The first step in knowing it was time to make a move was the quiet. The bubble of constant comings and goings, the mounds of laundry and even the 50-pound bags of pet food were no longer part of the daily household mix. There were rooms that sat empty with the moving out of each child. There were bathrooms that nobody used. Even the trek up and down stairs to the garage or up and down to the master bedroom seemed unnecessary.

Yet the house was full of memories, full of accumulated stuff and, to be honest, a lot of dust. It was time to bring a new energy to this beloved house with a new family, new bustling kids and a pet that needs 50 pounds of food.

It was also time for a new chapter without all the unused space and a new place to create the memories of the next generation. The first thing to eliminate is square footage; the second, three flights of stairs; and the third, the multitude of bathrooms.

That meant that the 2,600 square foot home could actually fit comfortably into 1,100 – 1,600 square feet and might even go smaller. And the statistics agree. According to Market Watch 60 percent of people in homes larger than 2,600 square feet would like to downsize.

And now was the time to think about how time had changed tastes. What should a home look like, inside and out? Nielsen surveys revealed that Baby Boomers may not want the upkeep of a large house, but downsizing does not mean giving up higher end finished. Granite, hardwood floors, open floor plans, soaring ceilings, interesting light fixtures, lots of windows, spa-like bathrooms, large closets, guest space with privacy, easy access to laundry rooms and chef-style kitchens are the usual starting points. Low maintenance materials, outside living spaces, natural or mature landscaped views and yards are the typical check list items for an exterior.

Honest Abe Log Homes understands that giving up the family home where the children grew up can allow for celebration of the next chapter of life without giving things up. Honest Abe’s floorplans have been designed as idea boards to give homeowners a starting point to make the home entirely fit into the desired lifestyle. Moving rooms, walls and orientation are easy to assure that the finished home that fits the property and fits the desired use of the space. The Honest Abe designers can help you stretch those investment dollars to assemble a surprising amount of the wish list into a new home design.

Honest Abe certainly offers the traditional log home with a rustic cabin look both inside and out, but the design team knows that not everyone wants rustic. The designers are accustomed to creating new floor plans and updating Honest Abe’s classic designs to create a home that combines the beauty of logs with stone, brick and timber frame components.

For interior walls, a home can combine exposed logs walls with traditional drywall, timber frame elements, tile or other materials. Whatever the personal taste may be, Honest Abe has four decades of designing homes that creates the look distinctive to the customer while working within the budget and desired square footage.

Most of people envision retirement on a front porch in a peaceful rocker, but today’s porches give you options on lighting, outdoor kitchens, spacious outdoor gas fireplaces and living rooms complete with WIFI, a large screen TV and maybe even a hot tub off the master suite.

Take look at the renderings on the right, and click the photo to download the plan. These are mid-sized floor plans that are completely customizable and can be springboard for ideas when planning the perfect downsized home. Call Honest Abe at 800-231-3696 to begin the road to a forever home.

For more plans between 1,100 – 1,600 square feet as well as many other sizes, click HERE. To download the plans with renderings, elevations and more details, register for Honest Abe’s mailing list HERE.

– Special to Honest Abe Living by Amy Green, CSllc

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