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Riverside Wonder

A hidden river in the Rockies helps create a dream log-home subdivision.
by Ronda Mollica | Photos by Roger Wade | Styling by Debra Grahl
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Exterior view of the development

It was foremost on the minds of Jim and Kelly Brinkerhoff when they scouted the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. During their visit, they came upon a spectacular stretch of land along Eagle River located between Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. A rambling trout stream tucked beneath the majestic mountains made for a breathtaking background.

The land was more than adequate for their dream getaway — much more.

The wheels started to turn for Jim, a land developer by profession. His vision expanded to include a subdivision of 14 log homes with a full-fledged homeowners association. All homes would overlook the river, and a luxurious clubhouse would unify the neighborhood. (His love of squash led him to also install a world-class doubles squash court that hosts international tournaments.)

The plan was to build the homes along the Eagle River. Each home had a great view and  would be designed so each occupant’s view would be directed to the scenery, not the neighbors.

“The two floor plans I designed placed large picture windows on the front and back of the home,” says Jim. “Smaller, higher windows on the side walls would provide privacy, but still allow as much natural light into the home as possible.”

In 2004, Jim formed the Wind River Land Company that would build the homes and later formed the Minturn Racquet and Trout Homeowners Association to oversee maintenance of the homes and surrounding property. Responsibilities such as trash removal, snow removal, lawn care, clubhouse management, and even log maintenance are handled by the HOA.

Great room area of the home

Wind River contacted Honka Homes USA, the world’s largest log home manufacturer, to take on the project. “We chose Honka because of their superior quality product, expertise in design and engineering, and  ability to meet our strict timetable,” says Jim. “They have proven to be true partners in working with us to provide our customers the ability to customize and upgrade their cabins on a cost-effective basis.”

“We were very pleased to help with this project,” says Pekka Laine, president of Honka Homes USA. “Once we received the plans from Jim, we then custom-cut the logs using our state-of-the-art CAD technology at our headquarters in Finland. We shipped them to the building site.” The package included Honka’s triple-pane low-e Scandinavian style casement wood windows and solid exterior doors, ideal for winter climates.

“This project was a very good match for us. This style home is similar to the Scandinavian style we are accustomed to,” adds Laine. “These homes blend perfectly with the mountain environment.”

Outdoor view of the mountainous background

Each home is between 2,200 and 2,500 square feet and customers were able to take the base style and put their signature on it. Owners could choose from a selection of kitchen cabinets, countertops, lighting, flooring, bathroom sinks, tub, and shower components. The lower river level could also be customized to meet the needs of the each homeowner.

“One floor plan features an open cathedral ceiling in the great room, while the other has ample 11-foot ceilings with a larger master bedroom suite on the second floor,” says Jim. “The majority of these are vacation homes — although compact, they are very efficient. There is no wasted space on any of the three levels.”

More of this story ran in the January 2008 issue of Country’s Best Log Homes magazine.

Published in Country's Best Log Homes
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