If one of your passions is architecture, or better yet, your first profession, chances are that the log home of your dreams will eventually come to fruition. Which was the case for Colorado resident Kirk Peterson, a licensed architect who currently owns a management company.
“The home is my custom design, and the logs were milled based on my drawings,” says Kirk. “Still, I had to educate myself because I’d never designed a log home before, and this certainly isn’t the same as slapping up a tract home in the city.”
Indeed, the 2,550 square-foot log home that sits on a secluded and wooded 43-acre lot in central Colorado, is far from a tract home and has served as a retreat for Kirk, his wife Julie and their two children.
The original vision for the Petersons’ log retreat was something a bit more rustic than the final product. In fact, the genesis of this dream goes back 25 years when Kirk was studying at the Royal Academy of Architecture at the University of Copenhagen.
That year, he lived with a Danish family, who owned a summer cottage they’d occasionally visit.
“It was an ancient thatched-roof, heavy timber and waddle infill cottage on the coast,” he recalls.
“There was no running water and no electricity—just a dirt floor and a wood stove for heat.”
Kirk wanted a rustic version of the home with an Old West twist—sort of like a traditional trapper’s cabin; small and cozy, with few conveniences.
But as so often happens during the design process, things just change.
Kirk adapted the design to boast more amenities and to fit his and Julie’s desire to entertain friends.
This meant adding more square footage. Still rustic, of course, but with lots of open space, exposed trusses, stonework and a truly spectacular log structure, supplied by Hearthstone Log Homes Inc., a Dandridge, Tennessee-based log producer. The company supplied the hand-hewn Eastern white pine that embodies the rustic look he was after.
“There’s no television, phone or computer,” in the home, says Kirk. “We wanted to get away from the modern trappings, and be secluded and relax.”
Keeping with the natural feel, local artisans completed several custom details of the home, including the ornamental ironwork (designed by Kirk) used for the chimney cap, truss gusset plates and the foundation grilles. Gorgeous stonework lines the entry walls along the 900-foot driveway, continues to the front steps, foundation and foyer, and culminates at the top of the three-story hearth made from hand-selected local stones.
The Petersons try to visit their modest getaway as many weekends as possible. “We call this the cabin,” says Kirk. “But when we have friends come to visit for the first time, they’re always surprised by how big it is, since the term cabin usually means something smaller.”
Square footage: 2,550
Log Home Company: Hearthstone Log Homes Inc.