The Last Best Place

A Midwest couple builds a log home that reflects their love of the outdoors and the Big Sky setting they chose for their retirement.

The Last Best Place

Photos Courtesy Alpine Log Homes
© Roger Wade

Several years ago, Ron and Sue traveled west from their home in the Midwest. It wasn't a vacation or a business trip. Rather, they embarked on a shopping trip of sorts. They were in search for a place to retire to.

Ron and Sue visited Whitefish, Montana, and the adjacent Big Mountain Ski Resort with the idea of building a new life there. Was it the place? Was it a place their children and grandchildren would enjoy visiting?

There was no doubt," Ron says. "Having our home up on the mountain, we are only about 20 minutes from town but it feels as if we are living in a virtual wilderness.

We have the best of both worlds: all the amenities of living near a small, charming Western town ? restaurants, shopping, golf, the lake ? yet we live only minutes from the ski lifts. And deer and elk wander through the yard almost daily."

Design Ideas
When it came to home design, Ron and Sue wanted to focus on their mutual love for the outdoors and also emphasize the home's natural surroundings.
  • To fill the home with light, open spaces and views of the magnificent scenery, Alpine Log Homes designer, Scott Pickles, took advantage of new, stronger glass that allowed for expansive windows.
  • An elegant entrance was created with stunning leaded glass entry doors that offer a grand greeting.
  • The hillside location of the house provided the ideal condition for having a lower level complete with a fireplace, TV viewing, pool table and efficiency kitchen. A second master suite, a play area for the grandkids, and a bunkroom are also included.
  • The master bathroom includes a steam shower featuring granite tiles broken along the top to resemble mountain peaks. There is also a spa tub with a view.
To read the full story of Ron and Sue's building project, check out the September 2004 issue of Log Home Design Ideas.