Edi­tor’s Note

Timber Home Living - - Contents - SARA BROWN, Edi­tor

The big pic­ture

Agroup of co-work­ers is di­vided into two teams. Each team is given a jig­saw puz­zle of equal dif­fi­culty. They’re in­structed to com­plete the puz­zle as quickly as pos­si­ble. But here’s the catch: Nei­ther group is given the box lid with the im­age of what the puz­zle should look like when com­pleted.

Af­ter five min­utes of scram­bling, both teams are asked the same ques­tion: What’s mak­ing this task so dif­fi­cult? It’s no sur­prise that they both an­swer the ab­sence of the com­pleted “big pic­ture” to use as a guide. Once they’re given the im­age to work off of, they’re able to com­plete the puz­zle much faster, the pieces lit­er­ally fall­ing into place. The les­son: Keep­ing things in per­spec­tive and fo­cus­ing on the big pic­ture not only helps, but is of­ten­times nec­es­sary to get things done both ef­fi­ciently and ac­cu­rately.

De­sign­ing your ideal tim­ber home can be viewed in much the same way. Spend­ing more time fo­cused on the per­fect hard­ware for your kitchen cab­i­nets rather than the kitchen lay­out it­self and how it fits with the rest of the house is wasted ef­fort. Load­ing up on all kinds of pic­ture frames and throw pil­lows for your great room in­stead of fig­ur­ing out if your sec­tional sofa will fit in the new space will al­most guar­an­tee a headache when it’s time to ac­tu­ally move into the house.

In­stead, try to think about the ab­so­lute es­sen­tials your dream home will in­clude. Do you plan to live there for the long term? Then you’ll prob­a­bly want all the key liv­ing ar­eas to be on the main level of the home. Will you fre­quently en­ter­tain guests? Then you’ll need to fig­ure out the ap­pro­pri­ate sleep­ing ar­range­ments based on who will be there and what ac­tiv­i­ties their visit will en­tail. Once you’ve nailed down th­ese el­e­ments, then you can start to de­ter­mine whether or not you want shaker-style white or rus­tic wood cab­i­netry for the kitchen.

To help you set your pri­or­i­ties, we high­light a num­ber of fac­tors to con­sider in your de­sign, from out­side en­vi­ron­ment (“Cli­mate Con­sid­er­a­tions,” page 10) to room-by-room de­sign tips and di­men­sions (“25 Tips to Floor Plan Per­fec­tion,” page 12; “Spa­tial Ef­fects,” page 50). Two home tours start­ing on page 30 serve up a healthy dose of de­sign in­spi­ra­tion as well.

In the end, you will be the one liv­ing in your tim­ber home, so it’s up to you to de­cide what you should and should not in­clude to best en­joy your new space. Use this, our Spe­cial De­sign Is­sue, to de­ter­mine what those pri­or­i­ties are.

Happy plan­ning!

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