The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

Houses, log or otherwise, have to be designed before they can be built. Design can be purposeful or inspired. Purposeful design is practical. It may seek to improve livability or control construction costs. Inspired design is fanciful. Its aim is distinction. The best log homes blend these design facets.


But where do design ideas come from? Houses are almost never imagined in a vacuum. Other houses or a particular setting often influence their look. People seeking design ideas will find them everywhere. Once you begin considering a custom log home, design should become part of your everyday life as you cast about for ideas and inspiration for your home.


Look around. Carry a camera and find houses to photograph. Notice shapes, sizes, rooflines and all exterior trappings. Document any features that appeal to you.


If you live somewhere totally removed from where you anticipate building, take advantage of other people’s photography. Peruse magazines that show log homes in the kind of setting you desire. Notice how homes and surroundings harmonize.


Setting may also evoke a design aimed at making the new house look well established on its site. This tendency toward timelessness is particularly popular with owners of traditional-looking log homes.


Besides conjuring up an image of a house, a setting may even suggest a layout. If the home will enjoy a compelling view, for instance, then the design may not only include plenty of windows facing this view, but also feature a layout that enables many or all of the rooms to share the view. The resulting profile would be a narrow and either a long or a tall house.


Climate also influences design. Hot sun prompts porches. Heavy snow dictates a steep roof. Constant wind calls for streamlining.


Expanding your design horizons will guide you toward a look that suits your tastes and location. Having a vision will bring you that much closer to turning your ideas into an actual home.

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Comment by John Duke on October 1, 2012 at 11:21pm

We don't have many log cabins to look at where I live, hence most of our inspiration comes from other types of structures. We visit a place because we heard it has a feature or aesthetic that sounds interesting, or something about it strikes our interest. Lots of what we look at would never work in a log house, but some things do. The advantage for me is that I don't have a conventional log house, but a unique structure and design. I think it all works, but it isn't going to be for everyone. 

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