Beauty Transformed
Beauty Transformed

Plug Your Log Home into the Sun

If you are planning to build a new log home, now is a great time to think about energy efficiency and your carbon footprint. Log homes are already energy efficient because of the thermal mass of the logs—they require less energy to heat and cool. But there is a lot more you can do to hold your energy costs down and make your home both comfortable and healthy to live in. In this issue, we’re looking at solar energy, particularly the use of photovoltaic panels. Why Go Solar? Energy from the sun is renewab…

Ski In, Ski Out

When a Connecticut family began working with architect Reid Smith to design a vacation retreat in Big Sky, Montana, they emphasized that the overall feeling they wanted to have upon entering the final product would be less “ooh” and more “ahh.” “The homeowners wanted their vacation retreat to have a comfortable, cozy feeling,” says Smith, founder of Reid Smith Architects in Bozeman, Montana. “The house is large, but they wanted intimate spaces throughout with rich finishes and livability. This house doe…

Eco-Friendly Furniture Part 2

LEATHER Most of us would not think of leather as being eco-friendly. There is no certification for organic leather at this time, but there are green elements to leather. It is sustainable and can last a lifetime; it’s easy to clean, durable, recyclable, and biodegradable.   As with fabrics, you need to know where the leather comes from and how it is processed. Did the animals die of natural causes? Is the leather a by-product of the beef industry? Were the animals raised and slaughtered humanely? W…

Tips for Finding a Great Log Home Builder

There are so many decisions involved in building a home. But when you’re building a log home, a few special considerations come into play, too. Of all the aspects you have to consider, hiring the right builder is probably THE most important decision you will make. Keep the following five points in mind as you start shopping for a builder who will transform your log package into a perfect log home. Fact or Fiction? Price should not be the deciding factor in your builder selection . Fact. Although se…

Elegant Camping

Mike and Marta had been looking for lakeside property in the southern states, from Texas to the South Carolina coast, over a period of 10 years, using much of their vacation time to explore and camp in search of their little slice of heaven. Criteria for the couple’s property search included enough ground to “feel like country” while being in close proximity to a city. They found it in 2002 when they went to check out Old Hickory Lake in central Tennessee, a place they learned about in a real estate mag…

Out of This World

If you want to bring an essence of Europe to your log or timber frame home, inspired by your heritage, travels, or just wishful thinking, Old World style may work perfectly for you. Old World style is influenced by many different places, from England to France to Italy and the Mediterranean. Your Old World style can take its inspiration from the sunny climates of Tuscany or the coast of Spain, or can take a more northern approach influenced by a French farmhouse or chateau, even a Bavarian hunting lodge…

What’s Cooking?

Whether you are a gourmet cook or an expert microwaver, the kitchen is one of the most important spaces in your home. It is the perfect place to express your style and the style of your home. The selection of materials is almost endless, varying from reclaimed wood, natural stone, colorful tile, and appliances to suit any skill. This gorgeous kitchen hits all the right notes. The white distressed island is topped with a substantial slab of reclaimed wood. The large farmhouse sink l…

Building “Green” Log Cabin Homes

When Barry Ivey and Lany Sherman sit down to design a log home these days, some of  their customers’ first concerns fall under the “environmentally conscious” category. Looking to incorporate green elements into their homes, both new owners and those looking to retrofit existing structures are concerned about site sustainability, environmentally friendly materials and construction methods, and water and energy efficiency.  “We’re seeing a strong desire for environmentally …

Changing with the Times

Larry and Pam Kerns never imagined that after 10-plus enjoyable years of residing in their North Carolina dream log home they would be uprooting and moving to Louisville, Kentucky. “We put our hearts and souls into building this amazing log home,” says Larry. “It took a couple of years of design just to figure out what we wanted it to look and feel like … and for seven years beforehand we were doing all sorts of research into what we were hoping for in a retirement home.” Since then, things have changed…

Defining Your Style with Area Rugs

Area rugs are the magicians of decorating. They have the ability to completely transform a space, adding style, color, texture, and pattern to complement your home. Your choice of area rugs defines your style and announces it to your guests. If you decide you need a change, they are readily available in the marketplace. Area rugs come in just about every decorating style, from Arts & Crafts to Western/Native American to contemporary. You can go a more traditional route with a cla…

Log & Timber Coast to Coast: Southeast

From the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia to the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, the Southeast is a perfect place to build a log & timber home if you prefer a milder climate. The Southeast has its own long tradition of log & timber homes, and today you’ll find that people are building the homes that speak to their style. You’ll see everything from a tiny rustic vacation cabin in the Smokies to a sprawling estate on a flowing South Carolina river. It’s easy to find a spectacular view…

The Light Stuff

Warm reading light in a cozy den, bright task light over kitchen counters, strategically placed walkway lights along a garden path: lighting is one area of your home where having the right plan in place can make all the difference. One of the things we love about log and timber homes is the way the designs showcase the natural beauty of wood. Properly planned lighting design can help highlight, not hide, that beauty. “Lighting should not dictate …