Home with a Lake View is Couple’s Second Honest Abe Home

Log home lovers Jim and Diana built their second Honest Abe Log Home on Tennessee’s Majestic Highland Rim Overlooking Dale Hollow Lake

Story by Claudia Johnson

Photos by JD Tyre Photography

Perched on a bluff high above Tennessee’s Dale Hollow Lake is Jim and Diana Copper’s second house by Honest Abe Log Homes, the first having been on their cattle farm in rural Illinois.

The Coppers chose Honest Abe’s award-winning Cambridge plan for their 2,800-square-foot new home.

“We loved the Cambridge plan because it had the two-sided, two-story stone fireplace with gas logs that opens into the living room and on the other side into the dining room,” Diana said. “We also loved the high ceilings with heavy timber roofing and natural lighting provided by the window configuration.”

Jim said that Honest Abe’s Genesis log style was chosen because it is square inside and out and could be chinked to look like the log homes built by early Tennessee settlers.

Diana characterized the style of the house as “a little bit rustic, a little bit country and a little bit industrial.”

The 2,800-square-foot home of Jim and Diana Copper was designed to take full advantage of the view of Dale Hollow Lake. The light hue of Perma-Chink chinking coupled with the Perma-Chink Gentry Gray stain give the new house the historic look the Coppers envisioned. Honest Abe Log Homes custom crafted the wood siding for a two-car garage to match the house. The balustrade uses metal rods instead of typical wood balusters along the 1,000 square feet of decks.

The open concept of the 1,800-square-foot first floor invites conversation and celebration. In addition to the kitchen and dining area with its exposed beam heavy timber ceiling and vaulted ceiling great room from which Dale Hollow Lake is visible, there’s a private master bedroom suite and a half bath. A breezeway with a laundry and mudroom connects the kitchen to a two-car garage by an enclosed breezeway. Diana Copper says the large kitchen pantry hidden behind an attractive door is her favorite feature. Kitchen cabinetry from an original design was custom crafted by local cabinetmakers, while the dining table was made by the Coppers.

The great room is one and one half stories of square logs capped by a Douglas fir heavy timber, exposed rafter roof system. Floors milled from 7” European oak have an ultra hard finish and are distressed to create an aged appearance for a striking contrast to the naturally finished Eastern White Pine walls. Flanked by display shelves made by the Coppers is a double opening gas fireplace shared by the dining room and great room with a manufactured stone chimney extending two floors.

The Coppers made the mantle of thick, aged wood supported by pine brackets with an oak leaf and acorn design carved by Diana using the ancient art of intarsia.

The first floor master bedroom suite encompasses a luxury master bath plus a closet and dressing room behind a space-saving sliding door. There’s a sitting area in a half-hexagon tower. Floors are 7” European oak, and the ceiling features heavy-timber exposed beams. The powder room just outside the bedroom offers comfortable facilities for guests while maintaining the Coppers’ master suite privacy.

A second floor full bath opens from a large guest bedroom as well as from the loft sitting area. Adding to the room’s appeal is the lighted, walk-in shower, hardwood floors and a recessed towel nook.

A large upstairs bedroom suite has 7” European oak floors, a heavy timber, exposed rafter roof system, direct access to a full bath and loft sitting area and a half hexagon sitting area formed by the two-story external tower. The dressing room/walk-in closet is hidden by a sliding barn door of cherry and hickory custom built by the Coppers. Each of the three bedrooms – one downstairs and two on the 1,000-square-foot second floor – has clear finished, square log outside walls and interior painted walls in one of the three separate shades of gray used throughout the house.

Seasoned log and timber home contractors James and Ellery Lewis constructed the home.

“We were very pleased with them and their creativity, work ethic and expertise, Jim said of the father-son team. 

The Coppers said they made the right decision in choosing Honest Abe Log Homes to design and manufacture their second custom log home.

“We love the quality of materials, the personal service and the integrity of the company,” Diana said, adding that Honest Abe Sale Representative Ethan Birdwell “bent over backwards to help us with anything we needed.