With a blank slate in front of you, designing your own home can be both thrilling and overwhelming. Don’t be intimidated.
We then took our ideas to the professionals on our team: Bitterroot Valley Log and Timber and Mark Schonrock of The Design Company in Missoula, Montana. Mark worked our sketches to a square footage target, incorporated the logs and stacked features, like bathrooms, to simplify plumbing runs.
After several refinements between Amanda, our builder and me, we finally came to the “ah-ha” moment when we knew we achieved our dream design: 4,700 square feet with five bedrooms, four full and two half baths, four indoor fireplaces and nearly 1,500 square feet of deck and porch area.
As one last check, we went to our property and laid the footprint out on the land. (I suggest bringing a ladder to elevate you to the level of the main floor so you get a better sense of views.) It’s an eye-opening experience that allows you to make adjustments before committing to construction documents and getting log package quotes — which is where we were headed next.
Square Footage: 4,700 + 1,500 porch/deck
Bathrooms: 4 full, 2 half
Fireplaces: 4 inside (3 gas, 1 wood); 1 outdoor (wood) on the deck
Piano Bar — Amanda plays piano and I love serving drinks (a match made in heaven), so designing part of the great room to accommodate these passions was a neat experience. It’s situated so Amanda can play our baby grand in front of a massive picture window facing the rolling valley in the distance.
Office — Amanda didn’t want “too much” wood in the house (Keebler Elf was a phrase mentioned a few times), but I couldn’t get enough of it, so I made her a deal: I’d leave the kitchen design all to her if I could go “log wild” in my office. Mark planned a wall with half-log siding, chinking, tongue-and groove ceiling, and log accents /posts.
Wall of Glass — The entire rear wall of the great room, apart from the soaring stone chimney, will be glass, allowing unobstructed views to the farm valley and glimpses of the outdoor log work in the trusses. Who needs TV when you can look at an amazing view?
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