The Little House with Big Views

Inspired by Big Sur's mountains, native oaks, and crashing waves, a California couple takes a humble cottage with a storied past back to its roots.

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Big Sur Cottage: Exterior
Photographer David Tsay

Charming Facade

A certain timeless, off-the-beaten-track grace still haunts this Big Sur world, particularly in an old community of homes where a small redwood-clad house perches 1,000 feet above the crashing surf.

Once owned by modern architect Philip Johnson, this one-bedroom, 1930s cottage tucks seamlessly into its woodsy setting. The roaring ocean is audible from its decks, garden, and rooms, which open to the outdoors. On clear days, these same spots capture vistas—30 miles south down the coast, northwest to the sunset, and east to the mountains—where, at night, the moon rises through the oaks.

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