The character you build into your log home is the truest indicator of whether it is simply a house in which you live or a home that serves as an extension of yourself. Without it, you can spend all your savings on expensive features and fixtures and end up with a structure that is lifeless. Yet through intuition and creativity, you can design a home that exudes charm.
There is no simple formula for adding character to a home. You might create it through little things, such as a well-placed window with a special view of a small rose garden or a unique log post. As your plans develop, be honest with yourself about what is working in your plan and what doesn’t feel right. Instead of simply mimicking what others have done, examine what moves you.
What Character Means to You
The character of your home will make an honest statement about you. For example, if you wish to embody a simple lifestyle, you may choose to design a smaller home with cozy nooks and natural materials, textures and colors.
Logs invoke character in many ways, but it is important to remember that what is perceived as character for some may be disagreeable to others. For example, you may love the irregular hand-hewn look of a tapered handcrafted log, whereas others who prefer a uniform milled log may find this kind of technique completely inappropriate for their needs.
Architectural features are a source of character in any home. Nooks and alcoves appeal to our need for cozy, intimate spaces. Lofts address a desire to be at once separate yet connected to the rest of the home. Log beams, whether structural or decorative, reinforce the rustic nature of a log home and give visual form and relief. Plate and chair rails, dropped soffits, wainscoting and built-in cabinets all add character.
When choosing other materials for your home, seek those that complement the natural characteristics of log, such as stone, textured ceramics, stained glass and rough fabrics. However, don’t limit yourself. Sometimes a smooth, contrasting material or accent can give unexpected character.
The same principles of balance, honesty and respect for materials apply to the exterior. Being balanced and sensitive to the landscape and using materials wisely builds your home’s character and curb appeal. Express yourself in the details.
Your vision for your home should be an extension of who you are. Have the courage to articulate that vision to your designer and builders. Take the time to understand the materials and how they work together. If you do, you will be well on your way to building a satisfying home that is rich with character.
Meritt Contracting photo by Bednarski Photographics