Living large yet cozy by the creek

Story by Julia Moore • Photography by Northern Lens Real Estate Photography

  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography
  • Northern Lens Real Estate Photography Northern Lens Real Estate Photography

Spacious and modern, today’s log homes are a far cry from the humble one-room abodes of the past. In South Anchorage, one home beautifully balances the heft and masculinity of these iconic logs with an open, warm and light-filled living space that’s pure luxury for its inhabitants.

Upon first sight, Larry and Bren Jedlicka were enchanted with the home. “When I first started coming to the house, it just felt so welcoming,” says Bren. “The energy of the house felt really calm and peaceful and welcoming as soon as I walked through the door. It still feels like that.”

Providing architectural drama to this lodge-like home are the colossal log beams measuring up to 40-inches in diameter – some so big that you can’t wrap your arms around them – and spanning as long as 47 feet. Sunlight-filled windows juxtaposed with the incredible timber creates an appeal that's Larry's favorite part of the home: "It feels like a lodge."

And, like a lodge, the home is perfect for entertaining. The large open floor plan on the main level allows guests to mingle in the living room and easily move to the solarium, where a breakfast bar awaits. While sitting at the bar, with intricately sculpted fish in the metal siding, guests can chat with the chef, grab a dish to set at the table or gaze beyond the expansive floor-to-roof windows to the wilderness in the Jedlickas’ backyard. Having such immense south-facing windows adds to the literal warm invitation of the home – along with the wood-burning stove in the living room, and the radiant-heating hand-hewn hickory floors.
While Larry’s six-foot tall bamboo, asparagus ferns and ivies may love the sun and soaring summer temperatures indoors, Larry and Bren can easily keep the home from getting too scorching with the flip of a switch for their electric windows.

“When the sun’s coming in, the house will heat right up, even in the winter,” explains Larry, “It’ll heat up, and you can open the windows on the top and a few windows on the bottom.”

The flow between the open windows creates a cooling breeze throughout the one-story home and its loft above. Alternatively, the home is equipped with eight heating zones to detect the temperature in key areas of the home, including the loft, and can be programmed to automatically open the windows when temperatures get too high. Cracking the windows open offers more than just cooling for the home.

Nestled in nature

Just behind the home flows a bubbling creek. “You can open up any windows and hear the creek,” says Bren. These sounds add a serene feel while in the home, but they also beckon Larry and Bren to step beyond the indoors in the summer

“We’ve done a little landscaping, put out the flowers, put some tomatoes in the greenhouse in the summer, but we like to get out and hike and bike,” Larry admits. “You’re right down the road from Glenn Alps and Flattop... You’re within 15 minutes of massive trail systems.” Sometimes, the couple will simply walk along the streets of their neighborhood, which doesn’t get much traffic – well, not much human traffic, that is.

“There’s regular moose in the neighborhood. We’ve had black bear in the yard,” says Larry. “Not a lot of bear action,” Bren adds, “but every now and then.” They do frequently have friendlier visitors in the yard hopping about – wild bunnies – and the children, who often come to visit.

Room to grow

Larry first moved to Alaska to be close to his kids. He began by leasing his current home just from seeing the photos online – he was immediately won over by its unique Alaska charm. The couple loves the home as it is, but also appreciates the initial schematics that allow for an expansion of the bedroom in the loft, if ever desired. There are beautiful, all-glass French doors leading to the patio outside the loft, says Bren, and a real fireplace on the patio – not a fire pit.

“It’s a stone patio,” adds Larry. “They built it structurally so that if you wanted to expand the bedroom, you could turn that whole area into a bedroom.” The bedroom would be twice as big, fully equipped with a fireplace. For now, though, the fireplace remains on the patio with a wood shed, conveniently located to grab a refill for their wood-burning stove below.

Every year, people often head to a luxury lodge for a well-earned vacation. For the Jedlickas, staying right at home is like a retreat every day - with cozy, creekside bedrooms, blazing fires, and abounding natural beauty just steps away.