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Outdoor Living Ideas

Stone Patio

The smell of pine trees, the babel of the brook and the breathtaking view of the valley are all common sensory emotions connected to the locations people dream of building their log and timber homes.  Since this exterior experience is so connected to these style of homes,  outdoor spaces will undoubtedly play an important role in their overall design.  Today we review some options and ideas for expanding your living space from the indoors out.


Patios – made of concrete, stone pavers, or rock – may be preferable to a wooden deck in some situations.  For example there are many options available for stone patterns and colors these days, which can make a patio fun and inviting.   Designing separate patios, such as a private space off the master bedroom or an easy- to-get-to dining area just off of the kitchen, can extend your living space without converting your entire exterior into one big patio.

Decks and Porches

Wooden decks and porches can provide a nice transition from your log home to the outside living space.  Decks can be continuous, or broken up between living areas – this option lends space for landscaping like flowers, ponds and large planters.  One way in which you can increase the uniqueness of your deck space is by your choice of railing.  While wood spindles are common, many are opting for iron or even glass.  There are a variety of iron styles and patterns, ranging from twigs to leaves and complex twisted shapes.  Special glass can be used to reduce the loss of visibility and make your deck space seem larger.

Balcony with Clear RailingBalconies

Consider extending other rooms in the house to the outdoors, such as upstairs bedrooms and lofts.  Adding a balcony or multiple balconies can give you and your guests an instant connection to the outside.  Balconies can also play an interesting role in the overall look and feel of the exterior architecture of your home.

Screened-In Porches

A blend between a patio and a sunroom, these spaces allow you to enjoy the fresh air and the sights and sounds of nature.  They can keep the bugs at bay in the summer and add a buffer from the cold of winter. Many clients choose to incorporate these spaces on the side of their home that receives the most sunlight. Work with your designer to find an area of your floor plan where a screened-in porch makes the most sense.

Bungalow Log Gazebo
Outdoor Living Structures

Decks, patios and balconies are direct extensions of your home but sometimes it makes sense to add an entirely separate structure to your property. Perhaps your land has a great spot for a lookout or extends down toward a lake.  Adding a permanent log or timber outdoor space will help your family to fully utilize the area.   Outdoor structures can also be placed near other permanent features of the property, like a pool, outdoor kitchen or water feature.

For  unique and stylish outdoor space ideas, take a look at our sister company’s outdoor living site: