Designer Hideaways

By March 4, 2020 June 3rd, 2020 No Comments

By Sherry Griggs
Photos by Kelly Christine Sutton

Aesthetically pleasing forest retreats with great beds have us packing.

The best cure for spring fever is a road trip. And when looking for a place to hole up, we appreciate a destination with interesting architecture, well-appointed interiors and above-average creature comforts. Two cabins in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, more than fill the bill. Located an easy 3½-hour drive from Fort Worth, the lodgings — saturated with personality and good taste — are the handiwork of Dallas potter Natalie Cross, owner of Your House or Mine ceramics, and her husband, Scott. Natalie did the design work for both properties, beginning by tszujing out-of-the-box blueprints she purchased online. The interiors boast a mix of vintage, reclaimed, artisan furnishings and unexpected high-end appliances. The results are stunning. “We want to fill a void for the design traveler,” Natalie says. We say, goal met.

Wherever you sit in Cabine Isole, the view is interesting — inside and out.

The Scandinavian vibe of the cabin is obvious in the bright and airy minimalism of its interior design.

Cabine Isole

Finished in December 2018, the first cabin the couple built is a minimalist’s dream. “Remodelista is my bible,” Natalie says of the inspiration for her theme. The cabin is enveloped by a forest of trees that allows generous use of large casement windows with no concerns about privacy. During the day, the spaces are flooded with natural light. And at night, the stars provide a show. Natalie chose to paint the cabin’s exterior black, in perfect contrast to the interior’s white walls and natural wood finishes. Playing the leading role in the central living area is an authentic midcentury Majestic wood burning fireplace in classic orange. A facing down-filled sofa offers a cozy place to relax and take it all in. A long vintage farm table from Louisiana (procured in Round Top) invites fireside dining. And cooking at Isole is in itself a treat, thanks to the high-end kitchen that shares the open space of the central living area. While simply outfitted, the sink by Bulthaup and a Bertazzoni Italian range elevate form and function, as does Lodge Cast Iron and stainless steel cookware and Natalie’s handmade ceramics.

A set of double French doors off the central living area open to a large covered deck floating above the landscape. A gas log fireplace, seating area and hammock contribute to the magical feeling of being in the treetops. Two en suite bedrooms include king-size platform beds with crisp white linens, carefully selected armoires, lamps and comfortable chairs. The bathrooms each have reclaimed claw-foot soaking tubs, oversize luxury showers and one-of-a-kind vanities.

Unique rugs, light fixtures, art and accessories support the clean, Scandinavian aesthetic of the accommodation. And superb sunset views round out the amenities.

Cabin California Dreaming

Natalie satisfied her desire to tap into a more contemporary design with the larger of the couple’s two cabins, spacious enough for 10 guests. “I bought Mason St. Peter’s book, Abode, as soon as it became available and used it a lot for inspiration,” says Natalie. Much inspired is a 30-foot wall of windows stretching across the back of the striking white A-frame, all the better to take advantage of the stunning pine forest view. A Roche Bobois sectional — found on Craigslist — is the star of the downstairs common area. She positioned it to face the view and paired it with an appropriately scaled wooden coffee table. “I was able to furnish this cabin with some vintage pieces that make it really unique,” says Natalie.

The kitchen adjacent to the big seating area is beautifully simple. The island takes center stage; it houses the cooktop and is finished with a hand-selected marble slab and natural wood. As with Cabine Isole, Natalie chose high-end appliances to provide something unexpected to discerning cooks and design-savvy travelers. Our favorite player is the Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. Of course, her covetable pottery pieces are at the ready for serving up culinary creations (see details box for how to buy her work).

A black spiral staircase adds a fun vertical visual element to the open first floor and leads to the second-floor bedrooms and baths. Beds dressed in crisp white linens maintain the clean, contemporary feel. Bathrooms with unique clay and cement tiles have the feel of a spa retreat. Two king master suites offer large showers and vintage soaking tubs. A pair of 100-year-old pine doors Natalie acquired from Shannon Crouch of Gathered Well (a booth inside the Antique Company Mall in McKinney) lead to an outdoor hot tub overlooking the natural rock garden and woods beyond. The large, uncovered canopy-height back deck offers unobstructed views of the night sky. It’s the perfect perch for enjoying the silence and the treat of an occasional wildlife sighting.

The cabin accommodates up to 10 guests interested in indulging in some California dreaming. Photo by Ashley Joiner


Heavily wooded, picturesque forests create a backdrop of seclusion for both retreats. And beautiful Broken Bow Lake is just 15 minutes away. To learn more and book Cabine Isole, search property #1514059 on vrbo.com. For Cabin California Dreaming, search first for cabins in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and then Cabin California Dreaming on airbnb.com. If you just can’t unplug, internet connection is available at both locations. And if you’re interested in Natalie’s pottery, visit Simple Things Furniture Co. in Fort Worth, Patina Green Home and Market in McKinney or check out her website, yhomceramics.com.