As Good as It Gets

The what, when, why and how of maintaining healthy logs.

Weekend homes have a unique way of putting us back in touch with family and friends, with nature. For many years, that's jusHeartht what Binnie, Mark and their two children enjoyed in a little cottage about 90 minutes from Chicago. But then things changed as other metro families got the same idea and started horning in on their turf. "The area got too congested, so we started looking for a new getaway," says Binnie. The main criteria: "We wanted a place where we could fall asleep to the sound of wind in the trees or wake to the glint of sun on the lake." Friends told them about a development up north that was selling large home sites along the shore of a remote lake. "One week later, we were snowshoeing across that frozen lake to check out our future property," says Mark. It was love at first "site," so they purchased the land and started planning their new vacation home. "We always envisioned a log home, and I'd filed away design ideas from different magazines," Binnie says. "When I went back through the clippings, I realized many of the homes I liked were by Alpine Log Homes." The couple met with their realtor Dan Benson, who had built several log homes locally, to give him a sense of what they had in mind. Turns out many of those clippings looked familiar to Dan, since he'd worked with Alpine Log Homes several times before. "We knew right away it was a perfect match," says Binnie.   Inside Out To create the most relaxing and family-friendly space, the couple opted to keep the interiors open and to take advantage of the natural surroundings. Walking from the foyer to the great room, you face a seemingly endless view of the lake and sky—a sensation enhanced by the vaulted roofline. In the kitchen and dining area, lower ceilings give family gatherings a cozy, more intimate feel.   Here are some other interior design details that helped to create Binnie & Mark's home: Floorplan
  • A large patterned rug anchors leather couches and heavy side tables with a striking patina finish.
  • Personalized dining room chairs. On the back of each one, an artist carved the likeness of a different animal native to Wisconsin: quail, bear, coyote, deer and loons.
  • Animal paintings, sculptures, antler lamps and a carved moose on the front door.
  Floorplan - Main To read more about Binnie & Mark's building project, check out the May 2005 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.