Escape to a Small Town
South Florida couple build log forever home near an historic Tennessee town
by Claudia Johnson, Director of Marketing, Honest Abe Log Homes
The historic community of Lynnville, Tennessee, gained a new physician and two new residents in 2019 when Dr. Elizabeth Louie and her husband, Andrew Smith, relocated permanently from south Florida to live in the home of their dreams manufactured by Honest Abe Log Homes.
“We wanted to live in the country and have always enjoyed the rustic nature of a log home,” said Andy, who worked with Honest Abe Log Homes sales representative David Mathis and in-house designer Michael Hix to modify a standard Honest Abe Navajo plan into their ideal floor plan.
Andy said that significant modifications included a 2,038-square-foot full walkout basement, two extra-large walk-in closets in the master suite and a combination mudroom/laundry room on the main floor conveniently situated between the 1,334-square-foot garage and the kitchen.
“We built an oversized garage for ease of living,” Andy said, explaining that there’s additional space between parking bays for hassle-free de-boarding and unloading.”
Above ground, the home is constructed of dovetailed, 12” eastern white pine D-logs. Exposed areas of the basement’s exterior are veneered with stone. The couple chose a heavy timber roof system with Douglas fir beams in the living room/loft area, while other main floor rooms are covered by a conventional truss system.
In addition to a master suite with a steam shower and heated floor, the 2,038-square-foot main floor includes a kitchen with a walk-in pantry, a full bathroom adjacent to the mudroom, a coat closet and a wide foyer that flows into a spacious, two-story living room. The loft is 232 square feet and overlooks the open living room with its manufactured stone fireplace below.
A series of decks, patios and porches on both the main and basement levels provide 1,396 square feet of outdoor living space.
“The walk around porch with its extended patio will enable us to eat outside with our view that we enjoy very much,” Beth said, referring to the soft rolling hills and hardwood forests visible from the hilltop home. “We desired a higher elevation with no other homes within sight.”
Andy and Beth love to entertain and often welcome extended family from around the country. To create a vacation-like atmosphere, they constructed three bedrooms and two full baths in the finished basement. For practicality they delegated space for a mechanical room, but the fun happens in the living room with its fireplace, movie screening area and full bar. Just outside is a patio large enough for dining and relaxing.
The couple said they enjoyed working with Honest Abe’s team in designing and manufacturing their new home and praised their builder, Marty Wright of Blue Creek Construction, for his part in bringing their home to life.
“We were extremely fortunate to have selected Marty as our general contractor,” the couple said. “He was a pleasure to work with. We greatly appreciated his attention to detail and his willingness to accommodate our modifications as the building process progressed. He cared as much for our home as we did!”
Andy works on their farm and manages the couple’s medical consulting business.
“Our goal was to purchase land that was 80 percent woods and 20 percent pasture,” Andy said of their farm located a few miles from Lynnville proper. “This would enable us to have horses and trails for many activities. We wanted our home to be well off any streets – we’re a quarter mile from the road.”
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lynnville is a quiet community filled with charming late 19th century homes, churches and commercial buildings. Beth’s office – she’s the only doctor in town – is on Lynnville’s main street just across from an original Victorian-era train depot that’s now a railroad museum complete with a 1927 Baldwin steam locomotive. With only 325 residents the village presents a distinctive contrast to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, a modern town of 57,000 where Beth last practiced.
“We moved from South Florida to get out of the oppressive humidity and traffic,” Beth said. “Lynnville was the perfect destination to build and live in our forever home. Small town rural Tennessee is what we have always dreamed about.”
Outdoor living spaces for entertaining guests
Beth relaxes on her porch that overlooks rolling hills.
The custom kitchen island is large enough for searving and seating eight.
The living room is centered around a two-story chimney with a wood-burning fireplace.
Stairs lead to a full basement & loft office space.
Manufactured stone covers exposed basement walls.
Beth and Andy enjoy their woods and farm & especially time spent horseback riding.
The rear entrance is as inviting as the front.
The living room opens onto wide covered porches.
Beth & Andy relish the richness of milled wood
Living room heavy timber roof system with exposed Douglas fir beams
Manufactured stone chimneys & dovetailed D-Logs
Basement level entertainment room & bar
The master suite suite has two walk-in closets.
Beth’s walk-in master closet with custom built cabinetry
Master bath with heated floors & steam shower