Daily Updates
Tour Ido Yoshimoto’s Small, Off-The-Grid Cabin in California

Tour Ido Yoshimoto’s Small, Off-The-Grid Cabin in California


Ido Yoshimoto and his cat, Conrad

Alanna Hale

“We hardly see anybody up here,” says Ido Yoshimoto of his home and studio, located not-so-conveniently near a dilapidated orchard at the dead end of a dirt road. Even amid a global pandemic, the one constant force in his life has remained steady: the lush, forested landscape of Inverness, California, though it was threatened by raging wildfires just days before our shoot. Ido grew up there, as he puts it, “around sawdust and chainsaws,” in an old A-frame among a creative community of artists and ranchers, where his father worked as an assistant to the legendary abstract sculptor J.B. Blunk. After high school Ido moved away, but not for long—the woods had an uncanny pull on him. By the time he was 20 years old, he was back in Inverness, working as an arborist for a local tree company.

When Ido first started work on the home it was nearly uninhabitable. But slowly he created a new life for the place, filling it with his intuitive furniture and sculpture, almost all of it made from wood sourced nearby. Ido explains, “Half the time I’m in the studio making pieces that I need because I’d rather make them than buy them.”

Alanna Hale

For years he spent his days in the woods, getting to know nature. Climbing and cutting trees taught him to decode their grain: what kind of soil the tree grew in, how much rain it got, whether it was battered by wind. He now uses that intimate knowledge to transform wood specimens into stools, tables, and functional sculptures—beloved by AD100 designers like Charles de Lisle, Nicole Hollis, and Commune—which he makes in Blunk’s erstwhile studio (see inside and learn more about his work in the January issue of AD).

When a nearly uninhabitable, tumbledown shed across the street became available in 2017, Ido snapped it up. Undeterred by the dripping skylights, mice, and mushrooms growing out of the walls, he set to work fixing leaks, building cabinetry, and making the place a home for himself, his partner, Kristina, and their cat, Conrad. Having his tools right across the street made it easy enough.

Ido restored this worn-down shed into an almost boatlike home for himself and his partner, working with salvaged materials sourced nearby. A platform out front serves as an exterior room. “We spend so much time out there it felt like it doubled the size of the house,” he explains.

Alanna Hale

“We put in the outdoor kitchen in March when we started sheltering in place,” Ido says. “Now we can have friends over, have dinner parties, and still be outside.”

Alanna Hale

“The house is tiny, it’s kind of like living in a boat,” says Ido of the structure, which makes clever use of every inch of space. Part of that meant bringing many essential functions of the home outside, essentially doubling the size of the house. In March, right as the pandemic hit, they finished their outdoor kitchen, where they often eat and entertain. They also installed an indoor-outdoor gray-water shower in a bamboo bathhouse (“If you shower indoors, the water runs through the cracks of the deck and waters the bamboo”). Out in the yard, Ido even turned his neighbor’s discarded redwood water tank into a sauna: “They asked me if I had use for the wood,” he says. “So I just rolled it into place, stuck a sauna heater inside, and tricked it out.”

In the living space, every square inch is thought through, outfitted with shelves, storage, and pull-out surfaces.

Alanna Hale

That use-what’s-there philosophy extends through the whole house, in which, Ido explains, “almost everything is salvaged material that I had stashed away or looked for when it was needed.” He took an old, oxidized piece of copper and trimmed it with redwood to create a backsplash in the kitchenette. He made a little wine rack, a bar shelf, most of the lamps. All the dishes were made by friends or artists he’s crossed paths with.

“It’s fun to have your touch on everything in the house,” Ido says. “Like, I might go to the studio and fix the handle of a knife. I didn’t make the knife, but it adds a little life to it. That’s the way J.B. worked and the way my dad lived. Your home becomes kind of inseparable from your work.”

When Ido’s neighbors upgraded their water tank, he turned their old redwood cylinder into a personal sauna. “I just rolled it into place, stuck a sauna heater inside, and tricked it out,” he says.

Alanna Hale

“I have a hard time buying stuff I have no connection to,” Ido says. “All the dishes are made by friends and artists that I’ve met.”

Alanna Hale



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *