Joyce and Roger Heard loved living on their 106-acre property in western Kentucky but, as they got older, they wanted to downsize and simplify their lives.
Joyce, now 84, dreamed of building a simple cabin in the woods, but worried about their ability to keep up with the maintenance required for wood log siding. She began researching other options online and stumbled upon an appealing alternative: Steel log siding.
After checking out samples from TruLog Siding in Loveland, Colorado, and learning more about this low-maintenance building material, Joyce and Roger were hooked. They ordered steel siding in a red cedar pattern, and Joyce got to work sketching out plans for their new cabin.
They found a wooded, 27-acre property near Cadiz, Kentucky, and began clearing the land for the cabin and a large pole-barn outbuilding in the spring of 2017. They hired Amish workers for most of the construction, but did a little of the finishing work themselves.
Roger, a building contractor by trade, made the live-edge window and door trim pieces from maple he harvested from their former property. He also created two maple feature walls for the cabin’s interior and cedar posts for the front porch, also made from wood harvested from their old property. The couple installed a hand-carved deer scene panel, created by Vermont-based artist Hugo Mesa, on the front door.
Inside, the cabin has an open-concept layout, with the living room, dining room and kitchen designed as one big room. The walls and vaulted ceilings are made from pine — tongue-and-groove on the ceilings and shiplap on the walls. The couple decorated their cabin with log furniture, rustic maple cabinetry and other personal touches.
“It all feels very rustic and I use a lot of antler decor — some faux, some real,” says Joyce, who is a bowhunter. “There is a deer mount over the fireplace and mounted elk antlers in the sunroom.”
The cabin’s location is perfect for the Heards, who value their privacy and want to be close to nature, but still like to be near services and stores.
“I refer to it as our little sanctuary,” says Joyce. “Every day, we watch deer and wild turkeys come into our backyard while we eat or relax in our sunroom.”
Roger, 74, was at first hesitant to leave their larger property, which friends lovingly referred to as “Heard Park.” But now that he lives in the cabin — and on a property that requires much less maintenance — he’s happy they made the move.
“Now that we have our new home, I feel like it is perfect for us and a place we will have no problem caring for,” says Roger. “We still have enough property on which to enjoy the wildlife and hike around, and I settled for planting several fruit trees and watching them grow instead of working in a garden. Life is much simpler and even better now.”
Home DetailsSquare Footage: 1,388, plus a partially finished basement