Log Home Diary Entry # 4: Finishing and furnishing our dream log home.
Task at hand: Finish and furnish our log home before moving in.
Timeframe: Spring 2006
With the construction behind us, it was time to finish off our log house and turn it into a real home. I got together with Stephanie Gauthier, the former Wisconsin Log Homes in-house interior designer, to talk about the type of ambiance I wanted to create — a warm log home with a Western ranch feel. Before we got started, I gathered pictures and photos that I’d clipped from magazines and collected swatches of flooring, fabric and paint. With the help of these tools, Stephanie immediately understood my vision. She was a great resource for decorating ideas, as well as for locating unique pieces to include in our home.
We decided early on that we wanted to use solid-surface flooring on the whole first level, so we chose a distressed, hand-scraped maple for the great room, dining room and master bedroom. For a sleeker look, we went with 16-by-16-inch slate tile for the remaining areas, using California Gold in the common areas and Mongolian Springs in the master bath. In the kids’ bedrooms and bonus room, we opted for carpet, since that space doubles as a play area.
When it came time to pick out furniture, we had sofas and chairs custom upholstered in a Southwestern fabric. The colors and design added that kick of personality we were looking for — perfect for our informal space. We even bought a really cool double-sided leather sofa that creates separate television-viewing and conversation areas. All of our bedrooms have log beds and dressers, along with warm color schemes and cowboy accents.
Our most unique piece is definitely the 10-foot-long dining table, made from reclaimed teak. Stephanie suggested lighting our dining area with two whitetail-antler chandeliers, crafted by Green Bay artist Jim Johnson. They add a warm glow to the room.
We’re so happy with how everything turned out. Some of our favorite parts of the house include the Western-style rails on our front porch and back deck, the massive logs used in the prow window and the stone fireplace, topped off with a handmade mantel, made by David Janczak from Wisconsin Log Homes. We ended up with the rugged, Wild West feel we wanted, with a little bit of woodsy lodge mixed in. Plus, the house is casual enough for our family, but still cleans up quite elegantly.
Now that it’s built, it’s time to start enjoying our log home. We designed this cabin to be more of a retreat than our primary residence, and our location is ideal for year-round activities, from kayaking along the shoreline or through the caves at Cave Point Park to exploring the trails of the surrounding forests to watching the northern lights from our hot tub.
When we’re asked what we love most about our new log home, our answer is always the same: the feeling we get when we walk in the door. It’s such a special place where we can go as a family and spend quality time together. We intend to share it with family and friends for years to come, and we look forward to making many sweet memories there.
Return: To Log Home Design’s Log-Home Diary for the rest of this story.