3 Vacation Homes to Warm Up Your Winter

These Minnesota cabins embody the essence of life on the lake

Brainerd Retreat – Albertsson Hansen Architecture

Completed in 2020, this vacation home was constructed to replace an original two-story walkout cabin from the 1940s, while also retaining its essence and elevating amenities. Practicality meets luxury with generous laundry and pantry storage, as well as a transitional sand room on the lower level. The grey washed cedar paneling and granite-faced fireplace contribute to the rustic interior, while expansive fixed glass windows frame panoramic lake views and invite the outdoors in with natural ventilation. Casual dining and cozy living areas maximize space, while hidden stairs lead to both the guest quarters above and the recreation room, two bedrooms, and sand room below. aharchitecture.com

Boo Bay Rustic – Nor-Son Custom Builders

This rustic vacation cottage was designed to reflect classic Minnesota cabin life, showcasing the beauty of reclaimed wood sourced from the upper Midwest. Handcrafted details, including hand-hewn timber siding and native Minnesota fieldstone, evoke Old World charm while embracing modern efficiency. In the kitchen, vibrant red cabinetry adds a playful contrast to the natural wood found on the custom range hood. But the adjacent great room’s captivating two-story masonry wood-burning fireplace acts as the main-level focal point. Outside, a lakeside covered patio—covered in flagstone with a fieldstone base—invites leisurely moments. With a guest house and garage remodeled to match the main home, the classic cabin seamlessly melds with the Bay Lake setting. nor-soncustombuilders.com

Gull’s Rest – Rehkamp Larson Architects & Spitzack Builders Inc.

Inspired by the charm of an original guesthouse on East Gull Lake, the owners of this lakeside property yearned for a larger main house that captured the spirit of the smaller structure. With an angled design and balanced asymmetry, the layout is divided with private spaces on one side and communal areas on the other. Traditional elements like the stone fireplace and warm wood interiors harmonize with contemporary touches such as the colored cabinetry and expansive black-frame windows. Other thoughtful details, from strategically placed artwork to a central library with views of the lake, ensure character exudes from every corner. rehkamplarson.com, spitzackbuilders.com

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