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Room-By-Room

A Home for All Reasons

Whitefish, Montana, is a destination resort town offering year-round recreational opportunities. You name it and Whitefish has it. Skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, and golfing make it a desirable location for ski bums and retirees alike. For John and Susan Witt, Whitefish is, more than anything, about community.  “We bought property in Whitefish because it had all the elements we were looking for in a future retirement property,” says Susan Witt. “We enjoy all that t…

Raising a Glass

“Kurt developed a love for the mountains in the summer of 1974, after attending a geology field camp in Wyoming,” says Kurt’s wife, Patricia. “I imagined building a beach house, but both of us have a tremendous love and respect for the beauty of nature, be it seaside or mountains.” When the couple began considering a second home, a real estate ad in the Wall Street Journal caught their attention, and Kurt and Patricia traveled from Houston to Estes Park, Colorado, to check out the property. “We were loo…

The Sum of Its Parts

One look at DB Ranch and the words “downright breathtaking” are sure to come to mind. Situated on 150 acres of natural, untouched acreage in the Bitterroot Valley region of Montana, the sprawling log cabin home is both inviting and regal at the same time. And at 8,000 square feet, the home has the appearance of a bed and breakfast or lodge. That’s exactly what the owners envisioned when they purchased the home and land back in 1990. The structure was much smaller at the time and took up just 1,000 squar…

Outdoor Life

Every year, magazines ranging from Cosmo to Consumer Reports give their lists of what’s “in” and what’s “out.” When it comes to housing, what’s in IS what’s out—outdoor living spaces, that is. As the square footage and footprints of homes continue to shrink in size (see Big Trend: Small Homes on page 16), people are finding innovative ways to maximize their living space, and the concept of the “outdoor room” is at the forefront of the movement. Log home…

Simple Complexity

Brad Norris graduated with a degree in architecture from Auburn University 25 years ago. His early career began with collaborating on projects in Greece, then he returned to the States, making Nashville, Tennessee his home for over two decades. Starting his own firm, Norris Architecture, in 2003, Brad, in his own words, creates “environments that utilize the primary principles of design: utility, durability, and beauty, to produce end results that reflect the unique character of each client.” Norris’s e…

Just a Stone’s Throw

Kevin and Helen Hulick had been living in the New Hampshire countryside, not far from Brattleboro, Vermont, for nearly a decade. They were reasonably comfortable in their modest gray clapboard home, situated at the bottom of a hill on a quiet residential road. “I bought the gray house back in 1986,” says Kevin. “Quite honestly, it was old and cold! Because of its location, at the bottom of the hill where the runoff collected, the foundation had given way over the years and the floors were tilted, defini…

A Flick of the Switch, a Wave of the Wand

“To say the house left much to be desired is a huge understatement,” says Sonia, “but the astounding view and setting were unparalleled … our hearts were captured at first sight.” Enough so that she and her husband, Scott, were inspired to purchase the Montana property, fully realizing that ahead of them lay lots of creative planning, building costs, and plain old-fashioned elbow grease. At their primary residence in Texas, Scott’s job as a banker keeps him operating at peak performance at all times. Hi…

Lodge Life

Before they even knew each other, Mike and Renee Wright had both harbored dreams of someday living in a log cabin. Once they married in 2000, there was no question what kind of home they’d build on their 19 acres in the high valley of Crested Butte, Colorado, to accommodate their growing family, now made up of five kids and two dogs. But this wouldn’t be just any log cabin, explains Mike. “We wanted giant logs for a big, lodgey feel, like the Yellowstone lodge.”  Realizing that dream…

Northwoods Serendipity

Once upon a time there were two lucky kids, a boy and a girl. They didn’t know one another back then, but they shared a common bond. Both were fortunate to belong to families who cherished Wisconsin’s “Northwoods” region, with its bounty of lakes and forests. They may have crossed paths at one of the region’s many summer festivals or waved at one another while water skiing. “Some of our best childhood memories are of times in northern Wisconsin,” says Deb. “Greg’s family regularly vacationed in Spooner;…

Love at First Draft

Childhood memories of family vacations to the western states inspired Jim McKinney to build his dream log home in Jackson, Wyoming, surrounded by panoramic views of the Grand Teton Mountains. When he began planning the home more than five years ago, he personalized every element of the design and décor, using a mix of new and old materials to create an eclectic retreat for relaxing with family and friends.  “I wanted this house to look 100 years old when you come in, so we have rusti…

The Best Things Come in Small Packages

Small log and timber homes display the same creativity and attention to detail as larger homes. Whether the home is all log, reclaimed wood, timber frame, or a hybrid, each has a unique personality. It was love at first sight when we discovered the enchanting home at right. It is a red cedar timber frame perched on a rustic stone foundation; the walls are cordwood construction in which debarked logs of varying dimensions are laid cros…