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Cozy cabin retreat showcases jaw-dropping views of Lake Superior

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This cozy cabin retreat designed by SALA Architects is nestled along Crystal Bay, a bay on Lake Superior in Lake County, Minnesota. The homeowners are a couple who sought out a property that would offer them a year-round retreat with views of Lake Superior. They purchased the property first, while they saved money to build their dream getaway.

Their goal to create a compact home with clean lines, quality materials and a combination of Frank Lloyd Wright and Asian influences — dubbed “Scandinasian” by the homeowners. A south-facing window wall and vaulted ceilings make this cabin feel more spacious than its 1,100 square foot size. It’s a straight forward building form with simple but refined detailing using low maintenance materials.

Project Team: Architecture: SALA Architects | Construction: Roseth Construction | Structural Engineering: ArchiStructures | Landscape Architecture: Aune Fernandez Landscape Architects

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Set on rugged terrain, the cabin is tucked between two large rock outcroppings and perched on the edge of a ridge with breathtaking views of Lake Superior. There is a dramatic drop off to a deep ravine below the “bird walk” deck. The delicate landscape has been restored and augmented with native plantings. This dream cabin retreat took three years to complete due to delays in the difficulty of the site to build on.

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What We Love: This cozy cabin retreat feels amazingly spacious despite its compact design thanks to an efficient design. The retreat was designed to maximize both the lake and landscape with views from every room in the home. To help save space in this compact structure, the architects fabricated built-ins composed of Douglas Fir — a sectional in the living area and desk in the study. Overall, the architects did a fabulous job of creating a minimal home that is warm and inviting.

Tell Us: What details in this home did you find most appealing and why in the Comments below!

Note: Take a look below for the “Related” tags for more inspiring home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, SALA Architects.

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Above: In this inviting living room, a wood-burning stove by RAIS, a Danish company that produces designer stoves made with Scandinavian quality. Heated polished concrete flooring offers low-maintenance, durable design.

RELATED: Dreamy lakeside getaway nestled on the shores of Lake Minnetonka

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Above: The vaulted living/dining/kitchen area features walls of glass, framing magnificent views surrounding the cabin.

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Above: In the galley-style kitchen, cabinetry is composed of Douglas fir, while the countertops are black granite. The kitchen island features a pull-out dining table, which can slide out when additional space is needed for entertaining. To infuse warmth into this space, the polished concrete floors transition into walnut. Illuminating from above is a custom light-box valance.

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Above: An open slot along the wall of the kitchen stretches to the rear bedroom, allowing natural light to flow through the cabin.

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RELATED: Beautiful modern dwelling designed for sustainable living in Minneapolis

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Above: This cozy cabin retreat offers two bedrooms and one bathroom. In the bathroom, a large window above the sink frames views of the picturesque lake. Since this space only has a bathtub, an outdoor shower was created just off the side deck with a half-wall for privacy.

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Interesting Fact: To save some money on building costs, the owners took a couple of weekends to stain the exterior of the cabin. The cedar was stained a grayish-green hue to mimick tree bark. This would help the cabin to recede into its woodsy setting.

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Smart Green Features: This dwelling boasts several sustainable design features, including a durable metal roof. Passive solar deep overhangs shelter the cabin in the summer while enabling sunlight during the winter months. This cabin is super-energy-efficient, courtesy of radiant heat flooring, spray-foam insulation, and its compact size.

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RELATED: 600-square-foot off the grid cabin surrounded by wilderness in Minnesota

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Above: The 32-foot-long “bird walk” is composed of ipe and steel cables. Cantilevered over a deep ravine, it gives the illusion of floating over the landscape while offering incredible views of the lake. The design is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s version at Taliesin III in Wisconsin.

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Above: The architects integrated clerestory windows on the Lake Superior facing side of this cozy cabin retreat.

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Photos: Troy Thies Photography

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