Contemporary Log Cabin Designs


How does a big family fit into a small vacation home? By living outdoors more than in.

Now that the Roses have retired, they spend the whole summer at their two-bedroom cottage in Nantucket. When dieir three grown sons and their wives and children come to visit, “they’re obliged to rent their own places,” Herb Rose says, “which isn’t necessarily the worst thing”

When the entire clan gets together for the day and evening, they spread out across the huge deck that embraces two sides of the cottage. The expanse is broken up into outdoor “rooms” distinct areas for grilling, dining, sunbathing, or sunset gatherings by the outdoor fireplace. (It backs up to the fireplace in the master bedroom.) Even better, one can see the ocean from the deck. Cottage-goers spill down three low steps onto the grassy lawn that extends to a beach pathway. The finished surfside cottage offers exactly what the Roses wanted: casual indoor/outdoor “hospitality” for themselves and their guests.


When the new owners found it, the Colorado ranch house was sagging off a loose stone foundation. Most of the original flooring, installed when the ranch was built in the early 1900s, was gone. Doors were missing. Windows were broken. Trees had fallen on the roof\ leaving sunlight streaming through the ceiling. Rodents had moved in. Delicately put, “it was in a difficult state,” says Bill Coburn, owner of Coburn Development, Inc., and lead visionary on the restoration team that brought Coburn’s newly acquired cabin back to life in 2001.

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If the ranch’s age was a liability to its last residents a family of cattle ranchers who moved our in the 1960s it would become the building’s lifeline to rescuers Coburn and team. The crew cut their teeth renovating structures that were just as dilapidated in Boulder, Colorado. “Our background was having the vision to look at something in that incredible state of disrepair and see a way to make it work,” says Coburn. He was intent on preserving the buildings history. And since it’s nestled in a picturesque spot right next to the river on the 300-acre Gunnison River Ranch development

A snapshot of the original cabin shows its sagging foundation, missing windows, and warped siding. But the Idyllic setting made the revamp worthwhile.

The ranch’s outdoor sink Is handy for cleaning boots, gear, or fish. near the town of Gunnison, he knew the old place would make an ideal guesthouse and fly-fishing hub for the development s residents.


Fun amenities, a clubhouse feel for fly-fishermen, and historic preservation were high on the list of priorities for the renovation. Not only would the ranch be a place where guests could unwind, have fun with friends, and prep fishing gear, the experience would be like stepping back in time. Old barns, fence posts, outhouses, ranching implements even a retired railroad bridge over the river are scattered throughout the acreage surrounding the ranch house. “We fixed everything up to a certain level where it would sustain itself, but we tried to not take anything past what it used to be,” he savs.

As much as possible, updates to the 1,100-square-foot ranch house, which includes a great room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a laundry room, followed the same idea. Initially, the team talked about expanding the guesthouse’s footprint or adding a second story. But, Coburn says, the ranch’s spot 011 the river made it “really sweet anti quaint,” and the team ultimately decided against a major addition. “It would’ve been a disservice to try to make the ranch house more than it was it would’ve been changing its feel,” he says.

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