Designing a kitchen for a log home or timber frame home requires the same considerations as with a conventional home – lifestyle of the owners, budget, family size and available space.

One important decision is how to provide adequate lighting in addition to the natural lighting provided by windows. I suggest a pendulum light over an island/work space, which would provide lighting without shadows. Additionally, under-cabinet lighting could be beneficial.

When there’s enough room, most people request an island. It offers work space and the chance to stay more connected with guests. The point in the design process when the basic layout of the kitchen is decided upon is a good time to get the general contractor and cabinetmaker involved. The specifics can then be considered.

There’s usually a decision to be made about whether to put the stovetop or sink in the island. It really comes down to customer preference and how the choice relates to the rest of the kitchen layout. Electrical and plumbing requirements should be considered, and a range hood might be necessary unless a stove with a down draft is employed.

Since most of the log homes we design have an open floor plan, hardwood is usually opted for as floor covering. It provides warmth and visual appeal and will create a look that will never go out of style. Porcelain tile is probably the toughest floor covering and is low maintenance. Make sure you choose a tile that is slip-resistant. Cork is eco-friendly and provides a softer floor that is slip resistant, but will have to be re-sealed every three to four years.

We are often asked if steam from cooking endangers the wood walls. Of course the log walls do need to be sealed. A good finish on the log walls should protect them from moisture while allowing them to still breathe.

At Honest Abe we have experience in designing ADA homes. When designing an ADA kitchen certain criteria must be met. Turn around room and clear floor space allowances for wheelchairs and mounting height for cabinets, as well as counter top and sink heights should be considered. Other modifications could include softened edges on cabinets and counters to reduce the chance of injury, pullout doors attached to shelves for pots and pans, holders for recycling and garbage bins and racks for canning and dry goods.

Just like in any kitchen, saving space in a log home kitchen is very important. Some customers build cabinets to the ceiling to best utilize vertical space. We’re also seeing more tray pullouts in narrow spaces and customized drawers with inserts to hold silverware and cutlery.

Let us help you design the perfect kitchen for your taste and specific needs. The most important part of designing a kitchen is to make it what the customer has dreamed about. That’s our goal at Honest Abe.

Melissa Copas has been a designer with Honest Abe for more than 17 years and has helped thousands of homeowners create their forever home.

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