Excepts from "Logged In"
Story by Lisa Gaddy
Photography by Roger Wade

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The Home Featured In This Article is
The Riverside Model.  It can be 
found in our
Catalogue & CD-ROM.
To Order Catalogue or CD-Rom, Click Here
Riverside Homeowners - The WillsIf anyone had told Dean Wills 10 years that her and her husband Angier's retirement home would take the form of a log house, she'd have been incredulous.  "Angier had always wanted a log house or something with a lot of wood, but I had not thought about {one}, " she says.  "I was thinking we would build a traditional house."

When the Wills visited the Atlanta Home Show in 1997 to get ideas, they happened upon a display by Hearthstone, a company specializing in log and timber frame houses.  Angier asked Dean if she would consider a timber-frame house if not a log house, and, at The Riversideher agreement, began to collect information on building one.  But the idea of a log dwelling stayed with Dean as she started looking at log home magazines and paid a visit to a Hearthstone representative who owned such a home in Calhoun, Georgia.  Soon afterward, she decided she, too, would like one.  "Of course, Angier jumped all over that," she says with a laugh.

Riverside Study
Riverside Master Bedroom
Riverside Guest Bedroom

The Wills traveled to Hearthstone's home office in Tennessee to meet with the company's architect.  For the basic log structure of the house, they decided on a design using square-cut logs rather than round, cut from the center portion of trees and retaining a natural, rough-hewn edge, which the Wills say now attracts the attention of countless passers-by.  The Wills sketched their floor plans, and Hearthstone's architect drew the finished plans to their specifications.  The result was a very open layout that lets the natural beauty of the log walls shine.  "Angier could have lived in one big room, I think," Dean jokes.  Builder David Gardner of Grandview Construction took the job.  The footings were laid in October 1997, and the Wills moved in the following July.  To Harmonize with the home's rustic look, the couple kept the interior furnishings simple, a combination of newly purchased items and pieces that were transferred from their Atlanta residence.  "The pieces we brought were antiques and other items that had meaning to us," Dean says.  These include all of the furnishings in the upstairs bedrooms; an old secretary that the couple bought when they first married; and a rough timber corner cabinet in the dining room, dating from the 1920s.  Dean chose Mission-style furniture to fill in the remaining areas, a departure from the country look one might associate with a log home.  "It's just too cluttered for me," she says.

The kitchen is one of Dean's favorite rooms in the house.  "I love it, and I put it to good use - I cook more since we've been up here," she says.  A large center island houses two ovens, storage space for cookbooks and sundries, and a small sink that allows the island to double as a bar when the couple entertains.  A commercial cooktop and other ultra-modern appliances provide everything the gourmet cook could want.  Kitchen and bath designer Mary Dodge (now based in Charleston) helped bring the look of the kitchen, as well as that of the bathrooms, together.
Riverside Dining Room
Riverside Living Room
Riverside Kitchen
Riverside StairsThe Wills enjoy the relaxed change in lifestyle that their Jasper home has brought.  "I grew up in the country near a small town, and I wanted to get back to that," Dean remarks.  "The older I got the more I wanted the peace and tranquility of the country." The home sits on a ridge, both sides of which provide scenic views of nearby mountains.  In the morning, the couple can see the sunrise from their front porch and, later, catch the sunset from the back deck.  They further enhanced the relaxing atmosphere with a waterfall in front of the house cascading down to a fish pond, the gentle gurgle of which drifts up to the front porch swing.
Riverside Rear DeckBut peace and quiet isn't the same as boredom.  Dean has taken a master gardner's course and loved working in the perennial garden and greenhouse she has put in, and she also enjoys watching the birds that flock to the backyard.  Angier relaxes with backpacking and fishing trips, two of his longtime favorite pursuits.  The home lends itself to entertaining as well.  "We've had a lot of people come up to spend the night or the weekend," Dean says.  "We've had several parties and entertained the neighbors, and we even had a party for the crew that worked on the house - we had such a good time with them."  For the Wills, the combination of leisure and liveliness they enjoy at their home makes the so-called "golden years" golden, indeed.

John Ricketson
Project Manager
120 Carriage Drive, Macon, GA  31210
(877) 662-6135 Toll Free
(478) 474-9370 or FAX (478) 477-6535

E-mail: hearthstonehomes@mindspring.com

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Last Updated: October, 2014