The Cure for Cabin Fever

A North Carolina moun­tain log re­treat is the per­fect rem­edy to re­lieve long dis­tance re­la­tion­ships and fos­ter fam­ily to­geth­er­ness.

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS - story by Clau­dia John­son | photography by Joseph Hil­liard

A North Carolina moun­tain log re­treat is the per­fect rem­edy to re­lieve long dis­tance re­la­tion­ships and fos­ter fam­ily to­geth­er­ness.

There are two kinds of cabin fever. Gayle and Evan Peter­son had the good kind — the kind that whis­pers a mem­ory and teases of the fu­ture. A fever that starts low-grade, in­ten­si­fy­ing to the point that own­ing a log cabin is the only cure.

“Grow­ing up, my fam­ily spent sum­mers in a log cabin on a lake in New Jer­sey,” Evan re­calls. “There were many fond mem­o­ries of our sum­mers in the cabin. Three boys sleep­ing in one bed­room can be en­ter­tain­ing, if not rest­ful.”

Af­ter they were mar­ried, Gayle and Evan, who had been sweet­hearts through high school and col­lege, were drawn to wa­ter­front week­end es­capes with their own boys, boat­ing and swim­ming in the lake just as Evan had as a child. Some 40 years later, as the cou­ple con­tem­plated

re­tire­ment, cabin fever be­gan to rage.

“Gayle had a mag­a­zine about log homes and sug­gested that ‘ hav­ing one might be dif­fer­ent and cool,’” Evan says. “In an in­stant the mem­o­ries of the lake house came rush­ing back! It was a great idea, but we knew noth­ing about build­ing a log home.”

Dur­ing their lives to­gether, they had built four cus­tom homes and were liv­ing in the last one in Texas with a sec­ond home in Florida. How­ever, both homes were too far from their two sons who were now grown with fam­i­lies of their own. “Af­ter a great deal of re­search, we flew to North Carolina to look at prop­erty and met a cou­ple who would be­come our guides and con­fi­dants for the next three years,” ex­plains Evan, re­fer­ring to Hon­est Abe Log Homes in­de­pen­dent deal­ers Dar­lene and Rodger Daw­son, own­ers of Bear’s Den Log Homes.

That week­end they bought land at Grand­view Peaks near Nebo, North Carolina, al­most 1,400 miles from their home.

“Soon Gayle and Dar­lene started de­sign­ing the cabin,” Evan says, laugh­ing at the word “cabin” and re­mem­ber­ing that over the two years spent de­vel­op­ing a fi­nal plan, the house grew, then shrunk, then grew again.

Man­u­fac­tured by Hon­est Abe Log Homes in Moss, Ten­nessee, the re­sult­ing 3,250square-foot “cabin” is a cus­tom de­signed, three-bed­room D-log home with a heart­stop­ping view from any of its 18 win­dows that face the Blue Ridge Moun­tains.

“We sit on our deck in the morn­ing, have our cof­fee and watch the sun­rise,” Gayle says. “In the evenings, we sit around our fire pit with a glass of wine (or two) and en­joy how re­lax­ing and quiet it is in the moun­tains.”

Evan and Gayle agree that the cabin has be­come far more than a re­tire­ment home. With their boat moored nearby, they re-cre­ate for their grand­chil­dren some of the mem­o­ries that stoked their fer­vor — and fever — for a cabin.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful re­treat,” Gayle says with a sigh. “The cabin has be­come so much of what we do and who we are. Ev­ery day is a va­ca­tion in a won­der­ful place. And liv­ing in na­ture is good for the heart and soul.”

A porch balustrade, wo­ven with moun­tain lau­rel un­der a heavy tim­ber gabled ped­i­ment sup­ported by 6-by-6-inch posts on stone py­lons, in­vites vis­i­tors through the hand­made doors of Evan and Gayle Peter­son’s log home in the moun­tains of western North Carolina.

The 3,250-square-foot cus­tom home’s

8-by-10-inch dove­tailed D-logs are fin­ished with Perma-Chink’s Ul­tra2

835 in Se­quoia.

To com­ple­ment the log in­te­rior, the Peter­sons chose dry­wall painted with a cus­tom-mixed light gray shade for all non-wood wall sur­faces through­out the house. To cap­ture a rus­tic feel, the cou­ple re­quested that the stair­case posts and trusses re­main rough with only a light sand­ing ap­plied.

ABOVE: The Peter­sons sa­vor the lus­cious Blue Ridge land­scape from the rear of their house, which was de­signed for re­lax­ation on three lev­els: A 210-square-foot up­per deck span­ning the main floor, a lower deck off the stucco-fin­ished base­ment and gravel pa­tio with a fire pit.

OP­PO­SITE: Cap­tur­ing moun­tain vis­tas and flood­ing the great room with light, win­dows stretch from the vaulted ceil­ing to the hard­wood floors. Flanked by the mas­ter bed­room suite and the kitchen and din­ing area, the great room of­fers ac­cess to a wide, open loft.

Span­ning the main floor’s moun­tain-fac­ing side is a 210-square-foot open deck that be­comes a cov­ered porch on one end and a screened-in sit­ting room off the other. Dar­lene Daw­son, owner of Bear’s Den Log Homes who sold the Peter­sons their home pack­age and con­sulted with them through­out con­struc­tion, says she rec­om­mends An­der­sen 400 dou­ble-awning win­dows, which cre­ate an un­ob­structed view while pro­vid­ing both ven­ti­la­tion and pro­tec­tion from rain when open.

1 2 3 Perched on a moun­tain slope, the gravel pa­tio is en­hanced by a cen­tral stone fire pit and sta­bi­lized with a pres­sure treated re­tain­ing wall. Metal fur­ni­ture was de­signed and crafted by Gayle’s brother, Chip Ger­ber of Steel For­est Fur­ni­ture. 1: The mas­ter suite in­cludes a full bath­room and a walk-in closet sep­a­rated by a hand­made, space-sav­ing slid­ing door. Hon­est Abe dealer Dar­lene Daw­son ad­vises us­ing win­dows po­si­tioned near the ceil­ing in bed­rooms to al­low for flex­i­ble fur­ni­ture place­ment.

2 & 3: The mas­ter bath­room’s gray cab­i­nets are topped by an ac­cent­ing granite coun­ter­top with twin sinks. The 12-inch­square mul­ti­col­ored slate floor tiles carry through to the walk-in shower’s walls.

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