Many considerations go into the design of the perfect log home kitchen. Below are a few things to consider in your one-on-one meeting with your Mountain Architects’ designer.
Architectural Style & Lifestyle
There is no one style of log homes these days. Buyers are more sophisticated in their choices, beyond the typical Western log home style exterior. They may choose to live in a French Country, Appalachian or Craftsman style log or timber frame home. As with the exterior look and feel, architectural style also comes to life inside the home; notably in the layout and design of the kitchen. A French Country kitchen may, for example, incorporate more refined materials and cabinetry while a Craftsman style kitchen may utilize extensive beam-work.
Along with the architectural style, lifestyle has its role in the layout of the kitchen. Log homes are traditionally more open and casual in layout; a trait generally reflective of those who enjoy entertaining family and friends. If entertaining is a top priority, the kitchen will act as more than a place to prepare food. Its layout, style, and accents become a focus of the home itself. A large island strategically placed, for example, will encourage guests to mingle and share their stories. In addition, an open layout can create a seamless flow from the kitchen area to the great room; a great way to make all guests feel valued and included.
The art of entertaining will also affect the number and choices of appliances. A summer barbeque is more easily accomplished if access to the deck or patio from the kitchen is simple. Or, open the entire kitchen up to an outdoor kitchen / barbeque area with a Nana Wall system. Guests are sure to love the uninterrupted flow to the outside.
Many decide to build their dream log home only after finding a lot with the perfect view. The kitchen and great room often share the best view by incorporating a good amount of glass in the design. One note to consider, however, is the effect on the layout of the kitchen…a lot of windows can take away from the amount of upper cabinets available which in turn may necessitate a separate pantry for storage.
Orientation to Adjoining Spaces
As stated above, today’s log homes are more casual in nature. The formal relationship between the living, dining and kitchen has been replaced by an open floor plan that brings the kitchen into the main living experience of the home. Instead of the kitchen being blocked off from the rest of the living area by walls, the only thing separating it from the living room may be a kitchen island. Therefore, the choice of materials in the kitchen becomes even more important in the overall ambiance of the home.
Layout of Kitchen & Appliances
The more casual outdoor lifestyle that is inherent in log homes distinguishes the design of the kitchen from that in other types of homes. In addition to the usual work zones for preparation, cooking and clean-up, additional storage or indoor grilling may also be necessary. Several under-counter refrigerator doors and other specialty appliances may also be added in various locations in the kitchen for the active, casual lifestyle. It is not unusual for a log home to be in a remote location which may require the addition of a large pantry in the kitchen. Items such as a wine cooler, indoor grill or freezer may also be added.
Use of Logs or Timbers in the Kitchen
The use of a log beam, timber ceiling, or vertical log or timber posts in the kitchen adds interest to the design. Vaulted ceilings utilizing log or timber trusses greatly increase the drama of the space. For added architectural appeal, vertical logs are often incorporated at the under-counter face of the kitchen island.
Tip: Frequently, clients ask how wall cabinets are installed on a round log wall. Cabinets are typically hung by way of furring on the face of the log wall which provides a plumb surface for the cabinets to hang from.