Inside Out
These days, what’s in is actually what’s out—outside, that is. Gone are the days of trying to get comfy in nylon-and- aluminum lawn chairs and slaving over tiny hibachi grills. Log home owners are kicking the comfort level up a notch. How? For starters, think relaxing living rooms under the stars; outdoor kitchens brimming with everything you need to make a gourmet meal; places to dine, to relax with a glass of wine or just enjoy your favorite pastime—all with stylish, sturdy furniture designed with long summer evenings in mind.

Anything you can do inside can be done under wide-open skies, so as you’re designing your own log home, don’t forget to create inviting outdoor spaces for rest, relaxation and just plain fun.

Hang Out
Summertime… and the living is easy! Especially when you bring the indoors out, with comfy (and weather-proof) sofas and chairs, coffee tables, rugs, end tables—even lamps. Depending on your taste, you can find furniture to match almost any log home style—from mountain rustic to cottage quaint. Say goodbye to those rickety aluminum chairs—and start living!

Hot Tip
Although most outdoor furniture is characterized as “weatherproof,” be sure to check just how durable it is—some pieces work better for sunrooms and covered porches instead of on patios, decks or poolside.

Cook Out
Much more than just a guy and a grill, the outdoor kitchen has evolved into a thing of beauty. Replete with outdoor cooktops, hot plates, warming drawers, refrigerators and even woks designed specifically for the outdoor chef, cooking al fresco has become an event to relish. With kitchen accoutrements, such as stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, you’ve got more than traditional fare, you’ve got haute (or should that be “hot”?) cuisine.

Hot Tip
Just as with its indoor counterpart, the work triangle has its place in an outdoor kitchen. Separate stations for grilling and cooking, beverage prep and cleanup should be within close proximity without conflicting with each other.

cook out

Eat Out
Who knows why it’s such a joy to eat outside? Maybe there’s something primal in it—a return to nature. Or perhaps it’s just nice to break free from the hallowed dining halls. Whatever the reason, sharing a meal outside is a special event deserving of a special setting. A long farmer’s table covered with a picnic-style cloth next to an outdoor hearth is the perfect place to dine, made all the more special by the chorus of crickets and bullfrogs that will serenade dinner guests.

Hot Tip
Be it on a deck, porch or patio, an outdoor dining room deserves to be decorated just as much as the one inside. Simple accessories, such as a wreath over the mantel, a weatherproof chandelier, birdhouses and a cigar-store Indian, give this space flair to spare.

For more tips on out door cooking at your log home, check out the July/August 2006 issue of Log Home Design.