Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2019

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Construction commenced in 2002 and took five years. An architecture buff, Phil jokes that he had to build seven homes on the property so that Anne, a former Miss Nebraska and Miss World finalist, and now an antiques aficionado, could empty out a warehouse of furniture and accessories she'd collected over the years. e four log and three timber frame homes were built by Pioneer Log Homes and featured on the HGTV show Timber Kings. Phil remarked that the entire project was carried out with "a handshake and no bids." "I have never had so much fun in all of my life," he reminisced. Sharing only a blue metal roof in common, each of the guest cabins are uniquely outfitted in an eclectic and rustic fashion with custom-built furniture cozying up to a mix of antiques hailing from different continents and periods. Positioned near the entry of each building at the Chilko Experience is a brass plaque naming both the builder and the sentimental name given to each structure. I stayed in Carl's House, a two-story, two-bedroom cabin designed by Phil so that his friend Carl, a paraplegic, could experience the beauty of the Chilcotin. Situated at the head of a verdant lawn that terminates at a 10-acre lake, the Main House, also called Tim's House, is a central gathering place where guests congregate for meals, socialize at the lower level bar, and connect with the outside world, as it is the only place where Wi-Fi is available. ere are two guest rooms in the lodge, with a third-floor suite boasting an exquisite canopy bed crafted from 800-year-old Juniper logs. A lighthearted hand-painted mural in the Main House took 10 days to finish, and depicts fly fishing bears with human characteristics reflective of important people in the Hustons' lives. An architectural marvel, the 2,500-square-foot, three-story, one-bedroom Tower House was built as a private residence for Phil and Anne, but has since entered the lodging portfolio due to demand. Built onsite without plans and at a cost of $1,400 per square foot, Huston refers to the Tower House's head carpenter as "the Michelangelo of logs," and beams with pride as he recounts how the sinuous deck rail was carved with a chainsaw. Phil is on property all season (June through October), and likens a stay at Chilko to an "estate experience". "You get to deal with the owner like an insider...it's like going to Disney as a friend of Walt," he explained. The Chilko Experience operates like a family compound, with Phil and Anne joining guests around the communal dinner table each evening. Phil's mandate to the chef that "flavorful, upscale food be served in a casual fashion," results in a diverse and abundant lineup of hearty fare apropos for fueling myriad outdoor pursuits. During dinner, guests chat with Phil and his affable and ├╝ber-organized general manager, New Zealand Native Craig Sutherland, about what they'd like to do the next day, based on their interests/abilities and weather conditions. slmag.net 53

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