by: Editorial Staff | Log Home Design

A tiny cabin triggers a big change for a couple who found peace of mind and a healthier lifestyle.

After years of helping others lead balanced and harmonious lives, psychotherapists Rick and Betty Blair decided the time had come to concentrate on their own mental well-being. This meant escaping the hectic pace of southern Florida.

Not only did they build their tranquil getaway – a small, rustic cabin in the middle of an old apple orchard with lake and mountain views in northeastern Georgia.

They also made a dramatic lifestyle change. When researching log home companies, "One thing led to another," Rick says, "and before we knew it, we had our own log dealership." They named it Apple Orchard Log Homes, appropriately, and became a certified distributor for Honest Abe Log Homes, the company they chose to build their new retreat.

Cozy and Well-Planned
Since their original plan started out as a simple vacation home, Rick and Betty were thinking small. Honest Abe's Monticello floorplan fit the bill with its cozy 624 square feet. "Every inch is used," Betty says. Here's how:

  • Main-level living area.
  • Main-level bath.
  • Sleeping loft with bath.
  • A steep, narrow staircase that allows a view of the fireplace from all corners of the main level.
  • A pantry under the landing of the stairway and loft-level storage to maximize living space.
    Rustic, but Comfortable
    Rick and Betty had a vision of authentic Appalachia for their home. "We wanted a back-in-the-woods cabin that looked as though it had been built 100 to 200 years ago," Rick says. To achieve this, they used:
    • Hand-hewn eastern white pine logs with a square cut and dovetail corners.
    • A toasty hazelnut stain and wide bands of chinking visible both inside and out.
    • Wide-plank pine flooring, and a lighter white pine tongue-and-groove ceiling.
    • Main-level hand-hewn overhead beams and a matching hand-hewn mantel.
    • Local fieldstone for the fireplace and mounting on the home's foundation.
    • Kitchen cabinets that match the floor, logs and ceiling.
      Now that the Blairs have built a larger primary residence next door, they can use the original cabin for family and friends and as a rental unit for vacationers. Rick notes, "It's wonderful – when we have guests, they have a private space."