The bunkie

Colin and Justin’s new bunkie is a modern log cabin

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Log cabins embody a certain feel-good factor. Escapist, romantic, rustic—the very mention conjures up images of mountain men harmoniously living with nature. The reality is that here, in the 21st century, they still deliver warmth, charm, and beauty in spades.

Having previously owned a log cabin in Muskoka, we know from firsthand experience how our guests’ emotions were stirred up each time they visited. And so, when faced with the task of adding further guest accommodation to our rental cabin, we jumped at the idea of some log loveliness.

Shopping around for inspiration we touched base with Discovery Dream Homes who we’d previously worked with on our own cabin’s sunroom. After some explanation about how we wanted to echo the build style of the main cottage and incorporate an overhang-style roof (we saw lots of these while filming a show in Australia) we were ready to start planning. But do log homes and modernity go together? Let’s see…

Discovery’s Shawn Hunter and Nicole Sokol were able to put virtual pen to paper as they skillfully created plans using their own revolutionary 3D software. So before we’d even ordered a single log, we were able to walk through 3D renderings showing room sizes and relationships and then “walk” outside to stand back and see how the finished structure would look. Think pitched roof, lots of glass, and square-cut log walls—amazing! Two bedrooms, a shower room, and living room would make ideal additional guest accommodation and take our total to six bedrooms—perfect for the rental market.

With Randy and his team tied up with the main cabin renovation, we enlisted the guys from Mason Brothers Construction—they’d worked on the timber frame construction of the sunroom, so we knew they’d be right for the job. And what a job it was! We’re talking biblical amounts of rain, hailstorms, and chilling temperatures that would have made lesser men run for cover. Thankfully, the boys held their nerve and battled through to finish our log cabin just in the nick of time. If you watched the episode, you’ll appreciate just what a task it was!

One surefire way to add modernity to any home is to increase the amount of glass—not only will you update the architecture, you’ll also increase the amount of natural light and increase the feeling of connectivity as you enjoy greater views of the lush countryside around. Our window supplier Chris Meiorin, of Euro Vinyl Windows advised that, if building from scratch, you can speed up order times and keep costs down by discussing which units are stock items—these will be cheaper than custom made and you can then build the walls to accommodate. You’ll get the glass you want and you’ll pay less into the bargain. Good advice and great windows too—and all this from a window suppler who’s actually a neighbour on our lake. Talk about shopping locally!

You may have managed a glimpse through the rough, snowy weather as we finished filming the show, but trust us, now that spring is here, our Bestway Stone pavers, in a beautiful grey, lightly textured slab, look amazing as a smooth stone finish sandwiched between the honey tones of the logs and the green grass of our lawn. When we think of how hard landscaping expert Giles Bridgnell of York Durham Interlocking battled with the snow, mud, and hail, it’s a wonder that the path is so level and true—good work boys!

Turning our attentions inside, we decided to colour wash the log walls in a milky, washy finish. This done, we furnished the living area with a mix of grey upholstery, wooden chairs and a black rocker. Flooring is by Kentwood (available at metrofloors.com) installed by Taylor Carpet One, Huntsville. To amplify function, we tricked out an Ikea kitchen cabinet (wrapped in worktop) to serve as a useful station for a Nespresso coffee machine and associated cups and saucers. Guests need coffee!

With two bedrooms—one double bedroom that’s a homage to Canadian red and black check and the other twin room, a symphony of blue—we’re confident guests will love the escapism our log cabin Bunkie offers, whilst enjoying great views to the countryside. And the wonderful feeling they’ll get when they leave the blinds open and wake up in the forest with the sun as their alarm clock. Bliss! So if you’re looking for the wonder of the wilderness, the heritage of the homestead and a connection to the great outdoors, then why not ‘branch out’ and build your own modern log cabin Bunkie!

Watch the third season of Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure on Cottage Life TV, Sundays at 9pm et/pt. Find your channel here.

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