Over the last few decades, Terry Talley has built more than 60 log cabins in Mississippi and the mountains of Tennessee. His daughter, Michelle Thompson, had been visiting him on job sites since she was a child. Last year, she and her family bought a piece of land and Talley started on his most elaborate project yet—Michelle’s forever home.
Michelle is originally from Mathiston, but her family has lived in Starkville for the last several years, where she works at Rick’s Furniture. When they decided to build, they chose the community of Pheba, a short 15 minute drive from the heart of the college town.
“It’s such a tight knit community,” she said. “You know all of your neighbors and they ride by and say, ‘hello.’ It’s so nice.”
Michelle’s husband, Steve, wanted a classic log cabin, but Michelle wanted a farmhouse.Their compromise was an exposed log exterior and painted logs on the inside to create a painted shiplap look. Michelle chose shades of white, open shelving and a spacious entertaining area to keep the space light and airy.
Even with the white walls and cabinets, the kitchen is surprisingly warm. Wood tones from the floor, vent hood and reclaimed wood island drive home the farmhouse theme. The island is the secret to the flow of the kitchen—it provides extra counter space, a makeshift dining table and tons of storage inside. Michelle was intentional in making the best use of her space. The slate grey countertops and modern pendant lights add modern touches to an otherwise vintage-inspired room. A walk-in pantry with a screen door, Michelle’s favorite interior room, sits just off the kitchen.
The living room is distinctly Southern, complete with a tobacco basket, cotton, wrought iron and a cow painting. Michelle’s 25 years of furniture experience is evident in her furniture choices. The family room is chic but inviting and totally livable with washable slip-covers on the couch and a rustic coffee table that isn’t easily damaged by 17-year-old sons.
The master bedroom is beautifully appointed, with shades of white, tan and grey and perfectly-placed windows streaming in natural light. The ensuite is rustic, with tin and reclaimed wood and
Across the family room, a hallway leads to the additional rooms. The first door leads to the large laundry room, which was decorated with as much attention to detail as the common areas. On the opposite wall, four sewing machines sit perched on wooden floating shelves. They belonged to Michelle’s grandmother. To the right is Michelle’s son, Clay’s, room. It features Mississippi State memorabilia and guitars, showcasing his hobbies while keeping with the aesthetic flow of the home. To the left is the guest room. An antique family photo hangs by the welcoming bed. The bathroom at the end of the hall doubles as the guest bath and Clay’s. Like the master, it features tin and antiques, with the addition of some feather decor for a little whimsy.
The outdoor areas are like rooms in themselves. The front porch is seasonally decorated with a porch bed and coffee table. Out the back door is a screened-in porch, which is a must for any Mississippi home according to Michelle. It features an outdoor dining table and a seating area.
“The screened-in back porch is the best addition. We spend a lot of time out there,” Michelle said.
And, the Thompson homestead would not be complete without the many pets they share it with—a plucky dachshund, a barn cat, several chickens and a few goats. A storage shed sits nearby the house with miniature barn doors and lean-tos on each side for their golf carts and other toys.
With Clay leaving the nest soon, Michelle built her home for the next chapter—a slower lifestyle with time to entertain and relax and enjoy her home and land.
“We have a lot left that we would like to do, but it’s the perfect home for us,” Michelle said. “This is where we plan on staying for the rest of our lives.”
Terry, on the other hand, is only busier since building the Thompson home. The farmhouse style has drummed up a lot of new business, including projects for other relatives.