Having known these clients for several years, through two previous projects and many wonderful years in between as personal friends, John and Cary were very intrigued when they decided to build a 11,000 square foot custom log cabin in Michigan on a very large piece of private property with 225 wooded acres, two ponds, preserved wetlands and a horse and stable barn.
The scale of the logs is imperative in a large scale log building. The diameter of the logs ranges from 24" to 30" — using old growth pine logs from Northern Michigan in order to keep the home warm, believable and true to the stature of such log homes. With proper maintenance, the building could last 400 years, so the impact on nature is much less than one might think. Furthermore, the home is not at all dark because Cannon Frank maintained the large scale throughout with divided light windows and glass French doors — all of which were kept to scale with the ceiling heights, room sizes and desired illumination and views. The house was oriented to take advantage of the sunlight (in summer and winter), the spectacular views and to ensure privacy.
The amazing artisans set up shop on site and fabricated every single floor board, ceiling board, cabinet, doorway and trim in a hand-scraped finish texture with one-of-a kind hand-forged hardware throughout the entire house. Even the staircase was built by hand. The granite for the foundation, the pool decking and coping, all seven fireplaces (with intricately placed boulders to help in the creation of the correct scale of this home) and the master bathroom shower is all of the same Western Canadian Rockies stone with unbelievable details.
The furnishings range from simple, earthy, woven, all-natural fabrics and worn leathers, to delicate wool and silk Persian rugs, Adirondack custom furnishings (including a cypress tree log daybed and walnut "finger-sliced" slabs for the master bedroom headboard), to 18th and 19th Century European antiques, Texas log outdoor furnishings and custom porch furniture made by local artisans including a 7'-6" porch swing. The home was destined to be casual yet elegant, earthy but not "cowboys and Indians," functional and very much for entertainment and outdoor activities (thus, the outdoor kitchen) including swimming, ATV routes, horseback riding, motorcycling, snowmobile routes and anything to do with Mother Nature. The artwork is a blend of contemporary paintings, outsider art, numerous oils from the late 19th and early 20th Century, sculptures and family memorabilia. All of this combined makes this home a personal retreat for the clients' dreams to come true, which in turn, helps John Cannon realize one of his dreams — to help his friends create their dream home.
Photographs by Roger Wade, Video by E3 Photography.