Log homes come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. Some are quite humble, others very luxurious. This home, which measures 84 feet x 32 feet, is certainly in the category crème de la crème. It is harmonious and elegant in design, sophisticated in a rustic way, and equipped with amenities that are not often found in a country home, such as an elevator and a fireplace on each floor. And its detached garage is so big and fancy it could easily be mistaken for a country cabin. Built in 2011 near the town of Mont-Laurier in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, this has become more than a secondary residence for a middle-aged couple. “We have an apartment in town but, when we’re there, we feel stifled and bored. We only have one wish, to go back up north.” And who wouldn’t when it means going back to close to 150,000 square feet of land bordering a wild river, lots of green space, and utter comfort!

Comfort is the primary focus in this three-story home. Eastern white pine logs milled to a rectangular profile were used for the exterior and interior   with some timber framing elements added. Each and every piece of wood was stained by the owner and his wife, who spent countless hours at this monumental task. They went as far as staining inside the grooves of the floorboards for a seamless finish because of the inevitable and eventual shrinking of the wood. It was also important for the owners to source local products and businesses for their home, and their choice went to Bondu Log Homes which manufactures ready-to-assemble kits. Clients can choose from standard models or provide their own floorplan. In this case, it is a combination of both. The central part of the house is an existing model to which identical extensions were added on each side. On the left is the two grandchildren’s corner with a home cinema and a playroom. On the right is a summer dining room.

An interesting feature on the exterior is the type of railing used for the balconies and terrace. Panels of a special unbreakable plexiglass were used instead of conventional wooden posts, so the view remains unimpaired, whether one is sitting outside or inside looking out. It also gives the façade a more stylish look. The metal roof is equipped with snow guards, especially useful when ice accumulates. Because the house fits snugly against a grassy embankment, the ground floor is laid out like a finished basement, for leisure and entertainment. A cozy family room displays one of the three fireplaces fitted with a slow-burning wood stove and set in a beautiful mantel of cultured stones. The same stones frame a small bar equipped with a popcorn machine for the little ones. Like most of the light fixtures in the house, the four colorful translucent glass lamps over the counter are antiques. The space to the right of the bar was converted into a sort of locker room, fully equipped with eight lockers, a bench, and a bathroom with a shower. The ceramic floor is heated for maximum comfort.

The elevator is certainly no squeezebox. It can comfortably accommodate three people plus a wheelchair. It was especially installed for the owner’s elderly parents who were both wheelchair bound. But it is also very useful for carrying groceries, firewood, and other items to the second floor, not to mention that the grandkids seem to maybe love it a little too much!

The kitchen is big and well appointed with an old-world charm. The cabinets and the center island were made by a local craftsman and stained a rich dark brown. To fit with the décor, the refrigerator is hidden by wood paneling. The counters and island top are covered with bush-hammered granite. The surface is not slippery because of small indentations in the stone, but is still fairly smooth and easy to clean.

The dining room—worthy of a small French manor—is majestic with its long table that can seat eight. The high-back upholstered chairs and table were custom made by a local cabinet maker. Fashioned from antlers, the chandelier above the table is unique in that no electrical wires are visible. But the true star of this room is the tall dresser with the glass doors. Like the delicate china and pottery displayed on its shelves, it is quite old and imposing. Dating from the early 20th century, it was carefully restored by the owners with the original coat of paint still intact. The pine tongue-and-groove floorboards also serve as the ceiling of the lower floor (basement).

A covered veranda occupies the right extension of the house with a beautiful view of the gushing river and the forest beyond. Here, the floorboards are hollow and heat resistant. As the room is not insulated, it becomes quite hot in the humid days of summer. The windows have mosquito screens to circulate the air and to keep the bugs out. The wicker dining set has a modern yet rustic look and the chairs can convert into recliners by lowering the backrest.

The master bedroom has an understated elegance to it with the decorations kept to a minimum so that the beautiful furniture pieces stand out. On the other hand, the guest bedroom has a whimsical charm created by the wrought-iron bedstead and the old-fashioned bedspread. The reproduction antique furniture is reminiscent of the dresser in the dining room. The master bath combines the old and new, with two washbasins set on a marble countertop and dark wood cabinets matching the furniture in the master bedroom.

On the third floor, another family room exhibits a definite wildlife theme. The sleeping lynx painting above the fireplace is from Amneris Fernandez, a Venezuelan artist now based in Québec. Here, the source of energy for the fireplace is propane gas. It is worth noting that all three chimney conduits (from the three fireplaces) go through the same stone encasement, 32 feet high from the basement floor to the top floor ceiling.

When the owners conceived their getaway residence, their intention was more than just to create a haven of peace. Looking ahead to the future, they wanted it to be a legacy for future generations of the family. In the meantime, they make the most of the present, with one of the owners spending lots of time fishing and hunting, cutting his own firewood, shoveling snow in winter. In short, thoroughly enjoying his beautiful retreat that he and his wife have put their hearts and soul into since day one.