Follow along as log home owner, Christine Holbert, shares her story of how she came to be living the log cabin dream – a dream she had developed in her childhood.
Listen to her story on the My Dream Log Cabin Podcast.
Christine’s story begins when her parents immigrated from Ukraine to the US in the 1950’s. They brought with them heirlooms and pictures of their home. As a girl, Christine spent hours peering over the pictures. Many of which depicted family members in and around their Ukrainian log homes. This is when her inspiration ignited.
She goes on to share with us some of the differences between Ukrainian log homes compared to those we are accustomed to in the US. In Ukraine, the floors of the homes are usually made out of clay and they use clay to fill in cracks as the home settles. The clay is then painted white which acts as a backdrop for beautiful murals of brightly colored flowers, birds, and nature scenes.
They also had special stoves that were centrally placed in the home. Christine did not design her home with this stove because she wasn’t sure she could get an authentic Ukraniane stove.
Finding Her Paradise
After marrying her husband who was a surgeon, Christine and her family had to live in a city so her husband could be close to a hospital. They found themselves in Spokane, Washington and as a result, her log home dream was temporarily put on hold.
Later, when she and her husband decided to separate she went searching for a new location. She researched nearby areas and discovered that the Sandpoint, Idaho region is considered a temperate rainforest which reminded her of her childhood home in upstate New York. She found a beautiful plot of land alongside Lake Pend Oreille; tucked away from the highway. In the podcast she says, “I grew up on a lake. I wanted to be near water so that really clenched it to have a 43 mile long lake out front.”
Finding a Log Home Contractor
After purchasing her land she did some online research and discovered that many log home companies were based out of nearby Hamilton, Montana. Armed with her hand-drawn floor plan idea, she made the journey to visit log home builders. She was very discouraged when she received quotes that were too expensive for her budget.
Although she was discouraged, she was not giving up. She decided to do a little more research looking for a local builder. Her search led her to Caribou Creek Log Homes. She took her napkin drawing to the team in Bonners Ferry and they quoted her a very reasonable price. She signed her contract that day!
Finding a General Contractor
Considering that this was Christine’s first time having a custom log home built she was unaware that she needed to hire a general contractor. After she discussed her situation with Caribou Creek Founder John Byler, he put her in touch with a contractor, Dan Coblentz, who finished the home.
Caribou Creek set the logs on October 5, 1998 and in June of 1999 she moved in.
She describes the feeling of moving in as “Unbelievable!”
Christine had a friend that was an antique dealer. Her friend was able to get a few treasures from overseas including a beautifully hand carved door and frame from Pakistan along with a decorative pillar that she has in the basement.
She finished the floors of the main level with Saltillo tile from Nogales, Mexico.
The bedroom floors are a unique design. Large black and white squares are painted on the wooden floor and accented with wrought iron rivets.
Christine’s home is decorated with unique art work from all over the world giving it an ecclectic Bohemian flare that pleases the eye. Each piece brings joy to her artistic spirit. Her custom log home is still as much a treasure as it ever was.
Christine leaves us with these final words of inspiration, “Don’t give up on your dream because you CAN make it happen. You might not make it happen with the first outfit you run into, but you don’t keep, keep looking in and you will find it.”
She goes on to say, “I would recommend caribou Creek. No matter where you are in the world. I know they’ve built log homes in Tasmania and everywhere. They’re very easy to work with. I couldn’t have had a better experience.”
Christine is the found of The Lost Horse Press a poetry publishing company which helps struggling poets get their poems in print. She is very passionate about the arts and about human rights and has a book coming out called Raising Lily Leadbetter that talks about women in the workplace and how women are still only averaging $0.77 for every dollar a man earns. Find more about her Press at www.losthorsepress.org.