Anita Tidyman and her husband, Tim, still find it hard to believe that, just eight years ago, they spent two years clearing an abandoned plot of land that was basically logged and left with 63 burn piles of debris. Today, 15 acres of that land has been cultivated for their beautiful lodge-style log home, aptly dubbed “Raven Ridge” for the many faithful ravens that gather there.
“It’s quiet up here,” says Anita. “The logs filter out what little sound there is.”
“Living here is a chance to get away from everything,” adds Tim. “We enjoy the opportunity to unwind in a serene, peaceful and relaxing setting. I can get on the tractor and do some work on the property, or sit out in the rockers and observe nature.”
The Business of Building
The Tidymans were not neophyte homebuilders when they took on the task of a log-home construction project. They had restored a Victorian home on the river in Rainier, Oregon, as well as newer homes, but nothing to this extent.
Anita adapted a stick-house plan that friends had decided not to build for their log home. The couple then turned to a local builder, the now-closed Wiens Log Home, to provide the log package with Swedish-scribed Douglas fir logs, handpicked in Canada. They had difficulty finding local contractors, however, who were familiar with log-home construction and the need to allow for 6 to 8 inches of shrinkage over eight years’ time.
There were several additional bumps in the road, including the time Anita returned home to find the logs, which were supposed to be hand-rubbed with Messmer’s Oxford Brown Timberflex Finish, had instead been sprayed, leaving them almost black. Friends helped the couple sand the stain down to the honey color that she now loves.
A lifelong collector who began buying home furnishings when she was just 12 years old, Anita had amassed an entire basement full of items with which to decorate this dream log home.
“I had a houseful of furniture when I moved out of my parents’ house, including the Colonial four-poster bed now in the guest room, which I bought at 18,” she says with a chuckle. “At 12, I used to ride my bike around to garage sales, and then ride back and ask my dad to bring his truck over to pick up whatever I’d found.”
Room for a Crowd
Anita designed the home with a substantial wraparound porch, garage and breezeway that houses an antique 1860 chuck wagon perfect for serving up mouth-watering buffet-style meals to family and friends. Eight substantial black rockers line the front porch for what she calls her “front-porch dinners.” Tim wired speakers and tucked them beneath the wraparound porch to fill the air with music.
“The house is set up well for entertaining,” says Tim. “There are lots of different cozy areas, so different groups can talk about different things in different parts of the house, or we can all be together and carry on several different conversations at the same time.”
Square footage: approx. 2,600 (as shown)
Log provider; railings; stairs: Wiens Log Homes (out of business)