1. Set your priorities. Just because you reduce square footage doesn’t mean designing a Lilliputian house. Keep your living room, kitchen and master bedroom large enough to make living in your log home enjoyable. Economize elsewhere.
2. Keep it simple. Stick as closely as possible to the basic rectangle and avoid complicated rooflines with multiple dormers. But include embellishments that help overcome monotony. Inside, avoid hallways. Let rooms flow directly from one to the other.
3. Keep it light. Windows should be in proportion to the rest of the house, but aim to admit as much daylight as possible. Use skylights to add light that will visually enlarge interior space.
4. Open up. Keep living areas open and sleeping areas cozy. The great room concept will let each area borrow space from the other and share windows. A cathedral ceiling will make a small log cabin living area seem much larger.
5. Make rooms do double duty. A guest bedroom can double as a home office. You can set up a computer desk in the corner of a kitchen.
6. Make space count. Be ingenious in planning storage space. Use full-height cabinets. Use space under stairs and the eaves in loft areas. Consider an attic with a pull-down stair.
7. Avoid a loft. It requires a staircase and uses floor space on two levels.
8. Add a basement. It’s great for storage, as well as mechanical systems and a washer-dryer.
9. Forgo the fireplace. A smaller gas or wood-burning stove will provide efficient heat and a charming look that will be better suited to a smaller home.
10. Include the outdoors. Porches and decks can extend your living space. Even in bad weather, they will make the rooms inside seem more substantial. Also, landscaping can make the home seem larger by making the building and the yard flow together.