In today's busy and stressful world a lot of people are choosing to have a country home where they can have a well-deserved rest, reconnect with nature and enjoy a peaceful weekend away from the noise and dust of the city. Architectural styles of country homes are as diverse as those of urban dwellings.
Most of the country home styles feature a simple design without any exterior and interior ornamentation. Their primary purpose is to provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, that is why most of them are single-storied and have open concept interiors with multiple rooms. The popularity of certain styles depend mostly on the region, e.g., log houses can be seen mainly in mountainous areas, whereas cottage houses are popular both in the mountainous and beach areas.
However, some country houses can be quite sophisticated in design like some wealthy Victorian houses and may feature a combination of various styles, resulting in a new eclectic style, unique for that particular house. Combining various architectural styles gives one the freedom to create a very unique home with some stand-out details of well-recognized styles. However, if you are not a big fan of rich ornamentation and sophisticated embellishments, you may well consider the log house style for your vacation home - one of the most popular and sought-after styles today.
History of log houses
Originated in Northern Europe, log houses became popular in regions where tall trees like spruce and pine were readily available. Similarly constructed as log cabins, which served mainly as hunting houses or small summer cottages, log houses were made of untreated, unmilled logs with the use of only axe and knife. The ease of construction and availability of materials made these handcrafted houses very popular especially in mountainous areas, where more complex structures would be much harder to build.
With time, the methods of building a log house changed. New techniques of treating and shaping wood logs appeared. Beside handcrafted logs that were only peeled, but otherwise preserved the original shape and size of the tree, the following types of logs became also available:
Hewn logs - logs, shaped into oval, rectangular, octagonal or hexagonal sections.
Sawn logs - logs, sawn to a standard width, but with the original height.
Milled logs - logs undergone a manufacturing process converting them into timbers of the same size and shape.
At the end of the 19th century there were companies in Northern Europe that exported pre-fabricated log houses. Buyers could choose a standard log house from a catalogue or order a customized one designed by the best architects of that time. By 1920s the pre-fabricated log houses immigrated to North America, becoming quite popular, especially in mountainous regions.
Modern log houses are made predominantly of milled logs, which require much less field work than handcrafted ones. The modern technologies allow to construct fully insulated and wired log houses suitable for any climate. Some modern log houses are so sophisticated that it is not easy to recognize the "log style" at first sight. In fact, many celebrities choose this architectural style for their vacation homes.
Here are some examples of gorgeous log houses of some celebrities:
Ralph Lauren's gorgeous Colorado guest log cabin, built using hand-hewn logs from Montana
Jack Hanna's log cabin in Montana - a simple, but beautiful and cozy home, built using pine logs from Idaho
Jerry Seinfeld's extraordinary log house with 11 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.
These exquisite homes are traditionally called log cabins, but they are fully-wired and richly equipped houses, with insulated doors and windows, that make them suitable for year-round living. The modern technologies allow to combine different materials, like high-quality fiberglass doors and low-maintenance, energy-efficient PVC windows that come in many different colors and finishes and are suitable for any architectural style, including the log house one.
Thermoluxe offers a superb Fibertech collection of entry doors – any of these doors would make an amazing front door for a log house entrance. They offer incredible insulation combined with the most attractive rich appearance of real wood.
The log house style is so flexible in terms of design, size and shape, that no matter what your dream vacation house looks like, you can still choose this style and incorporate some elements of other styles, as well as combine various materials, like timber and stone to create a home that will be uniquely yours. Just don't forget to choose high-quality doors and windows so that your log cabin can comfortably host you and your guest all year round.