Whenever Kay and Don Elliott sought a break from their busy auto dealership in Houston, Texas, where they’ve lived for some 30 years, they used to head for the ski slopes and their condo in Beaver Creek, Colorado. After they stopped skiing and tired of the higher elevation, they looked elsewhere for a second home. Their search brought them to western North Carolina, which they fell in love with and where they realized a log home would be perfect.

Log homes are not only part of the Carolina mountain tradition, but also part of Don’s family tradition. His grandmother grew up in West Virginia in a log cabin dating back to the mid-1800s that remains in his family. “Because of that, I had this childhood fantasy about having a log cabin,” he says. “I suppose it was preordained that I end up with a log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains.”

At the same time, the Elliotts didn’t want a place they had to spend time designing and building. “We’ve built homes before and could have gone through the process again,” Don notes, “but in this case, we were getting rid of our Colorado place and wanted another place right away.”

What’s more, because they intended using the home only part time, they wanted something in a development that offered full-time security. They found just what they were looking for in a small log-home neighborhood at a larger development at 4,900 feet in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not only was the home they saw at Mountain Air’s Cabins at Creekside ready to move into, but because it had been used as a sales model, it also came already furnished.

“A few times in your life, you see something and say, ‘This is it,’” Don says. “When we got to Mountain Air, that was our reaction. And we haven’t changed our mind since.”

“The weekend we came to North Carolina, we had appointments with six other Realtors,” Kay recalls. “We happened to spend the night at Mountain Air because it has a lovely lodge. The next morning, after seeing this cabin, we canceled the others.”

Their cabin, part of Hearthstone Inc.’s Bob Timberlake line, features 2,400 square feet of living space on two levels. The full-log main level comprises the great room, kitchen, master bedroom, a guest bedroom and a 500-square-foot deck. The fully finished lower level has another great room, a second master bedroom, a guest bedroom and a second deck.

The milled logs have a hand-hewn finish with wide chinking stripes that create an updated Appalachian-cabin look. Khaki-colored drywall, more prevalent in the lower level than upper, softens the wood. “It’s a very attractive combination,” Kay says, pointing out that the drywall allows more interior brightness that makes the kitchen, in particular, “very easy to work in.”

Don and Kay have bought some furnishings, but she reckons that at least 90 percent of it came with the home. Chosen by Mountain Air’s interior decorators, most of it bears the Timberlake brand and reflects a country theme well suited to the mountain setting. “It’s all very tastefully done,” Kay notes, adding that she and Don have made several trips to Bob Timberlake’s gallery to buy accessories and artwork to continue the theme. “I was familiar with his paintings but had no idea he had branched out into so many other areas, including designing log cabins.”

This article ran longer, with a sidebar about the Cabins at Creekside, in the April 2008 issue of Log Homes Illustrated.