Go Inside: Aaron Paul Built His Dream Home in the Forests of Idaho

Aaron Paul
Eric Ray Davidson

While Breaking Bad fans might not consider Jesse Pinkman a man of fine architectural taste, it turns out that Aaron Paul has quite the fervor for home decor and design. It was this enthusiasm that the Emmy-winning Men’s Journal cover star brought to his four-year passion project: a log cabin–style home deep in the woods of his native state, Idaho.

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An article appearing in Architecture Digest delved into the 40-year-old actor’s new rustic Pacific Northwest getaway, where families of deer roam the forest and Paul and Lauren, his wife, can hear the river from their lavish bedroom. Paul said the property isn’t too far from where he grew up.

“When you hear Idaho, so many people, they think of potatoes, which is great ’cause I love potatoes,” he told AD. “What they don’t know, a lot of people don’t know, it’s just rivers and lakes. I grew up in Idaho. I was born in Idaho. My grandparents, they built an A-frame cabin just outside of town, and I just grew up coming there my whole life.”

The property, built from scratch and designed by Pearson Design Group from Bozeman, MT, spans five acres beside a long, winding river that Paul likes to dip into in the wintertime. But how does he stay warm?

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The frequent snowfall necessitates the Pauls to have lots of firewood on hand, so a modest woodshed resides just a short walk from the house. The interiors, crafted by Los Angeles designer Jake Arnold, boast a massive fireplace centerpiece. The enormous slab of Montana moss stone, Paul says, had to be lifted in by crane. The hearthstone weighs 13 tons.

Paul’s Idaho residence was built using lots of imported Montana moss rock, and the frame is barnwood repurposed from a trio of Amish barns in Wisconsin. The sauna, which Paul spends his meditative time in, is constructed using local cedar. He also has beer on tap and a clock permanently stopped at 4:20. (He and Lauren claim it’s an accident.)

Paul named the cabin Camp Pretty Bird, after his pet name for his wife. Tiny hand-crafted birds adorn the property accordingly. The downstairs lounge, naturally called The Ravens Den, includes a bar, billiards, and a theater. Arnold modeled the space on an old-school London club. The Pauls usually keep an unhealthy amount of candy in the theater—who doesn’t want to nosh on some Gobstoppers and watch The Shining?

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The cabin, with its rustic chic and custom-built warmth, is a far cry from Paul’s Los Angeles life. The actor had a busy career post-Breaking Bad, recently starring in BoJack Horseman and The Path, both of which he also produces. In 2019, his projects also included the Apple series Truth Be Told, filming the new season of Westworld, and reprising his role as Jesse for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

And despite being so close to where he grew up, the lodge is a long way from where he used to be. “I used to live in a closet ‘cause I had no money,” Paul said, lying on his couch with a full view of the Idaho forest behind him. “So nice to not live in a closet anymore.” He finally has a cozy, relaxing fort to hunker down in, spend time with his wife and kid, and of course, drink his mezcal.

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