Sitting on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s northernmost peninsula, you’ll find a red, sequoia-colored cabin called True North. The structure stands out as a pop of color amongst the dark green pine trees. And, if you had visited this dwelling a year ago, you might not recognize the house that sits there today. Time had taken its toll on the '60s-era cabin, and what was once a cozy family retreat had become a dilapidated shell.
Enter in Lynn and Jason Makela, who purchased the cabin in November of 2018. They intended to renovate the building and rent it out on Airbnb, and they gave themselves about seven months to do it. That may sound like a lofty goal, but it was one they intended to keep. They proved how serious they were by taking June bookings early on in the renovation.
If anyone could keep such a deadline, it’s Lynn and Jason. The two-person dream team is driven, energetic, and crafty. This was not their first renovation project, as they had previously remodeled their home. Lynn has a keen eye for interior design, and Jason has plenty of experience with building. Together they worked nights and weekends to ensure the cabin would be ready to go for its first guests.
It wasn’t always easy. The nearest hardware store is 30 minutes away and not open on weekends. That means a “quick trip” to pick up a forgotten necessity was nonexistent. There was also the fact that they each held full-time jobs. Jason builds rockets for satellites, and Lynn is a digital marketing consultant. In order for them to keep their deadline, they had to carefully pre-plan their projects and schedule them out in phases. By thinking ahead in this way, they were able to estimate what supplies they would need from the start. They then took trips bringing the materials to the cabin before the weather turned. Winters are not for the faint of heart in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Transporting items down the driveway once the snow set in would have been no easy feat. And you can forget about deliveries during blizzards!
Before the renovation, the cabin was decorated in a very '70s style. Think: bright orange countertops and brown appliances. Lynn’s new vision for the cabin was a balance between rustic and modern. The original bathroom was all blue, including the sink, toilet and shower. Today’s bathroom has a clean, simple look. They installed white subway tile and a modern glass shower. The new living room aesthetic is scandinavian cabin meets aspen ski lodge. You’ll find a comfy black couch, hardwood floors, and a gorgeous gas fireplace. In the kitchen you’ll find more white subway tile, concrete countertops, and a large island that helps separate the kitchen from the dining room. Two of the bedrooms have plush white duvets and simple, carefully curated decor. The last bedroom boasts two bunk beds. A family with kids in tow (or just a big group of friends) could easily fit in this space.
While the inside of the cabin is a cozy oasis, the outside is just as special. The house sits on a rocky section of land directly in front of the majestic Lake Superior, and is surrounded by towering pine trees. This means you can watch freighters pass by in the night in one direction, or enjoy the calm serenity of the forest in another. Although the cabin is off a paved road, it sits far enough back on the property to feel secluded and private. And if that wasn’t enough, its convenient location in the Keweenaw Peninsula means you have access to world famous biking trails, kayaking, hiking, and copper mines. It is a nature or history lover’s dream!
Cozy interiors, awe-inspiring views, and access to plenty of outdoor activities means that True North has it all. Jason and Lynn have managed to create a space that is any cabin lover’s dream. It is sure to be a spot that creates magical memories for all who are lucky enough to rent it out for years to come.
You can find the rental page for True North here.
Gina Valente lives in Ferndale, Michigan and runs the cabin blog, Moody Cabin Girl. She has a love for unique dwellings, adventures, and all things whimsical. When not running around renting cabins, she is trying new restaurants in the Detroit area and posting about them on her Instagram account, Girls Gone Hungry .