Perched on Georgia’s Lookout Mountain, this “new” log cabin is 300 years in the making, thanks to materials salvaged from tobacco barns, mills, and other neglected structures. Hand-me-downs have never looked so good.
Julie and Jimmy Cash have always had a love for the West—its rugged mountains, dense evergreen forests, and rustic log cabins. “I was forever taking pictures of old log houses with the hope of having one someday,” says Julie. So, when the Birmingham, Alabama-based couple decided on a family retreat at the top of Georgia’s Lookout Mountain, it was finally the chance to build their own little cabin in the woods. As the Cashes dreamed up the design, Julie wanted to make sure their new home looked as authentic as the ones she’d admired throughout her travels. “If we couldn’t have old logs, then I didn’t want it,” she says.
Teaming up with nearby Walden Log Homes proved to be the perfect solution. Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the company scours the country for falling-down and soon-to-be-demolished structures, then works with the owners to salvage the logs, barnwood, beams, and anything else they can repurpose into newly built homes filled with age, character, and charm.
In With the Old
From the hemlock ceiling beams to the 300-year-old heart pine floors, nearly 80% of the Cashes’ cabin is made of reclaimed materials. Sourced from barns in Tennessee and Virginia and a mill in South Carolina, the home’s materials have roots throughout the South, with each piece of wood adding its own history. “We’re just the latest caretakers of these logs,” says Julie. “They have a real story to tell. Each time you look at them, you see something different.”
ou can still see all of the old holes and nails in the porch railing, which is made from tobacco barn poles that were originally laid horizontally to hang the tobacco leaves for drying. Bernie, the Cashes’ cattle dog mix, digs the log cabin lifestyle.
Crafted by Birmingham artisan Gary Sasnett, a surround of rustic barn-wood cabinets, topped with teak countertops, makes for a kitchen with lots of warmth and texture. The custom-built island and hanging plate rack (also by Gary) reinforce the acquired-over-time feel of the new home. The black soapstone apron-front sink delivers farmhouse style in an understated, feast-your-eyes-on-those-cabinets way.
The heart pine floors are milled from 300-year-old beams salvaged from a demolished South Carolina mill.
A mix of black Windsors hand-crafted by Lawrence Crouse Workshop surrounds the farm table. The painted bench is a throwback to Jimmy’s childhood “when there was always a bench for the kids to sit on,” he says. In between the beams, Julie painted the paneled ceiling—made of new wood—Snow White by Benjamin Moore, a look she continued throughout the house. “With so much natural wood, I wanted to create a visual break,” she says. She only ever painted new wood, though, not wanting to alter the finish of any of the reclaimed materials. The antique German Black Forest antler chandelier was a lucky antiquing find. It and the Navajo-patterned rug reflect the home’s Western influence.
Stately black-and-white buffalo check wing chairs provide a cozy spot for recreation or reading. Carpenter Bobby Gaydon crafted the built-in book-shelves out of tobacco poles and unsanded barnwood, adding the classic Z design to mimic the interior doors throughout the house. The hefty scale of the room’s rectangular poplar logs adds age-old architectural interest. (Most reclaimed logs run about 6 inches in diameter, but the Cashes’ measure an impressive 14 to 22 inches thick.) The material between each is Walden Log Homes’ own mix of mortar chinking. “Because the logs have already stood the test of time, we can use a more authentic-looking material rather than a synthetic one,” says Dan Robinson, co-owner of the company.
Originally posted 2015-09-10 13:01:47.