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A Relaxing Ranch Retreat

This equine-loving couple wasn’t horsin’ around when it came to building their forever home.

Written by Suzanna Logan
Photography by Joseph Hilliard


Over the past few decades, the scenery around Jeff and Janet Taylor’s 44-acre Ohio property, dubbed Cedar Ridge Stables, has remained largely unchanged. Horses lazily graze on verdant grass carpets, their meal set to the soundtrack of birdsong. Bushy-tailed foxes dart for cover from one clump of trees to the next, while deer saunter across the fields. Every now and again, a wild turkey joins the crew. Each day, when the sun crests above the trees, the scene plays on repeat. 

But one thing has changed in recent years — the best spot for taking it all in. For a century, a worn, 19th-century timber-framed farmhouse sat just a few feet from the pasture’s edge. Now, a pristine timber frame home stands in its place.

The timber hybrid came into being after the Taylors’ children graduated from college and the couple decided “it was time to get the ball rolling” on a new home. 

“We looked at all different styles of homes, but Log & Timber Home Living was pretty powerful in narrowing down the type of house we wanted,” shares Jeff. A timber hybrid quickly won them over for its timeless beauty and energy efficiency.

Choosing the details of the home’s layout also came with ease. With plans to sink their roots down deep, the couple needed a home that would serve them now and well into the future. They also wanted a place that could pull double duty as a retreat for two or for ten. “The idea was that it would be a place for us to enjoy in retirement, but since it’s on the horse farm, we also wanted to be able to gather with family and friends,” shares Jeff.

To achieve this multi-use haven, the couple reached out to Bruce Bode of Heavy Timber Truss & Frame. Together, they came up with a ranch-style home made for retirement living with a walk-out basement for entertaining. “Still, the home functions primarily as single-level living,” affirms Bruce. 

In addition to the main living spaces, a primary suite with a connected laundry room and home office are situated on the main floor. “Through the design phase, our goal was to think towards the future,” shares Jeff. “Everything we need is easily accessible.” 

The lower level includes a spacious guest suite and recreation space (complete with a Ping Pong table and media center), along with Jeff’s woodworking shop and mechanical room. French doors lead to a covered patio and fire pit. 

Inside and out, the timber frame gives the forever home a fitting sense of permanence. Sandwiched between the cypress-framed entrance and covered rear porch, a series of impressive Douglas fir king post trusses with curved bottom chords bring eye-catching style to the main living area. “We love the look of the big timbers,” shares Jeff. “They bring the ‘wow’ factor.” 

A bevy of other special design details found their inspiration in the couple’s future-forward thinking. “Because we expect to be here a long time and had planned this home in our minds for so long, we were able to add those extra accents that make this a very pleasant place to be,” says Jeff. Hand-hewn beams rescued from the original farmhouse appear in the primary suite, while a reclaimed walnut beam graces the fireplace. One particularly novel feature is Bruce’s brainchild: the stone-clad, turret-like addition off the kitchen. “We used a segmented round wall to give that dining area 180-degree views,” he says.

But the house was designed for more than good looks. When it came to choosing finishes, functionality was the name of the game — as it should be in a retirement retreat. On the exterior, cultured stone, Hardie siding and cypress timbers promise easy upkeep, while the interiors feature durable laminate flooring. “It can hold up against all the dogs and dirt,” says Jeff. “After taking care of the farm chores, we usually head back inside to the screened-in porch to relax and listen to the birds.”

Even with the added work a horse farm brings, the couple says sharing the property makes the experience even more magical. “I love it out here, being so close to the horses,” sighs Janet. “It’s quiet and serene.”

Whether for the two-legged or four, it’s no doubt Cedar Ridge Stables is the ideal forever home for all. 


Home Details

Square Footage: 4,000

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 3

Designer/Timber Provider: Heavy Timber Truss & Frame


See Also: Get the Best of Both Worlds with Hybrid Homes

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