North Woods Cabin Reflects Family’s Love of Nature, Modern Design

The challenge was personal when Architect Tom Jones of TRJ Design in Trabuco Canyon, CA, was asked to design a modern, yet warm and inviting lakefront “cabin” for his retired parents. The 3,400 square foot home sits on pristine property the family has owned since 1969 near Lake Superior in northwestern Wisconsin.

“I wanted to create a home where they could live year round if they chose with a clean, open floor plan and a simple design that always keeps nature at the forefront,” says Jones. “My parents are fans of modern architecture, but not the sterile style,” he says. “To add warmth and natural beauty to the plans, we used three key design elements – wood, glass and Eldorado Stone.”

Jones’ parents use the main floor for all of their daily needs. Additional guest bedrooms are found in the finished basement and in the loft where there are built-in trundle beds as well as a billiards and game area.

A look-out tower is accessed through a winding staircase from the loft which provides a 360 degree view of the lake and surrounding forest. The tower was added as a tribute to Jones’ great-grandfather who was a lighthouse keeper in the area. The unique floor design of the tower was made of logs harvested from the bottom of the lake. Reclaimed wood is also used to make the custom redwood dining room table and loft table. Jones took every opportunity to use recycled and sustainable products whenever possible. Radiant floor heating, spray insulation, cedar siding, Eldorado Stone and low-e glass are just some of the choices made by Jones to ensure a beautiful, yet eco-friendly space.

A bowed copper roof was inspired by the iron ore ships of nearby Lake Superior and wooden fishing boats found at the local marina. Copper was selected not only because of its green patina, but its long-term practicality and low maintenance. The same applies to the choice of Eldorado Stone. Being lightweight and easy to install, it requires virtually no maintenance and according to Jones, provides the one, solid, monolithic piece to the design of the cabin that flows through the entire space – inside and out. “It also works as the most functional wall in the cabin by housing the media center, the fireplace, stairs to the loft, electrical, plumbing, and the HVAC systems,” says Jones. “There hasn’t been one person who has come to our home who didn’t think the stone was real. It’s a tribute to the authentic look and feel of Eldorado and we absolutely love it!”

Eldorado Stone Profile Featured: 2,700 square feet of Sequoia Rustic Ledge with a dry-stack technique
Architect: Tom Jones, TRJ Design, Trabuco Canyon, CA
Builder: Arnstad Home Builders, Eau Claire, WI
Phone: 715-579-2326
Photography: ©2009 Jeffrey Jacobs Photography, Inc.

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