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