Inspired Living: Jackson Hole Haven

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

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.

The Creekside Says “Mountain Style” Loud & Clear

June 15th, 2011

Creekside Timber Home

A home’s mix of exterior finish materials and varied, rambling roof lines are two of the attributes that announce “mountain style” at first glance.  M.T.N Design’s new design, the Creekside timber home, says it loud and clear with a mix of stacked stone, wood siding, timber accents and metal roofing that recalls the old west.  This timber frame home is also a natural fit for a sloped lot, following the lines of the land as if it was part of the mountain itself.

The Creekside’s clever design accommodates generous living areas, a home office and spacious guest accommodations all in 2,521 square feet.  Its ceilings are higher than is typical, increasing the interiors’ volume and natural light and resulting in an open, airy feeling.  The open air itself is accessible on both sides of the house thanks to 636 square feet of patio and covered decks.

The Creekside’s great room features heavy timber trusses that flank the stone fireplace and enhance the view from the room’s wall of windows.  The seamless flow of the main living areas makes the Creekside an easy place to entertain, while its more private wing offers a quiet retreat for work or rest. Downstairs, the walkout lower level offers a suite with two bedrooms, laundry, a full bath and its own entrance.

The Creekside is a great example of a timber home plan that accommodates all of life’s activities in less than 3,000 square feet.  Its flexible lower level can be configured to your family’s needs as well as the topography of your land, and its foot print of just 41 by 61 feet allows you to take advantage of that breathtaking site that just happens to be narrow.  When planning your log or timber home, look for an architect who can design your dream home to meet the requirements of both your lot and your lifestyle.

Focus on Mudrooms: Bring on the Mud (Room)

May 19th, 2011

Their name may be “mud,” but mud rooms should not be dismissed like the dirt beneath your feet.  When planning a new log or timber home, including a mud room may turn out to be one of your smartest design decisions.  Here are some things to consider when planning your mud room:

Placement.  Yes, your mud room should be adjacent to a well used, informal entryway, but what if you have more than one of those?  If aLaundry/Mud Room walk-out basement is part of your log home plan, consider a mud room on the lower level in addition to one on the main floor.

Plumbing.  If your mud room shares a wall with the kitchen or laundry room, incorporating a small bathroom – or at least a sink – is a great way to ensure that dirt, pollen, and irritants like poison ivy are left at the door.  Accessible plumbing also facilitates perks like a dog washing station or potting area.

Flooring.  Perhaps the most important finish choice for a mud room is the flooring.  Durable and easy-to-clean should be your floor-shopping mantra, and eschew any material that becomes slippery when wet.  Rubber flooring is a great choice for mud rooms, and some homeowners swear by indoor-outdoor carpet.  In a rustic log home or log cabin, natural stone or matte-finish tile are serviceable choices that may also fit the home’s décor.  If your mud room will use the same highly polished wood or tile as the kitchen, consider a rubber anti-fatigue mat to keep the area slip-free.

Seating.  A place to sit down and take off boots is a must.  A bench is a great solution and can do double duty if there’s room underneath to keep those boots out of the way.

Storage.  A combination of open and closed storage spaces allow easy access to shoes, for example, while providing a hiding place for seasonal items behind closed doors.  Lockers or open cubbies are popular storage choices that allow each family member to have his or her own space.  Wall-mounted hooks are great for frequently used items that need to be grabbed on the run.

Schedules.  Since the mud room usually serves as a family’s main entrance to the house, it’s a great place to keep the calendar.  A bulletin board or white board is also a great way to keep everyone “in the loop” as they come and go.

The mud room may turn out to be the most-used – and hardest working – area in the house, so a little advanced planning will pay off in the long run.

A New Post and Beam Design – The Huntington

April 14th, 2011

When we’re dreaming and doodling a log home into existence, most of us focus on things like floor plan and traffic flow, log style and guest accommodations.  But you’re sure to want livable outdoor spaces, too, so planning for them early is a smart move that will help you get the most out of your dream log home.

Post and Beam Log Home, The HungintonThe newly released Huntington post and beam log home plan from M.T.N Design is a great example of a home with clever, comfortable outdoor living areas.  On the first floor of this handcrafted post and beam home, the great room’s dramatic glass wall opens to more than 200 square feet of covered patio, allowing indoor activity to spill outside without having to contend with the beating sun or rain. A second covered patio is conveniently placed outside the kitchen. Designed as a dedicated barbeque area, this patio is also large enough that the cook can have some company.

Don’t forget the second story when you’re planning your outdoor spaces. The gem of the Huntington plan is the second story covered balcony. Placed at the corner of the house, it capitalizes on the view due to both its height and its two open walls, while the two solid walls offer protection from the wind. Adding to the considerable romance of the balcony is its stone fireplace, which allows the space to serve as a three-season outdoor room.

When making your log home plans, consider where you might want to step outside. Would a private patio off the master bedroom enhance your mornings? Perhaps an outdoor extension of the dining room would facilitate the al fresco dinners you love. Planning for outdoor spaces early on will help you maximize living space – and the enjoyment of your log home.