Some­thing Spe­cial

Spe­cialty rooms are the per­fect place to put your own stamp on your log home’s de­sign.

Log Home Living - - CONTENTS - by Stacy Durr Al­bert

Spe­cialty rooms are the per­fect place to put your own stamp on your log home’s de­sign.

There’s no short­age of info on de­sign­ing the per­fect kitchen or bath, but how about more tips on cre­at­ing spe­cial spa­ces to play? Af­ter all, home the­aters, wine tast­ing rooms and other cus­tomized ar­eas are tak­ing the log home de­sign world by storm.

“Amer­i­cans are more likely than ever to ad­just their homes to match their per­son­al­ized way of life,” ex­plains Allen Hal­comb, pres­i­dent of MossCreek, a de­sign firm in Knoxville, Ten­nessee. “We de­sign homes around per­son­al­ity and life­style, and this re­flec­tion of in­di­vid­ual- ity has never been as prom­i­nent as it is to­day.”

It’s un­de­ni­able: To­day’s home­own­ers are more con­fi­dent about what they want. “Many have sold their first homes and are now able to in­clude some of the ameni­ties or ex­tra square footage ded­i­cated for hob­bies that pre­vi­ously they were not able to af­ford,” ex­plains Mark Feder, vice pres­i­dent of sales for West Vir­gini­abased Ap­palachian Log Struc­tures.

Whether you seek a tran­quil re­treat to en­joy sip­ping your fa­vorite Caber­net or a fun-filled game room to en­ter­tain friends, carv­ing out a spe­cialty space may be eas­ier than you think. Here’s a run­down of what’s trend­ing now.

1 At-Home Sil­ver Screen

Let’s start with the ob­vi­ous: It’s no se­cret that peo­ple crave high-end en­ter­tain­ment op­tions in the com­fort of their own homes. Hec­tic sched­ules have piqued in­ter­est in elab­o­rate home the­aters, where home­own­ers can sim­ply walk down the hall to catch the lat­est Hol­ly­wood flick. Th­ese me­dia rooms are one of the more fa­mil­iar spe­cialty spa­ces and are best lo­cated in a base­ment or other win­dow­less room. Why You Want It: Think fam­ily movie

nights, big-screen sports fests, kids’ sleep­overs and tons of bond­ing.

What to In­clude: A big-screen/pro­jec­tor TV, the­ater seat­ing with cup hold­ers, ad­justable light­ing, sur­round sound, space to serve re­fresh­ments and loads of am­biance.

2 Play Games with Me

All work and no play makes for a bor­ing life. Pump up the fun fac­tor by in­cor­po­rat­ing a des­ig­nated game room in your home. Whether you opt for a sim­ple pool ta­ble or go all-in on an arcade theme, fam­ily mem­bers are sure to ap­pre­ci­ate this spe­cial space de­voted purely to fun. Con­sider adding a wet bar or small kitchen for game-time snacks.

Why You Want It: Wind­ing down af­ter a long week at work, fam­ily leisure time, stress­re­lief and good old-fash­ioned en­ter­tain­ment. What to In­clude: Op­tions in­clude ev­ery­thing from poker to pool to shuf­fle­board ta­bles, pin­ball ma­chines, dart boards and shelves filled with board games.

3 The Man Cave vs. the She-Shed

Let’s face it — the man cave is here to stay. No longer just a trendy in­dul­gence, this spe­cial space has trans­formed into a must-have in many log homes. Not to be out­done, the ladies have es­tab­lished their own home-within-the-home with the ad­vent of the “she-shed.” Both are de­fined by their sense of seclu­sion (no rowdy kids al­lowed) and up­scale-yet-comfy decor. Carve out space for ei­ther op­tion in the base­ment or — bet­ter yet — a sep­a­rate out­build­ing. Why You Want It: Ev­ery­one needs a place to call their own, whether it’s to watch your fa­vorite sports (sans in­ter­rup­tions) with a beer and some friends or es­cape with a good novel and a glass of wine.

What to In­clude: Kick-your-feet-up fur­ni­ture, am­bi­ent light­ing and a small re­frig­er­a­tor are musts for ei­ther space. Con­sider a bar, a big-screen and tech­nol­ogy over­load for a man cave; an over­stuffed chaise, el­e­gant chan­de­lier and bou­quets of flow­ers for the she-shed.

