When Tim and Sandra Pitcock toured the log home model built by Walnut Ridge Log Homes in Shelbyville, Kentucky, it was love at first sight. The couple had been noodling with the idea of building a log home for years, but once they laid eyes on the home they knew they’d found exactly what they were looking for in a design.
“We liked the openness of the living room, dining room and kitchen,” explains Sandra, who found out about Walnut Ridge after seeing the company’s ad in the Yellow Pages she sold advertising for at the time. “After looking at many different models and doing the research, we felt Walnut Ridge had the best product. They were great to work with.”
They made a few alterations to the design, such as adding a breezeway from the garage to the kitchen and utility room. They also wanted a bigger master bedroom and great room. “We discussed the locations of rooms and spacing of doors, ways of optimizing the square footage and making the bedroom larger, and making the garage location convenient,” notes Mike Miller, owner of Walnut Ridge Log Homes and a sales representative for Hartland, Vermont-based Real Log Homes. “They were receptive to our suggestions.”
The house is sited on nearly 70 breathtaking acres, with a view of a sparkling lake teeming with fish. “The house was built around the water,” says Sandra. The 4,200-square-foot home features contoured white pine logs, which are 8 inches in diameter and notched with a V-shaped groove. The logs are treated with Timbor, a non-toxic wood preservative and insecticide.
Tim, performed a lot of the work on the home himself, including the stairway. Instead of a more conventional staircase, he and Sandra wanted half-log steps as well as log railings to perpetuate the home’s rustic sensibilities. He also did the tongue-and-groove and trimwork himself.
Where Tim prefers more traditional log home styling, Sandra is drawn to more modern elements. “I didn’t want a typical log home with a real ‘country’ look. I wanted it to be more modern,” she explains. Because of their different tastes in decor, the couple, who have been married for 16 years, often had to compromise. “I wanted areas of drywall to add a little color, but Tim wanted all wood,” notes Sandra. While wood is the dominant component of the home, Sandra added her personal touch by brightening the kitchen with white cabinets. “The kitchen has a whitewashed appearance,” explains Mike.
Years of marriage and the ability to give and take came in handy with the furnishings as well—Tim chose the country-style bedroom set, while Sandra picked out the great room’s leather furniture. Tim also chose one of the more dominant accessories: an eye-catching, enormous elk-antler chandelier. He actually bought it before they started building. “When they brought it in on the back of a semi, I knew I was in trouble,” Sandra says with a laugh.
For most, building a log home is a very personal, life-changing endeavor. Mike, who has also built conventional homes, prefers to work on log home projects. “When you hand the keys over to the homeowners they’re more ecstatic,” he says. “For most people it’s a dream—something they’ve been thinking about for years.” Sandra confirms that this was indeed the case for her and Tim: “We always dreamed of having a log home. Now we do.”
Home Plan Details:
Square Footage: 4,200
Producer: Real Log Homes/Walnut Ridge
Log species: White pine and poplar