Living in Sweet Simplicity
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Living in Sweet Simplicity

One step inside a reader’s 500-square-foot cabin on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula proves good things come in small packages.

Photos courtesy of Dorinda Dombrowski


For Dorinda Dombrowski, a little cabin getaway was a long-held dream. But after just a year of careful research and planning, the vision for the four-season getaway began to take shape in sharp detail. She shares how she planned, built and now enjoys her simple and serene cabin. 

Dorinda: I’ve always dreamed of a small cabin getaway in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It took me at least a year to plan the details of the cabin. I began at the builders’ show in Marquette, Michigan, and looked at the log home exhibitors’ displays. I also looked at magazines and spent many hours doing research online. Through all this research, I became familiar with log homes and rustic cabins.

The dimensions and placement were a big priority for me. I had a general idea in mind of the size and location the cabin would be built. However, before making the final decision, I measured out the dimensions and used grass spray paint to lay it out on the property. 

The wood used to construct the cabin came from a local sawmill, and I hand-stained every single piece of wood myself, on both the exterior and interior of the cabin. For longevity, durability and low maintenance, I chose a dark green metal roof. On the porch, you’ll find a carved wood door with white tail deer. 

I wanted the cabin to be cozy, but big enough for family and friends to gather in. The cabin is 500 square feet excluding the porch and patio. It has an open living room along with a bathroom. There is a huge TV for movie night and a small refrigerator and microwave, perfect for enjoying an evening alone or entertaining guests. 

The cabin has rustic decor throughout. The cabinets in the living space are made of reclaimed wood, and the bathroom cabinet was handmade to perfectly fit the space. I chose an antler theme for my decor, including the ceiling fan and the bathroom light and mirror. The reason I went with the antlers is because I had a reindeer that passed away a couple years ago, and I wanted to pay homage to her. She was on my hobby farm for 20 years. 

Everyone’s welcome at the cabin, even the cats and dogs. My friends and relatives love to come visit. Everyone just naturally gathers on the porch in the summertime. It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and just have a little bit of peace and quiet. Here, it’s just all about hanging out, eating, watching movies, having a bonfire and relaxing with friends and family.


See Also: Touring a Nostalgic A-Frame on the Sturgeon River

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