The Log Home Plan For a Traditional Pioneer Look
The traditional log home plan originated in north Europe during the Bronze Age (about 3500 B.C.E.). When European settlers arrived in America there was already a millennial old tradition of using logs for homes, barns and other structures in the Scandinavian countries as well as Russia and Germany. These regions had large forests of softwood trees which could easily be crafted with hand tools. Log homes were built of logs stacked horizontally and notched on the ends so the walls interlocked. When the Swedes and Finns arrived in New Sweden (the Philadelphia region) they imported their knowledge of log construction with them, as did later settlers from Germany. Settlers from the British Isles had no such tradition of log building but they soon learned the technique since log building was so convenient in eastern America. There were abundant softwood forests at hand, and other building materials including nails and spikes were unavailable, expensive, or difficult to transport. Moreover, log homes are easy to build: a man working alone could build a cabin in a few weeks. Using skids of logs leaning against the wall as inclined planes, it is possible to lift logs with ropes to construct even a two story log home.
However, usually a log home floor plan consisted of a single room, perhaps twelve to sixteen feet square. There would be one door, but in most cases no windows. When windows did exist they were covered with translucent greased animal skins rather than glass. Fireplaces were built of stone or clay and the chimneys of wattle. Because this is not a very fire-safe mode of construction, stone or brick were used where obtainable. The fireplaces furnished warmth and light as well as a cooking area. The interior walls of the log home were chinked with cloth or clay; and the floors were simple tamped earth (although some log homes had a puncheon floor, made of split logs laid flat side up). Higher designs had lofts which were used as sleeping and storage areas. Roofing depended upon what material was available, but often cedar shingle roofs made with hand split shingles were laid over two-by-four rafters.
Modern versions of log home floor plans share many of the advantages of bungalow style house plans in the sense of being an economical option for simple, country-style living. Modern log homes are built from milled logs which are manufactured usually in northern or Eastern Europe. These milled logs are squared and pre-cut for ease of assembly. Log homes are a popular option in rural areas, especially in the western states, where log homes over 3000 square feet in area are common. The style became popular during the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties when the Civilian Conservation Corps built thousands of log cabins in national parks throughout the U.S.; and many park visitors saw these buildings and adopted the style for their own homes. The largest log cabin in the world was built in 1930 in Montebello, QC Canada: the Chateau Montebello Hotel. In Europe log homes are frequently built as summerhouses in gardens, or else as home offices or guesthouse accommodations.
The log home floor plan symbolizes much of what America represents: sturdy, rough shelters designed for a simple, hardy, self-sufficient life. Like bungalow style house plans designed for simple country living, the log home plan is a great option for an economical, environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
European Style Kitchen Remodeling
If you are planning on a home improvement project, kitchen remodeling is a great option that will not only boost resale value but also enhance the quality of living for your family. When it comes to trends, a classic design choice for many homeowners is European Style. This article discusses important points you need to know to implement European style kitchen remodeling and enjoy the perks of project success.
European style kitchen remodeling still comes in a wide range of variations from Greek, English Beaux, Classic Revival, Romantic French, Danish Modern, Italian, Scandinavian, and Tuscan Provencal. Your design choice should not only satisfy your personal taste and preference but also complement with the overall look of the house. To achieve the Euro look and feel and important character to focus on is the welcoming touch and architecture that showcase stylistic integrity.
When renovating the heart of homes, the easiest way to infuse European style is through choosing cabinets that matches the design. Being one of the most visually dominant features of kitchens, your cabinetry collection can create the ambiance you want out of the room. Below are some of the Euro-inspired design favorites and key features to achieve the look:
Tuscan Kitchens are rustic and often depict the colors of beaches and lush countryside vistas. Common colors include deep rusty reds, oranges, terra cotta, yellow umber, various shades of pink and peach and of course, green. Spruce up the walls with Tuscan art which may be authentic or tasteful photographic prints, colorful tiles for backsplash, and/or wall mural. Furniture and cabinets are often finished unpainted with ideal wood glaze ranging from deep browns to rich honey hues. But if you choose to have your cabinets painted, beautiful color choices include: vanilla, white, cream, dark green or dark blue.
