SOME ELEMENTS OF OUR HOUSES ARE, IN A WORD, CONFUSING. There are narrow hallways that lead to rooms that feel too big or downright claustrophobic; poorlyplanned or non-existent storage spaces; and design details that feel more like afterthoughts than elements of a carefully thought-out plan. It’s commonly known as poor design, and we usually recognize it when we leave a house feeling slightly uncomfortable — even if we can’t put our finger on exactly why. The home might be beautiful, but it doesn’t quite make sense.
Conversely, there are homes that feel welcoming, effortless and comforting from the moment you walk through the door. Even if we’re setting foot in the space for the first time, we know where to go. The rooms — from the flooring materials to the transition areas — feel natural. Randomness is minimized, and everything fits together like a seamless architectural pattern. This design quality is no accident; indeed, it’s the result of smart planning and an acknowledgement that a home should just, well, work.
Timber homes, with their open floor plans, lend themselves to getting the flow and feel just right, but you’ll still want to spend a good amount of time perfecting your final plan. We ensure a successful approach to design in “From Site Plan to Floor Plan” (page 48). You’ll learn that designing a home that fits your family’s needs, site, climate, budget and lifestyle will take time and research, but it can also be a rewarding and creative experience. Now’s your chance to design a living space that matches your family’s unique lifestyle, so take it.
We also knew we had to feature Bill and Beth Morrison’s spectacular timber frame (“Open House,” page 36) the moment we laid eyes on the beautiful Montana setting and equally inspiring design. Naturally, we were impressed with the home’s striking framework, but our biggest grins stemmed from how the open floor plan flows effortlessly from one space to the next while still feeling comfortable and cozy — an ambience that takes an ordinary house and turns it into a home.
The houses and design resources in this issue prove that well thought-out floor plans can translate to a truly great living space. Achieving smart design might take weeks, even months. But trust us, you’ll get there. Just remember to enjoy the journey of creating your own idea of perfection. And if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, just remember: You’ve already taken that first important step toward a home that won't disappoint
by choosing to build a timber frame. Happy planning!