As you begin to decorate your log home, keep in mind the decorating basics of size, balance and proportion. Large spaces can overwhelm spindly pieces of furniture and cathedral ceilings look best when balanced with furniture or accessories that have some height of their own.
Think about space when decorating and furnishing your home’s smaller spaces, too. Although it may run counter to common sense, smaller rooms generally look better with a small number of larger pieces, rather than a large assortment of smaller pieces.
Also give some thought to built-in furniture. These pieces can help eliminate the need to purchase dressers or bookshelves and can help use every inch of space in the home to the fullest.
Get to Know Your Walls
Your home’s log walls will make your interior look very different from a conventional home. While wood tones make a wonderful backdrop for many colors, you may wish to live in your home for a while before choosing colors for your furniture and non-log walls. The stain or finish you use on your logs may change their color, and the pattern of sunlight in one room may make the logs appear to be a slightly different hue than those in another room.
Wood walls also have their own unique texture and pattern, especially when accented by contrasting lines of chinking. Before you choose upholstery fabrics, bring swatches home to view them against the backdrop of your log walls. And remember, not every wall in your home has to be log.
Are you planning an open floorplan for your log home? Think about what that means in terms of finishes and furnishings. Will you be able to see both your living room fireplace and your kitchen countertops in the same view? Will your kitchen cabinets complement the furniture in your great room? You’ll need to think about what spaces are adjacent to each other as you select cabinets, countertops, fireplace materials, flooring, paint colors and furnishings.
Lessons in Lighting
The one area of décor that cannot be postponed is lighting. You need to plan for lighting as you design your home. For example, an open floorplan may place your seating area in the middle of a large great room. Will you need floor outlets to plug in table or floor lamps? Hanging fixtures, particularly those in rooms with cathedral ceilings, must be wired as the home is being constructed.
While you’re designing your home, give some thought to outdoor lighting too, so that those fixtures can be wired during construction.
As you consider lighting, remember that wood tends to absorb light, rather than reflect it. Adding some drywall to a room, either on the walls or ceiling, will make the room appear lighter. You might consider adding plenty of windows to your design. And you should provide for both ambient, overall lighting and task lighting in each room.
Like furnishings, the light fixtures you eventually select should match the volume of your rooms. A too-small chandelier in your two-story entry will look out of place. So will a chandelier that dwarfs your dining room table. Ask a design professional or an expert at a lighting center for help in choosing appropriately sized fixtures.