The Nirvana of Nature

There’s just something about log home living. With their sturdiness and security, log homes feel more like a home than “just a house.” Today’s custom log homes offer a rustic and historic feel, but with the amenities and architectural grace of a contemporary home.

Log homes also seem at one with the nature that surrounds them. Imagine the sun rising over a log home on a brisk North Carolina morning, with the natural environment just stirring to life, and you’ll see the appeal offered by this way of life.

The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina

“We had better design and build thoughtfully, sensitively, creatively, as we usher men and women into the presence of the natural gods…” So said Stanley William Abbot, architect of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and thus was born a 469-mile stretch of scenic roadway, carved through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina.

The idea for the Blue Ridge Parkway was conceived during the Great Depression, and construction began in 1935. It was seen as a way to put people to work in a time when work was desperately needed.

Today, the Blue Ridge Parkway is practically synonymous with “scenic drive.” People flock from all over to enjoy the winding splendor the Parkway offers.

Log Homes in North Carolina – The Ultimate Combo

Log homes by themselves offer a majestic environment to their owners. But when you combine a luxury log home with a beautiful landscape like the Blue Ridge Parkway, you reach the “nirvana” of natural living.

Perhaps that’s why so many people build log homes in North Carolina. One area in particular draws a lot of interest for those interested in log home living. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and just minutes from the historic Blue Ridge Parkway, lies the town of Boone, North Carolina. To many, the woods around this town of 13,000 represent a Mecca of log home living.

Tips to Freshen Your Home

A fresh healthy home is something we all strive for. There are several ways we can contribute to making the air in our home more fresh. First we can prevent the dirt, dust and allergens from entering our home. Second we can freshen the air that is already in our home.

Prevent dust and dirt from entering your home

1.Take your shoes off at the door. You will decrease the dirt and dust tracked into the house. Dirt and dust from outside can increase the allergens in your home. This dust also gets into the air and on your knick knacks and causes more housework.

2.If you have pets brush them regularly. If possible brush them outside the home. If they go outside try to clean their paws as they enter as well. (This has the same effect as you taking of your shoes)

3.Keep a door mat in front of the door to decrease dust and dirt from entering the home. I have one outside the door and another just inside. There are a lot of attractive mats that can add beauty to your home as well.

4.Clean the dryer vent. It can get blocked, which results in dust coming back into your home rather than being routed outside. Don’t forget to clean the lint trap in your dryer after every load as well.

Freshen the air in your home

1.Use plants that clean the air. Plants can help you maintain a fresh home by cleaning the air particles. There are a number of options for plants that can counteract chemicals in your home. Try the Areca or reed palm. The Boston fern, English Ivy or Rubber plant are also great choices.

2.Open the windows when the weather is nice to let fresh air in. The air in our homes can get very stagnant. Open windows on opposite sites of the room to encourage cross breezes to really get the air moving in your home.

3.Purchase better air filters for your furnace. Cheap ones do little to prevent dust.

4.Spray your air filter with a mix of water and an essential oil that cleans the air like the Purification from Young Living. This blend and other essential oils helps to purify the air and neutralize odors like mildew and cigarette smoke. (I recently used a spray to “neutralize” some funky smelling shoes and it worked like a charm)

5.Take your rugs outside and shake them. Now drape it over a clothesline or fence and beat them with a broom or whatever you have handy. (Your kids will have a lot of fun doing this so give them a dust mask and let them go to town!) This method will remove more dust than vacuuming the rug. Spray the rug with your water and Purification mix after the beating to get the most benefits when cleaning.

6.Fewer items and knick knacks result in less dust accumulating on shelves and higher locations. Dust is easier to clean from the floor than tiny crevices!

Tip: Treat yourself to fresh flowers regularly to make your home fresher and happier. Beautiful flowers will put a smile on your face.

Want to learn more about how you can use routines like the ones described above to have a chaos free morning?

10 Fresh Home Remodeling Ideas

Spring is the ideal time to consider some fresh home remodeling ideas. Get ready to make the most of the coming sunny days and warm nights with these additions to your home.

1. Bay Window: Replacing standard windows with a bay window can add new life to any family room, utilizing natural light and providing a more open feel. The bowed design that caused bay windows to protrude from the outer wall gives the illusion of more space. With the addition of the glass panes being fitted at angles light is reflected as shines through, which adds brightness. Bay windows can also be fitted with cushions for added sitting space.

2. Skylight: Integrating a skylight into your roof can enhance any room from the kitchen to the bathroom. Utilizing natural lighting sources cuts down on the need for artificial light, thereby saving you money.

