Anyone building a log home knows you can’t always get what you want. There’s always some issue—whether it’s financial strain or stubborn bedrock—that crumbles wish lists.

For John and Gloria Slaga they had to let go of a rolling, hilly landscape dreamed about and turn in a new direction: home. . “We discovered that to purchase anything like what we already had would be about a half-million dollars,” says Gloria. So they tore down their home of 17 years and rebuilt with logs on the flat 10-acre parcel in Columbia Station, Ohio, just 20 miles from Lake Erie.

The Slagas had been dreaming about living in a log home since John’s tour of duty overseas, and when they returned home seven years later, a vision of this natural architectural style was embedded in their brains. “We wanted it to have tons of character,” says Gloria. “I didn’t want a rectangular-box home.”

The European log homes were the inspiration, but it was the Mountain vernacular the couple encountered on ski trips out West that influenced their design and the company they chose. “I wanted a company that could provide logs that were long enough to run the length of the great room,” says John or their decision to go with Real Log Homes of Hartland, Vermont, who shipped in the Western white pine logs from Montana.

Both John and Gloria were involved in the design process, which evolved from a house they saw in Log Home Living. “We saw the facade and knew that’s what we wanted our home to look like,” says Gloria. This meant using stone on the base and pillars of the house, much like they’d seen on homes in the Rockies. Different rooflines were another priority. “I pushed for a lot of little details,” she says. “I didn’t want to later say, ‘I wish we had done this, or I wish we had done that.’”

The attention to detail paid off. Despite giving up the hilly landscape that surrounded their vision, the 4,300-square-foot home is exactly what the Slagas ordered, from the great room with10-foot-wide fireplace overlooking the waterfall pond and hummingbird feeders in the backyard to Gloria’s dumbwaiter-equipped, 900-foot inventory space above the garage for her business.

And while they left off European style in their design, Gloria and John affectionately refer their homes as Slagahof (German for “Slaga home”), and surround themselves in the mementos they collected from living abroad. “I think they really are part of our home’s charm and what makes it special,” says Gloria. And so is knowing you’ve always been home.

Home Details:
Square Footage: 4,300
Log Producer: Real Log Homes