Rustic English Country Style in the Smoky Mountains

One of my kids’ favorite vacation destinations is the Smoky Mountains. When my son turned 16, he wanted to celebrate by spending Spring Break with our extended family in Gatlinburg.

I spent days poring over all the listings for cabin rentals and it was hard to choose–there are so many nice ones out there. If this amazing property had been on the rental websites, though, it would’ve been a no-brainer. This would be my fantasy vacation spot in the Smokies!

Featured in Architectural Digest, Toad Hall belongs to Kreis and Sandy Beall, and it sits on 32 acres in Tennessee. The architect was Jack Davis, and they brought Atlanta-based designer Suzanne Kasler in to give the log house some English Country Style.

The timber used for the buildings was gathered from old log barns around Tennessee: “They form a robust and richly textured background for the Bealls’ vast collections of 18th- and early-19th-century European furnishings and household ornaments.”

Decorating the interiors of a log house proved to be a bit of a challenge. Kasler told AD: “It’s an English country house made out of logs—a dark surround you’re working with, and everything had to have texture and dimension. Fabrics had to have enough weight to hold their own. Scale and strength were key elements.”

The English-style gardens were designed by Mary Palmer Dargan and are found all around the property. Love this rustic gate that leads to a cutting garden:

There are also some guest cottages on the property. Suzanne Kasler tells AD that the two-room Tadpole Cottage was “built from a simple sketch. The builder just put it together.” She adds that two words that embody the property are “charm and folly!”

Wish I could spend my next vacation here! You can read the article by John Loring and see the rest of the photos by Jeff Herr in Architectural Digest. Thanks to Missy for telling me about it!

P.S. Click here to see Suzanne Kasler’s own Regency-style home in Atlanta.

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  1. The Decor Girl says

    Nice juxtaposition of styles. Looks so pretty and inviting from the front entrance. :)

  2. missy says

    I’m so glad you liked this one!! I didn’t know you vacationed here. Get in touch with me next time you come down. I would love to show you around Knoxville. I might be able to get you in to see Blackberry Farm. This house is somewhere on the grounds (they have so much acerage, I don’t know if you can see it…I don’t remember seeing it when I’ve been up there). We have some beautiful homes here, and I’ve got a designer friend that could help us out!

  3. Amy says

    What a lovely home- my first thought was what an amazing place to spend Thanksgiving. Thanks for this one- it was a walk down memory lane for me as our family spent many vacation days in the Smoky Mountains when my children were small, never in anything as grand as this- but the cabins we did stay in were beautiful all the same!

  4. says

    The house is really suited to the natural environment – it’s wonderful! Love the rustic design. These cabins look authentic and comfortable. And that kitchen is fantastic!!! Well done!

  5. says

    I especially love this month’s issue of AD. These articles suit my way of living!!
    This one in particular is a place I would be right at home in!! *sigh*

  6. Jane says

    Would love to stay there on vacation. Nice mix of American rustic and English style. Wouldn’t want to live there, though, but after a visit I might change my mind. Our current home, not my usual stye, is one I love. Our tiny first home is one I loved on sight but a nightmare to live in. Too noisy. Too small. Constant need for renovations.

    So i think homes need to be lived in to see if they truly are a fit.

  7. says

    It’s a lovely place. I wonder if all of the decorative elements are permanently in the kitchen? They are pretty but very impractical when one is actually *cooking*. I’d hate to have to clean all of those place settings and paintings every time I used the stovetop.

  8. says

    I’ve seen the living room around PInterest but I didn’t know the backstory — thanks for sharing, It looks so misty and romantic.

  9. Dean says

    Holy Smoke(y)s! :-) That is one beautiful home! Some of the decor is a little over the top for me, but it looks like a very special place.

  10. Stephanie says

    Wow – Love it <3 Would be a beautiful vacation home to spend holidays with family and friends!

  11. OKMrazor says

    Really not a fan of log houses. Really AM a fan of this one, though. Bravo!

  12. Karen says

    This is beautiful and that kitchen is gorgeous, although not too practical. I was wondering too if all of the decorative elements are permanently in the kitchen? I suspect that they don’t cook on that gorgeous stove–maybe just boil some water for a pot of tea and delicious scones. I’d wonder about the paitings and decorative place settings everytime that one would use the stovetop and I sure wouldn’t want to have to clean them, but then I suspect that this maybe someone else’s job too. Such a lovely place!

