Smiths Wouldn’t Change a Thing After 20 Years

Shane and Lesley Smith will soon celebrate 20 years in their custom Honest Abe Log Home. Being the son of Honest Abe’s founders, Doug and Janie Smith, and having worked in the family business all his life and grown up in a log home, he always wanted a log home for his own family. Fortunately, wife Lesley agreed. The pair built their 3,416-square-foot log cabin just as their family began to grow, and as the years have passed, they have made adjustments to accommodate the changes in their lives.

Shane and Lesley recently shared with Honest Abe Living how their home came to be, how it’s evolved and what it means to them.

“We loved the looks of the Bellwood model that had just been built near Cookeville at the time that we had started the process to build a home of our own,” Lesley recalled. “We wanted to change things up so that it didn’t look exactly the same so we added a master bedroom area to make our home look more symmetrical, and we added porches to protect our logs from direct sunlight. We also chose this model because we wanted a home spacious enough for the large family that we hoped to have in the future.”

When the Smiths moved into their home, they had a toddler and an infant, and their family continued to grow as they had another son shortly after moving. Their daughter came along five years later. Shane said they soon converted their study into a nursery/children’s bedroom, and ultimately finished out the basement, which was constructed of Styrofoam wall panels for insulation, to create a room for their oldest son when he became a teenager.

“We absolutely love the way our home feels so relaxed and welcoming,” said Lesley. “We are definitely not uptight people, so we want our home to feel like a welcoming and inviting place for our friends, family and our children’s friends. We love our side porch for sitting and having coffee and listening to our sons play guitar. We have always loved the feeling of safety during storms and high winds. We also love how open our home is in the main area with the kitchen, dining room and living room being one large open space. As my children have gotten older, I have appreciated having enough space that they can have their own bedrooms and bathrooms so that we all have privacy as well.”

In July 2006, Log Homes Illustrated magazine published an in-depth story about the Smiths’ home, which can be read below. Honest Abe Living asked the Smiths if they would have done anything different when building their home now that they’ve raised a family there.

“We can honestly say that we don’t have any wishes to do anything differently or to make changes in our home,” Lesley said. “Our floors (cherry, ash and oak) are scratched and scarred from the almost constant activity of our children as they were growing up but we want to keep them that way for the memories. I don’t see scuffed floors when I look at them, I see my kids being healthy and happy.”

So, what would the Smiths tell a young couple wishing for their own log home?

“I think our advice would be to anyone building a log home while raising a family would be to just enjoy the process and the memories being made,” Lesley said. “Our home is very well lived-in because we have raised three active boys and one energetic girl in this home, and we wouldn’t trade a scratch on the floor for a ‘show home’ any day. Our Honest Abe Log Home has withstood two decades of our busy family, and we are so blessed to have our home.”

The Smith family has grown (and grown up) since their home was completed 19 years ago. Pictured are Eli (19), Andrew (17), Shane and Lesley, Isaac (21) and Lily (11).

In July 2006, Log Homes Illustrated magazine published an in-depth story about the Smith’s home. Clickabove to read the story.

Browse the Smith home gallery.

Request Free Info From Honest Abe