A Home for Happiness
By Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes
Michelle and Rick Etheridge are opening their home to visitors for the 2020 Spring Log and Timber Frame Home Tour hosted by Honest Abe Log Homes’ National Headquarters on March 21.
The 2,750-square-foot log cabin near Moss, Tennessee, is constructed of 6×12 Eastern White Pine square logs. Designed and manufactured by Honest Abe Log Homes, it has a full basement, four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a wrap-around porch.
Michelle worked with Inez Price, a sales representative at Honest Abe’s National Headquarters in Moss, Tennessee, and staff designer Mike Hix to customize Honest Abe’s “Westfield” plan located on Tennessee’s northeastern Highland Rim.
“This is the home I had envisioned,” Michelle said.
Local contractor Joe Isenberg built the dovetailed, square log home on the exact spot where her great-great-grandfather was born on Revolutionary War land-grant property — a parcel that’s been in her family for roughly 200 years.
The open floor plan for the central living space along with Michelle’s choice of natural finish on 6×12 square Eastern white pine interior walls, Douglas fir beams and tongue-and-groove spruce ceilings along with the absence of curtains creates a well-lighted interior in every season. The landing serves as an office and sitting room flanked by a full bath, a guest room and the grandchildren’s room.
Maple cabinets with granite counters were custom designed and handcrafted by a local cabinet maker. Michelle left the Douglas fir beams exposed to take full advantage of the character of the wood. She’s mixed vintage pieces and accents with family antiques and modern appliances for an eclectic look. There’s an adjacent pantry and utility room, and an additional kitchen is being constructed in the finished basement.
The master suite, surrounded by wide, covered porches, features exposed ceiling beams, natural finish square log walls and hardwood floors stained to appear aged. Michelle chose extra-wide doors, a walk-in shower and a bath vanity with seating to make aging in place easier. The bed was crafted by her late husband.
The dormer in the upstairs room creates a small office, while the downstairs guest room overlooks the front porch, Michelle’s parents’ vegetable garden and the path to their home. Michelle wanted to evoke the feel of summer camp for her three young grandchildren. The log walls, wood floors and substantial handcrafted furnishings of their grandchildren’s upstairs bedroom provide durability. Safety-locked windows overlook a farm where lifetime memories are made.
Spanning a portion of the home’s rear is a screened porch with a cathedral ceiling and wide-plank floors. The comfortable outdoor space connects to covered porches that surround the house on all four sides through ornate screen doors and is cooled by ceiling fans.
“My parents live at the end of this road, and my sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren visit often,” Michelle says. “I love my log home because it is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. It’s roomy, yet cozy. It is without a doubt the sturdiest well-built home in the area. I hope it lasts for many generations.”
Surrounded by simple, elegant beauty and a sense of belonging, Michelle says she and Rick are, indeed, home.
Enjoy the gallery of pictures by photographer Jeff Garten, who photographed the home for a feature in Log Cabin Homes magazine. Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.