Wanted: A View of the Lake

Hideaway in the Tennessee Woods

by Claudia Johnson

This couple knew exactly what they wanted, and they feel very blessed to have found it. They wanted a vacation home on the water, and now they have far more than they had even imagined.

“When we heard about this property with its own lake and surrounded by forest, we thought a cabin would be great there,” said Bobette Smith, explaining how she and husband Paul found themselves deep in the Tennessee woods.

In addition to the lake there was a comfortable older log cabin and a private waterfall, and the Smiths could not resist. Bobette said their family used the existing cabin for a few years before deciding to build a new, custom log home on the same spot.

Working with Dan Smith of Honest Abe’s Murfreesboro Model & Sales Center, the Smiths (no relation to Dan) created a custom plan.

“The final design was our thoughts for rooms needed for a vacation place,” Bobette said. “Bedrooms to accommodate the family, large place to gather, an open plan for the main living area and a mud room for our dogs.”

Dan, who has navigated dozens of homeowners in his 15 years with Honest Abe, said that Bobette and Paul were a pleasure to work with and made his job easy.

“They had been using the old log cabin and the property for a while, so they knew exactly what they needed in the new home,” he said.

The Smiths were equally pleased to have Dan helping with the design, manufacturing and construction process.

“Dan was great to work with,” Bobette said, adding that he was “very accommodating and always willing to help with questions.”

Constructed by Lane Building Group, LLC of Nashville, the D-log house is a 2,176-square-foot, one story structure with a two-car garage attached by an open breezeway. The very large front porch so that the Smiths and their guests can enjoy the view of the lake and waterfall is Bobette’s favorite feature. She’s also very pleased with the back porch, which overlooks the dense woods and a flowing stream. Partially under roof, it has a hanging bed and a cooking and dining area.

The Smiths live fulltime in historic Franklin, Tennessee, about an hour and a half drive northeast on the Natchez Parkway.

“We have two adult kids who also enjoy time at the cabin,” Bobette said. “Nicholas, our oldest, enjoys fishing in the lake. Natalie, our youngest enjoys relaxing outside reading and watching the lake and waterfall. Paul enjoys bush hogging and planting fields. I enjoy sitting on the front porch and looking at the lake, swimming in the lake, paddling in the kayak and hiking the grounds.”

“What was good?” we asked Bobette about her log cabin design and construction experience.

“The people at Honest Abe,” Bobette said. “Honest Abe was a joy to work with. Everyone that works with the company was a pleasure and easy to work with. I would recommend Honest Abe to anyone, and I would gladly use them again if we were to build another log home.”

“Would you do it again?”

“Yes, but we are not going to,” she said.

“What could be better?” we asked.

“A house on the beach,” she said with a smile.



Two Captivating Views

The front porch, above, overlooks a private lake and waterfall.

The rear porch, left, has a wagon wheel fixture suspended from its heavy timber gable roof. There’s room for cooking, food prep and eating – not to mention a hanging bed.

The kitchen, dining and living area are open, but an island large enough for serving and eating define the spaces. Throughout the home the Smiths display preserved animals representing the wildlife with which they share the forest, lake, falls and stream.

The natural waterfalls was a bonus the Smiths did not expect when they looked for property with water.

The vacation home’s master bedroom has a view of the creek that runs along the rear of the home. The Smiths used handmade rustic furniture, a piece of flag art from an area shop to decorate and a massive vintage trunk to decorate.

The lake is not just for viewing! The Smiths, their children and their many guests swim, kayak, fish and go boating.

Practical Planning

In a somewhat unusual but very practical move the Smith’s placed the mudroom to the front of the house. It may be entered directly from the front porch.

After working outside, hunting or enjoying the lake, they can leave outdoor clothing and shoes in the mudroom, walk directly into the laundry room to deposit dirty items, use the farmer’s sink for preliminary cleanup and make their way to the full bath.

Note the earthy colors of paint and finishes on woods that connect the inside of the home to its wooded surroundings.

Vintage Tub

The first item Bobette purchased for the new cabin was a vintage tub.

The photo on the far left shows how it looked the day she found it at a salvage yard.

The photo to the left shows the restored tub in the bathroom she envisioned.

The bathroom’s design was created around the much desired claw-foot tub as a centerpiece.


View the Smith’s gallery…

Bobette and Paul have created a comfortable and eye-catching escape in the midst of some of nature’s most beautiful features – water, earth and trees. They’ve incoirporated some of the wood and stone from the original cabin into the new design.

Decor includes vintage pieces, stuffed wildlife, crafts from a nearby Amish community and wall art from local antique and art shops.

Click on the photos below to see more of the home and property.





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