Decorating Your New Log Home

The overall livability of your new Avalon log home has as much to do, if not more, with how it's decorated as it does with its design and construction. Anyone who has ever built a new home can tell you that the demands of the design and building processes can easily result in decor planning taking an unfortunate back seat. In an effort to ensure that your Avalon log home is as cozy on the inside as it is impressive everywhere else, we've assembled the following information, courtesy of Log Home Living, to assist you with your decorating strategy.

Most people have some idea of the style they want for their log home long before they've finished construction, or sometimes even before ground is broken. No matter whether you're partial to rustic style, country, Western, Victorian or something more eclectic, you'll find that log homes lend themselves to just about any style of decor.

As you begin to decorate your new log home or redecorate an existing log home, keep in mind the decorating basics of size, balance and proportion. This will be important, especially if your new rooms are larger than those in your former home or the ceilings are higher. Large spaces can overwhelm spindly pieces of furniture and cathedral ceilings look best when balanced with furniture or accessories that have some height of their own.

Think about space when decorating and furnishing your home's smaller spaces, too. Although it may run counter to common sense, smaller rooms generally look better with a small number of larger pieces, rather than a large assortment of smaller pieces.

During the design process is also the time to give some thought to built-in furniture. These pieces can help eliminate the need to purchase dressers or bookshelves and can help use every inch of space in the home to the fullest. Talk to your builder about what's possible in your new home.

Your home's log walls will make your interior look very different from a conventional home. While wood tones make a wonderful backdrop for many colors, you may wish to live in your home for a while before choosing colors for your furniture and non-log walls. The stain or finish you use on your logs may change their color, and the pattern of sunlight in one room may make the logs appear to be a slightly different hue than those in another room. Before they begin construction on their homes, some people tote around a raw piece of log supplied by their log producer to help them match furniture and paint colors. Unfortunately, if they expect their home's walls to remain the same blond look of untreated wood, they may be disappointed when the home is complete.

Wood walls also have their own unique texture and pattern, especially log walls that are accented by contrasting lines of chinking. Before you choose upholstery fabrics, bring swatches home to view them against the backdrop of your log walls. You may change your mind about certain patterns or textures, whether you prefer shiny fabrics or those with matte textures, when you see them inside your log home.

Part of the reason you want a log home is probably that you love the look of wood. But remember that not every wall in your home has to be log. As you look at photos of other log homes, pay attention to the rooms that appeal to you and take note of any drywall, wall coverings or special paint effects.

Are you planning an open floor plan for your log home? Think about what that means in terms of finishes and furnishings. Will you be able to see both your living room fireplace and your kitchen countertops in the same view? Will your kitchen cabinets complement the furniture in your great room? You'll need to think about what spaces are adjacent to each other as you select cabinets, countertops, fireplace materials, flooring, paint colors and furnishings.

Your best bet may be to live in your home for several months before creating its look. You can gradually replace furniture that doesn't quite fulfill your needs and add color and accessories where you need them. If your heart is set on a completely decorated home from day one, or you're in need of decorating help, seek out a design professional. Interior designers can help you create a pulled-together look that mirrors your lifestyle and prevent you from making costly mistakes as you decorate your home.

The one area of decor that can't wait for your decisions to be made is lighting. You need to plan for lighting as you design your home. Consider that an open floor plan may place your seating area in the middle of a large great room. Will you need floor outlets to plug in table or floor lamps? Hanging fixtures, particularly those in rooms with cathedral ceilings, must be wired as the home is being constructed. Even if you can't decide on the perfect dining room chandelier, you should decide where it will hang. While you're designing your home, give some thought to outdoor lighting, too, so that those fixtures can be wired during construction.

As you consider lighting, remember that wood tends to absorb light, rather than reflect it. Adding some drywall to a room, either on the walls or ceiling, will make the room appear lighter. You might consider adding plenty of windows to your design. And you should provide for both ambient, overall lighting and task lighting in each room.

Like furnishings, the light fixtures you eventually select should match the volume of your rooms. A too-small chandelier in your two-story entry will look out of place. So will a chandelier that dwarfs your dining room table. Ask a design professional or an expert at a lighting center for help in choosing appropriately sized fixtures.