"I can't imagine there are more than a hundred houses in the entire United States with views like this," says Tom Hedrick, nodding with pride at the log home he built with his wife Madeleine.
Indeed, the duo struck gold when searching for a piece of land for their new vacation getaway. Looking over the outskirts of the famous Durango Mountain Resort, the property enjoys 300 days of sunshine — and plenty of snow for skiing — each year, plus views of two mountain ranges and peaks.
After finding the land, it was obvious to the Hedricks that this spot needed a log home. Not only was the architectural style a perfect fit with the surrounding terrain, but it also represented the casual, laid-back attitude they wanted to invoke in their new vacation home.
The couple knew they needed to assemble a dream team to execute their vision. And they did — partnering with local architect Joe Sebestyen, as well as Dyerbilt Construction and interior designer Gretchen Spitler.
Not wanting perfectly matched logs, the Hedricks chose to build with fallen Douglas fir in irregular shapes and sizes. That meant finding lots of "male" and "female" pieces that fit perfectly together.
"It's like a mosaic," explains Tom. "The artistry of this building approach really appealed to us."
You could also say these logs symbolize unity — an appropriate theme for a home designed to welcome the couple's extended family (Madeleine has nine siblings; Tom has five). No wonder they needed a 10,400-square-foot manse for their three kids, plus all their uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins and friends.
"We're all here for the summer, holidays, even spring and fall breaks. So it was important for us to make this a comfortable place with a real sense of flow," says Madeleine, who notes that the home's lower level is an essential part of that design.
Whether the kids are coming in from skiing or hiking, their first stop is the handy outdoor shower, perfect for washing off dirty boots. Next, they move into the 15-by-20-foot mudroom, featuring smart storage (think cubbies and shelves for stowing wet, muddy gear).
The Hedricks also incorporated comfortable seating and a convenient oversized sink, where they do everything from pruning plants to cleaning fish after a day of angling.
Other unique home features include:
• An elevator and a pod of sleepover-worthy bedrooms (dubbed "the dormitory") with eight single beds and a bevy of bunk beds.
• A Wild West "outhouse" bathroom, complete with a wooden toilet seat. Walls are a mix of reclaimed barn wood and corrugated metal, and the ceiling is tilted to recall the feeling of a real outdoor structure. The sink was created from an old wood bucket lined in copper.
• An exercise room, sauna, media room and bar (kegs included).
• A pool room and a soundproof wine-tasting room, where the guys like to enjoy cigars (there's a system to remove smoke) and play poker.