Category
How-To

Building with Green Materials

T he word “green” has joined the ranks of popular catchwords such as “natural,” “organic,” and “light.” It is used in advertising products and services to make consumers feel good about their purchases. Some companies are guilty of “greenwashing,” meaning they make unsubstantiated claims about the environmental benefits of the product that may be misleading, unverified, or untrue. It is up to the consumer to ask questions like those posed by Brian Milani in “Building Materials for a Green Economy” (www….

Build or Buy?

Whether you’re building a cozy cabin, a modest retreat, or a big family getaway, the exterior of your home makes a memorable impression that gives people a sense of what to expect inside. “It sets the tone for the whole house,” says Cassandra Christensen, interior designer and project coordinator for Wisconsin Log Homes in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Curb appeal is important to a home’s resale value, too—prospective buyers may decide whether they even want to look insid…

Putting Down Roots

Allen Halcomb began his architectural design career in 1983. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, he works from East Coast to West, as well as internationally. His specialty is working with log, timber, stone, and other natural elements to create classic, timeless designs. If there is one principle his firm, MossCreek Designs, was founded on, and which continues today, it is a dedication to the design of rustic-style homes. Be it a design based on local history and tradition, or a new style altogether, the co…

Never Better

The year 2011 will be critical for housing. It’s no secret that increases in unemployment claims and foreclosures have caused the economy to tumble over the latter half of the past decade, and housing, particularly new-construction starts, has endured the disconcerting aftermath of a lack of consumer confidence.  However, the fourth quarter of 2010 brought with it a slight shift in the economic outlook, and, perhaps, hope. “We all recognize that over the past several years, the h…

17 Kitchen Design Ideas

1. Consider flagstone instead of hardwood floors; it is durable enough to last in even the busiest kitchen. 2. Incorporate universal design, with wider access and lower cabinets to make the kitchen easy to use at any age or ability. 3. Add a bar-height island or peninsula to increase seating capacity. An open floorplan allows guests to linger in the kitchen without crowding out the cook. 4. Showcase your design aesthetic in your kitchen. Contemporary stainless-steel appliances or a…

Floorplan Considerations

Artistic architectural elements, a spectacular view, or even classic décor elements can combine to create a home of unspeakable beauty and functionality. But one element knits it all together: the floorplan. Whether the floorplan is selected from a design book or created as a one-of-a-kind design by a homeowner and architect team, it tells a story about a family and how they live in a home. “When considering your floorplan, think about your personal preference in regard to style…

Four Tips for Greening Your Great Room

These days everyone’s favorite color seems to be “green.” In a log cabin, there’s no better place to showcase the benefits and the beauty of this eco-minded hue better than the great room. Whether your goal is to protect Mother Earth, save some cash on your monthly electric bill, or ensure your home has that natural, rustic touch, these four fantastic options will take your family’s everyday living space from good to great.  Reclaimed Wood Think you can’t do…

The Language of Milled Log Homes

There is a lot of specific terminology involved with log and timber frame homes. Sometimes it feels like a whole new language! From different building styles to joinery, it helps to know just what you’re talking about. Often, you’ll hear references made to “milled” logs or “milled log homes”. What makes a log home milled, and how is it different from other log homes? “A milled log home uses logs that are put through a saw mill or planer and cut&…

Interior and Exterior Lighting

An effective lighting plan adds beauty, comfort, and warmth to your home while accommodating the tasks of daily life. Balancing efficient light with rustic ambiance requires careful planning, but the results are worth it. Since log and timber homes have unique lighting needs, it’s important to seek advice from a lighting designer with experience. You could ask your home builder for recommendations or locate a Certified Lighting Consultant through the American Lighting Ass…

The Most Popular Log Home Floorplans

Sometimes the hardest part of building a home is figuring out where to start. That’s where ready-to-purchase (or stock) home plans can help. Whether you’re dreaming of a rustic Adirondack, a quaint carriage house, a spacious timber frame lodge, or a cozy traditional log cabin, selecting a good floorplan can help ensure you’ve got all the important features in one package. There are a dizzying array of floorplans available, from spacious estates to intimate cottag…

Alternatives to Wood

Gas   Gas fireplaces are designed to burn either natural gas or propane. They emit very little pollution, need little maintenance, and can be installed almost anywhere, especially in a new home. Gas fireplaces have BTU ratings that measure how much heat is produced by the hour. They are also rated by fuel efficiency; that is, the amount of fuel consumed to generate heat and attain the ideal BTU. Direct-vent and top-vent gas fireplaces have an efficiency rating of 40 to 80 percent, meaning that, at …

Custom Rustic Style

True to its name, M.T.N. Architects has been designing custom high-end mountain-style homes since 1990. With an emphasis on log and timber frame design, the firm works one on one with each client to create a unique, luxurious, one-of-a-kind home. Their clientele and projects span from East Coast to West, in the USA, Canada, and abroad. Lead designer Celeste Raygosa shares her ideas and experiences in the log and timber design arena. How long have you been with M.T.N. Architects, Celeste, and what about …