Melissa Coleman and her husband, Kevin, share a Minnesota cabin with their daughters, eight-year-old Hallie and one-year-old Linden. “As soon as we came to the North Shore, we fell in love,” she says. “There’s an unadulterated beauty here — the trees, the water, and the rocky shores! Oh, and the quiet.” Here, the designer and cookbook author gives us a look inside…
On buying the cabin: After we moved to Minnesota, wefconn dreamed of buying a lakeside cabin and renting it out. Grand Marais is about four hours from our home in Minneapolis, but when this cabin came up for sale in 2019, we strapped our daughter in and drove straight there. The carpet was neon green and orange, and we couldn’t see through the windows, but we felt so lucky when we got the news that it was ours.
On creating an alone-but-together room: The living room sits in the ‘A’ of the A-frame, and it already had these little cubbies and shelves. There are books to read, tall trees, and big windows — all these reminders to turn off your phone and get lost in other things. It’s a place to make your own memories.
On not painting everything: I typically like bright white spaces, so taking on a renovation full of cedar wood walls was intimidating. But it felt wrong to paint them. You can smell the cedar in every room, and it’s almost like being in a sauna.
Cabinets: Semihandmade and IKEA. Walnut knobs: House of Antique. Pulls: Wayfair. Countertops: Richlite. Venthood wrap: Taiga Design. Floor tile: Marmoleum. Pour-over kettle: Food52. Dutch Oven: Kana Milo. Copper pots: Williams Sonoma. Bowls and pitchers: Falcon Enamel. Fridge: Bertazzoni. Dishwasher: Bosche. Toaster: Smeg. Sink faucet: Wayfair.
On the ‘old feel’ of the kitchen: The kitchen is the one place we took down to the studs, but I didn’t want it to feel like we took it down to the studs. And since we hadn’t painted the cedar, I was excited to add color. I love this green.
On open shelves: I always hope any guests will feel right at home. It helps to have open shelves, which put everything on display, so no one is wondering where to find bowls and pans.
On the picture window: I joke that this window is our television. When you sit at the table, all the entertainment you need is right here. Birds come by to say hello, and a fox occasionally drops in.
On living in nature: The home is surrounded by evergreens, so there’s a 360-degree view of trees. You can also see the water. It’s called Devil Track Lake, which you can canoe on. At night you can see the stars, and the whole place feels like magic.
On a bunk room: We love going up with friends and putting all the kids in the basement. We hung Ikea curtains on a ceiling mount that can pull closed, creating a near blackout sleeping environment. By day, the curtains open up to foosball and an easy walkout to the lake.
On continuing a legacy: The house was built in the 1970s using a kit, and we found the original papers and typewritten instructions. It had been preserved by a single family all these years, and when we also found their handwritten notes, we had even more reverence for this place. It feels like we’re a part of a larger story.
Thank you so much, Melissa!