‘Au Naturel‘ or ‘Ooh, Color!’ Palette Choices for The Timber Frame Home

Home designed by Timberpeg Independent Rep Timberframe Design, Inc./Samyn-D'Elia Architects. Photo by Joseph St. Pierre.

There are so many choices when it comes to your timber frame home.  When working with a design team like Timberpeg, you’ll be able to customize the layout, material choices, and the style inside and out.  Of course one of the most noticeable, and sometimes nerve-wracking, choices you can make about the style of your timber frame home’s exterior, is the color.  We’ll walk through two major ways to handle the exterior color.

Home built by Timberpeg Independent Rep Smith & Robertson, Inc.

The first color camp is to minimally alter the building materials and present a natural and neutral color palette.  This color theme is actually dictated in some building developments.  But in general it’s a strong preference for home owners who want their home to feel as though it’s part of the landscape, and not a foreign addition to the land.  Neutral color themes range from deep red cedar tones, through yellow hued pine siding, right into the grays and tans of natural rock fascia.

Home designed by Timberpeg Independent Rep Timberframe Design, Inc./Samyn-D'Elia Architects. Photo by Joseph St. Pierre.

Of course where you are building your timber frame home will greatly influence what tones look natural for your area.  Natural red cedar siding may look right at home in the redwood forests of the pacific northwest, but it may not look as natural in some coastal areas.

The second school of thought on choosing a color for your timber frame home’s exterior  is to pick the colors that you’ll enjoy seeing every time you turn in the drive (whether or not they fit in, or are bold as bold as can be.)  From audacious azure and vibrant teal, to sage green and sunshine yellow, the choices are almost limitless.

Home built by Timberpeg Independent Rep Charles Southerland

Home designed by Timberpeg Independent Rep Erich Diller, Evolve Design Group. Photo by Jim Fuhrman. Built by Blansfield Builders.

Then there are those who choose to blend the natural with the colorful.  This is perhaps the most popular color choice for Timberpeg homeowners.  One of the most widely used approaches to accomplish this look is through the choice of a colorful trim.  And, green trim is one of the most popular color choices.  Granted, green and wood tones are a natural combination.  Additionally Timberpeg homeowners can choose to bring color to their home’s exterior through the choice of a vibrant front door, garage door and shutters.

Home built by Timberpeg Independent Rep David Anderson Hill, Inc.

So what style appeals to you?  Do you prefer the look of a timber frame home with natural colors that help the home fit in with the land?  Or do you prefer a bolder statement of color?  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. Contact Timberpeg today to learn more about designing a timber frame home, or if you have any questions about the homes featured here.

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Ski Chalet Easily Becomes Cape Cod Beach House

The Hawk Mountain is one of our most popular plans, and for good reason. This charming carriage house-style Timberpeg packs a great feature set into a small outline. In its original form, this charming house features a garage occupying the lower level, with a 970 square foot first level and 670 square foot upper level. This layout makes it a great fit for sloped mountain sites, where the garage can be accessed from the lower side of the slope while the main level can still have walk-up access. While this is a great use for the plan, we feel that the Hawk Mountain serves equally well as a posh beach house.

Since the dark brown board-and-batten siding of the original design seems a bit austere on the coast, we softened the exterior siding with the traditional grey (white cedar) shingles often seen on the Cape. The Cape Cod style thus seems especially at home on the New England coast, but would be a welcome addition to any shoreline property. In the rendering shown here, we’ve also replaced the multi-paned windows with a single-paned design, to evoke a more contemporary feel. Also, the stonework foundation has been replaced with smooth concrete, and the natural finish wood trim has been painted white. With these few minor changes, a wonderful ski home becomes a similarly wonderful beach house.

The benefits of the Hawk Mountain design as a beach house do not end with mere appearances. The carriage house design, by elevating the living quarters, has several practical advantages. First, elevating the living areas protects them from flooding and storm surge, making it possible to obtain flood insurance in an area where a house with ground level living quarters would not. Even when flood insurance is possible in a ground level house, houses with elevated living quarters very often have considerably lower insurance premiums. Second, by elevating the living quarters the house catches more of the sea breeze, a desirable feature for keeping your beach house naturally cool. Third, this design provides privacy throughout the house by removing your main level from the gaze of other beach-goers.

Finally, elevating the living quarters provides amazing views throughout the house. Since the main floor is elevated, the living room, dining room and kitchen all get great sea views. The master bedroom occupies most of the third floor, providing impressive views out to sea for spectacular sunrises or sunsets.

We hope this example helps illustrate that a truly great floor plan can help you feel at home in the mountains or on the coast.  If you have any questions about how a home can be re-imagined to suit your land, please contact the design team at Timberpeg.

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The Evolving Kitchen

Post and Beam KitchenToday, the kitchen is often the social center of the house, with its appearance and function being dictated as much by entertaining concerns as by everyday meal preparation. From antiquity until just a few decades ago, however, the kitchen was a much different space. Hidden from visitors, the kitchen was a strictly utilitarian space that was spartanly appointed. In this post, we’ll explore how the kitchen evolved into its present form.

In Ancient Greece and Rome, kitchens were only common in wealthy homes. Cities often had communal kitchens where commoners would cook their meals. Greek homes were designed in the atrium style; the kitchen was a separate room off of the atrium. Roman villas also kept the kitchen in a separate room, both in order to keep the slaves working there separate from the rest of the house and to keep smoke out of the living spaces.

