Log Cabin Paradise Comes with a Fairytale Playhouse

What would your dream getaway in the woods look like? If you love a combination of rustic charm, modern amenities, luxurious details, plenty of space for the whole family and gorgeous scenery, this Canadian log cabin paradise might be right up your alley. Featured in Log Home Living, the country retreat overlooks a lake near Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec.

The house was originally custom-designed and built by local log home builder Patriote Home for a Norwegian family, which explains all the fairytale Scandinavian touches.

“Tucked in one corner of the garden, a playhouse that looks as though it was plucked from a fairy tale is the spot the couple’s two young grandchildren gravitate towards most during their visits. The Scandinavian-style structure was built from a kit that the previous owners had shipped over from Norway. The 15-by-15-foot, well-insulated building includes electricity, elaborately carved details and, topping it all off, a grass roof that keeps the interior warm in winter and cool in summer. When the grass gets too long, the owner climbs onto the roof and trims it with a weed-eater. The same type of eco-friendly roof covers the detached garage, as well.”

New owners Mario Lavoie and Carole Rousseau were in love with the 20-year-old Eastern White Pine log home, and added some personal touches of their own, hiring an interior designer to bring in just the right mix of contemporary furnishings. The front of the home is stunning, but the back is clearly the star of the show: it features floor-to-ceiling glass on the two upper levels and a second-story deck overlooking a gorgeous terraced garden.

Learn more about why so many builders choose Eastern White Pine for timber frame structures.


Pine Chicken Coop Styled Like a Miniature Log Cabin

Pine chicken coop log cabin

Have you seen any fun uses of pine lumber lately? This one is pretty cool: a wooden chicken coop installed on the wooded grounds of a summer house in rural Finland, styled to resemble a scaled-down log cabin.

Designed by London-based studio Chan Brisco Architects, the Kana Talo chicken house adapts a local traditional architecture style for use by up to eight chicken residents. It’s common to see stacked log construction throughout the Nordic region, which makes use of all the tall, straight pine trees growing in the area.

Pine chicken coop log cabin stacked on logs

Located on the southern shore of Lake Porovesi just a few hours from the Arctic Circle, the chicken house sits beside a log-built summer house, sauna and wood storage shed. The clients wanted a coop the hens could enjoy during the summer months that would also fit in with the other structures.

The architects note that today’s timber frame buildings are often placed on concrete foundations, but they wanted to honor the local tradition of stacking the logs above and between large stones gathered from the landscape.

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The practice has looked to this culture of building, well recognised by local Savonians, to form a design approach that will be familiar but with its own attractive and perhaps peculiar accent.”

“Set atop four large granite stones, the wooden structure joins the hand-hewn, stacked and notched, interlocking timbers of the pine-rich region. Raising the structure limits its exposure to wet ground, ensures it dries swiftly, and puts at ease the birds within who prefer to sleep off of the ground – a raked roost extends this consideration inside.”

Pine chicken coop log cabin detail

A single stair carved out of driftwood offers hens access to the interiors, which are well ventilated with a series of cored openings in the perimeter beam. The timber is finished with a clear matte protective coating, which the owners will maintain each summer.

Luxury Log Cabin in New Jersey Made of Hand-Peeled Eastern White Pine

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Recently sold in Stillwater, New Jersey, about an hour outside New York City, is an incredible custom log cabin in the country – though the word “cabin” doesn’t exactly convey the reality of this luxurious residence. Sitting on nearly 25 private acres of equestrian farmland, the home is made from hand-peeled Eastern White Pine logs using the Scandinavian full scribe technique, in which each log is notched to fit together without the use of fasteners like nails and screws.

“Pioneers never dreamed of a log cabin this spacious and luxurious,” says a headline at the Daily Record, and they’re probably right.

The generously proportioned great room features floor-to-ceiling windows offering pastoral views and a floor-to-ceiling propane gas fireplace constructed of stone, limestone and granite. An open double stairway leads to a loft and the lower level. The great room’s soaring ceiling is brightened by stained-glass lighting fixtures and integrated ambient lighting. French doors open onto a second story deck with a large gable porch.”

“The main floor master suite is a sunlit haven with cathedral ceilings and large display lofts. French doors open to the outside deck. The master bathroom with double French hinged doors leads to a 1,200-pound travertine marble soaking tub with freestanding custom faucet, an antique stained-glass light, dual walk-in closets, a travertine-and-pebble shower with seat and sprays, and a reclaimed copper-and-choke-cherrywood vanity with antler handles and a hand-hammered copper sink.”

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The 5,400-square-foot home also features hand-built open log stairways, a walk-in chef’s pantry, a guest suite, three insulated oversized garages, custom wooden doors, Energy Star appliances, six-zone radiant heating beneath the flooring, materials like river-washed marble and floating cork and a passive solar design. That’s barely the half of it. You can read the rest of the details on this unusual home at The Daily Record and see a full gallery at Coldwell Banker.

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Now, back to those hand-peeled logs. If you’ve ever wondered just what goes into a process like this, check out the video above. It really reinforces how much craftsmanship and care went into log structures that were entirely handmade, before the days of modern tools and machinery.

