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The Ultimate Kitchen

You’re a cuisine connoisseur, a master chef, a coffee fiend, a wine snob, a cheese addict, and every party you host results in too many cooks in the kitchen. In short, your kitchen is more than just a kitchen, it’s the heart of your home, and it captures your spirit. Now, you’ve dreamt of the ultimate kitchen your whole life… A kitchen with a little more elbow room. A kitchen with a gas range. A kitchen with flowing marble counters, a massive basin sink, and copper cookware hanging from a ceiling-hung pot rack. You know that design counts when it comes to crafting the ultimate kitchen. That’s why we’re taking a few moments to tackle the big questions that you ought to ask when approaching the design of your dream kitchen. Here are our questions—as provided by Winterwoods Homes, your source for architect-designed cabins. You’ll have to come up with the answers.

blog-kitchen-1Contemporary or Classic?

When it comes to style, are you a fan of the contemporary look or the classic aesthetic? If you’re a fan of contemporary design, opt for stainless steel fixtures and appliances, painted cabinets, and consider composite materials for your countertops. If you like to keep it classic, choose the traditional look of copper and gold fixtures, porcelain appliances, marble countertops, and wooden cabinetry. Can’t decide on a single concept? Don’t sweat. You can mix the warmth of classic design with the convenience and clarity of contemporary kitchen features. It’s not absurd to have that big basin porcelain sink (the one that could easily handle your biggest dish, and it’s an ideal bath for a toddler), and composite countertops (they’re half the cost, and you can get the island cut into the shape of a kidney bean). It’s a debate for the ages: Classic, contemporary, or both?

blog-kitchen-2Island or Peninsula?

Decision time: Do you go for the kitchen island, or the peninsula? Each offers its own unique benefits.

The peninsula provides a bit of extra storage, and it makes cooking easy. You’ll have more room to spread out as you’re making the ultimate spread for guests. Leave yourself plenty of room to chop onions and peppers. Give yourself space to mix your famous chocolate chip cookies. Have room to keep the cookbook spread open to page 113: White Lightning Chicken Chili. You can keep the crockpot on low for days on end without a passerby elbowing the appliance, and you’ll have plenty of space to stow all those dishes after you’ve crafted, consumed, and cleaned.

The island, however, was built for entertaining and flow. Folks flock to your abode at the smell of crackling garlic. You need a few barstools to house those gastronomic guests. Oh, and when it’s time to pour that port wine that you saved from your ‘84 trip to Napa, you’ll have a prime space for a taste-testing. Serving tapas? There’s hasn’t been a better space than the kitchen island since that Spanish tradition sailed over the ocean blue. Plus, since there are always too many cooks in the kitchen (as we mentioned before), the island affords each chef the opportunity to leave via any route they desire.

blog-kitchen-3Bar or Barista Station?

OK, why not both? If you’re a caffeine addict and a mixologist, your kitchen may be part bar and part restaurant. Set aside some space for the ultimate espresso machine (the one with the roaster, grinder, and steamer included), and plenty of open shelving to hold and display all of those artisanal clay mugs that you picked up in Taos. Now, don’t forget, you’ll have to leave space for the wine glass rack too. You bought that 8-piece 750 milliliter handblown glass set after all, and it’s got to go somewhere. But don’t forget the cooler for your white wines… and the rack for your reds. A 12-bottle rack ought to do… Or perhaps we should bump it up to a 36-bottle rack (You’re a collector after all.). Then, there’s the liquor cabinet, the tea cupboard, the mini-kegerator, and your two French presses (one for light roasts and one for dark). At this point, maybe you’ll need a bigger kitchen. I suppose you don’t need to have an oven.

winterwood-pantry1Pantries, Cupboards, and Cold Storage

Storage, albeit utilitarian, is essential to look and flow of your kitchen. If you’re the type to cut the clutter, build in plenty of cabinetry to house all of your dishes. Utilize every nook and cranny. Leave no stone unturned. If you’re more transparent about your kitchen wares, you can opt for hanging racks, clear-panelled cabinets, and exposed shelving. When it’s time to design your pantry, consider how much food each family member consumes, and multiply the necessary volume accordingly. When it comes to cold storage (your fridge and freezer), make sure that you have plenty of space, make sure your appliances are easy to access, and don’t forget, you can get a separate freezer to stow away in the garage if you’re strapped for space.

blog-kitchen-5Tile or Wood Flooring?

