Rock On

One couple restores authentic Sedona charm to a log home at the base of Cathedral Rock.

Wolfe exterior

Imagine this: You're in Sedona, Arizona, staring up at majestic Cathedral Rock. The landmark's red rock buttes, mesas and hoodoos rise triumphantly into the juniper-scented air. There you stand, feeling awestruck and insignificant, until you notice a kindred spirit: a little speck of a house by the Old Creek. For Helen and Al Wolfe, that speck?an unassuming 680-square-foot cottage?turned out to be the beginning of a whole new life. Once the quiet retreat of Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, the little log cabin had just been placed on the market. Call it luck, or maybe fate, but the Wolfes found the house after unsuccessful search for their own log home site. One look at the cottage and their search was over. "We just fell in love with the idea of restoring it," says Helen. But, unlike so many who live in the Southwest, the Wolfes did not want another version of Santa Fe style. "As collectors of Native American weavings, rugs and other artwork, we have a deep appreciation for Sedona’s past and its people. We wanted to bring back the old Sedona of a hundred years ago in and around our home." The couple hired Bob Hammond, an Arizona expert in custom log and timber construction, to do the honors?maintaining the integrity of the original structure while evolving it into an extraordinary 4,000-square-foot estate. [gallery exclude="21831"] Here are some of the unique design ideas that went into the Wolfes’ restoration project:

  • One side of the house was extended to include an outdoor staircase that leads into the master suite.
  • The former bedroom was converted into a home office with walnut flooring.
  • Mounted pine paneling covers almost every interior wall to create a warm ambiance.
  • An outdoor porch was included that is anchored by a large gas and wood-burning fireplace made from native red rock.

To read the full story of the Wolfes’ southwestern building project, check out the February 2005 issue of Log Home Design Ideas. Home Details: Square footage: 4,200 General contractor: R.S. Hammonds Construction Inc.