Drive along a meandering road up Blue Mountain in Virginia, and perched atop a bluff you’ll find Doah House: a mountain escape to unwind and reconnect. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush forest in every direction with views peeking in between the trees. The home itself is a design-forward getaway, with features like a circular window and day bed to watch the world outside, a wood-burning fireplace for cozy evenings, and a GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub to further immerse yourself in the landscape.
Doah House was started by Remo and Emi as an escape from their home in Richmond, Virginia, and recently opened its doors to guests. Remo works as a Product Manager in software, while Emi runs Casa Shop, which curates vintage and new home decor. The property began as a passion product, with Remo and Emi’s sharp eye for clean and thoughtful design incorporated into every inch of the property.
What’s the story behind Doah House?
We stayed in a treehouse in the mountains a few years back, and it was such a special experience. While we were sitting on the deck, we realized we wanted to create something similar. And about a year later, we found a property on the other side of the same mountain. When we stepped on the land for the first time, for lack of a better word, it felt like a holy place where you didn’t want to touch anything you didn’t need to touch. We worked with architect Patrick Farley to build something thoughtful and considerate of the landscape — it took a full 4 years for Doah House to come to be.
You’re on the top of Blue Mountain. Tell us what you see around you right now.
The beauty is that it all depends on the season. Now in late spring and early summer, you see a ton of trees everywhere. There is a little opening down the road where you could maybe see the valley. During construction, we were really selective and wanted to leave as much nature in as possible, so it always feels like you’re only a couple of feet away from a tree. During winter, you can see around 10 miles to other mountain ridge across. There are so many other special seasonal moments — if you’re lucky with the sun, you can see it reflect on the Shenandoah river on the valley below. Or in May at dusk, the air around you is lit up with fireflies — it’s such a special place.
What are a few slow moments you love at Doah House?
The whole home is designed for slow living — we wanted it to be calm, cozy, and minimal. The simple design allows you to really focus on the outside. There's a lot of wood, and neutral color choices. The only real color is green to echo the nature outdoors.
We love sitting on the couch watching the rain. With the weather changing seasonally, when you’re inside the circular window frames the view — it’s like this painting that changes all the time.
Also, we love laying on the deck. With your back down and looking up, you can see the clouds, you can see the trees. And since the property is so high up, it really feels like the clouds are that much closer.
How does a Wood Burning Hot Tub fit into Doah House?
Initially we wanted to add a sauna to Doah House. But, we surveyed friends and asked if they’d prefer a sauna or hot tub, and they said by a mile that a hot tub would be much more popular. We originally placed an order for another hot tub with a fiberglass bowl, but ended up canceling it because we decided that we wanted something more natural.
We have so much firewood here, so something wood-fired made sense. Craig, the owner of GOODLAND, was super helpful to us in the process of choosing a tub that would genuinely last — since GOODLAND’s Wood Burning Hot Tub has an aluminum liner, it can help prevent bacteria growth and makes it more durable. The tub is also very complimentary to the cabin. We use cedar for our siding on the property, so that also felt like a big selling point. It was clear that Craig had thought through the process and potential issues in so much detail, and that’s what really sold us.
How did you choose where to place your GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub?
The property is on steep terrain — it’s a 25 degree grade in some places. So, there weren’t a whole lot of flat spots to choose from. The spot we decided on is next to the house near a 10-foot cliff — so when you’re in the hot tub, you feel like you’re in a tree house.
We also wanted to be close to the house. As nice as it sounds to make your way to this special place, not everybody would enjoy that, especially in the middle of the night. And for people who have kids, it’s easier to keep an eye on them.
What have been the biggest takeaways from owning a GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub?
People absolutely love it, and the ritual of preparing the tub. Especially how there isn’t chlorine or any chemicals — it feels so natural and perfect for the landscape.
We found it helpful to make it clear to guests that it’s not instant — if you start at 7pm, you won’t have a 100 degree tub by 8pm. We also have a good setup for it to help. We built a firewood storage, and also have kindling, fire starters, good matches... anything to make things easier for guests. The metal instruction plate from GOODLAND was also very helpful, and we’re working on a guidebook right now, too.
We think the uniqueness of the hot tub has contributed to the popularity — the cabin is nearly fully booked for the summer months. In those hot summer days, it can also be used as a refreshing cold plunge. It’s truly such a relaxing addition to Doah House. I know I’ve spent 3 hours at a time in the tub — alternating between heating the body, sitting on the ledge to catch the cooling breeze, and even stretching out for an impromptu yoga session.
*All photography in this article by Ryan Patterson.