Basement log cabin

Log cabin at home

Is this the ultimate ‘man cave’?

A father-of-eight built an entire log cabin, complete with a window overlooking the wild frontier, in the BASEMENT of his suburban family home.

Dennis Martin, 49, converted his drab basement into an authentic 1950s log cabin complete with rifles in racks, a mounted deer head above the fireplace and food in vintage tins.

Mr Martin built his manly retreat in ten months as a way of escaping the pressures of the modern world.

He said: “Some of my fondest memories are hunting with my kids, hearing my grandfather’s hunting stories and my yearly trip to a mountain cabin with my wife.

“I really wanted a space which captured those memories so I decided to build my own log cabin.

“I didn’t have any land to build on, or the budget for a huge construction project, so I decided to build it in my basement.”

The resourceful television director and occasional set builder constructed the cabin for only £65 by carefully sourcing material recycled from the 1950s.

Mr Martin, who has eight children aged three to 28 and one grandchild of three months, saved money by using salvaged wood to construct his cosy hideaway.

Mr Martin, of Helena, Alabama, said: “The free lumber came from shipping crates. I spent a week prying the wood apart and removing hundreds of nails. I used this wood for the walls, floor, gun rack shelf and table.

“To make the wood look like it was hand cut, I used a drawknife to randomly cut away the sharp edges of the boards. When I finished, the randomness created a beautiful hand-cut look.”

Mr Martin, whose carpentry skills are self-taught, spent months ensuring his cabin looked like an authentic trappers’ cabin – even down to the most minute details.

He used square hand-cut nails and vintage screws from the 1950s to piece the cabin together.

He printed replica labels from the 1950s for any food or cleaning products kept in the cabin.

Mr Martin even included a photoshopped picture above the fireplace of what the cabin would look like from the outside if it was real.

All the guns in the room are either air rifles, replicas or deactivated weapons.

Mr Martin said: “It’s the details which make the room a ‘total experience’.

“Occasionally I’ll burn pipe tobacco in there to add to the wood, gun oil and firewood smells.

“Sometimes I’ll even turn on cricket chirping sounds on my phone and stick it up on the bookshelf so it sounds like it’s coming from outside.

“There’s a photo album over near the window which is full of vintage deer hunting photos.

“The box by the window is full of vintage blankets and hunting clothes, and the books, magazines, ammo boxes, gun cleaning products, fishing tackle, knives and utensils are from the same era.”

The cabin also contains a fireplace made out of salvaged stonework. Mr Martin filled the fireplace with soot, a charred log and an orange light to simulate a real fire.

“There are burn marks on the floor in front of the fireplace,” said Mr Martin.

“There are real ashes in the fireplace and all the pots are charred black, as if they have been used over the fire for years.

“I like it when people notice the little details and can appreciate the hard work that went it them.

“I love hanging out in there – relaxing, reading, playing games with my kids and working on projects at the table.”

More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or tom@medavia.co.uk.

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