Adirondack weaver, artist creates living room centerpiece
Family traditions and the owner’s deep desire to move back to the north country inspired this log home. It reflects special memories from spending summers with her family in their log cabin. To create her own special place, she first found the land: a few acres of woods along a creek. Situating the home was the most difficult task of the entire project. She spent months looking at the land off Dodge Avenue and the views from many angles. In the end, the site allowed her to keep most of the trees on the land, including a pine tree cluster for privacy and a wonderful creek view.
The home is built of western red cedar harvested from a sustainable forest in the West, then brought to Maine, where it is air dried for years before arriving by the truckload to its final destination. Logs are up to 15-inches in diameter, hand-hewn, leaving some bark on for texture and finished with a labor-intensive hand-applied natural sealant. The house literally twists and groans for the first couple of months as the logs settle into their new purpose. Though not required, the chinking is visually important to define the logs and add character.
The design direction was “from the floor up.” First, antique hickory wide plank flooring was chosen.
During an annual Thousand Islands Art Center summer craft show, the owner fell in love with a handwoven rug called “Autumn in the Adirondacks,” by artist and weaver Lis Barsuglia-Madsen of Harrisville. Lis was commissioned to create the brightly colored striped rug for the living room. The rest of the interior design revolved around the rug. Colors could not be bright enough. The couch was upholstered in a cherry red Ultrasuede with accent pillows of each color in the rug. Throughout the house, interesting rugs, quilts and fiber art add warmth and additional color. Log and cedar walls become a gallery for artwork produced by the owner’s family.
A feature of the home is the floor-to-ceiling fireplace with a split log mantle and log brackets. Full logs frame the living room window. Even the stairway to the second floor is made of split logs. The strength of the structure can be seen in the log beam ceilings in each room. No logs were wasted, as the hall bath has a vanity made of leftover logs and a countertop of the antique hickory floor planks. The bedrooms are furnished with family heirloom beds covered with brightly colored quilts and hand-woven rugs.
For Thanksgiving, the mantel is decorated with pumpkins, squash and rosehips as well as a nature’s harvest of a bird’s nest on a branch and dried milkweed pods collected from the woods. At Christmas time, a 10-foot evergreen tree flanks the fireplace with evergreen boughs and a collection of carolers on the mantel. This is a very special place during the winter season and the holidays.
Peggy DeYoung is a nationally certified interior designer who owns the Porch and Paddle Cottage Shop in Clayton. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.