Select one of the keywords
The Not So Log Cabin: Log Element Building & Design    by Robbin Obomsawin order for
Not So Log Cabin
by Robbin Obomsawin
Order:  USA  Can
Gibbs Smith, 2003 (2003)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The author of The Not So Log Cabin is construction manager and general contractor for Beaver Creek Log Homes, and author of previous books on log building. She exhorts us to 'Think outside the log box' and discusses the addition of log element detailing to an existing or new conventional home, as opposed to taking on the cost and effort involved in a complete log dwelling. Reading the book, while sitting in an log home shell (which we are completing ourselves), I garnered quite a few ideas on finishing touches.

Obomsawin recommends a log element home 'for those who want to incorporate rustic elements of nature without living in a traditional log home.' She shows us how to use log elements 'in roof systems, floor joists, stairs, railings, and support columns', and explains the construction process and its cost. About twenty construction blueprints are included as well as a dozen railing designs, and an explanation of how to build a false-floor system to hide construction mechanicals. There's a section at the end with advice on how to work with contractors and with a third-party inspector, as well as a list of resources (architects, cabinetry, metalwork, driftwood art, log builders etc.).

It's a pleasure simply to leaf through color photos which display a variety of styles of log element homes. Examples of twig art (in entrances and in the railings of a staircase) immediately caught my eye, as did an unusual ironwork railing of forest animals. In one example, a log mantelpiece and railings are incorporated into a conventional home. In another, a dramatic covered porch uses log trusses in front of a stone structure. There's a log railed deck to enhance a cottage, and another (cedar) log entry porch with natural twig art railings.

A cozy kids' loft bedroom has 'tree house charm'. And another whimsical child's bedroom uses delightful 'bear-post beds', a log ridgepoles and purlins. The king post over a jacuzzi tub is attractive, as are a variety of log-enhanced kitchens (I especially like the log-element pass-through in one, and a stained glass transom in another). A log-stucco combination does not work for me, but tastes certainly vary. I do like the idea of an efficient Russian stove in between living room and kitchen, in another photo.

The author tells us that 'This architectural form blurs the lines between what is man-made and what is natural.' The Not So Log Cabin is a lovely coffee table book that will entice and inspire you to add log elements to your home - get yourself a copy or give one to a friend who dreams of the natural log look.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews