Wedded Bliss | A Log Home for Newlyweds

Newlyweds retire to a country-style love nest in Tennessee.

As soon as the plane touched down in Oklahoma, Helen McGuire put on her wedding veil and hit the tarmac. What's unique about that? For one, she wasn't even engaged. "When other passengers asked if I was getting married, I laughed and told them no," says Helen, who explained that she was en route to a blind date set up by her brother and sister-in-law. "I had my doubts, but figured if he did turn out to be perfect, I'd be ready!" As promised, Helen's matchmakers were waiting at the airport with Roy Snow, whom they promised was the ideal guy for her. "You know how that goes; it's almost always a disaster," laughs Helen, who went through her share of well-meaning fix-ups after her first husband passed away. "I wore the veil to see if Roy had a sense of humor, but it turned out the joke was on me. I met him in February and we were married in June." Harley Ever After Helen was wearing that same veil when she and her new hubby pulled away from the chapel on Roy's motorcycle—the first of many journeys the couple would take together. "We rode all over the country looking for a place to retire," says Roy, who was planning to step down as a school superintendent in Anadarko, Oklahoma, the following year. "We traveled to Sedona, Santa Fe and Taos, then down through Texas, Alabama and Florida." But it was an extended pit stop at Helen's nephew's log cabin in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, that helped the couple see they'd been looking in all the wrong places. "The community just had this great atmosphere, like our hometown in Oklahoma," recalls Helen. (Although she and Roy grew up just 20 miles away from each other, they never crossed paths before their blind date.) Soon after, the couple began house-hunting in Leiper's Fork, a rural town about 30 minutes south of Nashville. They spent two years searching for the perfect riverfront log home with no success. "So we bought a nine-acre lot and built our own log home—and the pond to go with it," Roy says. KitchenMade to Order Helen had a clear vision for the perfect mate—and the perfect log home. So she designed a preliminary floorplan before she and Roy even thought about finding a log home company. But when that time came, the couple decided wholeheartedly on Old-Timer Log Homes of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. "They were genuinely interested in helping us build exactly the home we wanted," says Helen. And here are some of the unique design ideas that went into Roy and Helen's perfect home:
  • An Old-Timer stock plan was customized: the front became the back, the wings were flipped, and a screen porch and nearly 1,600-square-foot basement were added to the design.
  • In lieu of the more common brown hues, the Snows chose a stone gray stain and light gray chinking (both by Perma-Chink), which created a cool contrast against the barn-red, metal roof.
  • Roy worked on a lot of the house himself. Some of his projects included installing the stack-stone masonry, the tin roof, the hardwood and tile floors, and the staircases—one of which he built from timber cleared to make room for the two-acre pond out back.
  • The paintings and alabaster sculptures are all originals by Native American artists Robert Redbird and Ted Creepingbear, acquaintances from Roy's Anadarko days. One of the guest bedrooms boasts a replica Colt revolver and Roy's childhood riding saddle.
For more information on the Snows' Tennessee home, check out the February 2006 issue of Log Home Design.