Sometimes we find ourselves dreaming of a lake house where we can relax with the family. This unusual version, characterized by a dark facade, was designed by architect David Salmela as a place to both gather and escape.

What used to be the family’s campsite on Lake Superior in Wisconsin is now a fascinating family retreat. The interiors of the 1,280-square-foot main house are dressed in clear basswood, reflecting warmth and evoking closeness to nature. Simple decor creates a clutter-free environment.

The lake house is located down a short driveway though the forest. Its unusual shape is framed by a storage building and woodshed made of aging cedar. Everything in the home invites you to enjoy the surroundings; its cozy, inviting atmosphere includes an indoor terrace and a fireplace.

Upstairs, a master suite, two bunk rooms and an additional guest room provide plenty of space for the family and their guests. Sheltering the front entrance, a cantilevered screen porch elongates the upper floor and extends the views to the lake. Captured in photos by Paul Crosby, the lake house and its surroundings are inspiring for those looking to transform a campsite into a permanent vacation home.

If you’d like to see more of Salmela’s architecture, check out this sustainable learning center in Minnesota, the Bagley Outdoor Classroom, previously featured on Freshome. Does this lake house fit your idea of a perfect family retreat? Tell us in the comments below.