Adding Daylight to Dark Winters
Designer Melissa Coleman (also known as The Faux Martha), discusses how she harnessed light and views in her once-dark cedar-clad cabin in the woods of Northern Minnesota.
When we moved to Minnesota seven years ago, we heard the days were short and dark come winter, and we knew this to be true after living at similar latitude in both Chicago and New Haven, Conn. We endured winters in Chicago, appreciated them in New Haven, and by the time we moved to Minnesota, we married winter willingly. I should mention, I have always loved the snow. But it wasn’t until moving to Minnesota that we considered designing our life around it and embracing it—the darkness, the cold, and the innate beauty.
This far north, the summer days are even longer and the winter days are even shorter. So, we leaned on that same design wisdom from home. Our goal in restoring this A-frame relic was to add as much natural light as possible while preserving the cozy warmth of the cedar-lined walls.
And, if I’m being honest, we had other reasons too. As someone who spends a lot of time online, sharing my personal experiences and projects for work, I tend to focus inward, on myself. I often get stuck there. Maybe you find yourself there too. At the cabin, I wanted to create an intentional posture and perspective shift with the focus toward the tall trees and the great outdoors. So, as if it were that simple, we took our pointer finger and thumb to all the old, original windows in need of replacing, and stretched them apart for bigger windows and 360° views of the evergreens and the lake.
Note: For both our home and cabin projects, we worked with trade professionals to select the windows. For each project, both highly recommend Marvin and use their products on their projects. In Minneapolis, we worked with Mike Smith, formerly Brown Smith Restoration. In Grand Marais, we worked with Anton Moody of Taiga Design + Build.