3. Sunroom: The added living space of a sunroom to your home allows you to take advantage of the abundance of natural light provided by the sun, cutting the cost of electric lighting. They can be constructed in a variety of ways with windows on three sides and integrate skylights. With proper insulation a sunroom can also utilize the natural heat from sunlight to provide warmth during the winter, providing year round enjoyment.

4. Patio: Patios are paved areas similar to small courtyards. These lovely outdoor areas can be shaded by constructing overhangs or for a more natural atmosphere utilize landscaping with trees to provide shade. Patios provide a unique outdoor entertainment area for your spring and summer gatherings.

5. Porch: Porches are almost a cornerstone of southern living. Whether it is a front, back, or wraparound porch, the added space provided to enjoy those warm evening watching the fireflies with family and friends can be very relaxing.

6. Deck: An elevated wood based platform is an ideal way to create a flat even space for outdoor home enjoyment without the need for a lot of landscaping that would be necessary to level the mounds and divots that occur in many yards. This is an especially good option for homeowners with yards prone to flooding or muddy build up after the rain.

7. Flooring: Give your dull wooden floors a new finish after all the traffic of being treaded on throughout the winter. Or maybe this is the perfect time to take up the carpeting and lay some wood flooring down. Wood flooring cuts down on the accumulation of dust that collects in carpeting and thereby reduces allergens present in your home.

8. Garage: Build a garage to protect your car from the harshness of direct sunlight. This can also give you more storage space for gardening tools and equipment, and free up driveway space to utilize as extra play space for kids, like adding a basketball hoop.

9. Painting: Exterior painting is one of the most cost effective ways to protect your home while also enhancing its curb appeal with a fresh appearance. Exterior paints are specially formulated to provide an added layer of protection for wood and metal from weathering.

10. Doorway Overhang: If your front door is exposed to everything from direct sunlight to rain, a quick overhang addition can enhance the appearance of your home entrance, and provide protection from the elements.

For more great ideas for your next spring home remodeling or room addition project, Douglas Construction and Remodeling can help. We specialize in a wide range of home remodeling service including patios, sunrooms, flooring and much more.

The Guide to Ultimate Home Living

Landscaping and outdoor decorating has been widely practiced not only be the landscapers and outdoor decorators but also by almost every household. This artistic practice has become very widespread and openly public due to the desire to improve and utilize the idle external spaces of the residential area or of any establishment for that matter. Corollary to this is the fact that most landscape artists and decorators charge high fees for their labor and work of art. Thus, local folks and ordinary households learn and apply their own knowledge on landscaping and outdoor decorating.

Every person who invests in this process should have creativity, industry, and sufficient resources to successfully implement the plan and realize the desired appearance of the exterior spaces or facade of the residence. Planning is also essential in embellishing the external aspect of the house. Such planning includes not only the determination and gathering of resources but most especially one should come up with imaginary picture on how the said space will look like thereafter. This mental imagery is best realized if translated into visual elements such as drawing.

There are many ways for a successful and magnificent landscaping and outdoor decorating practiced by common households. But these ways should still conform with the basic processes that professional landscapers and outdoor decorators perform. Among the considerations in improving the vacant yard is the desired purpose of such. Most homeowners want their yard used either merely for embellishment or for function venues with amenities and elegant surroundings. As the household increases in their numbers, friends and acquaintances also multiply. As such, during events or activities sponsored by any of the family member, the internal space of the house is not anymore sufficient to accommodate the increased number of guests and visitors. Thus, for purposes of accommodating larger groups of guests and visitors during birthday, holidays, or house parties, get together, and reunions, the vacant space outside would be the best place to hold such events.

However, if this vacant space is idle and looks dull, then the process of landscaping outdoor decorating should be resorted to. This process involves necessary and luxurious improvements on the land. It includes the leveling off of the land, growing of exotic plants, installing sheds or shanties, and placing essential appliances and equipments such as chairs, tables, and fire pits. The area is very wonderful for social gatherings since the guests and visitors can feel and breathe fresh air and they have enough space to move around and mingle with everyone.

Other households, especially those with relatively smaller outdoor space or those who are not into hosting social gatherings, they exert effort to beautify their yard for the simple aesthetic reasons. These are the people who put importance to the comforting and relaxing appearance of their residence as they feel the welcoming ambiance of the fa├žade and walk on the royal pathway towards the main elegant door and take the best rest inside the house.

Ultimate home living requires not only an elegant house but also a wonderful outdoor landscape and decoration. This external space should not be left idle putting that portion of the highly scarce land resources at waste. There are different ways to make use of this area. All that a person should have is a little art, enough creativity, plenty of industry, extreme resourcefulness, and a lot of creative imagination.

