We’ve come a long way from Laura’s Little House in the Big Woods with its translucent, greased-paper windows. Today’s log homes come with a view, usually a big view. Yes, today’s log cabins still offer the warm stone hearth, and the cozy, rustic ambience of yesteryear, but they provide much more light, space, and creature comforts than the pioneers ever could have imagined. Handcrafted details, modern conveniences, contemporary design ideas, and spectacular vistas of mountain, prairie, and forest await. From a luxury lodge in Big Sky Country to a scenic lake house in Patagonia, the iconic log cabin of the American frontier has been rebooted for 21st-century living.
Mt. Charleston Log-Frame Residence in Las Vegas, Nevada
This magnificent log-frame residence in Mt. Charleston, a tranquil enclave in the Spring Mountains, is a world away, yet just 45 minutes from the glittering Las Vegas Strip. The stunning mountain views and four-season climate are in stark contrast with the neon-lit hustle of the city below. Located on Seven Dwarfs Road, this exceptional multi-level home is accessed through grand wrought-iron entry doors. Just beyond is a striking foyer crafted from hewn wood logs and accented by a dramatic wooden staircase and heated stone and tile floors. The living spaces extend to more than 6,700 square feet with five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. The core of this majestic log home is the great room, a welcoming, light-filled space with soaring, beamed ceilings, a monumental stone hearth, and vast windows to frame the spectacular mountain views. The chef’s kitchen is notable for its granite surfaces and professional-grade appliances, including a Viking gas range and Sub-Zero wine storage unit. Outside, a man-made creek bed provides a soothing atmospheric touch. The living spaces also include a modern office space, a basement gym, and an upper-level billiards room/game room, and wraparound balconies and terraces, which offer seasonal venues for entertaining guests.
The Golden West Lodge in Bigfork, Montana
The Golden West Lodge is a classic Flathead Lake cabin estate just south of the village of Bigfork, Montana. The historic 1924 lodge was meticulously restored with modern amenities while keeping the traditional log cabin experience. The property encompasses 15 acres with 888 feet of waterfront on the shores of Flathead Lake. The seven cabins have a total of 14 bedrooms, ideal for festive gatherings large or small. All have been beautifully refurbished or built anew to match the original live-edge siding and cedar interiors of the 1920s design. The interiors are bright and airy, and luxuriously appointed for relaxation after a day’s hiking or fishing. The resort-like amenities include a dedicated entertainment lodge, as well as a fitness center, lap pool, and an outdoor firepit by the lakeside, and two covered docks with a combined seven boat slips. A two-acre cherry orchard and five acres of forest complete the picture of perfection.
Leesville Lake Home in Pittsville, Virginia
Smith Mountain and Leesville Lake provide the scenic backdrop to this elegant log home in Eagle Pointe Shores, a serene lakefront community in Pittsville, Virginia. The three-story home is surrounded by 1.36 acres of wooded grounds fronting the lakeshore. Inside are three floors of fully furnished living space for relaxed family living and entertaining. The two-story great room has a high, timber-beamed ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in the light and the views of the evergreen forest surrounding the house. French doors open to a terrace with a panoramic vista of the lake and the mountains. The timber-clad country kitchen has a five-seat breakfast bar, a center island, custom cabinetry, and top-of-the-line appliances. It opens to a light-infused dining area with access to a terrace. The private quarters include five bedrooms, four full and one half bathroom. The primary suite has a luxurious spa-inspired bathroom with a private soaking tub, dual vanities, and a heated tiled floor. Residents will enjoy access to Eagle Pointe Shores’ 200 acres of private recreation grounds, offering miles of hiking and biking trails, a community dock and boat ramps.
Aruncó House in Llao Llao, Patagonia, Argentina
Llao Llao Resort, Golf and Spa is the most exclusive resort in Argentine Patagonia. One of its finest homes is Aruncó House, a luxurious 6,458-square-foot log cabin-inspired residence designed in 1941 by architect Alejandro Bustillo. The timber-frame structure is in harmony with its idyllic, five-acre setting, planted with native plants and trees, including coihue, cypress, sequoia, and myrtle, against a backdrop of Victoria Island and Nahuel Huapi Lake. The entrance to the main house opens to a great room with a wood-burning fireplace, a game area, and an office, all with timber-beamed ceilings and floors of native coihue wood. Picture windows and double doors to a terrace offer a front-row view of the lake. The 18-seat dining room is a grand affair in the style of a medieval banquet hall, complete with an open hearth. The kitchen and breakfast room have picture windows overlooking the gardens and the tennis court. An en suite guest bedroom rounds out the main level appointments. Five bedrooms, including the owner’s suite, are on the upper level along with two bathrooms. The lower level is dedicated to recreation, with a game room and media lounge, and a children’s bedroom with en suite bathroom. Ancillary structures include a two-story caretaker’s house, housekeepers’ quarters, a two-car garage, boathouse, and storage sheds. In addition to the tennis court, the private gardens include a vegetable garden, barbecue terrace, and a traditional Argentine quincho, for alfresco entertaining in the great outdoors.
The River House Estate in Telkwa, British Columbia, Canada
The River House Estate is a private compound on the Bulkley RIver between the towns of Smithers and Houston, some 200 miles from Prince George, BC, and 70 miles from the southernmost tip of Alaska. Overlooking mature forests and the Telkwa Mountains, the property offers world-class wildlife and steelhead fishing, miles of hiking and snowmobiling trails, and a lake perfect for stocking trout. There are three main structures on the property: The River House, built on a bluff overlooking the river, offers four bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half baths. Its welcoming great room, with vaulted ceiling, massive river stone chimney opens to a chef’s kitchen with granite countertops, an antique tin ceiling, two enormous circular breakfast bars with dual cooking areas, Sub-Zero refrigerator, double wall ovens, and a beverage nook/wet bar. The dining room’s artisanal tables can accommodate more than 20 guests. The lower-level entertainment spaces open onto expansive decks and 293 acres of great outdoors. The River Cabin, just steps away, is a two-story, two-bedroom, two-and-a half-bathroom guest house with a living room, full kitchen, balcony, deck, laundry room, and garage. The Lake Cabin, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, is set on a 15-acre private lake, with a deck and attached dock. Bear, moose, elk, and deer make regular appearances. Flocks of migrating swans and geese, and the endangered Western Spotted Toad visit the lake. The property is 45 minutes from Smithers Airport, a 1.5-hour flight to Vancouver.
Running Bear Log Home in Hamilton, Montana
This elegant timber and glass home on nearly 23 acres in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley is a luxurious take on mountain living. Oversized windows, wraparound porches, and wide terraces capture breathtaking vistas of the surrounding valley and mountains. A monumental fieldstone hearth warms the great room, with its 19-foot-high ceilings, timber floors, hearth, and wall of windows to frame the views. The home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an abundance of living space, from the huge open-plan game room on the lower level and elegant sitting area on the upper floor to the expansive rear deck and covered patio. The gourmet kitchen has granite countertops, backsplash, and island, as well as plenty of storage and cabinet lighting, a bay window over the sink, quality appliances, a wine cooler, wrought-iron light fixtures and a pop-out dining area. In-floor heating has been installed on two levels, while the upper level and garage have baseboard heating. Beyond the home are lawned gardens with meandering paths leading into acres of open fields and evergreen forest.