There’s one debate my boyfriend and I keep having time and time again — I want to stay in an apartment in the city, he eventually wants a house and a garden, if not a bit of land, too. But although I’m a city girl at heart, I sometimes find myself browsing real estate listings for old homes out in the country. Finding that rundown farmhouse that I could fix up to my heart’s desire is definitely a daydream I keep on having. When I stumbled upon Ariana and Scott DeFalco, two teachers who made their own farmhouse dreams come true on the outskirts of Nevada City, CA, I was instantly inspired. Today, I couldn’t be more excited to share a project that they worked on for over two years — an old barn, which they lovingly converted into a guest cabin for their parents and extended family.
Before buying their farmhouse five years ago, Ariana and her young daughters used to visit the abandoned property with the neighbors’ permission. Never expecting that she and Scott would be able to buy the house, Ariana spent hours imagining what it would be like to live on that beautiful plot of land, completely surrounded by nature. The place even included a partially converted barn, which she thought would make a perfect guest cabin. It wasn’t long before daydreams became reality, and an opportunity to buy the old property presented itself.
Converting the barn into a warm and welcoming cabin was a feat that Scott accomplished in his spare time on weekends and holidays. Ariana and Scott both wanted to preserve the rustic feel of the barn, emphasizing the original timber plank floors and building off of their worn look and feel. With a minimal budget, Scott started by gathering salvage materials and pieces, including old, weathered redwood fencing, an old enamel bathtub, and vintage sinks. While he did use power tools, much of the finer details were accomplished with an old Disston miter saw from 1908, an old Stanley hand plane and assorted Japanese hand saws.
Ariana and Scott feel that there is so much to be grateful for when it comes to their skillfully crafted guest cabin and their back-to-the-land life in general. “It’s beauty, peacefulness and the feeling of being able to offer such a labor of love to our friends and family to stay should they need shelter or just want to visit.” I hope peeking into this rustic retreat will inspire you as much as it did me.
Ariana and Scott’s cabin is also available to rent on Airbnb whenever family members aren’t visiting! — Sofia
Image above: Ariana and Scott converted an old 425-square-foot barn on their property into a rustic retreat for friends and family. The open-plan cabin is filled with salvaged and thrifted items for a worn, authentic feel.