Envision your own rustic retreat with ideas from a Connecticut couple whose love for their log home rivals their passion for primitives.
Establish an inviting ambience in your home by following the lead of a Connecticut couple who fell for a log cabin and shaped it into the rustic retreat of their dreams via style-appropriate updates and comfortable furnishings.
Patti Spitler had always been intrigued by dwellings with a rustic vibe. So, when she spotted a “for sale” ad for a log home in Amston, Connecticut, she and her husband, Tom, decided to check it out. They were immediately smitten. “We drove by and fell in love with it,” Patti recalls. “We just thought, ‘This is for us.’”
Since that fateful day in 1992 when the couple decided to purchase the 1,400-square-foot New England log home, Patti has developed a keen eye for the country primitive style that makes the structure shine. She notes that she’s now undoing some of her earlier projects, such as removing wallpaper and textured wall treatments. “I’m getting more and more primitive. I want to stay true to what I think is a simple country style,” she explains.
The couple made noticeable changes to the home’s facade, including building a detached barn-style garage, painting the entire exterior and constructing a large deck. The Spitlers’ largest interior project took place a few years ago when Patti worked with a local furniture maker to design and build a new kitchen. They added soapstone countertops, a tumbledmarble backsplash and a farmhouse-style sink, along with new cabinets with a distressed finish. The cabinets were first painted black and then top-coated with slate before being sanded and waxed. The cabinetmaker also constructed custom board-and-batten doors for use throughout the home.
When it comes to achieving the uncomplicated decor she favors, Patti designs with her collections. She groups baskets and crocks together, not only creating small focal points but also “hiding and storing the everyday living stuff,” she notes. Textiles are freely mixed and matched—gathered en masse on shelves, piled atop beds and hung on walls. Reproduction custom furniture mingles with antique pieces and items found in local shops.
Her simplest—as well as budget-friendly—technique for reinvigorating a room is to experiment with window dressings. “Either remove them, or pull them back, tie them one way and then another,” Patti explains. “Doing so, I walk in and see the room a little differently.”
This self-proclaimed homebody finds the process of making her log cabin into a comfortable haven for herself and Tom something that fills her heart and spirit. “It is a very joyful hobby,” she enthuses.
Patti and Tom Spitler often stroll the peaceful grounds of their property with Lila, their 2-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, by their sides.
Compose a symmetrical seating area by arranging two identical chairs on either side of a slim chimney cupboard. Patti had hers custom made years ago. Place coordinating pillows and blankets on each chair for added layers of interest.