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Family got unbuildable lot. They raised rustic-modern masterpiece.

John Lautner’s rustic-modern cabin, tucked away in the San Jacinto mountains outside LA, is an organic architecture classic example. In 1957 The Pearlman family transformed an unbuildable lot at Idyllwild into a bold dwelling that erases the line between inside and outside.

On the panoramic view side of the home, rough, unmilled logs act as structural support, but accompanied only by floor-to-ceiling glass, they become camouflaged with the surrounding oaks, cedars and pines.

Lautner—a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright—went on to become world-renowned, but the Pearlman Cabin in the resort town of Idyllwild, was his first round house (even before his iconic Chemosphere (1960) or Zimmerman Residence (1968).

Nancy Pearlman, who was 10 when the home was built, remembers it was her mother who wanted the round house to go with the round table as a centerpiece. Nancy’s uncle built the home while living in a tent. He only needed help with a few elements, like installing the massive windows and dynamiting some of the boulders to lay a foundation.

“It just seems so natural to me to have one big beautiful room,” explains Nancy who says they’ve slept 25 on the floor, “It’s very rustic, but it’s very practical”. Nancy hosts visits to the public a few times a year.