  13. says

    WOWZA! Everything about that property is absolutely stunning! I never would have visited the Smokey Mountains if it weren’t for two of my daughters getting jobs as performers in the “Tennessee Shindig” show in Pigeon Forge a couple of years ago! I went back three times to see them and fell in LOVE with that area too! Gatlinburg is just charming … how fun for you!!!

  14. jan says

    That is the place I always dreamed of. I could move in just as it is.

  15. Laura says

    Love that house! I don’t really like log cabins either, but they decorated it beautifully and it works. The kitchen is fantastic! I have paintings in my kitchen, too, but it’s not a problem. I guess the plates might get splattered occasionally, but they’d be easy to clean. Are the paintings really within spatter range? I don’t think so. And speaking of ranges, wow! I’d love to have that beauty.

  16. Carolyn says

    I clipped this article from AD to go in my inspiration file. I’m actually fortunate to have a small Appalachian style (square logs, dovetail corners) log cabin in the mountains of North Carolina just outside of Asheville. Mine is new, not reclaimed, so doesn’t have this patina, but it’s not as dark, either. But the logs are all hand-hewn and we have a big stone fireplace. I love the mix of English country style with the rustic, and that’s the kind of look I’m going for, though mine is not as formal as this. No kitschy cabin or pioneer look for me. And, yes, a cabin in the woods on a mountain is heavenly, and Asheville is a really cool town. As for the featured property, its owners do have Blackberry Farm (a fantastic resort), but this is in a different location where they can ‘get away’.

  17. Lisa T. says

    Thanks for sharing this one Julia. I love everything about it, even though log cabins aren’t usually my thing and neither are English traditional elements. I want to go to Gatlinburg now.

  18. Joan says

    Most beautiful bedroom! The bed and chandelier are so beautiful!

  19. Kim says

    Wow! If I ever were to have a vacation home, this is the style I would want. I love the warm and rustic feel this place has so much that I would never want to leave. I also love how they used wood from old barns. You can tell heart and soul went into building this place.

  20. ShabbyChick says

    We had a log home on a lake in Michigan before we moved here to Mississippi. They are very nice and homey….but require a LOT of maintenance! They surely are great for rentals, though! Can’t beat the Smokies , either! 😉

  21. Joan says

    ShabbyChick, I was wondering how their battle with carpenter bees was going. All my exterior wood- cedar porch posts, even the soffits that are painted- have to be replaced. What kind of maintenance did you have to do? In Georgia, staining and even painting will not keep out the bees. I have explored the old covered bridges and cabins and have discovered the wood is treated with creosole. Not a consideration because of smell.

  22. laney says

    …love love love toad hall…next time you are in the smokies…make sure you go to cades cove…a treasure…especially in late winter and very early spring…when no one is there except for you…and the presence of people of long ago…blessings laney

  23. E. George says

    This is so beautiful thank you for sharing. I am going there ( in my dreams) there is nothing I don’t love about this home can’t pick on perfection. Hope you have a beautiful weekend. Regards Esther from Sydney.

  24. says

    Awww, my mountains! I live near them and I love them! This home is beautiful !!Thanks for sharing. I especially love the still life prints in the kitchen. I know they seem a little dated, but that is what I love about them. How brave!

  25. Terri S Crum says

    Beautiful & so inviting! Love all the stonework & the entrance/front of the home is just WOW! Standing on my front porch is a gorgeous view of the Smoky Mountains! I’m about 45 min away.

    I’m new to your blog…here from!… I’m really enjoying your blog & I just got lost pinning on your boards! Beautiful work!

  26. says

    The place has to be spectacular with the dream team of architect Jack Davis, designer Suzanne Kasler, landscape architect Mary Palmer Dargan, all Atlanta-based and doing us Southerners proud–especially those of us who live in New York. Add to the mix super-stylish client Kreis Beall and you have the makings of a domestic masterpiece. The Bealls are the beauty and brains behind the Inn at Blackberry Farm, by the way. Great post, Julia!

  27. Maria says

    Lovely beautiful property. Decorative elements above stoves always makes me smile though – you can tell someone doesn’t cook. :)

  28. says

    With all those extremely talented designers the result is magnificence….I met Mary Palmer Dargan years ago….love her book….and Blackberry Farm is the ultimate in places to stay….exquisite!…..I love this post Julia!