Timeless Features for the Timber Frame Home

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Inside and out, Timberpeg homes are timeless classics.

Many times on this blog, we’ve discussed current trends in home building. Whether the issue is the changing importance of various rooms in the home or what the current hot colors are, there are many ways that desirable home design changes throughout the years. Even so, there are many must-have features in the home that seem to never go out of style. If you’re looking to design a home that remains timeless throughout the years, here are a few suggestions. We think you’ll agree that these features are a perfect complement for the intrinsically timeless Timberpeg home.

Hardwood Flooring

Many types of household flooring have seen their “moment in the sun”. Linoleum flooring, for example, became quite popular among wealthy homeowners immediately after its creation in 1860. As the price rapidly dropped and it was more widely adopted, however, linoleum ceased to be a desirable material. Carpet flooring saw booms in popularity in the 1920s and 1960s, but its popularity has faded since those highs. Hardwood flooring, however, has been a popular choice for centuries.

Narrow plank hardwood floors can last for over a hundred years and still be fashionable.

Narrow plank hardwood floors can last for over a hundred years and still be fashionable.

The hardwood floor is a natural fit with the aesthetic of the timber frame home. Wide plank flooring has seen a recent uptick in popularity, but narrow plank flooring is a better choice for a timeless look. Needless to say, parquet flooring is not as timeless a choice as plank flooring.

Master Bathrooms

Classic white bathrooms are always in style and the wood adds warmth while the room remains bright.

Indoor plumbing has come a long way since the chamber pot became common in the 6th century BC, but the concept of a master bathroom has been popular since time immemorial. While there have been some trends that faded, like the open bathrooms of several decades ago, a master bathroom is a must in the timeless home. Simple décor, like white porcelain fixtures and soaker tubs, will always be welcome here. The wooden beams and complementary ceilings of the post and beam home can suggest a spa-like atmosphere without being too over-the-top.

Deep Kitchen Sinks

copper farm sink

Whether porcelain or the hammered copper seen here, a farmhouse sink is timeless and convenient.

While the farmhouse sink is enjoying a recent surge in popularity, it has always been a timeless choice. There is nothing more annoying than doing dishes in a sink that’s too small, so this feature is sure to be appreciated. While stainless steel may be easier to clean, white porcelain or hammered copper sinks are the more timeless choice.

White or Natural Walls

The natural wood tones in a post and beam home are inherently timeless. For drywall or plaster walls, a white finish is the most universally appreciated choice. However, since paint is very easy to change, this is one feature you can easily change as style dictates.

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Exposed Posts and Beams are perfectly complimented by white, or in the case of the home shown here, natural pine tongue-and-groove walls.

We hope you have appreciated this review of timeless home features. If you’re looking to build a timeless Timberpeg home of your own, please contact us today.

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Redefining the Lawn for the 21st Century

 

barn home on grassy hill

Longer grass uses less water than shorter grass.

With spring giving way to summer, many of us have our attention firmly outdoors. For many post and beam home owners, maintaining a lawn is a large part of the weekly chores. The lawn as we know it was popularized in 17th century England, where only the aristocracy could afford the massive labor required to maintain an economically useless short-cut lawn. With the invention of mechanical mowers, as well as shorter workweeks, a well-kept lawn became an ideal for the middle classes as well. Recently, however, ecological concerns have caused many to rethink the role of the lawn. In places like the drought-stricken west, maintaining a traditional grass lawn is very difficult and services to spray paint lawns to make them greener are becoming popular. If you want to keep a grass lawn, here are a few ways to do so while consuming fewer resources.

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This Timberpeg in Ireland exemplifies the native habitat of the lawn.

Use Drought Tolerant Grass

Most species of grass require large amounts of water in order to stay green. This is not an issue in the British Isles, where the concept originated, but in much of the United States rainfall is less and water is scarcer. Up to 70 percent of all residential water is used for landscaping in the United States, most of which is used for lawn watering. Grass will go dormant in the summer, reducing its need for water but turning brown. If the color of your lawn is of no concern, this is one option to reduce your water use.
Another way to reduce water use is to plant more drought tolerant grass species. While grasses like Bluegrass and Fescues are the most common, they also require more water. Species like Buffalograss or Grama are derived from shortgrass prairie plants, and therefore require much less water.

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Wildflowers, in conjunction with a smaller lawn, are one way to save water without sacrificing appearances.

Use a Reel Mower

Gasoline powered mowers are notoriously polluting, with the EPA estimating around 5 percent of all smog being caused by lawn care equipment. While a manual push mower may not seem the most fun, modern reel mowers are much easier to operate than in years past. Furthermore, the cut a reel mower makes is more precise and thus better for the grass than the rough cut from a powered rotary mower. If your lawn is too large for a manual mower, then pushed models for a tractor are available. If you continue to use a rotary model, make sure the blades are sharp for best results. Due to the advances in lithium-ion batteries, electric powered lawn equipment is easier to use than ever and a great alternative to gas powered equipment.

The 'Old Chatham' home's style helped sway the owners from their original ideas on what they wanted, and towards a barn style home.

Especially in rural settings, the lawn away from the home can be left to grow longer and go dormant in summer.

Grasscycle

Although bagging lawn clippings is common, it is actually healthier for the lawn if you leave the clippings in place. Clippings are over 80 percent water, so they break down within two weeks. They also are high in nitrogen, so “grasscycling” will reduce your need for fertilizer by about 20 percent. For best results, only cut the grass when it is dry and remove no more than a third of its length at a time. Furthermore, longer grass requires less water than shorter grass so consider raising your mower height to save water. If you must remove the clippings, then they make great compost!