10 Things People Appreciate Most About Log Home Living

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.

10 Things people appreciate most about log home living

1. A log home is a retreat

A favourable escape from the accelerated urban sprawl is the rustic idyll of a log home. Indeed, most of them are located away from crowded urban areas and offer a peaceful retreat from the buzzy cities with their questionable air quality that city-dwellers have grown accustomed to. To make the most of a long summer evening or, for that matter any day with beautiful weather, they are often equipped with porches. This outside area of the house is ideal for relaxing or having drinks with friends while engaging in long scintillating conversations.

2. Wooden houses are eco-friendly

The environmental benefits of log home lodging are numerous. In fact, they are often praised as energy-efficient alternatives to traditional stucco-and-cement houses. The thick wood provides substantial insulation to keep residents toasty during the winter and comfortably cool during the summer. In a time when many people are looking to lower their energy bill, living in a log home can prove to be very economical. Furthermore, these houses are made with the most sustainable building material known to man, wood. From the forest to your house, the logs that are used do not have as much of a negative impact on the environment as other common building materials such as bricks, mortar or steel.

3. Stay close to nature while at home

For the hippie inside each one of us, a log home provides a oneness with nature incomparable to the alienating modernity of the city. Surrounded by lush forests, mountains, and other elements of nature, one gains an appreciation for wholesome natural beauty. The interior of a log home is deeply inspired by its natural surroundings. With stone fixtures such as fireplaces – commonplace in cabins – and intricately carved wooden railings and banisters, homeowners commune with the wondrous splendour of nature. These homes have personalized and unique interiors to surprise visitors. Whether you prefer a vaulted ceiling or a wraparound second story platform, you have a plethora of options to choose from.

4. Feel invited

A log home is notorious for its inviting warmth. Lavish creature comforts abound in cabins; lay down a bearskin rug and it will be a perfect complement to a ruddy oak floor. Curl up by the fireplace on a plush sofa or armchair and enjoy a classic novel; you will not be interrupted by street noise or pesky neighbours, since your house is innately and pleasantly soundproofed. Richly embroidered tapestries and classical baroque furniture are not oddities in a log home. For the less theatrical homeowner, modern stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are also suitable for these types of residence.

5. Enjoy the outdoors while you stay in

For the social type, a wooden house is the perfect location for a community barbecue or gathering of friends. A typical log home is wrapped by a vast and ornate porch elevated off the ground. It is the perfect spot for an outdoor kitchen or in-ground hot tub. You can relax on a comfortable porch swing while watching the sunset from your outdoor paradise. A log home is like a perpetual vacation. Bask in the natural light from the high windows of your living room or sunbathe on the balcony outside your bedroom.

6. A house that is nicely decorated

Log homes are renowned for their beautiful construction. Architecture of these houses is rich with delicately carved banisters and hanging wooden supports that give your home a comfortable, cosy feeling. Appreciate the wall hangings and luxurious art adorning your log home. The rustic charm can be augmented by gorgeous additions that emphasize the earthy nature of the lodge; recommended additions are tapestries in rich red velvet and pristinely oiled rugs.

7. A wooden house smells fantastic

The wood in a log home is durable and permanently imbued with rich earthy vibes. The scent of a log home is permanent. The appealing fragrance of fresh wood endows the cabin with a natural comfort befitting a vacation home. No car air freshener or scented candle can compare to the alluring aroma of natural wood. Pleasant scents are proven to be calming, if the reality of living the dream in a beautiful natural landscape is not enough to soothe you.

8. Excellent safety

These houses are not a fire hazard though that might seem counter-intuitive. The girth and durability of the logs resist fire in a very reliable way. An ordinary house is far more prone to collapsing due to a fire than a log home, making the latter a resilient lodging option. Should you be enclosed within a log home during a fire, it would not be difficult to escape. The numerous windows typically built into a cabin offer alternative escape routes to ensure your safety.

9. Maintenance is fairly easy

A properly constructed log home requires little upkeep. Aside from treatments to prevent mould and rot, a stain may be applied to the exterior of the cabin periodically, in mild spot treatments, to maintain the colour of the wood. And that is all you need to keep your house in top shape for many years if not generations.

10. You will impress your friends

There is nothing like a backyard barbecue to bring families and friends together. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than lazily sprawling on the front porch of your luxurious log home? Friends will be envious of your laid-back lifestyle and soon find themselves yearning for the simple life. You will have everything: the tranquillity of wide-open space and the comfort of a modern respite away from the hectic clamour of the city. The flats your loved ones reside in cannot compare.

There is no reason to wait until retirement to dwell in your dream house. Start looking into this alternative style of accommodation right now; and find your idyllic refuge.