High Among the Pines

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Log Cabin Homes

When Judy and Richard Steed of Fort Worth, Texas, began planning their retirement home, they wanted a place where they could retreat from the busyness of their normal routine. While visiting their daughter’s home in Montana several years ago, the couple discovered The Stock Farm Club, a private, golf-based community nestled in the Bitterroot Valley. They loved it and decided to purchase a lot in the Mountain Home sites, tucked in the foothills of the Sapphire Mountains. “We wanted to be up in the pine trees,” Judy explains. “And the homeowners are required to keep the landscaping as natural as possible, so there are lots of trees and sagebrush in the yard. It makes a nice drive-by scene.”

Custom designed by Kibo Group Architecture, based in Missoula, Montana, and produced by Rocky Mountain Log Homes of Hamilton, Montana, the Steeds’ home is conventionally framed with real log accents both inside and outside the home. The home’s exterior features Rocky Mountain Log Home’s historical log siding. Cut from logs that have aged in the forest, historical log siding preserves the tree’s bark and cambium layer to feature a rough, antiqued finish, explains Kibo Group president Jeremy Oury. “When you apply chinking between the logs, it looks nice and weathered,” Oury says. “And the wood is thick enough to represent a good thermal mass, so it’s pretty efficient.” The dormers are covered with board and batten siding as developed exclusively for the Stock Farm community by Rocky Mountain Log Homes. The roof, an elaborate system combining timber frame elements and log components such as purlins and rafters, adds to the home’s rustic, warm feel. While the 5,000-square-foot home is spacious, it has a compact footprint that fits comfortably on the Steeds’ two-acre site and includes all of the luxuries they need. Above the garage, for example, is a 776-square-foot guest suite, complete with a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms.The Steeds designed their home with one-level living in mind, thinking ahead to retirement and the time when it may become more difficult to navigate stairs. Additionally, all of the doors are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. With breathtaking views surrounding the home, the Steeds did not overlook their outdoor living spaces. The dining room leads out to a large covered patio where the homeowners and their guests can enjoy watching the sunsets over the Bitterroot Valley. Additionally, there are covered porches outside the master suite and the great room. On the back side of the house, a stone staircase leads up the hill toward Stock Farm’s swimming pool, tennis courts, exercise room, and clubhouse, giving the homeowners convenient access to all the amenities. 

As for style, Judy wanted her home to exude an atmosphere of comfort and “understated elegance.” She hired the Fort Worth firm of Joseph Minton, Inc., working closely with senior designer Lisa Teakell, RID, ASID, and their old friend Joe Minton, founder and president. “The main consideration for the Steeds was for the home to be comfortable and not necessarily to be a show place,” Teakell says. “We chose materials that would last—traditional and durable materials such as mohair and sheepskin.” The home features a mix of unusual, yet beautiful, finishes that add character. In the kitchen, for example, the countertop on the island is made of mesquite wood, an indigenous tree in the Steeds’ native Texas. The kitchen cabinets, made of alder wood, feature “cames” of grooved lead (similar to what’s used in stained glass) in the crevices that run around the perimeter of the doors. “Most everything in the house, from furniture to finishes, was custom-designed for the home,” Teakell says. “It was just a fun, neat project for great clients.” 

Set in Stone
The Steed home features natural stone finishes inside and out that are built with Chief Joseph stone found near Flathead Lake, Montana. Stonework was used on the indoor and outdoor fireplaces and along the foundation. The front porch, which has a stone wall around it, features a large, built-in stone bench that provides additional seating for guests. Artist Peggy Steffes of Stone Arch Designs in Stevensville, Montana, built the stone retaining wall around the front of the Steed residence, giving the family a small, flat section in their front yard. Steffes also created the stone staircase in the backyard that leads up the hill to Stock Farm’s club pool, tennis courts, exercise room, and clubhouse. The rocks were gathered from forests in the nearby Bitterroot Mountains and incorporated into the landscaping throughout the property. The pine tree railing was made from naturally curved branches found in the nearby forests.

Dazzling Doors
One of the most striking artistic details of the Steeds’ home provides a warm welcome to visitors upon arrival. Artist Amy Boughton of Missoula, Montana (www.boughtonstudios.com), created an exquisite birch tree stained glass entryway for the couple. The front door and sidelights feature the design, bringing light and color into the foyer. “We wanted it to look like you were looking out and the trees were right there in front of you,” Judy says. With glass on the three exterior walls of the foyer, Judy describes her front entrance as “creating the feeling that you’re walking into a glass box.”

Easy Living
The Steeds’ home was designed for their retirement years. Everything they need is on one floor. Guests have accommodations in the loft or in a suite over the garage. A huge patio runs from the front door all the way back to the dining room and there are porches off the master bedroom and great room. The views are spectacular from the inside and from the outdoor living spaces. The home’s footprint may be small, but the visual impact is large.

Home Facts
Log Home Producer: Rocky Mountain Log Homes, Hamilton, Montana
Log Home Designer: Kibo Group Architecture, P.C., Missoula, Montana
Builder: General One, Columbia Falls, Montana
Square Footage: 5,056
Bedrooms: 4 
Baths: 4 Full, 2 Half


Article PDF: 

 L-May11 Steed.pdf


Our home has the feel of an old Yellowstone Lodge..

— M. Alber  

Rocky Mountain Homes from my experience are efficient, professional, skilled and knowledgeable. I am impressed by their workmanship. Being quite knowledgeable in the construction field myself, I am impressed with their attention to detail when it comes to  finish work.   They are thorough, attentive to detail, and very professional in their work.

— J. Schuler   See project ›

The hands on approach to every aspect of our project and attention to detail gave us the peace of mind we needed.  We just completed our dream home and could not be happier

— Daniel Weinstein