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Top Model: Kentucky Log Home

A Kentucky couple finds the perfect log home plan—and adds some unique touches to make it their own.
by Cynthia Ward Vesey | Photos by Rich Frutchey

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.

Whitewashed birch wood cabinets lighten the wood tones in the kitchen. The island, featuring a granite top and stone on the base, replicates the one found in Walnut Ridge's log home model. "We loved the way it looked in the model," says Sandra. Mike Miller of Walnut Ridge Log Homes says a lot of people want to incorporate the island into their layout.

“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.

The Pitcocks have seven children and seven grandkids between them, and the 20-by-48-foot pool is a favorite hangout when they visit. "We wanted something large enough to play volleyball with the kids," says Sandra. A gazebo nearby provides an area to relax after swimming.

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.

The Pitcocks wanted the home's design to include a large, inviting master bedroom. The 18-by-20-foot bedroom provides access to the enchanting wraparound porch. Tim, who prefers traditional country decor, chose the attractive wood bedroom suite.

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.

Sandra enjoys spending time with her family on the elevated wraparound porch. "I love going out in the mornings and watching the birds," she says. The back porch overlooks the pool and has a fantastic view of the lake.

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
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Producer: Real Log Homes/Walnut Ridge
Log species: White pine and poplar

Published in Country's Best Cabins
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    saharrarioJune 17, 2009 @ 10:51 amReply

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