Camp High-Castle in Idyllwild--Clark Gable's mountain lodge hang-out

Don't you just love old camp and Western lodge style?  I know I sure do.  

Recently I've stumbed across photos of the renovated Camp High-Castle from Idyllwild California.  According to Hollywood lore, the lodge, built in 1928, was once frequented by Hollywood Golden Era stars, especially Cark Gable, who used it for recreation, relaxation and hunting.  Just an hour or two drive from Los Angeles, the lodge sits on a granite mountain side in the San Jacinto Mountains high above Idyllwild, where it affords sweeping views of mountain peaks.  

High-Castle, Idyllwild, Views from Main Entrance

High-Castle Idyllwild, Tahquitz View
The interior of the renovated lodge, by Cheryl Brantner Design, celebrates western beauty through its authentic architecture, vintage art, antique furnishings, majestic landscape and its many rustic pleasures.

As a lover of antiques, I am thrilled by the beautiful collections of antique and vintage accessories throughout the lodge.  

There is a stunning collection of Native American rugs, weavings and textiles throughout the lodge.  These are mixed in with old leather Western and Spanish style furnishings--just right for a vintage Southern California mountain lodge.  

I particularly love the lighting choices.  These range from period lamps and hanging fixtures with rawhide shades and antlers to newer themed pieces like in the entrance below.  

Lodge lighting mixes with cowboy hats and cow hide. 

Of course, a wonderful vintage lodge like this would not be complete without a spectacular collection of old Western and landscape oil paintings.

Old Western oil paintings

Old cowboy style furnishings, inspired by Western craftsmen like Thomas Molesworth 
A number of the beautifully crafted Western furnishings are in early Cowboy High Style such as the two red leather chairs above, trimmed out with antlers. Also notice, the Indian baskets, birch bark container, hand-carved Black Forest bear and Arts and Crafts pottery.  This is a mix I just love together. When a client asks for this look, I am in heaven!

Additional Western oil paintings in the dining room.  Love the Western dining chairs...again in red leather with nail heads!

Cozy seating areas up above.

You see these overhead living areas in a lot of America's great old camps and National Park buildings, many of which were being built around this time.  

I just love the Navajo blanket hung from the banister.

More Spanish style furniture, cow hide, Indian baskets and Navajo textiles.

Above, beautiful views are framed in the window above the cozy seating area featuring old Montery furniture.

In the bedrooms, we see the same Western themes and collectibles...

Mexican shawl above Montery chairs, Pendleton style camp blanket and Navajo rug.
Western-inspired textiles on this cozy bed.

Photos of Clark Gable above this cozy nook for two.

A wonderful old porch like this must have the perfect wicker sofa and de riguer stack of magazines, of course.  Is that a collection of old fishing lures hanging on the wall above the sofa?  

Modern Day Adventures from Camp High Castle

The lodge is open for current use for photo shoots, as a cultural meeting place and quiet private retreat. The email address is

It's all about the accessories.  View our collection of cabin and western antiques, here.  

If you like this look, our online store features a good-sized collection of Native-American inspired fabrics, see here.  
I've collected these photos up from various places on the internet. Much of this photography is by Douglas Hill and David J Dowling, as far as I can tell.  

Today in Tahoe--Lake Surfers

The crazies are out!  Brrrrrr! 

One thing about living in Tahoe...there's always someone doing something extreme.  It's snowing now, but earlier today as the storm came in, the wind increased.  Then the waves started pounding in on shore.

Pretty big surf for Tahoe--can you see the surfer just arriving standing on the rocks holding his board?
One of my good friends has always said, "There's no bad weather in Tahoe, only bad clothing."  I know these guys are in wet-suits, but still...yeeeeesh!

Hammerton Lighting for Cabins and Rustic Mountain Lodges--So many beautiful choices and styles

I do love Hammerton lighting.  Their Arts and Crafts and Chateau collections are so sophisticated, intricate and beautiful for mountain homes.  Of course, the log and timber collection with traditional pine branch and cone motifs is always charming in a mountain home (more on this below).  But now, the company has moved squarely into contemporary design and has so many gorgeous fixtures for contemporary mountain homes.  So much choice...where does one even start?

This week I received an email from Hammerton with beautiful mountain dining tables and Hammerton fixtures inspired by the Thanksgiving holidays.  Here are some of the photos from their email....

If you love cabin and lodge decorating and you have never seen the Hammerton Log and Timber collection, it's my pleasure to introduce it to you here.

You can really see the quality and handcrafting in this up-close photo.  There are other companies knocking off this look, but nobody really is able to do it with this high level of construction.  

Somehow this fixture, above, manages to be both charming and sophisticated at the same time, avoiding a cutesy cabin look.

Detail of the craftsmanship. 

A fixture that would be at home in almost any cabin or rustic lodge, above.

A great-looking pendant, above.  Hammerton has a wide range of lens options, including glass, acrylic, eco-resin, mica, mesh and rawhide.  

How they do it.  

A handsome wall sconce with a nice hefty scale that works in today's modern mountain homes.

A wonderful outdoor lantern, with a beautiful natural mica shade.  

You simply can't go wrong with these lovely twig and pine cone sconces topped with rawhide shades, above.  

There are dozens of styles in this collection, but below are some of my favorite examples.  The wide variety of styles and shapes give you an idea of the overall range of it: 

Hammerton can modify any of their fixtures to meet your needs, from changing the size, decorative elements or materials.  If you are interested in putting some Hammerton fixtures into your mountain house, we'd love to help you create the pieces that are perfect for you.  Call for information, quotes and advice.  (530) 583-6076 or email