It’s another question for the books: Do I want tile or wood underfoot as I do the dishes? Well, once again, there’s weight on both sides. Tile is incredibly durable. So long as you don’t drop a Thanksgiving turkey platter on the floor and crack a tile, your tile could outlast the rest of your home. However, wood flooring isn’t far behind. With proper maintenance, wood flooring could last hundreds of years, although wood will take on some wear and tear along the way. If you don’t mind the rustic look of a few scuffs, scratches, and dings, wood flooring provides a warm option for your dream kitchen, and it’s usually a bit warmer (thermally) for your feet. If sanitation is a high priority, go for tile. Your favorite chemical cleaners shouldn’t harm your tile, and they’ll leave your floors so clean that you can eat off of them (But don’t.).

You believe the kitchen is the soul of your home. You demand the dream kitchen as the centerpiece of your dream home. We get it. A kitchen completes a home. And here at Winterwoods Homes, our well-rounded cabin and home designs sustain the sanctity of the kitchen. If you’re kitchen-centric, you can count on our cabin designs to settle on the perfect solution for your hunger for the perfect kitchen. Don’t forget, with Winterwoods Homes’ architectural designs, we can always personalize your home design, or, if you’d prefer, we can design you a custom home from scratch. Ready to get started? Get in touch. Or take a look at our current catalog of customizable cabin designs.

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The Advantages Of A Timber Frame Cabin

Timber frame cabin designing is an art that’s here to stay. While contemporary ideals surrounding architecture mean shifts in modern design, the classic timber frame cabin stands the test of time. Timber frame cabins are warm, inviting, and they appear to grow naturally out of, and in symbiosis with, the landscape. They reflect our undeniable connection to nature, as well as the unique acuity of human design. Timber frame homes are a green solution, with an unbeatable aesthetic and incredible potential for design.

The Green Solution

Wood, like any plant material, thrives on carbon dioxide that permeates our atmosphere. As wood grows, it “traps” carbon that is within the atmosphere; meanwhile, oxygen is released. This process is beneficial for our atmosphere and it reduces the impact of global warming. Building with wood ensures that more carbon is removed from the atmosphere than produced. Producing other materials – namely, manmade materials – produces more airborne carbon than it arrests. Thus, timber frame cabin design is a far more green solution. Plus, unlike utilizing wood for fire (a nearly carbon-neutral process), building structures with wood is a carbon-positive process.

The Aesthetic

Timber frame homes are simply gorgeous. Each wood member is unique, featuring grain patterns, knots, and coloration that is distinct to that wood member in and of itself. Wood timbers give a home life and character. Timbers catch the light and reflect the beauty of natural, exposed wood.

Mixed Media

Thanks to the advent of industrial fasteners, a modern timber frame cabin can be built to meet more demanding designs. While old joining techniques, like dovetails and mortise-and-tenon joints, are perfectly apt building techniques, modern machined joints liberate the traditional timber frame home design. With a few scraps of steel, we can build with new height and greater openness, and we can build more quickly. While a single dovetail joint can take hours of planning and precision engineering (especially with a warped wood member), a steel joint can be bolted into place to reinforce your timber frame without a second thought. That means an increase in the potential for timber frame cabin designs.

The Potential

Technological advances like the steel joint free architects to design bigger timber frame cabins. We can have more expansive spaces, taller structures, and these structures can be built in a fraction of the time. In addition, structures can be build with more windows. Modern timber frame cabins can be constructed with bay windows that let in loads of light. Modern timber frame cabins can embrace the best of both contemporary and classic building techniques, and that leaves us with enlightened, liberated design.

At the end of the day, timber frame cabins work well and they look great. There may be no better design than a timber frame cabin. It is strong yet warm. Cozy and comfortable. Tried and true. If you’re looking to build your own timber frame cabin, we can aid you in creating a design. Here at Winterwoods Homes, we specialize in timber frame cabin design. Have us start from scratch with a custom design, or make our plans your own.

