Archive for the ‘Focus on Design’ Category

Specialty Rooms

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Pool Room

A traditional theme in mountain-style homes is the focus on central gathering spaces. Great rooms, kitchens and dining rooms blend to create spacious, open floor plans for groups of all sizes to come together. While these spaces are very common within log and timber homes, here are a few examples of unique rooms that you may not expect to find in the average log home.

Exercise Room

From lap pools to saunas to personal gyms, the inclusion of dedicated exercise spaces are becoming more common.  People who build homes in the mountains tend to have an  active lifestyle. By including spaces for an indoor lap pool in the winter or a sauna to sit in after a long day of skiing, their mountain-style home allows them to bring their passion for exercise into every season, no matter their location.

Animal Rooms

Sauna Room

Birds, Cats and Dogs, oh my! By designing rooms for animals of all shapes and sizes, families are able to incorporate their love for their furry friend into their home.  One such client dedicated a room to her parrots, including a central drain and an old vault cage door in the design. Another client, tired of dog paws across the floor, added doggy doors and showers in the mud room to create a buffer between the home and the outdoor dirt.

Secret Rooms

Building a new home should be an exciting and creative process. With all of the freedom to customize your log home, why not add private spaces of your own? We’ve created plans with secret playrooms in the back of children’s closet, studies behind swinging bookcases and even safe rooms for added precaution. There is no limit to the rooms we can include in your home to fit your unique lifestyle.

Making the Most of Your Living Space

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

When you build your log or timber home, one of the main feelings you want your home to evoke is a sense of family. Whether large or small, you want your family and friends to feel at home when they step through the threshold of your custom-made home. Making the most of your space, no matter the budget will ensure that your guests have room to stay comfortably.

Floor Plan with Bunk RoomBasements

Once you have begun the design process with your architect, it is important to let them know your needs for sleeping space. “Choosing to include a basement to your floor plan is a relatively easy  and cost-effective way to increase your home’s space due to the already laid foundation,” Celeste, Manager of M.T.N Design. An open basement area is great for children to pile in and roll out their sleeping bags or it is also an opportunity to put in an extra bedroom or two.


A common element in many log and timber homes are lofts, which can add depth, perspective and architectural beauty to the home without creating a need for an entire second level. Lofts are also an opportune way to include more space for company. Choosing to build a guest room in your loft is one option, while utilizing hideaway beds or pull-out couches is another creative way to use the space for visiting friends and family.

Above Garage Space

If your log home plans already include a garage, using the additional space above for a bonus room is a good way to increase the number of rooms for guests. Whether you choose to make this room a common area or strictly a room reserved for guests, an above-garage living space is a simple addition to your floor plans that will offer a lot of opportunities.

Additional Space SaversBunk Room

Another popular room in many mountain-style homes is a bunk room. You can choose to build your bunks into the plan’s design or simply place bunk beds within the room; this will make an area equipped with space for grandkids to squeeze in comfortably and can work for adults as well. Murphy beds are also a great idea for any room, furnish your office with a Murphy bed and desk combo or simply place them throughout the house, their fold-away abilities will allow you plenty of space for daily activities.

Whether you are building a lodge, fit for large groups of people, or a log home with just enough room for company to stay, a good architect can help you plan out your living spaces so that you can enjoy your home to the fullest with your family.

Focus on the Garage, Don’t Forget the Design

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

It takes a lot of time, planning and consideration when you build your first custom log home. When you are investing in a project as big as a new home, you want to be involved on every level of the building process, including the fine detailing in every room. While getting caught up in the excitement of the design process, it can be easy to overlook areas in your home where there is seemingly little designing to do.

The garage is one such room that often gets overlooked, but it too deserves the attention to detail that you give to the rest of your home. While it may seem like just a place to put your vehicles, you will be surprised with what you can actually do with your garage space.  Here are some things to consider when designing your garage.

Above-Garage Living

Installing a living space above the garage is a popular way to create more room for your home without drastically changing your floor plans. This space is great for creating an in-law or guest suite for company, for giving your teen their own space or even for an in-home theater.  With all the possibilities of what you can do with this space, it is important to consider where you would like its entrance be located in relation to the rest of your home. Some people prefer to have the entrance to their living space located in the garage, while others may want an entrance in the garage as well as outside the home.



It’s not what you think, this does not mean including a fast food restaurant in your building plans. A drive-through garage is set up where there are two vehicle entries to allow for a car to pull through the garage upon entering and leaving instead of having to back out of one door. If you are someone who has snowmobiles or other recreational vehicles, you know how difficult it is to maneuver them in a small space. Having a drive-through garage, or even a “toy” garage for all of your extra vehicles, would eliminate this problem.

