The Cabin

The Cabin

SKU# 070725

Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway

Dale Mulfinger
Susan E. Davis


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  • Product # 070725
  • Type Paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-56158-644-8
  • Dimensions 9-1/2 x 10
  • Pages 240
  • Photos color photos
  • Drawings and drawings

"The Cabin is our heart's retreat" write the authors, and what a wonderful place to escape to.

Building on the theory that less is more, The Cabin takes this idyllic retreat from mind's eye to reality--with striking photographs and ample charm.

In this one-of-a-kind book, you'll discover an amazing array of design styles and materials -- from sticks and stones to sheet metal and glass. You'll find 37 inspirational cabins from all over the country showing how people are building, reclaiming and transforming this unique American dwelling. The Cabin celebrates the appeal of this unique form or retreat, providing inspiration and practical ideas for realizing your own cabin dream.

Based on design, shape, age and material, the cabins are divided into four distinct styles: rustic, traditional, modern and transformed. Whatever the style, each is a classic American getaway. The Cabin features:

  • 37 inspirational cabins from around all over the country.
  • Nearly 250 photographs and 50 illustrations
  • Detailed descriptions, site plans, and floor plans
    • "At last a book that emphasizes the importance of conservation in realizing ones dream of a cabin in the midst of nature."

      -- Perk Perkins, President and CEO, The Orvis Company, Inc.

      "L.L. Bean believes in the spiritual and recreational values of the outdoors, and a cabin is a good place to start. Dale Mulfinger gives us a good idea of what cabins (camps in Maine) are all about. Handsome pictures, too."

      -- Leon Gorman, President, L.L. Bean

      "The Cabin isnt just a geographic and architectural trip -- its a spiritual journey. And we couldnt have better guides that architect Dale Mulfinger and writer Susan E. Davis."

      -- Brian Anderson, Mpls. St. Paul magazine

Table of Contents
1. For the Love of Cabins

The Rustic Cabin
Start with a Life-Size Model Minnesota
The Community Cabin Minnesota
A Family Tradition Wisconsin
A Cabin of a Different Stripe Missouri
Steps up a Hillside Wisconsin
Big at Heart Minnesota
Maintaining Integrity New York
Rustic Oasis Missouri
A Chain of Perfect Cabins Minnesota

2.The Transformed Cabin

Tobacco Barn to Log Cabin Virginia
A Clever Conversion Massachusetts
Reviving a Ghost Town Montana
An Odd Couple New York
Rescuing a Heritage North Carolina

3. The Traditional Cabin

Ties to the Land Washington
Log Cabin with a View Montana
More than the Sum of Its Parts Washington
Do-It-Yourself from a Kit Washington
Cabin out Back New York
Paradise on a Budget Washington
Wilderness Wonderland Montana
The Better to See the Water Washington
Like Living on a Yacht New York
All You Really Need Wisconsin
Planning a Community Oregon
A Better Place to Enjoy Nature Connecticut
An Interim Strategy Maine

4. The Modern Cabin

Rocky Mountain Retreat Colorado
Fresh Take on the Log Cabin Montana
Just for the Fun of It Wisconsin
Academic Freedom Minnesota
Contemporary Dogtrot Louisiana
A Cabin as Ship Nova Scotia
In Nature and of Nature Wisconsin
The Call of Loons and Ospreys Minnesota
Floating on a Wisconsin Prairie Wisconsin
A Salute to Frank Lloyd Wright Montana
Back to nature. Solitude. Simplicity. Escape. Intimacy. Self-sufficiency. Romance. Refuge. Resourcefulness. Nostalgia. These are the feelings that cabins evoke, and they're at the root of my passion for this elemental building form.

I'm not sure when my love of cabins started. My Minnesota farm family never took vacations, but it was during my childhood that I became interested in basic, elemental structures like chicken coops and corncribs. It wasn't until college that I entered my first cabin. Its do-it-yourself, hands-on quality -- lots of sweat and ingenuity -- immediately appealed to me. After I wrote The Architecture of Edwin Lundie (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1995), which identified me with cabins, I began to get a few commissions. But I felt I needed to know more about the building type, so I started researching cabins with my students at the University of Minnesota. That led to articles about cabins in Mpls./St. Paul magazine, and then a local talk-radio personality, Joe Souceray, who had seen the articles introduced me as a "cabinologist." The title stuck.

"Le Porch" (on p. 166) was the first cabin I built for my family. My wife, Jan, and I are now building a lake cabin near the Canadian border. I've built four other cabins on that lake, four more are under construction, and several more are on the drawing boards. Though I've visited hundreds of cabins and designed scores of them, the cabin as a building type continues to excite me.

When The Taunton Press contacted Susan and me about writing this book, we gleefully accepted the challenge of searching for a sampling of the most intriguing cabins in North America. Our goal was to find cabins that interested us as places we wanted to retreat to. We searched for variety, regional and geographic differences, and design attitude, old and new. We initially established a goal of 50 cabins, none larger than 1,200 sq. ft. We rejected tree houses, sheep wagons, yurts, and teepees. We sidestepped lake homes with master bedroom suites and catering kitchens. And we reluctantly rejected some great spaces that exceeded our size limit. There are thousands of wonderfully inviting cabins we have yet to see. However, we feel confident that the 37 cabins in this book show a great diversity, a breadth of design, and the best that cabin living has to offer.

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