Pleasing mix: Cruise this old/new cabin

ADDRESS: 1112 Dobby Creek Road

ASKING: $238,900

BUILDING: 1536 sq. ft., 247 sq. ft. unfinished (shed)

LAND: 7.44 acres



CURB APPEAL: 9 of 10

LISTED BY: Annette Daly, Monticello Country Realtors, 962-2095

As Charlottesville becomes more urban with every new stoplight, turn lane, and in-fill condo, and the suburban Albemarle County ring swells with fancy "fill-'er-up" food and fuel stops (and ever more big box retailers), a harried resident might just want to pull up short and say, "Whoa! I need some elbow room!"

Daniel Boone probably wouldn't be happy putting down stakes in very many places in the 21st century, not even several miles off the beaten track of Route 6, just east of Scottsville. But that doesn't mean someone else might not find comfort in the country.

This contemporary two-bedroom log cabin on almost seven and a half acres of mostly wooded property presents a fun mixture of a homespun aesthetic and 21st-century creature comforts. For starters, imagine lolling in the luxury of a six-person hot tub on the deck, taking in the starry night's wonders sans annoying light pollution from urban sprawl. Or enjoying a meal fixed on a Jenn-Air stove or in a convection oven in a kitchen decked out with cabinets of "wormy" chestnut.

How about gathering kindling from the yard for the woodstove, and then settling in to watch your favorite satellite TV channels? (You can choose to re-activate either the petite new saucer or the larger steel structure from the '80s, both of which remain in the side yard.)

The interior layout is simple-­ as befits a log cabin-­ with two large rooms on each floor separated by the enclosed central stairway and chimney. The living room and kitchen/dining areas are downstairs, the bedrooms up. The master bedroom is distinguished primarily by its two closets.

Don't worry about outhouses in this "vacation" cabin: the facilities include a half bath on the first floor (with an unusual dark brown toilet and more exposed log walls) and a full bath upstairs with a tub in a more traditional beige. While a heat pump provides AC in the summer and warmth in the winter, electric baseboards, up and down, can augment the latter as needed.

There's a light touch of wallpapering in the bathrooms and kitchen, but the prominent theme on both floors is unpainted wood: hardwood floors, wood mini-blinds– and especially in the striking Lincoln Log construction. Cleaning the exposed logs is made easier with the help of a central vacuum system. (More evidence of the house's interesting rustic/upscale schizophrenia!)

The owners raised a son here before striking out to build a new house nearby, which explains the basketball hoop on the shed at the head of the driveway and the makings of a tree house further back. Late autumn isn't the best time of year to judge a landscaped yard, but the cleared property surrounding the house shows signs of being carefully planned and maintained.

Remnants of flower gardens, a variety of mid-sized trees and shrubs, plus several squirrel-proof bird feeders, are visible both from the front and back porches. Speaking of animals, a pen with a high fence adjacent to the shed is ready and waiting for some four-legged canine companion.

Two ceiling fans cool the back porch (covered like the front porch) which becomes a deck providing commanding views of the private portions of the lot. The pie-shaped property has its widest dimension along Route 662 in front; a deep wedge of woods lies to the south. Despite the forested nature of the lot on three sides, a large expanse of neighboring land is rolling pastureland, affording a serene and open view to the east as well as a welcoming view of the house itself from Dobby Creek Road.

The log cabin look won't appeal to everyone, and without a basement or attic, some potential buyers may find the space too limiting for contemporary life's flotsam. The half-hour commute up Route 20 could also be off-putting if you need a lot of civilization's extras.

But Caffe Bocce pizza and Dew Drop Inn lemon meringue pie are barely 10 minutes away in Scottsville, and rumor has it the back roads can get you to the mall in Short Pump in just an hour!