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Reclaimed Timber Home in Wyoming Updates Tradition

Salvaged logs and reclaimed wood transport this Wyoming homestead back in time.
By Barbara Jacksier | Photos by Roger Wade | Styling by Debbie Grahl

Flying into Wyoming’s Jackson Hole airport it’s impossible not to notice the lodge-style homes that dot the mountainous landscape. Most appear recently built.

One Indian Creek Ranch home stands out from the rest. Consisting of two ranch buildings attached to a central log cabin, it appears to be a lovingly refurbished historic homestead.

The mix of weathered siding, distressed timbers, hand-hewn logs and rusted metal roofing lead you to believe that the property evolved in phases over several decades. Guess again. This recently built home went from groundbreaking to move-in day in only 18 months.

The brainchild of Maryland artist Debbie Petersen and her late husband Jim, the timber-and-log hybrid cleverly combines reclaimed vintage wood with elements that only look old.

Reclaimed Timber Home Photo Gallery Click any photo to enlarge

In 2003, Debbie and Jim decided they were ready to do something different and Wyoming was the place they chose to do it. “We originally fell in love with a hand-crafted house that was for sale but we couldn’t reach a satisfactory agreement with the owner,” Debbie says. Instead of settling back into their Maryland home, the couple rented a house in the Jackson area.

The place they rented was built by John Jennings of Peak Builders, the same company that constructed the home they had unsuccessfully tried to purchase. After several months of renting, Jim and Debbie knew they wanted John to build a custom-designed home for them.

Their Realtor found a spectacular site with stunning views of Grand Teton and the surrounding mountains and introduced them to architect Chris Lee. From there everything fell into place.

Stunning views of a timber frame home in the mountains

Viewed from across a man-made pond, the back of the house showcases the home’s eclectic architecture. The height of our home had to abide by the 19-foot height restriction placed on this land parcel.

Right from the start, Lee knew that Jim and Debbie didn’t want a typical lodge style home. “They were committed to using reclaimed wood and dreamed of a frontier style timber frame and log home cobbled together from individual structures,” the architect explains. The final plan assigned the main living area to a large structure they call the “Log Cabin.” The master suite would be contained in a smaller “Gray Cabin” sided with reclaimed barn wood. A sheltered porch room, guest quarters and Debbie’s studio would share space in the “Red Cabin.”

“The Petersens wanted every part of the house to have access to the land,” Lee notes. “Angling the cabins accomplished this and created interesting patio areas for dining and relaxing. A curved stone path connects the interior rooms with exterior stone walkways.”

A wet bar was built into the back of the floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Featuring cut stone storage ledges, the piece also incorporates a saloon-style zinc countertop and sink. An arched stone-face closet flanks the home’s main entry. Wavy willow branches are embedded in its frosted glass doors.

A wet bar was built into the back of the floor-to-ceiling fireplace. Featuring cut stone storage ledges, the piece also incorporates a saloon-style zinc countertop and sink. An arched stone-face closet flanks the home’s main entry. Wavy willow branches are embedded in its frosted glass doors.

The Petersens also worked closely with interior designer Jacque Jenkins-Stireman. “Our kitchen is typical of how the house came together,” Debbie says. “Jacque found the hickory bar stools and antique pendant lights.”

She also suggested adding two small square windows high on the gable end wall to direct extra light onto the signature black walnut countertop built by Jennings. Wayne Williams of Western Woodworks built the handsome alder cabinetry, while Debbie chose chalkboard paint for above the stove.

While most of the home’s massive log posts, square-cut beams, barn wood siding, and interior paneling are reclaimed from the past, the home’s geo-thermal cooling system is ahead of its time. The system uses a pump to channel ground water through conduits under the house. This not only saves significant energy, it creates one of the home’s unique design features — a glass-covered indoor stream.

Unfortunately Jim died before the project was complete. But, for Debbie, the home is a constant reminder of Jim and of his extraordinary contributions to the overall vision. Debbie now graciously opens her home to friends, family and the community.

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Floor Plan

Click for larger image

Square Footage: 4,400 square feet
Architect: Design Associates Architects (307-733-3600; designassociatesarchitects.com)
Builder/general contractor; exterior finish; stain: Peak Builders Inc. (307-734-9182; peakbuildersjacksonhole.com)
Cabinetry; mantels: Western Woodworks (307-733-9899)
Countertops: Caffall Tile (801-268-3525; caffalltile.com)
Doors; windows: Specialty Windows and Doors (208-787-2675)
Flooring: Valley Hardwoods (307-690-0543)
Interior designer: Jacque Jenkins-Stireman Interior Design (307-739-3008)
Knobs/hardware: Rocky Mountain Hardware (307-732-0078)
Landscape designer: Flower Hardware (800-667-1001; flowerhardware.com)
Masonry: Teton Masonry and Tile (307-733-3470)
Pool table: Marschak’s Antique Pool Tables (307-733-3779; antique-pool-table.com)
Roofing: Intermountain Roofing (307-733-7663)
Timber provider: Carlson’s Barnwood Company (309-522-5550; carlsonsbarnwood.com)

Published in the August 2010 issue of Timber Home Living.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Gauthier July 15, 2012 at 7:19 pm

This is a nice house but quite inaccessible financially for most people. Personally, I do not see how this home of 4,400 Sq. Ft. falls under the category of “natural living” unless it will shelter 3 families or more. It would be better under “lavish living”. The state of our available natural resources DEMANDS that we become frugal. This is going in the opposite direction.


KJ August 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I disagree Mr. Gauthier- Since this house was built with lots of reclaimed timber and steel (Recycling is still a good thing isn’t it?) and it is also made with renewable resources (trees still grow do they not?) that there is nothing wrong at all with this thing of absolute beauty. Try not to come down on others because of your lack of desire or drive to achieve better for yourself.


Ezere December 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Marc Gauthier, you are spreading United Nations propaganda directly from their Agenda 21, which calls for urban living while letting the nature be untouched. Google “Agenda 21 map” and you will see their plan for America. This way of thinking. DEMANDING (your own caps lock) “frugal living” aka “resource management,” is sick and twisted. Agenda 21 DEMANDS resource management in the way of killing babies who are “imperfect” because money and medicine is better spent on “perfect” babies, as if they exist.

I’m not sure if you are French, but that would explain your lack of understanding of the term “liberty” and ignorance of the United States Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights. But you probably think the Constitution is outdated and the state needs to seize our land and DEMAND that we live 3 families to a house.

Your blind allegiance to Agenda 21 makes me cringe.


Scott February 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Ezere, your paranoia is amusing. I suggest you put down your Glenn Beck novel and stop accusing people of being mindless, indoctrinated zombies long enough to realize that the original poster was merely stating that most people cannot afford a home of this stature. Suggesting that people live in such a way that resources, renewable or non-renewable, are conserved isn’t equivalent to having a political agenda. It’s being responsible.


kimera hensman October 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

I think this home is lovely. I am impressed by the use of reclaimed wood and the geothermal heat/cooling system. Even with the height cap they made the ceilings high and airy. I love it.


Ezere December 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Wow! Love it!! I bet that’s the most expensive recycled home in America, and worth every penny.


Elizabeth February 16, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Absolutely lovely and very creative. Most of us will never see such a place in real life, let alone own one… how about some photos on Pinterest to continue the drool trail? Thanks. ;-)


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