Cozy cabin getaway with camp-like setting on Lake James, North Carolina


This cozy cabin getaway designed by Samsel Architects in collaboration with Alchemy Design Studio is nestled into a forest on Lake James, in Nebo, North Carolina. An idyllic place to spend summers on the water, the owners, a family of four, enjoys sitting fireside roasting marshmallows and taking advantage of the walking trails through the woods.

With hectic work schedules, the owners of this getaway cabin wished to have a spot where they could unwind, devoid of distractions. The form of this structure encompasses two gabled cabins joined in the middle by a transparent “bridge.” The bridge is a modern version of the traditional dogtrot/breezeway found in plenty of historic Appalachian structures. This division creates a clear division between public and private living zones.


The owners had two goals in mind for the design of their dwelling – adaptability, and expandability. With two young daughters, their vision for this cabin was something that could be treasured for generations to come.


It was essential that the design be comfortable enough to host two people or ten. The finished result is a precise and functional design that offers three bedrooms, a bunk room, and two-and-a-half bathrooms.


The site of this cabin was originally part of an old logging trail, located near the water’s edge. Using this to their advantage, the architects positioned the cabin to maximize views of the idyllic lakefront setting. To prevent disturbance to the site, the architects selected the path of a logging road instead of chopping down trees for site access.


Nestled into a hillside overlooking the water, the cabin offers an abundance of privacy from the community roads and neighbors. A meandering drive takes you down to the house where a linear graded lawn with a fire pit is the first element to welcome you. This was an intentional design feature so that outdoor living was the introduction to the home.


A bridge off the main living space flows seamlessly onto the linear lawn, ideal for relishing the view by the fire or for setting up a tent. The rotation of the cabins on the property provides optimal views of the surrounding forest and Lake James. These magnificent views are experienced through expansive walls of glass used throughout the living spaces and bedrooms.


What We Love: This cozy cabin getaway provides a wonderful camp-like atmosphere for family retreats and entertaining. Idyllically positioned along the water’s edge, this home’s extensive glazing provides fabulous views and a connection to nature. A well devised landscape promotes a welcoming environment for enjoying outdoor activities and entertaining in a tranquil setting.

Tell Us: What do you think of the overall design of this cabin? Would this be your idea of the perfect family getaway home? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at another fabulous home tour that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project, Samsel Architects: Mountain modern lake house nested in the Great Smoky Mountains.










Photos: Keith Isaacs

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