Photography and video courtesy of Magnolia Network's "The Cabin Chronicles"
How did you discover it?
“Six years ago we found this property. I wanted to find something out in the country and my wife really wanted something on the lake, and it's almost impossible to try to find both of those things. So it’s kind of provided the best of both worlds and the fact that it's private, we've got tons of woods and wildlife but yet it's close to town and it's also on the water.”
What was the process of making it yours like?
“It had been in the same family since 1978 and it's a pretty small A-frame type house. We slowly went through the process of gutting it and completely overhauling the whole place. It's been kind of designed as you go, so to speak. We took a lot of found objects and turned them into new things, whether it's beams that we found and made kitchen islands and coffee tables out of or church pews that we used for wall coverings.”
How does it typically get used?
“The light here is fantastic. It's just full of windows, so it's perfect for a studio. I like that kind of privacy and quiet, that ability to think…it truly is a great place to work. My kids are older now so we're not gathering as much as we used to when they were small but when they're home, yeah, we're here.”
Any advice for someone starting a similar project?
“Well, you definitely want to get the guts right. First, we had a lot of the plumbing and electrical redone. And we love a super-open floor plan so we took the whole first floor of the cabin and knocked down every wall in the place. It was really trying to open everything up. It’s almost like a chef when they're cooking, so much is about the ingredients that you put into it.
I love wood that's got some age on it, so we spent a lot of time gathering the materials that we're gonna give it that kind of feel, like the hardwood floors that came out of a house from 1850. I think it's important that you spend the time on that and we couldn't do all that at once, we had to kind of do it in stages but I feel it really paid off in the look of the space.”
You must have a favorite spot.
“I think the deck. That was one of the last things we put on the house, so we probably went a good five years without an outdoor deck. Once we put that on it really kind of tied this together.
I'm a huge sports fan. When we took out all the ceilings and opened up all the walls, there was this fireplace and so we took advantage of that. We were able to put two TVs on either side of the fireplace: there's a big TV in the kitchen and a big TV in the dining area. It’s perfect for ball games.”
When you’re at the cabin, what are you wearing?
“To this day I have the original Shoals Denim Shirt we ever made. It's got a few patches from running into barbed wire fences and stuff but that is the ultimate cabin piece. That and our Dover Sweatshirt, which again, I still have one of the first that we did and it's well-worn, broken in, and comfortable. The Natchez Chore Coat is perfect too because when you're out on the property you need pockets—good pockets—and it definitely fits the vibe of the place.
They’re just going to get better the more you break them with all those little bumps. That's the beauty of it.”
Be sure to catch Billy’s episode of “The Cabin Chronicles,” available on discovery+ and the Magnolia app now.
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