Contemporary Colorado Log Cabin

“Everything is a little old fashioned and comfortable, but the spaces were designed to be modern in orientation and feeling,” says Rich Sands, the founder of Boulder, Colorado’s Hammerwell Builders, which specialize in high-end, edgy, contemporary homes. “We like the modern style of architecture because it is honest, efficient, minimal, and not wasteful. But we also liked the idea of a cozy cabin in the mountains.” The 1,200-square foot cabin Rich and wife Janice designed with Boulder-based architecture firm Arch11 has hand-hewn log walls and slate floors in the bathroom and interior wood is stained rather than painted. So far, it’s rustic. But then the roof is corrugated steel, public spaces have smooth concrete floors, and the kitchen features open-fronted, dark-green-stained cabinetry, stone counters, and sleek appliances. “I call it ‘cabin hip,’” Janice Sands says. Rich describes the décor as “interpretative rustic.” While today the cabin is where the Sands and their guests go to relax, construction was anything but relaxing. Since the site was essentially a rock ridge and the Sands wanted the cabin to nestle into the landscape, the first phase of construction was blasting through 12 vertical feet of granite. That jolting start ensured the cabin would be unobtrusive. Standing at the lake today, which is 200 feet below the cabin, you can’t tell anything is in the rocks and trees above … unless you hear conversation and laughter flowing from the cabin’s kitchen or deck.


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