A log cabin built for two on 10 acres is also a welcome destination for friends and family.

Tony and Doreen Hounshell originally purchased their 10-acre wooded property near Moscow, Ohio, with the intent to use it for hunting and occasional picnics with friends and family. Though it is located only about 30 miles away from their full-time residence, it wasn’t long before they decided to build a weekend getaway on the land so they could spend the night there comfortably. “Tony grew up in the area, and his childhood friend owns property adjacent to ours,” says Doreen. “They hunted Tony’s friend’s property, and then ours went up for sale.” Now the couple’s cabin serves as a weekend retreat, hunting cabin, and gathering place for friends and family. 

Doreen and Tony started looking at cabin designs in 2014. They decided to work with Appalachian Log Structures, based in Ripley, West Virginia, through Anita Dyer, an independent representative they met at a log home show in Columbus, Ohio. “They understood what we wanted, a small structure with a large porch,” says Doreen. “Although we were buying a small cabin, Anita treated us with great respect and consideration.”

The 528-square-foot cabin, based on Appalachian Log Structures’ “Fairlea” design with some minor changes, is just right for a weekend getaway for two. The couple had lots of help with the planning and design. “Tony and I don’t have any children, but we have many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and lots of friends that are like family to us,” says Doreen. “Many of these people were involved in the planning and construction of the cabin.”

“People build for how they are going to use the building and what they need,” says Dorie Workman, vice president of marketing and advertising for Appalachian Log Structures. “The Fairlea is popular with people looking for a small cabin. People like the simplicity—this design is simple yet has all of the design elements you want.”

Appalachian Log Structures connected Doreen and Tony to their builder, Donnie Daugherty. “Donnie and his crew were excellent,” says Doreen. “We acted as the general contractor but having Donnie and his crew working with us was helpful because they picked up on details that we missed, and they were able to rectify the situation.” The cabin was built with 6×11 double-V Eastern white pine logs with authentic dovetail corners and was constructed in just five days. “We borate pressure treat our pine logs, which gives them a 25-year warranty against rot and decay,” says Workman. “The cellular structure of the white pine accepts that treatment very well, so our clients are comfortable that their home will last.”

The cabin has a small but efficient kitchen and a cozy living area, plus a bathroom and a sleeping loft. The covered front porch is spacious and effectively adds outdoor living space. “The two important features were the porch, which we expanded from 6 feet to 8 feet, and keeping the interior space open since there is only 352 square feet of space on the main floor,” says Doreen. Visiting children love the loft because they can climb up to it via a rolling ladder.

These days the couple enjoys relaxing weekends at their little getaway. Tony enjoys hunting on the property and spends time metal- and wood-working while Doreen enjoys cooking and sewing. But just as they envisioned, their favorite way to spend time on their property is entertaining family and friends. “We have hosted Low Country boils, Easter egg hunts, Labor Day cookouts, Memorial Day celebrations, and Fourth of July parties,” says Doreen.

Since construction was completed in 2015, the couple has continued to make improvements, adding a retaining wall, fire pit, and patio—and furnishing the cabin with antique finds. Tony, a welder by trade, built the kitchen island. Both Tony and Doreen enjoy gardening, so they spend time working on landscaping the property together. “They did a great job taking that little space and making it a cute cabin,” says Workman.

As the saying goes, good things come in small packages. The Hounshells’ cabin may be small, but it offers all of the joys of log home living in a low-maintenance package that’s just right for them. “When we first walked into the finished space, the cabin felt warm and loving to us,” says Doreen. “The warm feeling came from knowing that our loved ones, both friends and family, helped this retreat come to fruition.”

  • Log home producer: Appalachian Log Structures. Ripley, West Virginia
  • Log home builder: Donnie Daugherty, Pine Knot, Kentucky
  • One-story home plus loft
  • Square footage: 528
  • Bedrooms: Loft
  • Bathrooms: 1