Modern Love

A young couple designs the log home of their dreams—overlooking downtown Denver.

Modern Love

Story by Iyna Bort Caruso
Photography by Roger Wade
Styling by Debra Grahl
Home by Honka Log Homes

When the sun rises over Denver, Jaska and Jennifer Tarkka's log home practically dances. Located in the nearby suburb of Golden, the home's wall of windows captures the interplay of color, light and shadows. It's a performance surpassed only by the encore at sunset.

Every window on the custom home's main level faces the Mile High City. "At night, it almost feels like you're in downtown Denver," Jennifer says.

Living RoomBy any measure, the couple's goal of bringing log home living to a suburban setting deserves critical acclaim. Located on a third of an acre in a cul-de-sac, the 4,300-square-foot ranch from Honka Homes gets along swimmingly with the traditional "stick and brick" houses around it.

The modern Scandinavian exterior features flat polar pine logs (tongue-and-groove over chinking) and an imposing four-pilaster entry tower accented with brick and stone. A storm-water reservoir guarantees that no one will ever block the home's million-dollar view.

Here are some other unique design elements that went into the Tarkkas' building project:

  • On the main level, the great room has a 20-foot vaulted, drywall ceiling that reflects light. Only a see-through gas fireplace separates this space from the formal dining area, which opens onto the kitchen.
  • The lower terrace level features a wet bar and a giant flat-screen TV, as well as an adorable guest suite that gets plenty of use from the pair's out-of-town friends and family. As if the creature comforts weren't enough, the Tarkkas also built a detached one-car garage for their guests' cars.
  • A sauna (the Tarkkas' favorite design element) is located on the lower level and is accessible from both the guest suite and the bar area.
  • Slate, copper, glass and "quite a bit of drywall" break up the wood and add splashes of color to the home.
For more information on this Colorado treasure, check out the October 2005 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.