Heated Floors

While this may seem like an unnecessary luxury to some, heated floors are a great way to keep your garage warm, especially in colder regions and colder seasons. If you utilize your garage space for more than just storing your vehicle, for instance; you want to add a work bench for tinkering on cars, you need a space for your tools or you were thinking about a recreational area, heated floors would open up the possibility of using your garage year-round.

Mechanical Rooms

garage_3.gifIn larger scale homes, the inclusion of a mechanical room is a serious thing to consider due to the larger quantity of appliances and machines needed to run your home. Drafting your garage design to include space for a mechanical room or even just an area set aside for your furnace, water heater, etc, is something that will be important for the layout and functionality of your garage space.

Special Areas

The possibilities are endless with what you can do with your garage space. For those who live on the green or just love to golf; add a parking space for your golf cart, or if you really love to boat and you have a nice waterfront location; consider adding storage for your boat. If you are a lover of skiing, you know the mess your equipment makes once the snow has melted; adding an area with a drainage piece can eliminate that slushy mess. From adding an area to hide your garbage cans to creating a secure safe for your guns, the design process for your garage can be fun as well as practical.

Not sure you should include a garage?  Read our Including a Garage? article for help.

Inspired Living: Jackson Hole Haven

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The McKinney’s log home inspiration came at a very young age, spurred by the work of artisans and laborers who’d gone before him, and a love for the landscape of the American West.  Decades later the dream of his own log home hadn’t faded, so McKinney followed it to a parcel of land with a view of the Grand Tetons, then a meeting with M.T.N Design, to start making the dream come true.  Follow the link to read about Jim’s journey and see pictures of his dream home realized.  Inspired Living: Jackson Hole Haven – A Custom Handcrafted Log Home.

Inspired Living: A Custom Handcrafted Log Home

Designing Your Master Suite

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

It used to be that your bedroom was just a place you went when it was time to go to sleep. Today, a master suite can be so much more, and making the most of your master suite means considering everything from traffic patterns and closet space, to maximizing your views. Here are some things to think about when planning your master suite:

A Space for Everything
If the master suite is a place you’d like to spend time awake as well as asleep, consider a sitting area. This could be within the bedroom itself, perhaps set up within a bay or prow window, or an adjacent room that can be closed off with French doors – especially helpful if one of you is a night owl and the other is an early-to-bed type. Either way, a sitting area with a couple of comfy chairs will offer a relaxing place to read or enjoy your morning coffee.


Master bedroom with sitting area


A Room with a View
Maximizing the beautiful views of your property isn’t just for great rooms. Work with your architect to ensure you’re making the most of the views from within your suite. Consider including a balcony or adding private deck access. Be creative with the size, placement and shape of your master bedroom windows in order to capitalize on the exterior landscape, while being flexible enough to ensure privacy.


Master bedroom outdoor living


Buffer Zone
If your master suite will be adjacent to a more public area, consider configuring the space so the bathroom sits between it and your sleeping chamber. That way, activity in the great room or traffic in the entry won’t intrude on your sanctuary.


Master bathroom between rooms


Copious Closets
Are you willing to share a closet, or do you prefer one all your own? Even a luxuriously large walk-in can feel crowded if two people are using it at the same time – especially if one is running late. Double closets can eliminate congestion and allow each occupant to maintain his or her own storage style. If you’re sticking with a single closet, consider two doors, one at each end, to reduce traffic tie-ups.


Master bedroom dual closets


Certainly decorating choices will affect the room’s ambiance, but architectural features need to be chosen and configured early on. A fireplace is a great bedroom element that can take up a whole-wall and serve as a focal point, or be tucked into a corner, offering the romance of a roaring fire and an efficient use of space. Built-in cabinetry is a striking feature that adds color, texture, and provides storage space that eliminates the need for an additional dresser, chest or bookcase.


Master bedroom with a fireplace


Bath Time
As with closets, master bathrooms can make or break your morning. Consider which features, such as double sinks, a separate tub and shower or closet access from the bathroom might help the room function more smoothly for both of you. And don’t forget the views here, too – if your master bath has one or more exterior walls, work with your architect to incorporate natural light and scenery to make your master bath an oasis for body and spirit.


Master Bathroom


You spend too much time in the bedroom to let your master suite be an afterthought, so when planning your dream log home, be sure to tell your architect about your suite dreams.