Photos by Chris Daniele, Courtesy of Real Log Homes
The story of the “[KAB-IN],” a luxury rental log home in Woodstock, Vermont, started with a for-sale sign, a “what if” and a lot of vision. But the story of the cabin itself — 1,930 square feet of white pine logs and classic character started decades before.
The structure was first built in 1972 by Vermont Log Buildings, now known as Real Log Homes.
The cabin passed through several hands before Ekiah Pickett stumbled upon it a few years ago. The Picketts had been looking for a lodge on a large piece of land to transform into an “experiential” vacation retreat. As Ekiah puts it, a place that “really screams Vermont.”
“I had driven by this property a million times. I was driving by with my daughter one day, and I saw a for sale sign out. And I thought, ‘What if we just bought a cabin?’” Ekiah recounts. The only problem? “It was a total mess.”
After long stretches with no maintenance, the cabin needed more than just aesthetic updates to bring it into the 21st century. Several logs had rotted and needed replacing. Enter: Real Log Homes. Ekiah reached out to the team there simply because he had previously worked with them on a set design involving logs for Burton Snowboards. He had no idea they’d built this very cabin years before. It was kismet. They were able to supply logs to exactly match the original.
“As one of the oldest log home companies, people call us a lot. We only offered one log back then. It was a very primitive, rough log, which we still sell,” explains Mike Heffernan, a Real Log Homes regional manager. “We will sell logs that are made specially for replacement in those older homes. The nice thing is, if you just have a little spot of rot, it’s pretty easy to fix. You just cut out that log and slide another one in.”
The rest of the exterior was media blasted and then re-stained using Arbor Coat by Benjamin Moore in “Amherst Gray.” Inside, they ripped out the old worn carpet, transformed a porch into a dining room and added in staircases where there were previously just ladders. The bathrooms required slightly more rehab. “We had to jackhammer through a bunch of concrete to re-run the plumbing,” Ekiah explains, “but it had good bones.”
Thanks to those good bones and a clear creative vision, the cabin began its great second act as the [KAB-IN], a true Vermont getaway.
“He figured out a good thing,” says Mike. “It’s a slice of heaven.”