“North American Log Cabin Designs are often quite different from other continents!”
Some of the North American log cabin designs certainly are pretty spectacular! The space and wealth that is found there has lead to the creation of some massive and stunning log cabins! Add to this the huge logs which can be grown and manufactured there and end result can be jaw dropping!
However no matter how huge and flambouyant some of these incredible log cabins or homes are, there are often certain specific aspects which are inherent in American log cabin designs. For one thing, the large ranch style covered deck to the front plays are a very prominent role. And basements are very popular there, whereas in Europe I don’t recall ever seeing a log cabin with a basement! The overall designs are usually more open and often incorporate large feature windows. There is also more of a tendency to customize log cabins, with hand carved timber features being popular.
Let’s take a more detailed look at North American log cabin designs
Well as is usually the case, North American log cabin designs have been influenced greatly by the history and heritage of the U.S. and Canada. Early settlers in America would often make log cabins from timber found locally, using whole logs which would be fitted together to form the structure. As a lot of early settlers farmed the land, the early log cabins typically had a ranch-style design. The large covered decks to the front of the house not only gave protection from the sun and the rain, but also let them keep an eye on what was happening on their land. This very feature is still very popular in log cabin design in America today!
We have already talked about the traditional ranch-style covered decks on log cabins. However not everyone wants to go for that look today and many different designs can be found in North America now. The deck in that part of the world is a very important feature, and whereas in other parts of the world they are only found in relatively small numbers, there it is very much the norm. Decks are often very large, sometimes encompassing 3 sides of the house! There are many great locations for log cabins there too and decks allow you to enjoy the view and the outdoors to the maximum. Hence decks are given a lot more significance in North American log cabin designs.
Another North American design feature which is rarely found in some parts of the world is the basement. Basements are the norm there rather than the exception, and the space they afford can often mean a single storey log cabin creates more than sufficient space. This can have other added benefits, such as a design which incorporates large vaulted areas, without encroaching on upstairs space. Also many log cabins are found in hilly locations, so walk out basements to the lowest side can be used to great effect. By being built into the slope the ground level on the lowest side will allow full sized doors to be used for access to the outside. This increases the natural light to the basement enormously and any deck created above forms a covered area near the basement entrance.
Open plan design
North American log cabin designs (along with conventional homes) have always tended to be much more open plan than those found in Europe and elsewhere. In many ways it is a reflection of the society there! There are less internal walls used and many log cabins have kitchen areas open to dining and living spaces. Even when internal walls are used, they have often have large open archways (with no doors), or just a low level wall. Split level designs are also more popular with one part of the cabin looking down onto another. European log cabins tend to be designed with individual rooms fully separated by walls and on the same level. Whilst a little of the American design influence has spread to Europe, designs still tend to follow the traditional route for that individual region.
A really nice touch that adds to a unique feature to your log cabin is a hand carved object. These will normally be found on a handcrafted log cabin, and the rustic look lends itself more to this type of look. Generally the most popular things to be carved are animals or birds. A well placed carving can really make a massive statement and, being hand done by a craftsmen, only adds to the individual appeal of a log cabin of this nature. Hand made log furniture is also popular in North America; beds, tables and chairs made from logs can be a really nice touch and adds to the overall rustic look.
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