Pine Harbor Log Homes has had three generations of experience building custom-designed log and timber-frame houses. But we really consider ourselves to be HOME builders. Whenever we can, we like to build real family homes: warm, inviting spaces where extended families and friends spend quality time together making memories inside the special spaces we design together with our customers. Here are some ideas that we like.
Building a new home is a wonderful time for establishing new family traditions. Whether it is a table and chair just for those crazy jigsaw puzzles that everyone loves to contribute to or for Friday night family poker. Or maybe it will be outside activities like a lawn with a badminton or volleyball net. Maybe your new family tradition will be building a fire in your fire pit after dark where everyone gathers to watch the stars.
Think about the things you’ve always wanted to do as a family and then start the ball rolling by designing the fun right into your house. If you’ve always wanted a pool table, now is the time to set up a place where you can chalk up your cue and invite your nephews and nieces to bring their friends to play with you.
Technology is a part of everyone’s life today, and nearly everyone has a smartphone and one or more computers and large-screen televisions. But if you want to generate a place for generating family memories, we suggest that you consider making some rules that will encourage interaction. For example, consider reserving the big screen for movies only and dispense with the babble of endless television news. Or maybe phones off during meals or after a certain hour. You may hear grumbling at first, but if you’ve generated a family tradition of playing board games after supper, everyone will look forward to the fun.
While many houses are built around a great room, the true heart of many homes is the kitchen. We’ve all been to gatherings where the center of food preparation is where the real party is. And when you think about it, that makes sense. There are always friends and family members who need to be involved in cooking. So, socializing while you peel potatoes or scoop cookie dough onto the cookie sheets is a longstanding tradition in many families. Consider an open design with enough space to let everyone get in on the conversation, perhaps with a breakfast bar or an island with a second sink. Cooking can be fun and if you plan an inviting kitchen, everyone can get in on the action.
The same is true for cooking spaces on the deck, terrace or backyard patio. The area around the chief grill master is often the social focal point for those amazing barbecues, so don’t hide the grill! Whether you are planning a fully loaded outdoor kitchen or a traditional brick or stone barbecue, make sure that it’s spectator friendly and not too far from the cold beer.
Holidays are also an opportunity to build new traditions. Whether its gathering for turkey dinner or to enjoy a mug of hot cider while you decorate the tree and make cookies, the real magic of a traditional family home is not the expensive electronics or the fancy toys. It is creating an environment where everyone feels relaxed and enjoys being together.