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This Tennessee Log Home Was Made for Family Life

A young family decides there’s no time like the present to build their Tennessee forever home.

Written by Claudia Johnson
Photography by Brandon Malone
 
Why wait to have the log home of your dreams? That’s a question Connie and Alex Diamond asked themselves as their family began to grow, and the answer was very clear: Go for it now!
 
“We’re a close-knit family.  We also place a lot of value on the simple things in life,” says Connie. “We really wanted our log home to be a retreat for us.”
 
The couple pored over floor plans from a variety of sources, including Honest Abe Log Homes, all of which inspired Alex to design a custom plan, manufactured by Honest Abe, that encapsulated their desire for it to be a place they could enjoy raising their children, as well as grow old together in the future.
 
“We both love being in nature and felt a log cabin would capture our dream of a home that’s rustic, warm and incorporates elements of the outdoors,” says Alex, who is a pediatric sports medicine physician at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital as well as a team physician for Vanderbilt University, the Nashville Predators and Nashville Sounds.
 
While the exterior walls are D-Log, the 3,165-square-foot home’s interior employs both log and timber frame design elements. There are multiple heavy-timber beams in the great room. A large breakfast nook is nestled into a half-hexagon alcove. All the bookshelves and trim work were custom made, as were the live-edge mantels taken from a fallen tree from the Diamonds’ first home together and hand-hewn by an Amish craftsman.
 
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“I didn’t want a typical log home style,” says Connie, who designed the home’s interiors. “I wanted a hybrid design of rustic logs and farmhouse flair with unique elements that combined many styles.” Above all else, the couple wanted the house to feel comfortable, open and peaceful.
 
“I love combos of blues and grays with pops of yellow and green,” Connie says of her color scheme. “I wanted our home to be an extension of the outside with different colored wood and the feel of nature. This is where our family will make memories, so it needs to be personal and approachable.”
 
And with two young children at home, the house had to be resilient, too. Connie, who has a master’s degree in counseling, is taking a break from her career to raise the couple’s children, Evie, 8, and Evin, 5.
 
“My mama stayed home with me and my sister, and even though I didn’t appreciate it until I was older, it meant so much to me,” Connie says. “I wanted to be present and available to my children. Even though my husband puts family first always, he still has a very demanding job away from home, so we knew before we decided to have kids that it was imperative I would be a stay-at-home-mom. It’s been the hardest and greatest job of my life.”
 
But the decision not to wait until retirement for their log home was an easy one. “We wanted the kids to grow up in our forever home and have those memories that they can share with their kids one day,” Alex says. “As a family,  we chose to live in a slower and simpler environment.”
 
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The Diamonds designed their exterior spaces for immersion in nature. The 956-square-foot wrap-around porch extends into a screened-in outdoor living space complete with a stone fireplace, a television and room for sitting or casual dining. The adjacent patio is crafted from huge rocks harvested from the land, which is a mixture of forest and pasture. 
 
“We prayed for a piece of land that connected us to nature,” Connie says. “We wanted a refuge for our family, our friends and anyone who came to visit. That’s why we named our spot ‘Haven on the Hill.’ We love our sunrises, sunsets and the 360-degree view of the surrounding hills during the day and the city lights off in the distance at night. We have breathtaking views from our great room windows.”
 
The family has assembled raised-bed gardens on the expansive lawn where the children are learning to grow herbs and vegetables. To further enhance the outdoors, the couple is working with their Honest Abe sales representative, Dan Smith, who navigated them through their original build, to craft a log garage with a upper-level bonus room connected to the house by a breezeway.
 
“We feel like God has blessed us with a special, lifelong place where we can relax, play, pray and grow together,” says Alex. “We have found our forever spot.”
 

Home Details

 
Square Footage: 3,165   
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 3 full
Timber Provider: Honest Abe Log Homes
General Contractor: James Wallace

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