The Unexpected Cabin


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Sometimes things don't go quite as you have planned them, sometimes the result is something you could have never dreamed of! This is exactly what happened with Michael and Donna Rigerts and The Unexpected Cabin. Donna and Michael, who lived and worked in the city, were looking to build a cabin for themselves to retreat to and enjoy the balance of work and play. They found this spot in between two northern Wisconsin lakes, that used to be called Camp Nokomis, which was a camp for hunting, a private lodge and a girl's camp in the summer time. They loved the site because of it's proximity to the lakes, which would be the perfect place for them to enjoy the water sports they love to do like fishing, swimming and water skiing.

The perfect location was found, as for the buildings on the site, that was another story. Initially, Michael and Donna were sure they wanted to bulldoze the original camp building and build something new on the site. Their contractor, David McNutt however, had a different idea in mind. Michael attests to wanting the cabin gone so badly and remembers telling their contractor that the next time he set foot on the property, it had better be gone. David, continued to plead with them to keep the existing structure, trying to sell them on making it a guest cabin, even if they didn't want it for their main quarters. The Rigerts finally caved into David's request, and they began the long and not so easy process of taking it apart, bit by bit.

Once they started taking the red siding off of the house, they were amazed to see the beautiful premier Douglas Fir framing and that the foundation was in perfect condition. These were two major things that made them happy they chose to keep the existing cabin. They found out that you can't even buy that good of quality of wood anymore! And even if they wanted to, it would have made a way larger impact on their overall budget. They built upon the skeleton of the beautiful building, adding a wonderful wrap around deck, and beams that make the house feel a bit more large. What they were left with is now an amazingly beautiful log home that they will enjoy for years to come.

Donna worked hard to find the perfect decor additions to the home, including a sign which she had Camp Nokomis put on, and made into a lamp so that the light illuminates the letters as an homage to the previous camp. There is a great little shelf that was made using an old bread kneading bowl, which really blends nicely into the ambiance of the rustic yet modern cabin. The fireplace is also a focal point, bringing tons of warmth to the space, made out of native rock and quartz stone slabs. The lovely native stone pathway and steps leading up are a beautiful feature as well. It just shows that sometimes revitalizing the old can be just as good, if not better than building new.


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