On the summer solstice my husband and I stared in wonder at the rising Strawberry Moon. We could not help taking pictures of it as it floated up into the sky. Astronomers tell us that this event won’t happen for at least another 70 years. I don’t like typical tourist photos but I figured we were justified in taking these pictures because we will never see this miracle again in our lifetime. It made me think about the last time I gazed up at the night sky. No major cosmic event was happening but the venue was just as spectacular as this rosy moonrise.
Last year we had taken a vacation to the San Juan Islands in Washington State and continued down the coast of Oregon. We were supposed to end at Crater Lake but a series of wildfires prevented us from completing the trip. We decided to finish it this year by renting a cabin in Prospect, Oregon, near Crater Lake National Park. Anybody who has ventured on to Air B and B will agree that it’s always a little daunting to travel a long distance to a house you have only seen from photographs on the Internet. We heaved a big sigh of relief and joy when we walked in to the Red Blanket Cabin.
This beautiful log cabin was hand built by the Little family. Every detail of it was thoughtfully planned and created. The curved banister, the drawer pulls and even the curtain rods were carved from locally felled trees. The décor of the cabin was simple and comfortable. There weren’t any pillows or vases or other “designer accents” placed around to look casual. This was a true getaway: A place to kick off your shoes and unwind. Even if the owners had not welcomed us with a greeting card and bottle of local wine, we would have felt happy and at ease in this space.
The best part of the property however, was outside past the terrace fireplace, through the Japanese inspired garden, and behind the wooden fence. There behind the ships bell was an outdoor shower and two claw footed bathtubs resting calmly side by side. My excitement at this surprise was made even better when I spotted the bottle of bubble bath on a nearby shelf. I could not wait for the sun to go down (which at the end of May in Oregon can stretch between 8:30 or 9 o’clock.)
When the sun finally disappeared I snuck over to the outdoor spa in a bathrobe, thoughtfully supplied by the owners, with a generous glass of wine. I have been to many beautiful locations around the world but sitting in that bubble bath and staring into the depth of the moonless night sky was easily one of my favorites. Mars and Saturn seemed to anchor the stars that were streaking lines across the immense darkness. Immersed in bubbles with the taste of Pinot on my tongue, I contemplated the wealth of unknowns and marveled at the expanse of them.
Clients and friends often ask me whether or not some new item will “work” in their house. They are often more concerned about how something looks than how it fits in to their lifestyle or the joy it brings to them. Harmony is about things looking nice together to create a nurturing environment. The outdoor bathing area at the Red Blanket Cabin may not be polished enough for entry into an interior design magazine, but it provided the luxury of peaceful contemplation and a decadent experience. That is my definition of a well designed space.