Pine Warms Up a Former Industrial Building at Finland’s Dream Hotel

Modern Pine Dream Hotel Finland

Dovetail log cabins are a true classic, bringing rustic style and beautiful craftsmanship together with stunning results. Often used with hand-hewn square logs, this corner style is rarely seen outside historic structures and residential construction – so it’s refreshing to find it not only in a commercial application, but set against an industrial backdrop.

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Designed by Studio Puisto as an extension of the Dream Hotel across the street, this striking structure is actually a sauna envisioned as a “communal living room” for the community in Tampere, Finland. Set within an old industrial red brick neighborhood, the 540-square-foot facility takes over a former customs checkpoint turned warehouse building full of hard, cold concrete and glass.

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In keeping with the building’s history and raw materials, Studio Puisto maintained a minimalist design with pale gray cabinetry, concrete floors, exposed ductwork and clean-lined furniture. But all of these elements could have had an unwelcoming vibe if not for the addition of so much pine.

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Naturally, the stacked log sauna in the center of the room is the main attraction. It’s made of pine from top to bottom, including the benches inside. But pine is also seen in the knotty built-ins of the locker rooms, the long dining tables in the cafe, the slatted screens providing filtered daylight and privacy and the modern chairs and tables strewn throughout the space.

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“The resulting architecture embodies a sense of nostalgia, carrying out a lively, complementary dialogue between the two,” say the architects. “The resulting ambiance is a calm, peaceful one that creates a resounding appetite for sauna from the moment one steps inside.”

Design: Studio PuistoPhotography by Riikka Kantinkoski

Cabin Dreams: 6 Sweet Rustic Getaways Made of Pine

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Cabin fever isn’t always a bad thing. Who among us hasn’t daydreamed about getting away to the woods, keeping cozy by the fire while gazing up at the hand-hewn beams of a charming little structure made of pine? Whether your personal style leans toward clean and modern, rustic and old fashioned or somewhere in between, you’ll find something in these six pine cabins that’ll have you looking up cabin rentals near you… or planning to build one of your very own.

Estemerwalt Log Homes, Pennsylvania

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Estemerwalt Log Homes proudly uses Eastern White Pine to craft its gorgeous getaways, and even boasts its own sawmill. “Every log, every piece of siding, every timber, every piece of tongue and groove, and nearly every wood surface you will see in your new home was sawn, dried and manufactured right here,” they say.

Adirondack White Pine Cabins, New York

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Adirondack Pine Cabins

Built in Saranac Lake, New York, the Adirondack White Pine Cabins are made from locally milled and harvested white pine lumber to be as energy efficient as possible, and they’re adorable, too.

Real Log Homes of Vermont

Real Log Homes Small Cabin

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“Eastern white pine is our most popular wood species,” says Vermont building company Real Log Homes, which produces a stunning lineup of residences in styles like “Mountain,” “Waterfront,” “Contemporary” and “Small Cabin.” The latter is pictured here. Cute, huh?

Vermont Cabin by Jamaica Cottage Company

Jamaica Cottage Company Vermont Cabin

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Want to get a tiny cabin up on your property ASAP? The Jamaica Cottage Shop offers a variety of cabin models that are charming as can be, like the 20×40 Vermont Cabin model pictured above. They’re available as kits, plans or – if you’re in the Northeast – fully assembled and delivered to your site.

Log Cabin Homes in Rocky Point, North Carolina

Log Cabin Homes Rocky Point

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“Eastern White Pine is lightweight, soft, even-textured, light in color and easily worked, making it a great choice of pine log homes,” says Log Cabin Homes, a builder based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. “Eastern White Pine is probably the least resinous of all pines. Its remarkable durability is evidenced by the number of houses built of Eastern White Pine in New England 200 or more years ago still in existence.”

Eagle Pond House, New Hampshire

Eagle Pond House New Hampshire

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Crisp and modern, Eagle Pond House was designed and built by the architect-owners using locally sourced Eastern White Pine as well as wood cut down on the property. Working on a tight budget, the couple crafted almost every detail by hand, including the kitchen cabinetry.

Modern Pine Home in Finland Puts a New Twist on the Classic Log Cabin

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What does a modernized version of a log cabin look like? In Finland, a forest home by architecture firm Pluspuu Oy gives us one beautiful example, stacking thick laminated pine logs with modern mitered corner joints and a design that prioritizes natural light and views of the landscape outside. One entire wall consists of floor-to-ceiling windows so inhabitants can look out onto the lake through the surrounding trees.

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The architects note that they built the house to withstand frosty temperatures that can dip as low as -22 degrees in winter, with geothermal heat as the source of warmth. Unlike in traditional log buildings, there are no overlaps or visible cross corners in the logs that make up the exterior and interior walls.

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“The 202x205mm laminated timber log consists of three-layer glued pine – the hard heartwood always forms the outer layer,” they explain. “In Finland, logs are also used for constructing schools and kindergartens, for example, these days. The most important criterion for using timber logs in the construction of public buildings is the clean and healthy indoor air in the log house.”

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“The windows are triple-glazed thermal glass. Blown-in wood fiber insulation, made of a material as breathable as timber logs, is used for the roof insulation. So we can talk about a truly ecological construction approach.”