All in the Family: A North Carolina Log Cabin

A secluded North Carolina log home is an open and inviting retreat where family gatherings begin and happiness reigns.

Pete and Becky Perniciaro's log home offers all the privacy anyone could want. It's surrounded by forested land that's home to deer, turkey, foxes and other critters, and the immediate grounds boast thousands of hostas and hundreds of azaleas. But while this Spring Hope, North Carolina, home is secluded, it's far from reclusive—rather, it entices family and friends from all over the country to visit again and again.

The loft overlooking the great room is a plush and quiet retreat away from the din of family time.

"Becky's parents always provided the gathering place on holidays and other special occasions, and we wanted our home to extend this tradition," Pete says. "On Thanksgiving, Christmas and birthdays, we've had as many as 100 guests in our home." Pete, who is the vice president of sales for Harvatek International (an LED producer), and Becky, a retired assistant attorney general for North Carolina, knew they would build a home on the 22 acres of rural land they inherited from her parents. And they knew it would be log: "We were most impressed with the thermal mass and large, open spaces of our friend's log home," notes Pete.

Finding a log company was simple after they struck up a friendship with the local dealer for Appalachian Log Structures, which ultimately supplied the Eastern white pine logs. For the floor plan, every detail was conceived to accommodate the Perniciaros' epic gatherings. The couple started with a standard plan from Appalachian, but once the tweaking and customizing were complete, they ended up with a new design all their own, which is now offered in Appalachian's standard catalog as the Spring Hope model. Open spaces are the rule, and interior sightlines flow without obstruction between rooms. Ceilings begin at 12 feet, and even the finished basement has clear spans with no posts to obscure views.

The dining area features a custom walnut table with inlaid granite, which seats four to six—ideal for intimate dinner parties.

Also accommodating large gatherings is the wide porch that wraps around three sides of the home and allows guests to feel like they're outdoors while still keeping them protected from the elements. (As a bonus, it also shields the exterior logs to reduce maintenance concerns.) The great room more than lives up to its name, with Western hemlock beams supporting a 35-foot ceiling. "If we're going to have a great room, it needs to be truly great," insisted Becky from the outset.

This central space is fronted by a massive span of low-E glass that offers views of the 4-acre pond populated with swans, ducks and game fish. The triangular glass is capped by a distinctive diamond-shaped window, a decorative motif that's repeated in the porcelain tile on the main level. The angular lines of the windows are offset by a curving oak staircase and balcony with wrought-iron railings.

The front view of Pete and Becky Perniciaro's home highlights the circular rock wall that borders the driveway. The expansive porch was designed to accommodate large gatherings of family and friends.

Attention to detail is also evident in home's engineering elements, such as the geothermal heat pump that services all of the home's heating and cooling needs, electrical meters positioned away from the house to preserve the integrity of the exterior logs, and a safe room in the basement that's able to withstand the collapse of the house—eastern North Carolina suffers more than its share of hurricanes—but also comfortable enough to accommodate overnight guests.

The kitchen—where everyone loves to congregate during get-togethers—has a sophisticated edge thanks to custom cabinetry with a cranberry-cabernet lacquer and absolute-black granite counters.

By lavishing meticulous care upon every facet of their design, the Perniciaros achieved their vision of a home that promises to welcome family and friends for years to come...and perhaps inspire guests to create their own nurturing traditions.

Home Plan Details:

Square Footage: 6,000

Log Company: Appalachian Log Structures