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A Traditional Log Home, Reimagined

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Modern houses by Carlos Zwick Architekten Modern
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Envision a log cabin, and you probably picture a quaint, wooden structure nestled in a heavily wooded forest, housing a fireplace that warms a cozy, rustic interior. 

This homify tour exhibits a different kind a log cabin, featuring a home with more modern, minimalist, and cubist elements. This modern log cabin, located in the up market residential district of Kleinmachnow, Germany, was constructed by Carlos Zwick Architects, a Berlin-based architecture firm. The home they've built is stylish and contemporary, but it's more than just a pretty face: it's design includes many sustainable and eco-friendly features. It's also highly practical: although formed as one building, there are two separate apartments accommodated inside, allowing two families to simultaneously enjoy this woodland retreat.

First Glance

It's a far cry from the pointy, shingled room and smoking chimney of your traditional woodland retreat! Here, a proud facade extends with a large balcony over the backyard. The back areas of the home are inviting and open, but the other side (as you'll see) has been kept more enclosed to preserve a sense of privacy from the nearby street. The windows here offer a mirror-like surface that reflects the surrounding trees, allowing this modern, geometrical structure to better blend in with its surroundings. You'll notice that the balcony doesn't just serve as a lovely viewing area, but also functions as a roof to keep firewood dry. 

The Street-side View

Viewing the home from the street, you can see how the walls have been built to maintain a sense of privacy in the home, with an upper floor whose windowed surface sits back, nestled behind the bottom entrance area. Here, you can see how the cedar planks used in the home's design reflect the sunlight, another aspect that allows this home to be one with its surroundings, changing the hues of its exterior walls as the sun makes its way from dawn to dusk. 

A quick glance at the shapes present in this design will tell you that this home employs many elements of Cubism, with the blocky, rectangular shapes of just about every feature providing a stark contrast to the rugged, natural shapes in the forest that surrounds it. It's Cubist influence is also present in the home's use of materials – a common theme in Cubist design is to take a raw material, cut it up, and rearrange it in a new, abstract form. That said, home's clever use of materials employs Cubism in that it has turned wild, natural wood into a highly geometrical, measured structure.

Cubic creativity

Another theme in Cubism is the blending of the old and the new. Of course, the entire structure gives a subtle nod to this theme with its blend of log cabin and modern cubist home. Here on the upper deck, this old and new theme is continued with the combination of the gray, weathered wooden surface on the top and bottom and the brighter yellows and reds in between. 

This upper patio proves that the home is not as closed off as its looks from the street! This living room has clear views through the windows that span two entire sides of the home – the result is sunny, open, and airy, and it's also somewhat reminiscent of a forest watchtower.

A Minimalist Living Room

With the forest visible through floor-to-ceiling windows, this minimalist living room lets nature take the spotlight. The thoughtful, simple design of this room allows green leaves, tree trunks, blue sky to shine through, providing a mural that changes with the seasons. The minimalist living room expresses itself as a modern setting that is pleasing to all the senses without competing with the views. A simple shade of white covers the walls (what's left of them, anyway!) and the ceiling, while warm wooden planks cover the floors. This low-maintenance color scheme allows for some mismatching pieces, like the two armchairs, which add personality to the minimal design.

It's interesting to note that the living room's focal point is not a television – as it is in most modern homes – but rather a fireplace! Chairs scattered to the left and right of the fireplace are friendly and sociable, but their placement also portrays a sense of solitude, as if the furniture in the room as been set up to give each person as much personal space as possible, an appropriately peaceful layout for a woodland retreat.

If you like designs that incorporate nature, you'll also enjoy this homify tour of a family home that's one with nature

Dining Room with a View

This dining room offers a hint of a traditional log cabin with its sturdy wooden table, quaint teapot, and cane chairs. However, the dining room enjoys much more sunlight than you'd typically imagine in a cabin setting, creating a convenient space for a well-lit morning read. The large windows also offer the benefits of passive heating (encouraging heat to enter the home naturally, and retaining it through properly insulated or reflective windows) in a region of the world known for chilly winters.

Convenient Bathroom

The décor in this bathroom inspires a sense of being in a high-end spa retreat! Light enters through the only exterior window in the room – the sky light – and is reflected in the large mirrors placed throughout the bathroom. An extra-long white tub draws eyes as its long parallel lines lengthen the room in a relaxed, drawn out manner.

Despite its sense of refinement, this bathroom also houses convenient features, like the pair of sinks located side by side on the counter, which offers a large open storage space below. The home may be minimalist and abstract, but when it comes to the morning rush, the bathroom is well-equipped to get everyone out the door. 

The Real Luxury

The interior of the home is modern, comfortable, and sleek. But this photo captures the real luxuries of this living space: its proximity to the great outdoors. The nearby stream provides a glassy surface for a reflection of this modern log cabin, which, from this side, boasts more windows than it does walls. The family (or families) that enjoy life in this woodland cabin are sure to spend plenty of time soaking in the natural sights, and with an open design like this, they can do so year-round from the comfort of their own living room!

If you enjoyed the tour, you might enjoy a look at another Cubist-inspired home - this ideabook explores a modern home that teeters on the edge of a cliff!

What do you think of this modern family log cabin? Share your insight below.
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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