The June 2019 Oak Leaf


This is Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is a successful biophilic design.

By Lynn Gastineau
President of Gastineau Log Homes, Inc.

Welcome to the June 2019 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at []

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Who wouldn't feel better looking out at this lake from the porch or balcony every day?

Focus this month: Log home construction fits perfectly into biophilic design: Most people agree that nature offers natural views filled with greenery, trees, and lakes or oceans are calming and restorative, but they might not know that the reason for this is tied to our evolutionary psychology. Going back to our days living on the meadow and savannah, humans have sought certain elements to feel safe, secure, and emotionally balanced. Design that intentionally connects people to nature—a practice commonly referred to as biophilic design—incorporates materials found in nature, daylight, and views to the outdoors to improve well-being. Considering that we spend over 90 percent of our time indoors, buildings designed to maximize the calming effects of nature are needed now more than ever.

Some examples of Biophilic design in use? Consider a building site that prioritizes a view of the setting sun or lush vegetation? Or the creation of cozy spaces of refuge. Or incorporating materials and elements of nature in your home. These typical log home elements embody the core of biophilic design.

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Surrounded by natures beauty...mountains on all sides.

Biophilia: ... is humankind's innate biological connection with nature. It explains why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why animal companionship and strolling through a park or forest have restorative, healing effects. Biophilic design can reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being and expedite healing.

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Stress Relief by Nature: The benefits of being in nature is even being promoted in seminars and speaking engagements. Lee Ann Szelog, President of Simply Put, LLC, presents retreats where you learn about this first hand. She states that "...exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but studies indicate it also contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones." She continues “Nature has propelled my productivity, success, capacity, and contentment, personally and professionally over the past 30 years.”During her retreats, “Nature Nurtures,” Szelog guides participants to discover nature’s powerful therapeutic source that helps them enhance their physical and mental well-being. “Participants have the opportunity to experience life from a different perspective,” she says. “It’s a chance to slow down, to benefit from the miracles that nature affords us every day, awakening a peace within your heart that helps you to soar to new heights, personally and professionally.”

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It is no wonder people love to visit state parks where they can enjoy nature. And no wonder why so many park structures are made of logs!

Affirmation of My Observations for Over 40 Years: After over 40 years of talking to and working with people who dream of living in a log home, I have heard similar sentiments repeated over and over. People want to have some space. They want to be able to look out at a lake, creek or forest. They want to wake up and enjoy the fresh air. They want to listen to the crickets and frogs while they sit outside on their porch. They want big windows where they can see nature without neighbors and without curtains! All of the research that has been and is being done on biophilia explains why. As our office buildings, hospital, schools and work places have become more urbanized with man made materials and closed off windows, our soul yearns to be part of nature.


Cabin in the woods. Sunset in the distance. Welcome home.

And why people love porches: Another element part of this discussion is the feeling of Refuge."Refuge is a place for withdrawal, from environmental conditions or the main flow of activity, in which an individual is protected from behind and overhead." It is a space where you feel safe and have a sense of retreat or withdrawal. Refuge conditions are important for restoration experiences and stress reduction, which can be realized through lowered blood pressure and heart rate. Other benefits of Refuge are suggested to include reduced irritation, fatigue and perceived vulnerability, as well as improved concentration, attention and perception of safety. Thus, our desire for a porch....


This is the view from the porch of the home just above. Perfect.

Biomimicry: Nature has produced countless animals, plants and microbes that are the engineers of our planet. Biomimicry is the practice of emulating these time-tested strategies by following biological successes. From how we grow food to how we package and transport goods, designers and innovators and "imitating" "life." One example is the development of Entropy, a whole new category of carpet tiles. The unique patterning and coloring of i2 carpet tiles allow for easy installation and less dye and glue. The designers visualized how nature would design flooring. Like a forest floor, no two "tiles" are identical and yet they still look seamless and natural.


i2 carpet by Entropy

Understanding of our dream of log home living: Although biophilic design is a very broad and diverse subject, I think it is enlightening information for those of us who either dream of, or live in, a log home. It helps us understand the "why" behind our desire to live in such a location and surrounded by natural products in a natural setting. Not only does it help us understand ourselves better, but also explain to others why we feel this need to be one and part of Mother Nature.

GLH Staff moved to the Model Home Center: The sales department and most of the administrative staff from the New Bloomfield office location have now moved to the I70 Model Home Center. Our phone number remains the same, but our new corporate address is 3968 Jade Road, Kingdom City, MO. The mill and lumberyard locations are still located in New Bloomfield.

Log Home Shows:
No more shows until Fall 2019

Construction Seminar Schedule for 2019:

September 14, 2019

Call for information on our one-day construction seminars.

Log Raising:

We are planning a log raising in Eolia MO on June 22nd. Date may be moved due to weather. We will send out another email closer to the date.

A log home raising will be held north east of Kansas City in about 4 weeks also.

Open Houses:

Remember that the GLH Model Home Center on I 70 in central MO is open seven days a week! We are open 8 - 5 Monday to Friday, 9 - 5 Saturday and 12 to 5 on Sunday. We have three model homes on site that you can tour!

Quote of the Month: "In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks." —John Muir, July 19, 1877

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