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Building Your Home Design Around Your Priorities

Detail of exterior wall on one of our log house plansYour home is more than just a roof over your head. It provides safety and security. It is your gathering place. It is your piece of the world. It is your domain. It’s where you sleep, where you dine. It offers a patio escape from the summer sun. And it’s your hearth in winter. It should reflect your values, your character, and the landscape in which you choose to live. Your home reflects your values; so, in order to build your dream home, it may be best to prioritize your values. Here are some priorities you can put in order:


Rendering of a cabin designProgramming

First and foremost, it’s prudent to determine the programming, or utility, of the spaces of your home. If, for instance, you’re building a home for yourself and your family, you’ll need to set aside space for bedrooms and bathrooms for all of the residents. Our Balsam Mountain collection of log cabin plans may be a great place to start. Or if you’re building a vacation home, you may dedicate more space to a living room or a wrap-around porch. Our Crooked Creek Cabin plan or our Rocky Creek Cabin plan may be suitable to your desires.

Sample of a Winterwoods home cabin planSquare Footage

Square footage coexists closely with the programming of your home. Again, you’ll have to place some weight in deciding on the square footage of your home. If you love open, well-lit space, consider designs like our Buffalo Creek Cabin plan. If you’re looking to live the simple life, and embrace your natural surroundings as they exist, you might want a smaller floorplan; perhaps a log cabin design from our Antique Cabin collection will do.

Long view of kitchen in a cabin designKitchen

Your kitchen is your where you cook, sure, but it’s also where everyone inevitably ends up during a gathering. If you’re the kind who caters to guests often, you’ll need an expansive kitchen. Consider opting for a design that features an island like our Meadow Creek cabin design. Make your kitchen the focus of your home with granite countertops, a tiled backsplash, an eight-burner range, and a sink that’s built to fit your biggest pots and pans. Make your kitchen yours, and make it an integral part of the spirit of your home.

Modern log cabin fireplace designFireplace

The hearth of your home may be the heart of your home. Some folks love to build their home around a fireplace. As a central fixture of the home, the fireplace draws the eye, it serves as a gathering place, and it provides warmth and character. Here at Winterwood Homes, we place value in the fireplace. That’s why all of our log cabin and home plans include a fireplace (and some plans include multiple fireplaces, including interior and exterior hearths). Winterwood Homes designs have a deep connection to nature, and the fireplace embodies mankind’s relationship with the environment.

Detail of railing in our log cabin designPatio/Deck

Do you spend half of the day outdoors enjoying the comfort of your patio or deck? If so, you’ll want to give your deck priority status in your home design. You can have it made in the shade with a lanai style patio like the simple patio design of The Appleberry. Or if you want a massive deck built to cater to the whole family at the next reunion, you might opt for the outdoor living porch of our Teaberry log cabin design. This design is complete with an exterior kitchen, making it the perfect place to host an open-air party.

Detail of timber members in our log cabin designBuilding Material

Contemporary, classic, or mixed? When it comes to the building materials of your home, taste is everything. You’ll have to take it upon yourself to decide what materials best suit your preference.

If you’re looking for a classic cabin look, you’ve come to the right place. Winterwood Homes specializes in log and rustic cabin designs. Take a look at our full catalog of cabin designs to get an overview of our most popular architectural styles.

Now, we’re partial to rock and timber here at Winterwood Homes, but our designs don’t stop at log cabins. We have a variety of more modern designs that feature stucco as well as stone. Check out our Mountain West collection of home plans if your tastes turn towards more modern designs. If you’re opting for a more modern design, you can integrate modern fixtures. Think stainless steel appliances, tiling, and sleek lighting implements.

You can also mix and match your architectural themes, melding contemporary and classic into a seamless, full-character home. Combine rough hewn logs with cut stone, ironwork railing, and copper fixtures. Or opt for a cobblestone hearth, wooden lap siding, and a grand chandelier in the living room. When working with both contemporary and classic building materials, the options become endless.

These certainly aren’t all of the priorities that you’ll need to weigh to find the perfect layout for your home, but it may help to consider them when addressing architectural design. Consider the programming, the square footage, the kitchen, deck, and fireplace features of your home, and assess how much value you place in each of these categories. Listing your priorities can help you in deciding on the ideal design for your next abode.


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Welcome to the Winterwoods Homes Blog!

