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Remodeling a Model Home – Murfreesboro’s Sales Center Gets an Update

Over the past few years Honest Abe Log Homes has been in the process of remodeling the company’s model home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Built in 1981, the home has welcomed thousands of guests seeking information about building their own log or timber frame home or just curious about the eye-catching log home.

“Our Murfreesboro Model Sales Center is a short drive down the interstate from Nashville,” said Honest Abe Log Homes Vice President Jeff Clements. “This model home is an ideal location where visitors can observe the durability and longevity of our homes at a convenient location. Being in the geographic center of the state, we are a short drive for anyone visiting the middle Tennessee area.”

The Murfreesboro model’s team, Dan Smith, David Mathis and Tammy Taylor, continued serving Honest Abe customers throughout the longer-than-expected restoration and remodeling project, made so due to material shortages and delays. Molly Cooper of Honest Abe’s interior design firm, Cooper & Co., who was tasked with the challenge of the remodel of the two-decades-old building, explains in the accompanying article how the project was approached and successfully completed.

The model is currently open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. to once again welcome prospective homeowners and inquisitive visitors.

Why visit the Murfreesboro model?

Perspective owners can get a good grasp of three very important aspects of Log Home living and Honest Abe Log Homes, according to Murfreesboro sales representative David Mathis. 
  1. Longevity.  The Murfreesboro model has been a fixture in the area since the early 1980s.  Since then Murfreesboro has certainly grown but the home “still fits in”.  It also gives them an opportunity to see a Log Home that has weathered 40+ years of storms.
  2. Innovation.  It showcases certain construction materials and practices that may have changed over the years and it gives us an avenue to discuss the “Why”.  I feel like this helps the customer see that we are not only “Honest” but also innovative.
  3. Versatility.  It helps shed light on the fact that not all old log homes have to be dark.  The changes made in the remodel really show what a little color and light can do to modernize an older home.
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Restoring and Remodeling a Model Home

by Molly Cooper, Cooper & Co. Design

When we took on the task of refurbishing our company’s oldest model, we encountered a pivotal challenge – how to maintain the enduring integrity of the logs while breathing new vitality into their time-weathered surfaces. The very essence of the log home’s character was etched into these sturdy timbers, a silent witness to decades of memories and history. Our foremost goal was to preserve this character while seamlessly weaving in modern aesthetics and comfort.

To overcome this challenge, we meticulously selected restoration techniques that embraced the logs’ natural patina while eliminating signs of wear and tear. The logs underwent a delicate process of cleaning and sanding along with some painting and sealing, reviving their original luster without diminishing the authentic charm they carried. It was essential to honor the imperfections that tell a story while creating an environment that resonated with our company’s history.

One of the keys to achieving our vision was to cleverly employ visual techniques that would make the interior feel larger and more open. We strategically utilized light color palettes for the walls and ceilings, harnessing the transformative power of white and light shades. The reflective properties of these hues played a pivotal role in bouncing light around the rooms, making them appear more expansive and airier. Opening up the front stairs and installing a new spiral set of steps in the timber frame portion of the model made all the difference for an open feel.

In the gallery accompanying this article, you’ll observe how the light-colored walls effortlessly reflect natural and artificial light, contributing to an atmosphere of brightness. The clever use of mirrors and strategically placed glass elements further amplifies this effect, visually expanding the space and creating an uplifting ambiance that aligns perfectly with the “clean fresh feel” concept.

In the world of log home design, first impressions carry substantial weight. A potential homeowner’s initial encounter with a model can significantly influence their perception and consideration. Through deliberate renewal and a commitment to harmonious aesthetics, we’ve demonstrated how an environment can be transformed into a canvas of inspiration.

For our commercial customers, the ability to visualize log and timber construction is a powerful tool that transcends the traditional realm of blueprints and diagrams. When visiting our spaces and models, including models at Cookeville and Crossville and our National Headquarters in Moss, commercial clients can experience the essence of log and timber construction firsthand. This tangible encounter enables them to assess the aesthetics, functionality and ambiance of the architecture in ways that mere drawings cannot capture.

As visitors navigate through the revitalized Murfreesboro model in the photo gallery below, envision the endless possibilities that await when great interior design meets the dream of log home living.

Honest Abe’s first president, Rick Denton, remembers the birth of the Murfreesboro Model Home

Building a sales model in Murfreesboro was perhaps the key decision to the survival of Honest Abe. Maybe a bold statement; maybe not. Certainly, the building of the Murfreesboro sales model was a very significant one, without a doubt.

We opened the doors of our new startup business, Honest Abe Log Homes, on March 28, 1980. It was not the ideal time to launch a new startup log home-building business in the middle of a recession. The oil crisis had caused skyrocketing double-digit inflation, mortgage rates and unemployment. Add in the fact that we were located in the little unknown community of Moss, Tennessee. How were we supposed to let the world know about our new log home kit products? There were no computers, internet, social media or cell phones back in 1980.

We made the decision to build a showcase model in a highly visible location. We chose Murfreesboro because Jim Smith lived there and agreed to join our company. He was the owner’s, brother. Together, Doug Smith, the owner, and Jim, found property at The Outlet’s Limited Mall, located in Murfreesboro at an exit off Interstate 24. The new model was built and immediately thousands and thousands of people visited it because of its location. In 1980, The Outlets Ltd. Mall was a major shopping attraction, and every one of these shoppers had to drive past our log home model. Also, a great many I-24 travelers saw it and stopped to tour it. The sheer number of visitors was mind-boggling. And, many of them bought log home packages from us.

The building and log home market cultures have drastically changed over these four decades, and the Murfreesboro model has changed along with these new changes. Remodeling updates over the years have continued to reflect Honest Abe’s incomparable log home product. There’s nothing like seeing the log package product displayed as a home. A lovely and beautiful log home!

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