Honest Abe Living

Honest Abe Living, January 2020

Downsizing to a Dream

Fulfilling a 30-year dream, a Tennessee couple downsized from their conventional home to an Honest Abe log cabin they designed and finished themselves.

Married since 1992, Jimmy and Tabatha Clay plan to grow old in the home of their dreams on land steeped in family tradition.

The one-story, 1,109-square-foot Honest Abe Log Homes cabin, built of 6’x12’ square, dovetailed, chinked logs, has 1,136-square-feet of covered porches, an open living/dining/kitchen great room and laundry/half bath under a heavy timber roof and two bedrooms and a full bath under a conventional roof.

The home is featured in a multi​-​page, full-color spread in the current issue of Log Cabin Homes, which can be purchased online or at most bookstores and newsstands.

In an interview with Honest Abe, Tabatha Clay was more than thrilled to answer questions about the home’s planning, design and construction.

Read The Interview & See More Photos


To recreate the look of log cabins erected by early Tennessee, the Clays chose 6” x 12” square, dovetailed logs manufactured by Honest Abe Log Homes with wide chinking and Smoke log stain by Perma-Chink Systems. Contributing to the historic look are the stones used in building the front steps and covering the foundation and under-porch pylons. The couple named their farm “Lonesome Ridge,” a nod to their love for the “Lonesome Dove” miniseries.

Barrels, jars and other available containers have been used since ancient times to collect rain for reuse.

Log Home Tips

Why rain barrels make sense

When designing your log or timber home floor plan as well as your landscaping plan, consider where rain barrels would be most beneficial, both in collecting rainwater and in using it for a multitude of purposes. Diverting rainwater runoff is beneficial to preservation of the a home’s foundation and wood components.

Learn More

Back to Basics Back to Basics

Designer Molly Cooper suggests ways to decorate with items you own for an economical and interesting look.

Read More
Retreat to a Log Cabin Retreat to a Log Cabin

Family builds new Smoky Mountain log cabin get-away after Gatlinburg’s devastating firestorm. 

Read More
Design and Drafting Design and Drafting

Meet our inhouse team responsible for design and drafting plans for thousands of log and timber homes since.

Read More

Cozy, Not Conventional

Distinctive design and bold finishes make this custom timber frame the combination of modern and rustic a young Tennessee couple envisioned.

Read the Owner's Story


Cauliflower-Lettuce Salad

Beginning in 2020 we’ll be sharing some favorite recipes from Honest Abe’s owners, employees, dealers and customers. This month’s recipe is a easy and light way to start the New Year after a long holiday season. Cauliflower-Lettuce Salad was included in the “Smith Family Traditions” book in a section of recipes honoring the cooking skills of Honest Abe’s owner, Janie Smith.

Featured Floor Plan

The Gibson Plan

As more and more younger couples are opting to invest in a log, timber or hybrid home, Honest Abe consistently receives requests for mid-sized floor plans.

At 1,590 square feet, the Gibson is a two story home with a master bedroom and bath, living room, kitchen and dining room on the first floor. The second floor has an additional bedroom and bath that open onto a sizable landing that could be used for an office, library or sitting room. The loft overlooks the living room below.

The appeal of the exterior is enhanced by a full-width front porch on the ground level and a heavy timber second floor gable that frames a double window configuration in the open space above the living room and provides additional natural light.