Log­ging In!

Red Western cedar logs raise mod­ern decors to new heights on the shores of Mara Lake.

Best Home (Canada) - - Best - Home - Pho­tos by Cor­rina Walker Pho­tog­ra­phy

Awon­drous blend of hand crafted Western Red cedar logs fuses with mod­ern style, pro­vid­ing a uniquely gra­cious residence on the shores of Mara Lake. Honed to suit the home­owner’s needs for func­tion and rus­tic beauty, this serene get­away cap­tures ur­ban com­forts—ac­com­mo­dat­ing a place as vis­ually mes­mer­iz­ing as its nat­u­ral set­ting.

“When we first started talk­ing about a new home, I hap­pened to be walk­ing by the Lake Coun­try Log Home office in Si­ca­mous,” re­calls the home­owner, who in­vited Jamie Ger­vais down to their site. A plan soon de­vel­oped be­tween the con­trac­tor, Cam Bos, the de­signer, Alana Humphreys, and Jamie Ger­vais who were in­trigued by the con­cept of blend­ing a post and beam log struc­ture with con­tem­po­rary interiors. “If his office wasn’t in Si­ca­mous, I would prob­a­bly still be in my old cabin.”

Know­ing they de­sired some­thing dif­fer­ent, the home­owner’s vi­sion was to have a mod­ern in­te­rior within a home that would still com­ple­ment the area with its rus­tic in­flu­ences en­hanc­ing both styles. “We wanted a fam­ily home that would be very com­fort­able for my wife and I, plus our fam­ily vis­its a few times a year and it fills up,” they add. With lots of space to ac­com­mo­date ev­ery­one, they wanted to live on the main floor that would in­clude their master en­suite and en­joy a siz­able deck off the kitchen.

“The client’s prop­erty is lo­cated on the lake and is de­signed as a fam­ily va­ca­tion home al­though it would func­tion beau­ti­fully as a pri­mary residence as well,” states Jamie Ger­vais of Lake Coun­try Log Homes, whose fam­ily has been in busi­ness for nearly 30 years. “We were able to cre­ate the vi­sion the clients had, cap­tur­ing the full as­pect of a va­ca­tion lake house with grand views and space for a large ex­tended fam­ily within ap­prox­i­mately 7,500 square feet, in­clud­ing the boat house in the base­ment and attached garage.”

Us­ing sus­tain­able logs and build­ing ma­te­ri­als in the con­struc­tion of the home, Ger­vais ex­plains, “Western Red cedar logs have a very high ther­mal mass and the frame was de­signed be­tween the log post and beams to ac­com­mo­date ad­di­tional in­su­la­tion within the framed walls, en­sur­ing max­i­mum en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.”

Lo­cated on the lake with its nat­u­ral shore­line and trees, they used large diameter, char­ac­ter Western Red cedar logs with stonework ac­cents to ad­dress its lo­ca­tion and the

sur­round­ing land­scape. “The lux­ury of the hand­crafted cedar logs blend­ing with con­tem­po­rary fin­ishes and dé­co­rat­ing really show­case the ad­van­tages of post and beam homes, as you have a lot of flex­i­bil­ity with the fin­ishes and de­sign,” ad­mits Ger­vais.

“I had worked with the clients pre­vi­ously and they con­tacted me ini­tially to help with their kitchen de­sign. That es­ca­lated into some­thing much more com­pre­hen­sive, which ul­ti­mately in­cluded the floor plan lay­out de­sign, in­te­rior fin­ishes, fur­nish­ings, and dé­cor,” shares de­signer Alana Humphreys, owner of Alana Humphreys In­te­rior De­sign.

In­tended as a va­ca­tion prop­erty, the clients wanted to max­i­mize their va­ca­tion time and opted for mod­ern el­e­ments from a clean­ing, easy maintenance, and func­tional stand­point, while sus­tain­ing wow fac­tor with­out the com­pli­ca­tions or care of log wall sur­faces. “While ev­ery room does show­case log beam ac­cents, they are not in­tended to over­whelm the space,” says Humphreys. “The ef­fect is unique and was pur­pose­fully cu­rated to ac­com­mo­date a de­sire for en­com­pass­ing nat­u­ral beauty.”

Of­fer­ing a dé­cor palette that is com­fort­able and stylish, it was con­ceived for en­ter­tain­ment and in­tended for grand­chil­dren, ex­tended fam­ily, and friends given the at­trac­tions of Mara Lake. Dis­play­ing an open and spa­cious lay­out, the va­ca­tion prop­erty has five bed­rooms and mul­ti­ple ameni­ties for in-home en­ter­tain­ment.

“The dé­cor features a blend of hard and soft el­e­ments with the kitchen, din­ing room, and great room pro­vid­ing a lighter palette with white cab­i­netry and fur­nish­ings,” de­scribes Humphreys. “This of­fers a jux­ta­po­si­tion of vis­ual el­e­ments be­tween the warm wood features that are off­set by mod­ern fin­ishes.”

Built on an ICF foun­da­tion, the home fur­ther features triple-pane win­dows and heat pumps for year-round com­fort. “The home has a raised el­e­va­tion from the street with nat­u­ral drainage to the lake,” ex­plains Cam Bos of Bos Homes. “Af­ter the logs were as­sem­bled there was a lot of work in­volved with blend­ing the in­te­rior with the log post-and-beam frame, but my ba­sic prin­ci­ple is to pro­vide the clients with what they want, done right.”

“Ev­ery time we walk in it’s the view of the lake with the moun­tains be­yond that we en­joy most,” ad­mit the home­own­ers. “With seven big pic­ture win­dows, it al­most feels like the house is float­ing. Work­ing to­gether with a team of skilled pro­fes­sion­als and trades, our beau­ti­ful home went up in less than a year. That says a lot about the ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to this project and the over­all re­sults proved that. We ab­so­lutely love our new va­ca­tion home.”


Fir rail­ings with glass in­serts, stain­less steel posts, and solid slab fir treads climb to a sec­ond level fea­tur­ing sim­i­lar style rail­ings. Mas­sive logs de­fine the great room where styl­ized dé­cors re­tain ca­sual com­fort. Vinyl plank flooring hosts a gal­va­nized grey fin­ish amidst large Western Red cedar logs in a nat­u­ral fin­ish. Cam­bria quartz coun­ter­tops sur­face dual-tone cab­i­netry that features flat panel, high gloss acrylic on the perime­ter with the is­land ex­hibit­ing a smooth grain ve­neer that houses fridge draw­ers, stor­age, a dish­washer, and sink with recycling pull­outs. A Sub-zero fridge/ freezer with hand­some over­lays sep­a­rates the kitchen from the din­ing room.

Min­era quartz coun­ter­tops con­tinue in the master en­suite where con­sis­tent cab­i­netry and vinyl plank hard­woods an­chor the free­stand­ing bath with stain­less steel floor mounted fixtures amidst post and beam de­tails.

A glass front en­try com­pli­ments in­te­rior fin­ishes where Fir rail­ings with glass in­serts, stain­less steel posts, and solid slab fir treads climb to a sec­ond level, fea­tur­ing sim­i­lar style rail­ings.

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