This Arts and Crafts log house in the Catskill Mountains is situated on 47 acres near a lake and a 35,000-acre Boy Scout camp. When Lois and Arnold Melman wanted to build a weekend home, they looked for a secluded location close to their principal residence in Westchester County, New York. That’s when they discovered 47 acres in the Catskills.
Lois was reminded of her city-dwelling father’s wish to retire to a cabin in the mountains after seeing the wooded property. Her father died before he could complete his cabin-building goal, but the couple pledged to construct a log cabin in his honor. They carried his fantasy of a wood cabin to the next level. They chose to create an Arts and Crafts style wood cabin rather than a traditional wood cabin.
The pair was inspired by Greene & Greene’s Blacker House. Although the exterior of the 1907 California mansion was not logged, it did have a lot of wood. The pair came across a 1995 Arts and Crafts-style log house constructed by Seattle architect Bob Hoshide while studying cabin building concepts. They reached out to the architect, who agreed to design their log cabin getaway. Hoshide paid a visit to the land and was inspired by the surroundings, starting with the Blacker House and Greene and Greene’s Gamble home design. The cabin was built over the course of a year, with ideas being exchanged back and forth via email.
The cabin’s large overhangs are a distinguishing feature. They emphasize the house’s low profile, which is reminiscent of the Blacker House’s silhouette. Because the Arts and Crafts log house lacks an upper level, they built a 1,000-square-foot guest house that serves as a second floor just steps away from the main log house. A breezeway connects the guest house to the main log home and is oriented to allow a view from the main log house.
The architect told the owners that they would like to be able to observe what they had designed in the guest house while sitting in the main house kitchen. Frank Lloyd Wright was influenced by the log house as well. Whatever you make, Wright felt, you are talking with nature. The log home is one with nature because it is on one level, has plenty of windows, and has a few of outdoor places.
A half-mile driveway climbs up through the woods to reach the New York Arts and Crafts log house, which sits on top of a 1,200-foot mountain. The Melmans shopped around for a log home company before opting on Estemerwalt Log Homes in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, close across the border. They chose eastern white pine logs from the log home manufacturer, which were milled to full round with 12-inch diameters. Except for a framed wall that forms the laundry/pantry and another for the entertainment area outside the master bedroom, the logs extend inside the log house to define interior spaces without enclosing them, leaving everything else in the residence open.