This Southwest-Facing Log Home Pours in Natural Light

The Lewises’ southwest-facing site means plenty of sunlight pours into their log home.

After living in Europe and learning to ski there, Dawn and Greg Lewis and their sons returned to the United States — but their new home in the Dallas, Texas, area didn’t offer much in the way of hitting the slopes. After several years of spring break ski trips to Breckenridge, Colorado, they began looking for their own piece of the Rockies.

Why a log home: For their mountain home, Dawn and Greg weighed the option of log or timber frame construction. Finally, they agreed that the very American, quintessentially Rocky Mountain look of a log home was best for them. 

Most important features: With their site overlooking Peak 10, one of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s mountains, Dawn and Greg wanted their home to capture the view. When they can’t be in Colorado, the family rents the home to visitors. The couple knew that bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a hot tub would be big draws for future guests. 

See also 5 Smart Strategies for Log Home Lighting

The Lowdown

The Lewises’ steep site presented a challenge for Mountain Log Homes of Colorado and designer Karen Wray. The final plans included a narrow house with a one-car garage built of handcrafted Engelmann spruce logs. Soaring windows in the dining area and kitchen frame the view and fill the area with natural light.

See also Log Home Lighting Tips

The Inside Scoop

The Lewises’ southwest-facing site means plenty of sunlight pours into their log home. You can take advantage of natural light when orienting your new home, too. Green Building Advisor suggests paying attention to the compass and the climate where you live when drawing up your plans. For even more information, research “daylighting” and “passive-solar heating” online. 

  • North-facing windows  allow for even light that artists prefer for painting, but that light won’t bring much warmth to a room. Try placing utility spaces, such as bathrooms, closets or laundry on your home’s north side.
  • Southern exposure  provides the most light and solar heating, and may be best for rooms where you spend a lot of time during the day.
  • West-facing windows  will allow in low-angle, late-day sunshine. If you live in a hot climate, shading these windows with trees or a deep porch can help keep interiors cool.
  • Eastern exposure  is nice in a kitchen or breakfast area. Orienting your bedroom to the east will bring morning sun to the space.