BY Rachel Machacek and Donna Peak

These days, you can’t get away from all things super-sized. Big fries, big cars, big homes. Sure, size matters. But good things do come in small packages, including the tiny, wonderful homes featured here.

These designs use space efficiently and exude as much charm as their colossal cousins. Another bonus of building small: What you save on square-footage costs, you can use toward custom trimmings and amenities to make your home a masterpiece.

A couple gems just barely exceeded our cut-off criteria (by a mere 36 square feet), but the floorplans were so dynamic we just had to show them to you. So whether you’re looking for a weekend fishing cabin or just a cozy log home to call your own, remember: While it’s OK to dream big, sometimes it’s more fun to think small.

Model: Silver Creek
Size: 887 square feet
Log package price: $38,000
Contact info: Morgan Log Homes

Why they like it: “The feature I like about this plan is the open kitchen, dining and living room area with the vaulted ceiling,” says Fred Morgan, owner of Morgan Log Homes. The open plan gets a lot of light and shows off the view through the windows on the front of the house. It’s also affordable.

Why we like it: Who needs a big floorplan when you can have shed dormers? The Silver Creek may be a mere 887 square feet, but it feels big inside and out, thanks to a creative roofline that also adds architectural interest. There are two levels of living space and even space for two bedrooms.

Model: McKaig Gulf
Size:1,498 square feet
Log package price:$60,000 to $75,000
Contact info: Walden 19th Century Log Homes

Why they like it: “This plan lives like a big house,” according to Walden 19th Century Log Homes owner Ferris Robinson. The living room is all vaulted, there’s an open kitchen and dining room, and the porches wrap around three sides.

Why we like it: Outdoor living is such an essential part of owning a log home, and this plan capitalizes on it with the wraparound deck and sleeping porch. Also, the bedrooms are situated well for privacy-a crucial factor in small homes.

Model: Modified Windridge
Size:1,223 square feet
Log package price:$30,526
Contact info: StoneMill Log Homes

Why they like it: According to the home owners, this plan is a model of efficiency when it comes to space, energy and cost. It’s easily adaptable, and the flexible design can be converted into a two- or three-bedroom home with a second full bath.

Why we like it: Everything about this plan is quaint and cozy, right down to the square logs and broad chinking. A steep roofline creates an early-American look, while dormers update the design and add light and space in the loft. *Includes shell materials, but not shipping.

Model: Custom
Size:1,536 square feet
Turn-key price:$175 to $225 per square foot*
Contact info: Alpine Log Homes

Why they like it: Interesting architectural elements in small designs can be overpowering but this home balances size and structural interest very well, according to Chris Bishop, Alpine’s manager of client services.

Why we like it: Usually, square or rectangular plans work better for small homes. This one is an exception-it maximizes space without being too boxy. An interesting perimeter creates cozy nooks in the foyer and master bedroom, while the great room and deck are open and inviting.

Model: Custom
Size:1,146 square feet
Log package price:$40,000
Contact info:Heritage Log Works

Why they like it: “This is a great vacation house,” says Allan Kuderca, owner of Heritage Log Works. “It’s designed for two people, but can accommodate more guests with the open area upstairs.” The smaller size still has room to move around, and it also leaves space in the budget for custom features such as doors and cabinetry.

Why we like it: With a porch as big as the living room, this design screams outdoor enjoyment. Inside, all the basic rooms are covered to create a log home that promotes easy living. There’s a room to sleep, to eat, to do chores, to wash up and, perhaps most important, to live.

Model: The Sportsman
Size:780 square feet as shown*
Log package price:$23,800
Contact info:Country Log Homes

Why they like it: Avid sportsmen find this small plan to be the perfect size for a hunting or fishing camp, according to Country Log Homes’ David Routhier. “One of the biggest draws is that this is an economical house with a lot of log home flavor,” he says. “The heavily timbered roof system adds to its cabin charm.”

Why we like it: Because of its small footprint and simple, straightforward shape, this house can be tucked easily into a wooded lot without disturbing much of the surrounding environment. The two-sided porch extends the living area outside of its small square footage, and the classic cabin appeal makes it a winner.

Model: La Maison du Bois
Size:1,506 square feet
Log package price:$33,500
Contact info:Pioneer Logs Ltd.

Why they like it: “This plan has a lot of interior options and flexibility,” says Kathy Christie, owner of Pioneer Logs Ltd. “Typically, the exterior’s charm draws customers in, but it’s the plan’s flexibility that sells them.”

Why we like it: Kathy’s right. We were drawn in by the exterior’s charm. The square logs, dormers, deep-set windows and decorative shutters all add to its appeal. Then we looked at the floorplan, and we were even more impressed. The design is simple and efficient, and it packs all the comforts of home-private bedrooms, closet space and even a dual-sided hearth-into just inches more than our 1,500-square-foot limit.

Model: The Andrade
Size: 1,224 square feet
Log package price:$75,000
Contact info: Outaouais Log Homes

Why they like it: “The amount of glass is what makes this house distinctive,” says Jacques Patenaude, owner of Outaouais Log Homes. “It’s a compact house, but it doesn’t feel like one.”

Why we like it: Originally designed as a custom home for a resident of Portugal, this plan is bound to be wildly popular for those seeking a small house with large aspirations. The floorplan is simple, but has interesting, well-placed rooms. With a gabled roof and shed dormers, the exterior is long on charm.

Model: Wyoming II
Size: 544 square feet
Log package price:$12,343
Contact info: Timberline Log Homes

Why they like it: Because of its diminutive size, this cabin is perfect for a summer cottage, a hunting camp or even a detached in-law suite. According to Timberline Log Homes owner Jim Hollingsworth, “If you’re looking to build your own log cabin in the woods, this is the perfect project. We give you the logs and the plans, which are easy to follow. Almost anyone can have this home’s shell erected in about two weeks.”

Why we like it: This house is a ton of fun in a tiny bundle. Floorplans don’t get any simpler than this, and the size is ideal for an adventurous family who likes to camp for all the right reasons-days spent reveling in the outdoors, and evenings spent playing games or just enjoying each other’s company.

Model: Harrington
Size: 1,500 square feet
Log package price: Call for prices
Contact info: Moosehead Cedar Log Homes

Why they like it: This plan is one of Moosehead Cedar’s most popular designs. “The open floorplan is spacious enough for a large group of people, yet small enough to keep a cozy, comfortable feeling,” says Frank Myka, a design consultant for the company.

Why we like it: The Harrington manages to be open and connected while maintaining privacy. The main living areas are all on one end of the home away from the bedrooms. The catwalk creates separation not only between the loft and upstairs bedroom, it also visually divides the main level into two spaces.