Rustic charm and contemporary touches merge in this mountain cabin for a family to enjoy. 
Woodland Retreat
The house is nestled in the woods at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
| Credit: Van Chaplin / Styling: Rose Nguyen

James and Diane Mulloy jokingly refer to their Monteagle, Tennessee, getaway as "Ca-BARN-et," a play on the words "cabin" (what the house was going to be), "barn" (what it looks like), and "Cabernet" (one of the red wines that James collects that gets better with age).

Located near a stream and a natural stone bridge, the house makes the most of exterior views. Another bridge leads to the front door, which opens into the home's second floor to reveal a view of the lower level.

Inspired by Childhood
The Mulloys originally planned to build a simple log cabin on their property. When friend and architect Tom Bauer caught wind of their plan, he insisted on designing a home for them, one inspired by the family and by the land.

James and Diane wanted a place where they could build positive memories with their children--Natalie, Connor, and Sarah--so they looked to their own childhoods. James wanted a home that felt like a tree house; Diane wanted the flavor of the red barns that peppered the rural Middle Tennessee landscape of her youth.

Tom fulfilled their wish list with a loftlike design that includes a two-story wall of windows for a tree house view from inside. Cedar board-and-batten siding was stained to mimic the look of an old barn.

Coming Home to Comfort
Inside, salvaged materials and warm colors distinguish this retreat. The long, two-story-high living space includes sitting and dining areas and a galley kitchen. The room is flanked by matching dry-stacked stone chimneys.

Honed granite countertops are paired with distressed red cabinets. Rippled glass on cabinet doors adds character, while exterior light fixtures, suspended throughout the space, maintain an outdoor flavor.

In the end, it is clear that a simple log cabin never stood a chance against this architect's grand plan.

Woodland Retreat
Pages 106-107: Architecture by Tom Bauer, Bauer Askew Architecture, Nashville, (615) 726-0047; builder was Terry Haynes, Haynes Construction Company, Monteagle, Tennessee, (931) 924-3150; interior design by Mary Beth Bauer, Bauer Askew Architecture; vintage wood by Brent Coursey, Woodstock Vintage Lumber, Inc., Nashville, (615) 506-3993.