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With minor additional planning, your lawn can be both Eco-friendly and attractive.

We hope these tips help you maintain a great lawn while using fewer resources and spending less. And if you need a great timber frame home to add to your great lawn, please contact Timberpeg today.

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Building a Home for Mom: Relaxation

Happy Mother’s Day! As a frequent reader of our blog, you’ve no doubt been following our series on the features that the modern mom looks for in a new home. The last three weeks, we’ve covered the issues of storage, entertaining, and flexibility. In honor of the day itself, we’re covering relaxation, an activity all moms should be engaging in today. Since the modern mom is busier than ever, owning a home that maximizes your down time is very important. Here are some ways to design your Timberpeg home to promote relaxation.

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Natural light promotes relaxation and de-stressing.

Believe it or not, exposure to sunlight is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress. Exposure to sunlight increases your body’s production of serotonin, which in turn decreases appetite, promotes better memory and elevates moods. Homebuyers have clued into this truth, since homes today have many more windows than in the past. Cathedral ceilings are a natural fit in the post and beam home, and they allow for a large bank of windows in the great room. Even if you forego a large bank of windows, something like a sunny reading nook is also a great way to relax and take in the sun.

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A reading nook with natural light can be very relaxing.

The bedroom is a more nuanced space when it comes to light. An influx of natural light is a great thing in the morning, since it greatly aids waking up. At night, however, darker rooms promote melatonin production and thus a more restful sleep cycle. So, it’s best to design a bedroom with windows that let in morning light but block artificial light at night. If there are large sources of artificial light at night where you live, a feature like automatic window blinds may be a very relaxing addition.

Timber Frame Master Bedroom | New Jersey Post and Beam Home Master

Sunlight in the morning makes it easier to rise.

Another way to make a space more relaxing is to use a natural color palate. While bright colors may be “exciting”, they do not promote relaxation. Colors like blues and greens can help define a relaxing space, while greys and white can also be crisp yet calm. Of course, there is no color choice more natural and relaxing than that of natural wood tones. Perhaps accented with wood paneling or plaster walls, the posts and beams of a Timberpeg home instantly promote relaxation.

Natural colors and materials are a good choice in the bedroom.

Natural colors and materials are a good choice in the bedroom.

Since most of us spend so much time working indoors, the outdoors can seem even more relaxing. Thus, by bringing the outside indoors, you can create a more relaxing home. One popular choice is to use French doors in spaces like bedrooms and great rooms. If you want to leave the doors closed, then flowers and indoor plants are a great way to bring the outdoors in.

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Of course, a screenporch can also be a very relaxing feature.

We hope you have a great Mother’s Day. If this post has inspired you to create a relaxing Timberpeg of your own, please contact us.

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Building a Home for Mom: Flexibility

Mother’s Day is now only a week away, and we’re continuing our series on the features that make or break a home for the modern mom. In the previous two weeks, we’ve discussed building a home with proper storage and designing a home with modern entertaining needs in mind. Today, we’ll shift our attention to designing a flexible home. These days, it is more important than ever that the home can adapt throughout the years as the family’s needs change. We think you’ll see why a Timberpeg can be the perfect house throughout all the years ahead.

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Even small homes on challenging lots can be designed with flexibility in mind!

In the not-too-distant past, the average homebuyer might stay in a home for about ten years before they moved to a new home. Recently, however, that figure has climbed to an average around fifteen years nationally and around twenty-five years in the northeast. Many homebuyers plan on buying a forever home that they will live in for the rest of their lives, rather than upsizing and downsizing with new homes throughout the years. With this change, the modern mom’s first concern is whether a home will be right for the family, both now and in the years ahead.

Loft bedrooms can easily be re-purposed later.

Loft bedrooms can easily be re-purposed later.

One of the primary ways a home will change through the years is the utilization of bedrooms. Right now, you may have young kids living at home, but they will move out eventually. They may also move back in eventually, or perhaps your parents will eventually move in to live with you full time. One way to easily keep the room current through all these changes is to make the personal touches easy to change as needed. Permanent features like closets and general purpose built-ins are useful features. Hardwood flooring with area rugs make it easy to change the feel of a room as time goes by, and paint or wallpaper are quick and inexpensive ways to personalize a room as its purpose shifts.

This children's bedroom space would later work equally well as a hobby room or grand guest room.

This children’s bedroom space would later work equally well as a hobby room or grand guest room.

If you are anticipating long-term residence by your parents, then a separate in-law suite is a popular choice. By providing an area with separate sleeping, living and kitchen space, parents can live at home while still maintaining their own space. To accommodate seniors, building the suite on a wing of the first floor or walk-out basement is preferable to an upper-floor arrangement.

post and beam loft office

Even a small loft space can have many uses!

If mom works from home now, the home office may no longer a wise use of space after retirement. Perhaps the office can become a hobby room, or maybe it’s next to the kitchen and you want to convert it into a formal dining room. This is an area where a timber frame home is at a great advantage. Since only the posts are load-bearing, and not walls, you can open up a doorway or expand a room with much greater ease than in conventional construction. Even with the best planning for the years ahead, it’s nice to know that a Timberpeg allows your home to change in place as you age in place.

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An office can also make a perfect den or private dining room.

If you’re looking to talk more about building a flexible home for the years ahead, please contact us. Next week, on Mother’s Day, we’ll discuss how a Timberpeg is the perfect home to provide a comfort desperately sought by moms today: relaxation.

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