The ruins of Pompei provide a fascinating glimpse at the kitchens of the ancient Roman empire.

The chimney could have done wonders for reducing smoke in the home kitchen, but it remained mysteriously absent from even wealthy kitchens for centuries. Ancient Roman commercial bakeries used rudimentary chimneys, but the first example of a chimney in a European home is not until the late 12th century. Even so, the chimney did not become popular in wealthy homes until the 16th century.

As a result of the lack of chimneys, as well as the high cost of wood fuel, medieval homes typically had one fire in the middle of a one-room home with a hole in the roof to vent smoke. The kitchen area was simply the space between the entryway and fireplace, but the wealthy may have had up to three kitchens. Given this crude construction, it is no wonder these primitive cooking spaces were called “smoke kitchens.”

By the late Middle Ages, masonry heaters took over the job of heating the home and the kitchen fire (now with chimney) moved from the center of the house to a wall. Since work in the kitchen was still considered menial work, to be done by servants if possible, the room was placed away from the entertaining areas of the home. Kitchens typically had free-standing rather than built in cabinetry, and the finish and construction on these pieces was much simpler than the rest of the home.

The Pitt-Dixon home of Williamsburg shows the traditional home layout that relegated the kitchen to the rear quarter of the home, away from the eyes of visiting guests.

Technological innovations from the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries made kitchens more pleasant to work in, but did not change the kitchen’s role as a utilitarian space. Iron stoves became commonplace in the late 18th-century, with the Franklin stove an early example. In Industrial Era apartments, the kitchen was located in the main room since that was the only space available. Since upper-class families could still segregate their kitchens away in the rear of the home, this became the common choice for kitchen location as families became more affluent in the mid-20th century.

Timber Frame Kitchen Renovation | New Jersey Post and Beam Kitchen

A modern kitchen in a timber frame home can be an open and inviting space, with plenty of room and comfort for guests to gather and enjoy the company of the chef.

Although kitchens of this time had built in cabinets and even electric stoves and dishwashers, mid-century homes still wished to hide the clamor and smells of the kitchen from visitors.

post and beam lodge kitchenWithin the past three decades, however, the kitchen has finally come to the forefront in home entertaining. Partly this is due to advances in items like range hoods to vent kitchen smoke and odors. The kitchen has also become more public as a reaction to frozen and prepared meals. Now, cooking is seen as a creative endeavor of higher status than in years past, as well as something that should be shared with guests. Modern homeowners also enjoy being able to socialize with their guests while cooking and being able to watch their children when preparing meals and cleaning up. As a result of this convergence between modern technology and attitudes toward cooking, the kitchen has finally become the center of home entertaining and design.

As you can see, the kitchen has evolved quite a lot over the years.  If all this talk of design shifts has left you wanting to plan a timber frame kitchen of your own, then contact the design team at Timberpeg.  Their staff of designers is sure to help whip up a delectable design guaranteed to satisfy.

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Displaying Art in Your Timber Frame Home

While building a home or renovating its rooms are tasks that take months to complete, decorating a house is an undertaking that never truly ends. And while some homeowners may like to change their houses’ décor frequently, if you want to display an art collection at home then there are some guidelines to help you put on a good show. A Timberpeg home can be a great gallery to showcase a collection, but whether you plan to keep a permanent display or rotate pieces frequently, here are some tips on displaying your home art collection.

Buy Art for You

When building a collection, make sure that you are buying pieces that you will like to see every day. Trust that your taste will appeal to your guests as well, but buy with your own enjoyment as the highest priority. It is noble to support local artists with your purchases, but don’t do so for pieces that you don’t enjoy.

Plan for Expansion

If you are just starting out with a collection and plan to expand it over time, plan ahead when deciding where to place pieces. If you are filling a wall space with paintings, for example, start hanging in the middle of the space and work outward in all directions. Not only will this keep the space looking great as the collection grows, but it will also prevent you from having to rehang paintings and patch walls as you go.

Place Art Where It Can Be Seen

You don’t want to strain to look at your art, so placing it near eye level is important in showcasing your selection. Experts recommend that pieces be centered around 64 inches off the ground, as a good compromise height for the average eye level between men and women. If you are decorating a dining room, though, you may wish to position items lower so they can be seen well when seated. For pictures you can obviously hang them at the desired level, but statuary and other three-dimensional pieces can be raised on plinths or built-out shelves if needed.

Provide Proper Illumination

For photographs and paintings, avoiding exposure to UV light is important to preserving the works for years to come. It is best to place these pieces where they will not receive direct sunlight. If this is unavoidable, then using museum-quality UV glass will help protect the works, although it is a good idea to use UV glass wherever the work hangs. You should then provide appropriate artificial lighting. Track, can or dedicated picture lamps are all options and your choice will depend on your layout and design wishes.

Match Your Art to the Room

When hanging paintings, you can use frames that fit the color scheme of a given room, but typically you will want the mat to pick up colors within the painting itself. For statuary you will want to use a room with a contrasting wall color so that the art stands out from the wall rather than fading into the background.

We hope these tips have helped inspire your inner curator.  After all, a timber framed home from Timberpeg is a work of art in itself.  So why not choose to fill your masterpiece with art you love and want to share with visitors to your home.  If you’d like to learn more about any of the homes featured here, or how to begin designing a timber frame home of your own, please contact the design team at Timberpeg to learn more.

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