When you have a cozy floorplan, you want to make the most of every inch. That means finding creative strategies to maximize each room without feeling cramped.
Think about who will spend the most time in your log home, as well as their day-to-day activities and the “stuff” they will need to stow away or store.
Then take a mental tour of each room and look for opportunities to multitask, such as a home office that doubles as a guest room, or a mudroom that doubles as a laundry room.
Also make a list of any trouble spots, where you fear space or storage may be too limited. Then talk with your designer or builder about easy additions, such as bump-outs and built-ins, that can expand your living space.
Spare bedrooms are no longer reserved solely for out-of-town guests. Today they often play a supporting role as craft rooms, home offices, workout studios and other multifunctional spaces. “Combining functions makes a lot of sense,” says Nancy Peham, a Dallas-based professional organizer and owner of Helping Hands Personal Services. “Most guest rooms are used quite infrequently, so relegating a room that’s probably about 12 square feet is a significant waste of living space.”
To give multipurpose bedrooms quick-change capabilities, consider a daybed, pullout sofa or a Murphy bed. Be sure to leave some closet space for your visitors’ clothes, gear and luggage.
Pay It Forward
Every household needs a bill-paying center or a basic catchall for family papers and mail.
Armoires are great for hiding your computer workspace and filing system. Or if you’re crafty, consider an armoire for storing your sewing machine. The slide-out keyboard and printer trays provide easy access to fabric, thread and other supplies stored in clear plastic bins. Use interior drawers for scissors, needles and glue guns.
Floor space is a prized commodity in a smaller log home—and built-in cabinets and bookshelves can be real space-savers. Make the most of protruding windows by specifying window seats with built-in storage for stowing away linens and pillows or books and magazines. If you have enough room, opt for a twin-sized seat that can be used for extra sleeping space. (Kids will love it!)
“When space is at a premium, look high and low,” suggests Nancy, who says many homeowners under-utilize potential storage areas above eye level and on the floor.
To get the most out of overhead space, consider the area under the roof. Using the sloped recesses of a second-story room is like pulling extra storage space out of thin air. In other rooms, try adding high shelves for books, collections or decor. Then use the space under beds and other furniture for seasonal or seldom-used items.
And don’t forget the always-important media center. In addition to traditional units sold in furniture stores, custom cabinetry and built-in shelves can turn any great room into multimedia storage machine. To make the space come together, neatly stack books or add simple decor to some of the shelves. That’s actually a great way to infuse any room with personality.
What’s the one feature nearly all log home buyers put high on their wish lists? Ample closet space. And the best way to create a highly functional closet is with a customized storage system.
Closets should reflect your personal style and the way you live,” says Lisa Lennard, senior design consultant and program development manager for California Closets, who says storage is not a one-size-fits-all solution. “We use our consultations to determine which closet elements will truly work for each client.”
Today, closet systems can be personalized with all kinds of cabinets, shelves and bins in different colors and finishes. Someone who likes minimalist design may choose a sleek, white laminate system that looks clean and spare. A traditional buyer may prefer open shelves (perhaps with a cherry or maple finish) to keep clothing and accessories in full view.
Most companies can work with you during the design process to maximize your storage quotient without breaking the bank. “Often people don’t realize it only takes a few cleverly placed drawers or shelves to store their shoes or sweaters,” says Lisa from California Closets, which recently launched an affordable storage line at Target. “Or, we can create an elaborate master plan with a special spot for everything in your wardrobe.”