interior of The river birch living room

Lake Geneva is a favorite winter destination for many in Wisconsin. It’s home to the Ice Castles and the annual Winterfest. Also in the area is a cozy, recently renovated A-frame cabin called The River Birch.

Elayne DeSalvo spent summers in a home next door to the A-frame as a child and always wanted to go inside. Forty-seven years later, she and her husband, Mark, live directly behind it now, but still get to own their dream A-frame — and share it with others.

Last February, the DeSalvos closed the sale on the home, completed renovations and opened it for rentals in July. “The home had not been used for many, many years,” DeSalvo says. “Our immediate thought was to do the rehab for when our sons visit so they would have a fun place to stay, especially once grandkids come into the picture. But then the idea of an Airbnb sounded exciting.”


Courtesy of the River Birch

After a complete renovation — they updated the bathroom and kitchen, improved the large balcony, established a perennial garden with two river birch trees, added a front deck and painted the home a rich navy blue color (picture above was taken prior to painting) — the home has become a cozy, north woods-inspired space that maintains the original 1966 structure.

DeSalvo says she wanted it to feel warm and inviting, with decor that “is meant to stay true to the era of the home.” While there are plenty of activities in nearby Lake Geneva (including skiing, ice fishing and cross-country skiing), the A-frame is intended to be an escape within the trees.

The A-frame’s main floor features a large open space with comfortable seating for up to five people. On the same floor is a main bedroom with a balcony overlooking the woods.

“Whether you stay for the peace and serenity of the home itself or venture to the hustle and bustle of downtown Lake Geneva, The River Birch gives you the best of both worlds,” DeSalvo says.

Find The River Birch

See more winter getaways here.