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 Kitchen Designs For The Modern Home
European kitchen designs are taking the world by storm. After invading Europe, they’ve now found their way inside homes in US and Canada and even in Asia. So what makes these designs so popular?
Generally speaking, Europeans love to cook. Their day-to-day cooking experiences enable them to master kitchen mechanics. That is why European kitchen design is characterized by its functionality. Their kitchens are ergonomically-designed for people on the go. Since lives are now fast-paced, it is important that lesser time is spent for food preparation and cleaning. With this kitchen design, utensils are within reach, island counters and sinks are bigger, and floors are easy to clean.
This focus on functionality results in a clear, streamlined design. Amazingly, the aesthetic aspect of design is not taken for granted. Kitchens are therefore stunning as they are efficient.
To achieve that sleek linear design, stainless steel is the most common material that can be found in the kitchen. Since most modern appliances are made of stainless steel, matching them with the existing fixtures would not be difficult. That is why we see stainless steel table tops, cabinets and sink. Some even use stainless steel tiles for the floor.
To match the metallic fixtures, light-colored and natural-looking wood is also used. Long wooden cabinets that are mounted on the wall are present in nearly all European kitchens. But through the years, the use of wood has become lesser. Most cabinet doors are now replaced with sliding frosted glass or metal to make it look clean and modern. There is also a decline in the use of hinged doors. So instead of cabinets, we now see large drawers with metallic pulls, for easier access to utensils.
Floors and island counters may also be made of wood. The center island counter is now oversized and multi-functional. So now you can do all the cooking, eating and cleaning up in one place. And because the island counter is big, one can prepare dinner in one end while the other family members are gathered on the other. One important thing though: use the same kind of wood for the entire kitchen.
This is not to say that this design does not allow the use of color. You can splash in some color through colored chairs. Or you can paint the walls with a rich, deep color, such as red or orange. Lastly, add soft lights to complete the look.
Small contemporary house plans | Modern Furniture for Home
Having a separate guest house always comes in handy, when you are packed up with visitors at your house. It can also double up as a weekend home for you and be a place of relaxation. Making your own guest house plans gives you an opportunity to create an extra living space that meets your expectations. The rough plan that you make, inculcating all your expectations, can later be refined by a professional architect. In this article, I share some tips in how to create your own guest house plans.
Designing a guest house is adding more space to your house, which gives you an opportunity to be a gracious host to friends and relatives who visit often. It gives you an opportunity to include all those things which you always wanted to inculcate in your house plan, but couldn’t! Before you start making your own guest house floor plans, you need to have a clear idea about the budget you can afford to allocate it and the dimensions of the piece of land, on which you plan to build it.
This will help you create a plan that is customized to your requirements. People opt for small guest house plans that are generally built on adjoining extra space of land to their houses. Of course you could also be planning to build a guest house which is built farther away and doubles up as a weekend getaway. Of course, you don’t want to make your guest house too comfortable or else, your guests would never plan to leave! Let us see how one can go about creating his own small guest house plans.
Tips on Designing Guest House Plans
Building a guest house is a big construction project and requires very detailed planning. You will need professional help later from an architect, but creating small guest house plans of your own, will help you in conveying your demands to the architect in a better way.
Study Guest House Plans
First thing to do before you begin is, acquaint yourself with the latest architectural trends in guest house plans. Check out architecture devoted magazines for different guest house plans. Visit guest houses built by friends and neighbors. Make a file of design aspects in these various guest house plans that you would like to include in your own guest house plan.
Make List of Amenities
Make a list of features and amenities which you plan to have in your own guest house. Make an exhaustive list of all your expectations from your dream guest house.
Look For Online Guest House Floor Plans
There are many architecture devoted websites, that offer guest house plans of various types and sizes that are planned to suit your needs. You could check out these plans and print out the ones that catch your fancy.
Begin Planning Floor By Floor
Once you have started getting a feel of what you have in mind, the start making a plan taking your budgetary limitations into consideration. Decide on the number of floors, rooms and general layout. Start designing floor by floor. Make sure that you take measurements into consideration everywhere.