Date: May 28, 2010 | Story: Diane Carroll | Styling: Diane Carroll |
Having rescued and restored six log cabins during the last three decades, Cynthia and Kirk Dupps proudly admit to “having a thing” for these rustic structures. “They’re like comfort food to us, our macaroni and cheese,” laughs Cynthia. “We both grew up in Kentucky, and they feel like part of our roots, and surely a part of history.”
From the first structure they renovated in Kentucky years ago, they progressed to resuscitating four more when they relocated to northwest Arkansas. Little surprise then that when they recently built their dream home on acreage overlooking Beaver Lake, adding a log cabin on the property soon figured into the picture.
Cynthia, an artist and past president of the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, found she needed more space and fewer interruptions than her studio built into the hallway of their home could provide. During jaunts to the Buffalo River area, the Dupps’ eldest daughter and her husband had discovered a small, sagging log cabin from the early 1900s that the owner was planning to tear down. Cynthia and her family saw the home’s potential as the base for a studio on their wooded homestead, and began the process of having the cabin disassembled, each log numbered, and then rebuilt in the new locale.
An avid recycler, Cynthia made use of the entire original structure and added other vintage elements as needed. “The cabin was just two dark, tiny rooms with low ceilings—100 years ago, people were shorter,” she says. “We decided to enlarge it and vault the ceilings to let in more daylight.” In doing so, they were able to repurpose the wood from the ceiling and use it as flooring. A concrete foundation was poured for a new room added alongside the log cabin, and Cynthia tied the two sections together by integrating reclaimed barn wood, flea-market-find doors and antique windows.
The new three-room space became her own personal artistic retreat, a place where she creates jewelry, conducts art classes for her grandchildren and occasional students, and hosts shows twice a year highlighting her new work and other area artists. The original cabin’s living area serves as display space for her jewelry shows, the adjacent room functions as a kitchen, holding refreshments during her receptions and sporting a vintage refrigerator, and the new area is her light-filled work space.
“One of the bright spots in my life is instructing our grandchildren in jewelry design, painting and more,” says Cynthia, noting that being able to do so in her log cabin combines both of her passions. “Inspirational works of art, interiors that I’ve rescued from bygone days, and the serenity of this setting serve me up a double dose of contentment,” she adds.
Contractor Holloway Construction, Eureka Springs
Accessories Vintage Cargo, Eureka Springs
Antiques Old Sale Barn Antique Outlet, Eureka Springs
Window treatments Melissa Greene, Eureka Springs