big bear essential

One of the great things about living in So. Cal. is the fact that we can be at the beach one moment and 2 hours later the mountains, gearing up for a day of snow boarding or just chilling by the fire playing a mean game of dominos. Los Angeles designer, Suzan Fellman recently sent out an email to friends to say that after 5 years, she's selling the Big Bear, 1922 970 square foot, miner's cabin that she's lovingly, restored from a hovel to an adorable, cozy retreat from the grid locked traffic, go-go-go energy that is, so L.A.
Suzan was smart and worked with a low maintenance, James Hardie fiber cement panel and shingle siding and then added that perfect light fixture from Westside Wholesale. {it reminds me of something you'd see on an old free standing garage from the 40s}
The living room is diminutive and before, you'd walk in the door and *boom* you'd run into a bed. Suzan reconfigured, raised the hearth for extra seating and sewed together old adirondak blankets to recover the existing furniture.
Details such as the mantel, made from half a pine log {which used to be a part of the fascia on the roof} complete with bark still attached, and the vintage bear game board image, are some of the great attention to detail that make this such a treasure.
and did I mention, she's selling the house, as is. WITH furnishings and board games {a very important part of detachment from the real world} At her shop, in L.A. she sells these incredible Swarovski encrusted antler chandeliers. Not the best place to showcase those beauties, she placed this vintage, ode to the antler, on a Victorian sewing table which serves as a console.
Imagine waking up in this cozy bedroom to the smell of smoky bacon sizzling away while the coffee is percolating. I'm in love with this idea of the old coolers stacked as a night stand.
gratuitous dog shot.
I couldn't resist this picture of her dog. And it gives you a good look at the pine floors she had painted white.
alright. this one killed me. Vintage, wool jackets at each chair, for chilly mornings.
"The light is one of a set of factory overheads I found at an antiques fair in Nashville. It's lined with mercury glass to make it more reflective. The mug tree is made from an old iron bottle drying rack. The kitchen is very small, so one space-saving solution was to get rid of cabinet doors and cover the shelves under the counters with linens hanging on cafe rods with curtain clips."
love the 'deer motif' she has rolling throughout.
I keep looking at this photo thinking, is this one of her perfectly, curated vignettes or does she use these things. Because I'm all over filling that plaid thermos with hot toddies.
apparently she has an enormous collection of paint by numbers {200+} she chose a few to adorn the walls.
while I would never see 'purpose' in those '70s velvet wall hangings, Suzan applied her sewing skills and re purposed one into the perfect pillow.
amazingly the claw foot bathtub was in great condition, so with a few changes {new floor tile, adding a piece of tin ceiling as a back splash} the bathroom was fresh and ready for a new start. That ball under the sink is braided wool leftovers from a rug maker. I've always loved Suzan's creative design sensibility. Her ability to see an item, re purposed in an absolutely, whimsical and elegant way seems to be one of her best suits {check out her vintage silk scarf and lucite furniture creations} This diminutive cabin is such a little mountainy jewel box, styled the Suzan way, with great foresight and an infusion of creative beauty.
{all photos Stephen Page}


mamacita said…
Wow, this is just PERFECT. I'm in awe.
erika said…
what a tiny little delight! love that she kept it authentic. it's tempting as a designer to want to 'update', kudos to her for keeping it real. i'd love to have a little gem in the mountains just like that one!
Urban Flea said…
How cozy! It kind of makes me wish it was winter again... wierd huh? Keep up the great work!

xo Katherine aka. Urban Flea :)
I've been dreaming and searching for a rustic cabin like this for a year+!
northsidefour said…
This is wonderful, even as I sit here in the chilly midwest aching for warm weather, I love this place. I bet it smells good too, woodsy and wooly.
Stephanie Kim said…
oh my so jealous i cant even speak! what a beautiful and beautifully decorated house!
Richie Designs said…
jeez I hate the outdoors and that has me sold on it. Impressive staging to turn me around!
Karena said…
What a perfect getaway! It is amazing what can be done with a small space! I bet the scenery is breathtaking. A big Yes,to the hot toddies.
Anonymous said…
I love it. So cozy -- it totally bespeaks the weekend getaway. The paint-by-numbers, especially -- that's the kind of thing you'd do on a weekend off, work on a puzzle or a painting. All that's missing is a chessboard or a deck of cards...
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chess sets and more
We just sold our cabin in Lake Arrowhead last year. This was the first 4th of July in 12 years that we didn't go there for retreat. There is nothing like a cabin only two hours away to take you to a completely different world. It's magical and I sure do miss it!

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