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The Simple Life: An Idaho Timber Home

An Idaho couple builds a timber retreat dedicated to rest and relaxation.

Debbie Dezell knew she was going to build a timber home the first time she saw one gracing the pages of a home-design magazine in 1991. "It truly was love at first sight, but we just weren't at a place to build yet," she recalls. Fast-forward 10 years. Debbie and her husband, Bob, were finally ready to take the plunge.

"We'd decided that the 10 acres of land we owned were just too much to take care of," says Debbie. "We really wanted to simplify our lives and started looking around for a smaller piece of property to build on in northern Idaho." After nearly a year, the couple found a 5-acre spot with breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the nearby Green Monarch and Selkirk mountains. They bought the land in the summer of 2001. To build their home, the Dezells worked with Brian Leisz, owner of Troy, Montana-based Fall Creek Timber Frames.

The 4,035-square-foot, three-bedroom, five-bath home is a custom design, crafted from reclaimed Douglas fir timbers. The floors, interior doors and all of the trim work are also reclaimed and were originally used in the Bonners Ferry Granary, about 40 miles from the Dezells' home. When asked about their favorite feature of the house, all involved agree: the spectacular views from every room. "The view literally wraps the entire way around the house," says Brian. "It's really something."

Since moving into their home, Debbie and Bob say their lives have become much more relaxed. "Even though this is our primary home, we always feel like we're on vacation," says Debbie. "In this fast-paced life we live, it's nice to slow down and enjoy the simple things around you." And in their new timber beauty, that's an easy thing to do.

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