Another popular European style kitchen remodeling is the modern Euro design that is heavily inspired with Italian fashion. Cabinets commonly sport horizontal graining and frameless construction. Finish range from rich honey to cherry satin with glass door options and metal hardware. The character to achieve in this set up is refined versatility which can effectively be implemented by choosing Shaker style cabinets. Plain colors like black, grey and other neutrals are dominant with white as the most popular. Another trend in Modern Euro is sustainability not only in renovation materials but also in lighting and plumbing fixtures.
To introduce a French Country feel to your European style kitchen remodeling, a touch of comfort and practicality is essential. This character in the design makes this a popular option for many homeowners. Colors play an important role in achieving the French Country feeling, with schemes commonly in naturals. Cabinets with natural, distressed or weathered, dark stain, and white finishes are perfect for the set-up. And ornate moldings and glass doors complete the look. Other materials to consider that will add texture into the design include bricks, natural stone, terra cotta tiles, and thick wooden furniture.
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The Georgian House Plans Style
The Georgian style home is best described as being orderly and symmetrical, with a rectangular shape and formally symmetrical exteriors and interiors. Based upon the classical symmetry of the Renaissance, Georgian house plans became quite the rage in the New England and Southern colonies during the 18th century. The style has roots in both the classical architectural styles of ancient Greece and Rome and also the Italian renaissance style. English settlers in America were inspired by the elaborate Georgian style homes which were being built in the mother country, and tried to reproduce the lifestyle of the wealthy nobility back home. It became the dominant architectural style throughout the American colonies in the 18th century. While colonial homes in the Georgian style can be found in practically every old community on the U.S. East Coast, still Colonial Williamsburg is the most notable example (particularly the College of William and Mary’s President’s house, a stately brick mansion with perfect balance, symmetry and formality, which was finished in 1733 and has been home to all of the presidents of that university for three centuries).
In the southern colonies Georgian homes were constructed of brick; but as you move northward toward New England (where brick was not as common) wood frame construction dominates. These European home plans look quite formal: they are square and symmetrical in shape, with both exteriors and interiors arranged according to a strict proportion and symmetry. From the centrally-located front entrance, a hallway and staircase form an axis around which interior rooms are positioned. Often these homes have two chimneys above a medium pitch, side-gabled roof with pedimented dormers and dentil (tooth-like blocks) decorating the roof line along the eaves and a centered front door with pilasters – the flat, shallow columns found in Greek architecture – on each side. The central door is flanked by evenly-spaced double-hung windows; and they are invariably of two stories (one story homes in this style are referred to as Cape Cod style). There are traditionally five rectangular, evenly spaced windows across the facade of these homes. The windows are multi-paned, with nine or twelve panes in each sash and they have louvered shutters (particularly in the South) which welcome the breeze but provide shade from the sun. In the North paneled shutters are more common, to close tightly to protect the home from the harsh winds, snow, and sleet.
In considering building with Georgian country style house plans, it should be remembered that both brick and wood construction require maintenance. Wood clapboard which is not encased in vinyl siding always requires periodic painting or staining. Exteriors of masonry need much less maintenance, only requiring occasional tuck pointing. The multi-paned windows characteristic of this style are not particularly energy efficient. They must fit tightly and need to be reglazed now and then to keep the putty soft so that it seals well. The wood shake and slate roofs used in original Georgian style buildings were actually sounder than the asphalt shingles available today but all roofs require inspection and maintenance – even shake and slate.
Of all the European home plans brought by settlers to America, Georgian house plans are most typically “colonial American”. These formal, symmetrical country style house plans have always bespoken wealth for the leisure class.
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