4 The Cre­ative Touch

Get those cre­ative juices flow­ing with a bright, cheery hobby room where you can try your hand at writ­ing, scrap­book­ing, paint­ing, quilt­ing, pot­tery and more. Choose a lo­ca­tion with plenty of nat­u­ral light, or con­sider in­stalling sky­lights to brighten up the space. Task light­ing is equally im­por­tant, as is plenty of stor­age. Why You Want It: Whether you love art, sew­ing or scrap­book­ing, con­sider this space sep­a­rate from where your kids’ do their crafts. This is your pri­vate get­away. What to In­clude: A sturdy work­table, stor­age con­tain­ers of all sizes for max­i­mum or­ga­ni­za­tion (cab­i­nets, fab­ric stor­age bins, plas­tic cases and wall shelv­ing are all good op­tions), am­ple nat­u­ral and task light­ing, cush­ioned seats — per­haps even a giftwrap sta­tion.

5 Ex­er­cise Your Rights

The home gym has come a long way from its prim­i­tive days of a few dumb­bells along­side a sta­tion­ary bike (which prob­a­bly dou­bled as a place to hang clothes). Mod­ern ex­er­cise rooms run the gamut from peace­ful yoga and dance stu­dios, to in­door bas­ket­ball courts and fully stocked work­out cen­ters.

Why You Want It: Stay­ing healthy is im­por­tant, and the con­ve­nience of keep­ing fit at home makes it eas­ier to do so.

What to In­clude: Equip­ment you’ll ac­tu­ally use (this is key). Give the space a pro-gym boost with towel racks, cush­ioned floor­ing, built-in speak­ers/mu­sic sys­tem, good ven­ti­la­tion, a wall-mounted TV and a sauna (if bud­get al­lows).

6 Sip­ping Time

Home wine cel­lars have been pop­u­lar for a while, but adding a tast­ing room is a newer trend. To get the look, sim­ply in­cor­po­rate some type of seat­ing area in or near your wine room— per­haps a tall bistro ta­ble, built-in booth or bar area. An­other high-end op­tion is an up­scale bour­bon room com­plete with whiskey casks and pour spouts.

Why You Want It: Un­wind af­ter a long day by in­dulging in your fa­vorite wine or cor­dial, or host an el­e­gant tast­ing party for close friends. What to In­clude: Stonework and ex­posed beams are pop­u­lar tast­ing room el­e­ments, as are wine bar­rels and glasses. Proper ven­ti­la­tion and tem­per­a­ture con­trol equip­ment are vi­tal to prop­erly main­tain your li­ba­tions.

7 The Sound of Mu­sic

In­cor­po­rat­ing mu­sic into your life has been shown to boost health, re­duce stress, pro­mote bet­ter sleep and in­crease in­tel­li­gence. You can cre­ate a sim­ple home record­ing stu­dio with a com­puter, au­dio in­ter­face and a mike. If mu­sic is your pas­sion, go one step fur­ther with sound­proof­ing, mix­ing boards and edit­ing equip­ment. Take the show live by build­ing a home stage com­plete with an au­di­ence area or dance floor where you can share your mad skills.

Why You Want It: Jam­ming out with friends and fam­ily, record­ing your fa­vorite tunes or com­pos­ing an orig­i­nal song can soothe the soul. What to In­clude: Good acous­tics and sound­proof­ing, com­puter, mi­cro­phone, record­ing and edit­ing equip­ment, plus your fa­vorite in­stru­ments — and a healthy dose of tal­ent!

8 Down the Gar­den Path

Whether you have a true green thumb or just want to ex­per­i­ment with seedlings and flow­ers, a pot­ting room is sure to en­liven your home. Early pot­ting sheds were typ­i­cally made from scrap, so you don’t have to spend a for­tune to cre­ate an au­then­tic look. Sal­vaged wood, brick, metal and terra cotta are all a per­fect (and very trendy) fit.

Why You Want It: Get a jump start on spring by plant­ing seedlings early.

What to In­clude: A work­table util­ity sink, open shelv­ing, a large pot­ting ta­ble and perime­ter counter space, gar­den­ing tools, guide­books, planters and pots.

9 Slum­ber Party

What could be more fun than a whim­si­cal room cre­ated for sleep­overs? Bunkrooms are pop­u­lar in log homes, and with good rea­son. “Th­ese are ar­eas where you can be very cre­ative and play­ful, be­cause they are ori­ented for chil­dren, and play is their work,” says Allen Hal­comb. “Your imag­i­na­tion can run free to cre­ate the most in­ter­est­ing and in­trigu­ing nooks and cran­nies.”

