco – and it’s so good I’m tempted to keep it all to myself. But I know how badly we all need reprieve these days, so I’m hoping this Airbnb might bring someone else joy. Just staring at the pictures of it calms my nervous system!

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34

I’ve traveled up and down the coast around San Francisco, from Big Sur up to Mendocino, throughout wine country and east to Lake Tahoe. But I’d yet to spend time on the Russian River. It’s this amazing little pocket of old-growth forest tucked only a handful of miles in from the Pacific coast. You feel like you’re in the middle of the woods, but can float the gently meandering Russian River, head out to the Pacific Ocean or go wine tasting all in less than 20 minutes.

Cabin Cazadero is perfectly situated among all this natural beauty and is a beauty in and of itself. A classic a-frame set against Austin Creek, this might just be the cabin of my dreams. The design effortlessly mixes Scandinavian modern with sophisticated design elements that prove you don’t have to use “rustic chic” style just because you’re in the woods.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34

The cabin was given a new life by the founder of Studio PLOW – a San Francisco based, multidisciplinary architecture and design studio that does everything from commercial to residential and product design – and her husband (who is also an architect and design director at Rapt Studio). The couple made pitch-perfect design choices to accentuate the classic 1970s a-frame architecture while creating a truly modern escape. Aka my new happy place.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34

The wood-burning stove was original to the cabin, now accentuated by adding a geometric pattern of large scale black tiles behind it. A sconce from Wo & We Collection is a beautiful old world touch.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 

The living room offers a cozy seating area to relax with a book. While there is wifi here, there is no TV – it’s designed to help you be in the present moment. You know I love a good round coffee table and the one pictured here is by Resident.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34  

The cabin features my go-to color scheme, oak floors against bright white walls and dramatic pops of black. The black kitchen is particularly epic – I promise we’ll come back to that. Britt used Sherman Williams Alabaster white to turn the space into a glowing jewel box, maximizing the natural light that filters in through the old-growth tree canopy above.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34on Apartment34

The lofted upstairs bedroom has ample space. Floors are painted to match the walls creating a bright, airy feel. A custom king-sized platform bed sits beneath another Wo & We Collection sconce and IKEA cabinets offer storage under the eaves. A hammock found in Mexico hangs from a beam, creating a perfect spot for a five-year-old to play hide and seek. For those without littles, it’s an idyllic calming retreat.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34

Now let’s have an in-depth covno about this kitchen because I am OBSESSED. Every moment is perfect.

The cabinetry is IKEA covered in custom fronts the owners made from engineered wood. The counters and backsplash are cold-rolled blackened steel. It’s not only an extremely durable material but also takes on a beautiful patina. Counter space is maximized by putting in refrigerated drawers rather than a freestanding fridge. Double stacked ovens from Fisher & Paykel keep everything sleek and streamlined (they also work incredibly well – I definitely put them to the test!). Fully equipped, you’ll find everything you need to cook in this kitchen, along with beautiful vintage pieces mixed with modern CB2 glassware and ceramic dishware by Berkeley-based Sarah Kersten among the kitchen accessories.

The kitchen table is another amazing story. Found on Craiglist and purchased for $200, the owners then had the table honed down to a matte finish and recut into a race track shape (another favorite of mine!) to accommodate the space and add some soft lines to the angular kitchen. Genius.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34on Apartment34 

They used one of my favorites, the AIM pendant light from Flos, to great effect.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34

The second bedroom features another custom bed and side table – it helps that Britt’s brother is furniture maker Barrett Karber Wo & We Collection scones, and beautiful accessories.

design savvy airbnb in the woods on Apartment34 on Apartment34

But the on-suite bathroom is the highlight of this space. It’s such a perfect use of a limited footprint. Previously a closet, all of the custom work, from the cabinetry to the mirror and floating shelf is stunning. Matte tile runs vertically from the floor up the wall. The pully pendant light is from Studio WM.

There’s a second bathroom in the cabin that’s yet to be updated. I can’t wait to see what they do with that one.

Out along the rear of the cabin are a series of decks that stretch toward the Austin Creek bed. A fire pit is perfect for roasting marshmallows while a green egg tests your grilling skills. This little slice of vacation rental heaven was a perfect spot for our family to escape the repetitiveness of life at home. I’m already looking for another weekend we can return.

You can find this Airbnb RIGHT HERE. You don’t have to thank me. Actually you probably should!

For more daydream destinations, CLICK HERE.


Design by Studio PLOW and Photography by Suzanna Scott 

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  1. Can you please make this ur full time job?! Because you are so good at it & these amazing Airbnbs are giving me something to look forward to. What an amazing find!!