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.