Dream Desti­na­tion

A mod­ern-day camp calls fam­ily and friends to the hills of north­ern Penn­syl­va­nia.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - PHO­TOS BY ROGER WADE | STYLING BY DEBRA GRAHL

A mod­ern-day camp calls fam­ily and friends to the hills of north­ern Penn­syl­va­nia.

It’s a com­mon feel­ing of­ten re­vealed when con­vers­ing about build­ing a cus­tom home — that de­sire to cre­ate a one-of-a-kind re­treat for fam­ily and friends to gather and make mem­o­ries. And home­own­ers Brian and Nancy Keck were no dif­fer­ent when they de­cided to build their own moun­tain­top get­away in north­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. But that shared sen­ti­ment is the only “com­mon” thing about the fin­ished home.

“We wanted to build a lodge that would be­come a desti­na­tion point for our fam­ily and friends, and one that re­flected a level of work­man­ship and qual­ity of ma­te­ri­als that are dif­fi­cult to find to­day,” ex­plains Brian. To say that they achieved their goal would be an un­der­state­ment.

The first step to­ward that dream desti­na­tion was at­tend­ing a Log & Tim­ber Home show where the Kecks met the folks from Wood­house, a lo­cal tim­ber frame com­pany lo­cated in nearby Mans­field, Penn­syl­va­nia. “It was our in­tent to work lo­cally if pos­si­ble, and the Wood­house of­fices are just 40 min­utes away,” says Brian. “We were also im­pressed with their en­tire team as well as the qual­ity of their join­ery and the fit and fin­ish of the homes they showed us.”

With their home-build­ing team in place, Brian and Nancy went on to spend al­most a year in the de­sign

phase, from ini­tial con­cepts to de­liv­ery. “This was time well in­vested,” says Greg Burn­shaw who led the project for Wood­house. “We got along great be­cause we shared the same goal for the project: to do it right the first time.”

The fin­ished 4-bed­room house is nes­tled on a prop­erty com­piled of sev­eral parcels of land that were ac­quired by the Kecks over the years. De­signed as “just a hum­ble hunt­ing cabin” to en­ter­tain their friends and ex­er­cise Mark’s pas­sion for the out­doors, the plan re­flects a mix of el­e­ments taken from sev­eral dif­fer­ent Wood­house de­signs, com­bined to cre­ate a unique camp-style home. The fin­ished house was built from a full Dou­glas fir tim­ber frame and also fea­tures im­pres­sive tongue-and-groove pine ceil­ings, 2-story stone fire­places and an open main-level floor plan, com­plete with a wall of win­dows in the liv­ing space for tak­ing in

the breath­tak­ing views. “The great room is in­cred­i­ble, over­look­ing the pond and the dis­tant moun­tains,” says Burn­shaw. “It’s a place of dreams.”

Burn­shaw ad­mits the other more hid­den spa­ces of the house are equally im­pres­sive, in­clud­ing the bed­rooms (each with its own bal­cony), the well-planned mud­room — even the me­chan­i­cal space. “There’s ra­di­ant floor heat, tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity con­trols, pumps, fil­ters, se­cu­rity sys­tem, back up ter­mi­nals — ev­ery shiny cop­per pipe and wire and tube and cable is art­fully en­twined and or­ga­nized,” he says. “When I’m in there, I could just as eas­ily be walk­ing down the cor­ri­dor of a nu­clear sub­ma­rine. It’s def­i­nitely an im­pres­sive high­light on tours of the house.”

It was that at­ten­tion to de­tail paired with a strong vi­sion for the space that ul­ti­mately led to the end re­sult the Kecks’ had wished for. “We wanted the lodge to feel warm and invit­ing, like you’re on va­ca­tion out West when you’re at home,” says Brian. “When you drive up and the home is all lit up, it’s ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful.”

OP­PO­SITE: A wall of win­dows was in­cor­po­rated in the great room to take ad­van­tage of the views. A 2-story stone fire­place brings warmth to the open space.

LEFT: Neu­tral col­ors were cho­sen for the home’s walls. This pale green shade cre­ates a nat­u­ral com­ple­ment to the hon­ey­hued timbers, ceil­ings and cab­i­nets in this bath­room.

ABOVE: The kitchen pays trib­ute to the lo­cal com­pa­nies that worked on the home, in­clud­ing the cus­tom cab­i­nets that were cre­ated by Amish crafts­men. A white is­land pops against the wood back­drop.

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