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Living the Hy(brid) Life

A Midwestern hybrid home sports a mixture of materials.
by Remy Dolan
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The concept of what “home” means is subjective, yet one theme remains: Living in a hybrid home is a lifestyle certainly defined by nature.

One of the most spectacular hybrid log homes in the Midwest, this magnificent estate rates high in both timeless style and individuality. Cleverly dubbed as “The House of the Sun and the Moon” because of the breathtaking view of each celestial body as it rises over the bay, this 10,000-square-foot home blends natural materials with functionality.

The home itself, like its owners, is not what’s expected. From the outside, it resembles a rustic log lodge. But that idea vanishes as soon as the front door opens and guests step inside to find a far different presentation in both craftsmanship and amenities.

David Janczak, founder of Wisconsin Log Homes of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has been promoting, designing, and constructing his trademark building system since 1976. “Our Thermal-Log building system utilizes an insulated core wall, which provides superb performance and endless possibilities to our clients,” says Janczak. Hand-peeled logs and timbers are used on the exterior to give the feel of a solid log home, except they’re cut in half.

“Clients are attracted to the design flexibility of our building system, but it’s our energy efficiency along with our no settling and low maintenance that causes them to look closer at everything we have to offer,” says Janczak. “Today people like to mix natural materials for a more personal style.

“Every successful project is the product of creative ideas and contributions from the client, the designer/architect and the builder,” says Janczak. “This particular collaboration was one-of-a kind, primarily due to the extensive client involvement in all aspects of the project. The project and process proved to be as delightful as the clients are unique.”

Although colossal on paper, the home is cozy and inviting, with spacious areas designed for entertaining and with various alcoves and outdoor living spaces supporting the private quarters.

Each room in the house has its own personality, defined with color, texture, and detailed trim. Different nooks and niches create layers of spaces, and varied ceiling heights create intimacy and expansiveness.

The basic color palette of cool soft greens, creamy neutrals, and warm spice were inspired by nature and the acquisitions of the homeowners. Touches of classic black and rich browns accent the vintage feeling of the home.

The overall design was inspired by both the waterfront location and the homeowner’s previous turn-of-the-century home. “We wanted something new, but with a definite old home feel,” the owner says. Reclaimed hardwood floors and custom period door and trim millwork throughout the home helps blend the old and new.

Designed for entertaining, the foyer opens to a dramatic sunken gathering room with tranquil views, and a formal dining room to the left.

The gathering room is defined with hand-peeled log walls. Soaring to over 30 feet, the knotty pine ceiling with hand peeled log trusses and king posts further distinguish the space.

More about this impressive home ran in the Design Guide 2008 issue of Custom Wood Homes.

Published in Custom Wood Homes
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