'The Family Cabin' Examines Defining Features of Vacation Homes

Sep 1, 2017

Depending on where you live in the United States, you might might describe your weekend getaway differently. Here in Wisconsin, you might head up to your cottage. Or maybe it’s your cabin - that’s how people in Minnesota generally refer to it. In the northeast - places like Maine and the Adirondacks - people talk about going to their “camp.”

Whatever you call it, that place of retreat comes with a certain state of mind - and often, a certain architecture. Both of those aspects are of particular interest to writer and architect Dale Mulfinger, who has designed cabins that are now along lakes and in the woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota. His latest book, The Family Cabin: Inspiration for Camps, Cottages, and Cabins, looks at some of the defining features of weekend getaways and what differentiates them from other types of homes. 

"One of the notable differences is that most people who have an extra dollar to build a place at the water's edge will often think of that as a legacy project - that is to say, they're not going to make their decisions based on retail, they're going to make their decisions based on [the expectation] that their child is likely to inherit that," says Mulfinger.