Why You Want It: Make the kids and grand­kids want to hang out at your place with fun sleep­overs as well as day­time play­time. What to In­clude: Bunk beds, whim­si­cal decor, dressers, small ta­bles, toy/game cab­i­nets, an area rug and kid-friendly decor.

10 A Good Read

Don’t have a lot of ex­tra space for a spe­cialty room? You don’t need it. Si­dle up with a steam­ing mug of cof­fee and your fa­vorite novel in a spe­cial­ized read­ing nook where seclu­sion is the name of the game. Con­sider carv­ing out a se­cret read­ing hide­away in the un­used area be­neath your stairs or a pri­vate win­dow seat tucked in the loft.

Why You Want It: Jour­nal­ing, read­ing or sim­ply a lit­tle quiet time.

What to In­clude: Comfy seat­ing, plush pil­lows, plenty of task light and book shelves, a cozy throw and a bas­ket to cor­ral mag­a­zines.

The owner of this log home bunkroom be­lieves over­sized bed­rooms are a waste. But he can still sleep a crowd in style thanks to this fun, color-in­fused spe­cial space. TURN THE PAGE to take a tour of this home!

Bed & Break­fast (left) Use ev­ery square inch you have. A bunkhouse, com­plete with its own kitch­enette, is found in the bonus room above this log home’s garage.

How the Gar­den Grows (left) A lean-to at­tached to a barn serves as a lovely pot­ting room with a set­tee for re­lax­ing and leaf­ing through gar­den cat­a­logs. A pot­ting bench with a win­dow above looks out over the gar­den.

Amer­i­can Band­stand (right) The own­ers of this log home love to throw big par­ties, so they in­cor­po­rated a stage and dance floor into their de­sign.

Stel­lar Cel­lar (above) Rather than fight your prop­erty’s fea­tures, use them to your ad­van­tage by carv­ing out a very spe­cial space. The own­ers of this log home en­coun­tered an enor­mous gran­ite boul­der dur­ing ex­ca­va­tion, but rather than spend­ing time and...

Spe­cial Speakeasy (top right) Don’t have a lot of room for a spe­cialty space? Look to your home’s nooks and cran­nies, then get cre­ative. This tiny closet was the per­fect hide­away to house the own­ers’ wine col­lec­tion. A bar­rel-vaulted ceil­ing, stone...

Wow Your Work­out (right) An enor­mous sand­stone rock acts as one of the struc­tural walls of this ex­cep­tional gym and home spa, which boasts an in­door end­less pool. Not only is the space highly func­tional, it’s a place you ac­tu­ally want to spend time in.

Soli­tary Re­fine­ment (left) In­side this writer’s haven, a built-in desk saves space and en­joys a sweep­ing view that’s sure to in­spire the next great Amer­i­can novel. Win­dows set at a 90-de­gree an­gle pro­vide an even dis­tri­bu­tion of nat­u­ral light. Decked...

Sweet Re­treat (top) Ev­ery­one should have his/her own space, and some­times that means tak­ing it out­side. This adorable “she-shed” is painted in an ul­tra-fem­i­nine pal­ette of lilac and white and is used as a quiet place for writ­ing, craft­ing and read­ing....

Rise Above (top) A log home af­fords sev­eral lo­ca­tion op­tions for game rooms. This loft space was de­signed to over­look the river and the great room, and it pro­vides an ideal en­ter­tain­ment area. Down Be­low (above) As every­body knows, a fin­ished base­ment...

Why set­tle for a mere big-screen TV when you can have an amaz­ing me­dia room? Here, the lat­est block­buster isn’t the only thing worth view­ing from the com­fort of the sup­ple leather the­ater chairs.

Read ’Em and Weep (right) Take a page from this in­cred­i­ble twos­tory home li­brary: Two over­sized leather chairs sit in front of a gran­ite­clad fire­place, which is pan­eled in black wal­nut. A float­ing spi­ral stair­case leads to the up­per level, where...

Book Nook (be­low) If an elab­o­rate li­brary isn’t an op­tion, fear not. You can still store your stacks. Built-in book­shelves in the din­ing room will give you the stor­age you need and pro­vide a con­ver­sa­tion piece as you dine. Take a tour of this home at...

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