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Woods Hill Log Homes’ customers, Peter and Denise DiLorenzo, changed their lives dramatically when they moved from Rhode Island to the Appalachian Mountains of Upper East Tennessee in 2007. Denise’s mother, Rita, who was 88 at the time of this article and pictured above, did not want to stay behind. Of course, Denise did not want to be so far from her mother either.

“It was my husband’s idea to build two log homes and join them together,” Denise said. And that’s exactly what they did.

Honest Abe Independent Dealers Reeves and Deanna Snyder of Woods Hill Log Homes and Honest Abe’s in-house design team, collaborated with the family to create a plan that worked.

Rita liked the Newport floor plan with only the master bedroom. Peter and Denise chose the Frontier. And the two became one! The design team placed the two plans side-by-side and put a doorway in the shared interior wall.  A covered porch runs the length of the two homes and makes the exterior look like it is one home.

Both Denise and Rita are master quilters so the home was put on a basement where their quilting supplies are contained and there’s a place for Rita to park her car. “My mother has the sewing room she’s always wanted,” Denise said. “She has a bedroom, bath, living room, kitchen/dining area and a utility room.”

Peter and Denise are pleased with the decision they made about the dual home design and has no regrets about the family moving from New England to the Tennessee mountains.

This D-Log home addresses some of the most serious concerns by both parents and children as parents age. Rita has the security of knowing that in a medical emergency she has people who love her right next door. 

Being able to retain independence has a positive mental and emotional impact on aging people. Rita cooks her own meals, pursues her hobbies, drives her own vehicle and otherwise experiences the independence she has known all her life.

Story by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes

Photos by Deanna Snyder

The dual home’s facade belies the fact that two completely separate residences are housed within one structure.

The full-length deck is accessbile through french doors from either of the homes.

Denise and her mother share a full-length

porch with a gate on the front porch to keep Petie, Denise’s dog, on her side of the porch.

One door separates the two homes. Rita and Denise respect one another’s privacy, and knocking is required before entering. 

Gardening is a favorite pasttime, and this log gardner’s cottage makes it even more enjoyable.