House of Style

Fur­nish­ing the log home of your dreams may feel like a big job, but with some pro ad­vice, it can be a very en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

Log Home Living - - 2018 ANNUAL BUYER'S GUIDE - By Ja­son Lenox

Buy­ing or build­ing a log home is the ful­fill­ment of a life­long dream. But once you’ve made it through con­struc­tion (or the buy­ing process), now you need to fo­cus on fur­nish­ing your new abode.

As an in­te­rior de­signer spe­cial­iz­ing in rus­tic in­te­ri­ors, specif­i­cally log homes, I’m of­ten asked about the first steps in de­sign­ing a new home. Cre­at­ing a co­he­sive de­sign plan takes thought­ful con­sid­er­a­tion and dili­gent plan­ning. Some­times it’s an over­whelm­ing task, but try to re­mem­ber it’s sup­posed to be en­joy­able. Don’t treat it like a job; treat it like a hobby, and you’ll have much more fun with the process.

First, you’ll need to spend time con­sid­er­ing what type of de­sign mo­tif you want for your space. Do you want a north­ern lodge or a western cabin? Is some­thing with a Na­tive Amer­i­can f lair more to your lik­ing, or do you pre­fer the clas­sic log cabin aes­thetic? There are no “right” an­swers here; it’s im­por­tant for you to de­cide what YOU want. Then you can start mak­ing de­ci­sions that will move you to­ward your goal: A log home that’s re­flec­tive of your style, taste and per­son­al­ity.

Once you’ve de­cided what di­rec­tion your de­sign will take, there are some uni­ver­sal truths to con­sider:

Scale. This is an im­por­tant as­pect of your de­sign, re­gard­less of the stylis­tic di­rec­tion you choose. So­fas, chairs, tables and re­lated ac­ces­sory pieces need to be the proper size for your space. While some­thing too large can over­power a smaller room, a piece that’s too small can be dwarfed by a larger space. Pick things that fit, and don’t make ex­cep­tions for any rea­son. A ta­ble that’s too big will al­ways be too big, no mat­ter how much of a bar­gain it was.

Left­overs. These are the pieces that are lit­er­ally left­over from a re­design of your pre­vi­ous home, and they should be avoided if pos­si­ble. It’s an in­te­rior de­sign mis­take to take your 20-year-old sofa from a city house and place it in your new log home. We all have bud­gets that we try to stay within, but please re­mem­ber this: Just be­cause you have left­over fur­ni­ture doesn’t mean you should use it. If you ab­so­lutely have to re-use a piece that isn’t per­fect, write your­self a note that it must be re­placed in 12 months or less. Time and again, I see cou­ples who take a not-so-per­fect sofa to the cabin with ev­ery in­ten­tion of re­plac­ing it. In­stead, their eye be­comes ac­cus­tomed to the piece and it ends up liv­ing there for­ever. Don’t fall into this trap; it’s hard to crawl out of it!

Col­lec­tions. In my opin­ion one of the hall­marks of good log home de­sign is the pres­ence of col­lec­tions in the fin­ished plan. Think of some­thing you like, or have al­ways wanted, and start col­lect­ing that thing. Whether its an­tique fish­ing reels, au­then­tic Navajo rugs or vin­tage maps, al­most any item is more im­pact­ful when dis­played as a group. Keep your col­lec­tion ap­pro­pri­ate to the style of house. For ex­am­ple; if you have a log home on a lake in Colorado, a col­lec­tion of vin­tage fly-fish­ing rods would be more

ap­pro­pri­ate than an as­sort­ment of dolls. Also, be care­ful not to over-col­lect or you’ll end up with clut­ter. Three good things can con­sti­tute a col­lec­tion. Re­mem­ber; find some­thing you like that fits with your style, and buy the best ex­am­ples you can af­ford.

Timing. If you’ll be or­der­ing fur­ni­ture, you should al­low 8 to 12 weeks lead time with bet­ter man­u­fac­tur­ers. You can wait for your log home to be com­plete be­fore or­der­ing, but if you’re able to make some de­ci­sions ear­lier in the process, you’ll have bet­ter timing when you’re ready to move in.

Qual­ity. This is an im­por­tant as­pect when de­sign­ing an en­dur­ing in­te­rior space for your log home. I ad­vise my clients to invest in pieces that will last a life­time or longer. Peo­ple of­ten make the mis­take of buy­ing a lower-qual­ity sofa to save money, only to re­place it in three years with an­other in­fe­rior sofa, and an­other re­place­ment three years af­ter that. If they’d bought a good sofa to be­gin with, they’d have it for a min­i­mum of 15 or 20 years and would never have had the headache and cost of re­place­ment.

That said, it’s ok to pull back in some ar­eas and splurge in oth­ers. A good way to think about qual­ity is to sep­a­rate fur­nish­ings into three cat­e­gories: good, bet­ter and best. Your liv­ing room can have a good cof­fee ta­ble, bet­ter chairs and a best sofa. Your din­ing room can have a good rug, good ta­ble, bet­ter chairs and a best chan­de­lier. Blend­ing all three cat­e­gories will help you stretch your bud­get and en­sure you’re spend­ing money in the most im­pact­ful places.

Lay­ers. Don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to add di­men­sion to your rooms by in­cor­po­rat­ing lay­ers and tex­tures. It can be as sim­ple as putting a lamp on a stack of books in­stead of putting it di­rectly on the ta­ble. Or, us­ing a Navajo rug as wall art in­stead of a paint­ing. What you’re do­ing is cre­at­ing in­ter­est in your space and giv­ing your eye an­other de­tail to ab­sorb. Lay­ers and tex­tures are keys to de­sign­ing a space with per­son­al­ity and depth. De­sign­ers. The cost of an in­te­rior de­signer should be weighed against the value they pro­vide. In­te­rior de­sign­ers can give you ac­cess to dis­counts at re­tail stores you never knew ex­isted and can gain en­try to fur­ni­ture show­rooms that aren’t open to the pub­lic. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, money spent on an in­te­rior de­signer is a good in­vest­ment, and they can pay for them­selves many times over. An in­te­rior de­signer will help you make de­ci­sions, clar­ify ideas and im­prove your per­sonal style. But just as im­por­tant, a good de­signer can help you avoid costly mis­takes with fur­nish­ings and over­all de­sign.

Hope­fully, these tips will get you ready to put to­gether the home of your dreams. You bet­ter be; you have a log home to fur­nish!

With 20 years in re­tail and in­te­rior de­sign, Ja­son Lenox has a keen eye for rare, re­fined rus­tic fur­nish­ings and sil­hou­ettes. He strives to keep the rus­tic life­style fresh and cur­rent. Visit his Texas show­room, An­teks Home Fur­nish­ings, in the Dal­las De­sign District.

RIGHT: Stretch your bud­get by cre­at­ing “good,” “bet­ter,” “best” cat­e­gories. Splurge on high-qual­ity pieces that will see ex­ten­sive use, like a sofa, and save on ac­ces­sories.

BE­LOW: The art of lay­er­ing is key to cre­at­ing a space that has di­men­sion and depth. Use strate­gi­cally placed pieces to in­fuse a room with per­son­al­ity.

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