Side view of one of our log house plansWelcome to the Winterwoods Homes blog feed. Here, we’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest information and news surrounding the realms of architecture, log cabin design, nature, and more. At Winterwoods Homes, we’re ecstatic to provide our picturesque cabin and home designs, and we’re happy to share our thoughts on the aforementioned subjects. So if you like the outdoors, architecture, and the seamless integration of rustic-yet-modern log homes into the landscape, you’ve come to the right place. Follow along as we discuss topics surrounding our shared passion for premium, nature-oriented design.

For today’s blog, our inaugural article, let’s take a moment to discuss the importance of landscape as it’s integrated with architecture.

Landscape & ArchitectureUndulating wall near one of our log house plans

All too often, architects treat landscape as a tabula rasa – which is to say, a blank slate. Design begins without a second thought about the landscape surrounding the home. When architects take this path of design, they neglect a major player in design, and that oversight can be costly in more ways than one.

The Downfalls of a Tabula Rasa Design

While working with a tabula rasa may be easy (it can be simple to start with flat ground), it can have a negative impact on the design of the building, the design of the landscape, and the impact of construction on site.

Building DesignTower in our log cabin design

Designing a building on a tabula rasa can result in monotonous, cookie-cutter layouts. Sure, it’s fast to design a ranch-style home when the landscape doesn’t undulate under and around the foundation, but the design of the building may suffer. Integrating landscape into the design of a home ensures that the layout is one-of-a-kind. Out of necessity, a landscape-integrated home must have a design that adapts to the gradients and features of a landscape. You wouldn’t want to dig tons upon tons of rock out of the side of a mountain to lay foundation for a ranch-style home. And you wouldn’t want to ignore the picturesque views that you can embrace with cascading decks and large bay windows. Landscape should hold weight in laying out a home design.

Landscape Design

Alongside the beauty of the home, the beauty of the landscape will suffer with a tabula rasa design. Planning around the landscape will ensure that all beautiful elements that you’d like to preserve stay preserved. If there’s a particularly beautiful tree near the site of a home, the floorplan can be manipulated to keep that tree alive; you can even accent the beauty of a tree with responses in the architecture of the home. Homes ought to look seamlessly integrated with their surrounding landscapes, and landscapes should compliment the homes that they encapsulate.


To achieve a tabula rasa, it’s likely that construction will be expensive and damaging to the environment. If there are any undulations and swales within the site, you’ll have to hire out heavy machinery just to level the grade of your lot. It’s also likely that you’ll tear down trees and foliage, and you’ll be left with a lot of dirt, instead of boulders, trees, and even wildlife.

Perspective rendering of Phillips Lake Camp cottage home planThe Benefits of an Integrated Landscape

When you opt to integrate the landscape of your lot into the design of your home, you’re taking a simple step to improve your building design and preserve the beauty of your natural surroundings.

Improved Building Design

Incorporating the landscape into the design of your building improves the character of your home. A home established within the landscape adapts to that landscape. It communicates with that landscape. It’s a complementary relationship. Walls ebb and flow to match the forest. Patios echo surrounding boulders and the topography. A landscape-incorporated building is more welcoming and more homely than a home built atop a tabula rasa.

Preserved Beauty

Nature exudes beauty. It’s the stuff of National Geographic covers. It’s the muse of many a painting. With landscape, it is far easier to embrace the natural surroundings than to craft a manmade mimicry. Positioning and placing a home within the natural landscape preserves its beauty. It encourages residents to interact with their natural surroundings, be it cultivating a garden or enjoying a moonlit night from the outdoor patio. Integrating a building into a landscape, even a sleek, modern building, makes the project a bit more human. It brings the scale of a home back into the human realm. It makes a home a habitat.

Winterwoods’ Landscape Integrated Homes

Here at Winterwoods Homes, we value the natural landscape. In fact, that value is reflected in each of our designs, including log cabins, simple stone cottages, and large multi-unit buildings. We thoroughly incorporate natural building materials. Wood and stone form the fundamental foundations of our designs, making each unique plan a warm, welcoming environment. That’s what we value, and that’s just how we like to live life.

If you’re looking to get started with a home plan, check out our designs here; and know that we can custom design your cabin to suit your personal needs, and of course, your unique landscape.