This Wisconsin Treehouse is a Retirement Dream Come True
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This Wisconsin Treehouse is a Retirement Dream Come True

Step inside a cozy cabin that was 20 years in the making.

Compiled by Griffin Suber
Stretching 34-feet into the air, Sarah and Joe Monnens’ lakeside home peers over the tree canopy bordering Granite Lake in Cumberland, Wisconsin. The typical response of those floating by includes interjections like “Wow!” and “Whoa!” But the home’s impressive window-walled facade belies comfortable interiors, equal parts spacious and cozy, decorated in quaint “barbershop style.”
Joe: It started 20-some years ago when we decided we wanted to retire in a log home. Over time, we’d been looking through Log Home Living (the predecessor to Log & Timber Home Living), and we came up with a place that was dynamically unique for us. With log homes, there’s such a diversity of them, but we wanted this to be really special.
I was behind all the architecture; it’s the biggest small space you’ve ever seen! It’s an open concept inside, and it’s a 20-by-40 footprint – I was trying to look at the economy of space for living. How do you bring the inside out; the outdoors in? There’s a big wrap-around deck and a lot of doors that open to the outside. I was really trying to be efficient with the space itself. The barn doors help with that. It’s only two stories, but when you’re in the loft, it’s like being up in a treehouse.
The front is 34 feet tall — being able to get a front facade with windows going all the way to the top, the contractors said they couldn’t do it, so I thought log was out of play until I talked to Scandinavian Log Homes. They did a great job working with us, and when they saw the project, they were really enthused because it was something they’d never seen or done before.
Sarah: My favorite part is sitting on the front deck in the morning, with a cup of coffee, looking at the lake. I love to start the day with coffee and the lake, sitting in my red Adirondack chair. We’ve been subscribing [to the magazine] for 20 years, getting ideas, learning what to do, what not to do, the building, buying land, the whole process.  
Joe: I have so many favorite things: the landscape, the creek that runs through it, the view of the lake from the loft, so many beautiful views exist here. It’s fantastic.

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