Into the Woods

Like a cot­tage from a fairy tale, this enchanted log cabin is nes­tled deep within the for­est, al­low­ing its own­ers to find their hap­pily ever af­ter.

Log Home Living - - 2018 ANNUAL BUYER'S GUIDE - story by Emily O’Brien pho­tog­ra­phy by Great Is­land Pho­tog­ra­phy

Like a cot­tage from a fairy tale, this enchanted log cabin is nes­tled deep within the for­est, al­low­ing its own­ers to find their hap­pily ever af­ter.

When high Julieup in and the Dave moun­tains­first pur­chasedin cen­tral 250 Ver­mont,acres of their land, ini­tial thick in­tent with wasn’t forestry,to build two homes. How­ever, af­ter con­struct­ing a large pri­mary res­i­dence with their builder, David Hill, from David An­der­son Hill, Inc., they re­al­ized they weren’t fully uti­liz­ing their sur­round­ings due to the rugged ter­rain. “One day, the kids wanted to make a trail — with ma­chetes — and only made it about 30 feet,” laughs Julie.

The cou­ple en­listed their ma­son, Knight Ide, for help. Knight hap­pened to har­bor a pas­sion for trail build­ing and de­signed six miles of multi-use trails for the prop­erty, ideal for ski­ing, moun­tain bik­ing and hik­ing. At the farthest point of one of the trails, he no­ticed the per­fect spot for a cabin — a get­away from the get­away. He men­tioned it to Dave, and what started off as a vi­sion for an off-the-grid stone hut with sleep­ing bags and bat­tery-op­er­ated LED lanterns, quickly turned into some­thing much more so­phis­ti­cated, but it still beat with the same rus­tic heart.

It worked out that David Hill was al­ready a rep for Real Log Homes, which im­me­di­ately piqued the cou­ple’s in­ter­est. “Real Log Homes’ houses are es­sen­tially Lin­coln Logs for adults,” says Julie. David adds, “They liked the idea that it ar­rived pre-cut, so their kids could help stack the logs up.”

“The plan was de­signed around a cen­tral hearth that serves as the cabin’s main heat source. Low main­te­nance was a pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion, so the choice of a log build­ing would ac­com­mo­date that re­quire­ment,” says Jim Dri­esch, Real Log Homes’ direc­tor of de­sign.

With an in­ac­ces­si­ble and highly el­e­vated lo­ca­tion, a hand­ful of is­sues came along with the pro­ject, but thanks to David’s in­ge­nu­ity, these ob­sta­cles were quickly turned into as­sets. For in­stance, to counter its re­mote­ness, the cabin uses so­lar en­ergy and has propane and sep­tic tanks. “Most of the time, the so­lar car­ries the load,” ex­plains David. A back-up gen­er­a­tor kicks in when the sun isn’t shin­ing or when the power us­age ex­ceeds what’s in the bat­ter­ies. LED light­ing and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ap­pli­ances help keep power us­age low.

“Be­ing out in the boonies like that makes build­ing chal­leng­ing. It def­i­nitely slows you down,” David adds. “A hy­draulic well-drilling truck, as well as other large equip­ment nor-

mally used in con­struc­tion, couldn’t make it up the hill. We used ATVs in the win­ter to work.”

With lo­gis­tic chal­lenges solved and the nuts-and-bolts of con­struc­tion com­pleted, it was time to turn to the fun stuff: The cot­tage’s in­te­rior de­tails. Fea­tures like the wrought-iron rail­ings, wall sconces and even roots that jut out of the wall are a nod to the cabin’s play­ful, enchanted for­est theme. “At first, we looked at cut outs of pine trees for the rail­ings, but it felt too Arts & Crafts-y,” says Julie. Dave had the idea of in­cor­po­rat­ing his love of lit­er­a­ture into the de­sign. “We have scenes from Shake­speare; The Hob­bit; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Harry Pot­ter; Bambi; Snow White and oth­ers. Some­how it just all works,” beams Julie.

The cabin took less than 12 months to build and was just fin­ished last year. Even so, they’ve al­ready had ma­jor groups up for overnight vis­its — one as big as 18 kids at a time. “This past win­ter we had fun. Three, some­times four, cou­ples would all snow­shoe up with back­packs filled with bread, salami, wine and cheese, and we’d do a late lunch up at the cabin with the wood stove blar­ing,” says Julie. “This fairy tale cot­tage isn’t just for kids; it’s a real blast for us grown ups, too.”

The three-bed­room, one-bath cabin is sit­u­ated at the end of a mul­tiuse trail on 250 acres of land and acts as “a get­away from the get­away” — a des­ti­na­tion for hik­ing and ski­ing. It’s off-the-grid, uti­liz­ing so­lar en­ergy for power, and has an ex­tremely tight en­ve­lope.

The great room, with a peak of 21 feet, shows off the 11-inch-high logs with dove­tail cor­ners. The pine log walls are left nat­u­ral and have a pine trim sealed with a matte polyurethane.

1 2 3 RIGHT: The cabin has cedar shin­gles in the gables, eastern white pine logs, fir and cedar trim and a stand­ing-seam metal roof.

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