There’s something so alluring about a cozy cabin in the woods—especially as a city dweller’s retreat from the usual hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. That’s exactly what this Catskill A-frame was meant to be.
When homeowners Danielle and Ely Franko purchased the property, it was in dire need of a facelift. “This flat top A-frame was built in the ’70s and was really neglected in the years before we purchased the property,” says Brian MacArthur, creator of opportunities for The Hunter Houses. “It needed a full gut renovation of both bathrooms and the kitchen.” Not to mention, the existing wood stove was a big fire hazard and the floors needed a lot of love in the form of sanding down and refinishing.
But there was so much potential for the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home to be that cozy, nostalgic cabin in the woods everyone can envision. “The idea with this place—and all of our properties—is to make it a place where people feel comfortable, inspired, and leave with memories of the time they spent there with loved ones that they’ll talk about for the rest of their lives,” MacArthur says.
You get the first taste of just how special this house is when you’re greeted by the 16-foot wall of glass windows at the front of the house. “They let so much natural light in, and when you’re sitting inside cozy on the couch listening to a record watching the snow blanket the trees and ground outside, there’s nothing quite like it,” he says.
To play off all that natural light and keep the space airy and cheery, the team leaned on soft, natural tones. They painted the walls white and avoided bold flourishes and decor. Instead, they included plenty of warm wood tones and greenery.
To make the space feel one with nature, the trio made sure to add plenty of plants to the home. “We have plants in every room,” MacArthur says. “They really bring the space to life and are a key piece to the design.” Of particular note? The “plant wall,” which features about 30 succulents hanging on the wall going up the stairs. “It’s definitely a photo op,” he adds. In fact, there are photo ops abound from the gorgeous and expansive farm table, to the hanging chair in the living room, to the brass light fixture at the top of the stairs (the only thing from the original house that stayed!).
At the end of the day, the home’s open floor plan—the big, open living space combined with the loft—is all about providing a cozy and inspiring place to unwind and create lasting memories as a group. And the function is there, thanks to plenty of seating and a kitchen built for making big meals.
There’s also plenty of fun to be had with extra special touches like a high-quality sound system and plenty of board games and books to keep you entertained for days at a time.
And despite the elevated style, the home isn’t at all fussy. Everything is designed with renters in mind. The kitchen is practical and stylish with Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts, couches and textiles that skew warmer, and you won’t find any stem wine glasses in the cabinets. “Honestly, we design it the way we want to, and our guests always treat it really well,” he says. “We really haven’t had any issues!”