Pack your bags for a weekend in Packwood! You’ll want to mark a stay to this modern rustic cabin near Mount Rainier on your 2021 calendar. It was a pleasure interviewing Nick Deonigi, the builder behind Heartwood who anticipates it will be available to rent on Airbnb at the beginning of the year.
What makes Heartwood a special getaway?
Nick Deonigi: Heartwood is a modern take on the rustic A-frame design in the middle of an outdoor wonderland just a couple of hours away from the city. Mount Rainier is just a short drive away with views of the mountain everywhere, and the whole area is full of hiking trails. White Pass is a hidden gem for skiers and snowboarders just a half hour away.
The cabin has 24-foot vaulted ceilings in the great room with a wall of windows and several skylights for tons of natural light during the day. Edison lighting gives a warm cozy cabin feel at night. Inside is a wood-burning stove. We’ll also have a couple custom handmade pieces of furniture and some PNW landscape photos from yours truly. Packwood is a very small town but recently added Packwood Brewing Co. with indoor and outdoor seating alongside their other popular restaurants, bars, and coffee shops including Blue Spruce Saloon And Diner, Cruisers Pizza, and Goat Mountain Coffee. Whether you stay in the whole trip or head out adventuring, there’s a cedar hot tub for relaxation.
Were you raised in the PNW?
ND: PNW born and raised. I grew up in south King County and spent the larger part of my younger years camping and fishing all around Washington State. In my 20’s I took up hiking and have trekked thousands of miles around the Cascades.
What do you enjoy about getaways that made you want to build your own?
ND: I’ve always loved road trips, scenic landscapes, vacation conversations, and the social bonding that getaways can provide. The anticipation of the destination and what happens along the way is a large part of the getaway experience for me. Once you get where you’re going the lodging plays a huge role in providing the atmosphere for a memorable experience. I’ve been fortunate enough to take a lot of road trips and stay at many wonderful places and at some point I started thinking about how great it would be to have one of these places myself and help facilitate these great experiences for others that I’ve so enjoyed over the years.
Describe the interior and exterior.
ND: The new construction sits on .66 acres of land, surrounded by trees, and just a stone’s throw away from the Cowlitz River. Just under 1200 square feet, Heartwood has an open concept. It sleeps up to six with a queen and full bed, as well as a queen sofa downstairs. We chose the open concept because if you’re coming here it’s a community thing. It’s a time to connect and bond. The idea was to have the interior wide open and not have walls blocking everything off. There is a .25 bathroom upstairs, and a full bathroom downstairs.
Will Heartwood be pet friendly?
ND: Yes, we love our pets. I have a dog that is everything to me. Being pet friendly was something from the very start we decided on. When designing the interior, we made sure to get flooring that was very durable and waterproof.
What amenities will be included?
ND: We wanted this to be a place where people could come and feel like they don’t need to bring much with them. Heartwood has a full kitchen with a coffee maker, coffee grinder, french press, cooktop, oven, microwave, TV, Blu-ray/DVD player, books, board games, high-speed internet, standalone wood burning stove, and a utility room with washer and dryer. It’s got everything you need all the way down to USB plugs for your phone. Outside you’ll find a fire pit, BBQ, and a cedar hot tub built into the back deck.
What is the story behind choosing the name Heartwood?
ND: I was visiting Orcas Island, and stumbled upon a bookstore. I found a book describing the different types of reclaimed wood. The author was educating on what heartwood was, a desirable sought out wood commonly used for building. After reading about this wood that comes from the inner part of an older tree, not only did I find the name appealing, I enjoyed the story behind it. The name began to have even more meaning now that we’re on the other side of our building journey. We poured our heart and soul into this cabin, not to sound cheesy but it’s the truth.
To learn more about Heartwood Cabin’s opening date, follow them on Instagram @heartwood_cabin.