The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

Many log-home owners love the idea of their quintessential rustic abodes for the intimate, cozy feelings they convey, but sometimes, the practical issues involved with creating a little cabin get overlooked in favor of atmosphere, and homeowners forget to include enough space for storage.

Has this been a problem for you? Did you plan enough room to house everything? What has worked for you, and what hasn't? Please share your tips and tricks for the best ways to maximize your tucked-away spaces and keep everything in its place.

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We went with less storage space and more living space on the main floor. Our major storage area (for things only used occasionally) is on the lower level. I really utilize my kitchen cabinets, so as many of those as you can get! We only have two closets on the main floor...a small one in the entry and then the master (we only have one bedroom on the main floor). The master closet is huge...the size of a small bedroom. It houses the washer and dryer also and has proven to be one of the most efficient spaces in the home. It's like a dream come true...no running all over the house putting laundry away! The only items I have to take to and from the laundry area are kitchen and 2nd bath linens. We purchased rustic but very usable storage cabinets in the baths...and use every inch of them. I can't think of any 'space' I would sacrifice for more storage if I had it to do over again. I love every nook and cranny of living space.
We are building now - and I am concerned about storage also. I do plan to put a storage room in the basement (later). But really want to maximize storage in other areas. Sondra and Lee's comment about kitchen cabinets is so true and will be the main area for storing all things kitchen and cooking. I am thinking about putting some dormers in the loft area (our master bedroom) - to inset dressers and perhaps for a closet. Any thoughts on this idea?

I will also be adding a shed (mud room) that have a coat closet and storage for the vacuum cleaner, brooms, etc. I am undecided about putting the washer and dryer here or in the basement.

I am not planning on putting closets in the guest rooms - night stand(s) with drawers and a small armoire at the most. I don't want to have empty space just waiting around for someone to put things into. I am keeping one guest room very small (10X10 ish) and the other is a second master (but used as a guest room) but will also not have a closet. I like flexibility of having an armoire for moving furniture around - and it helps keeps the clothes clutter down (more space means more clothes).

But what about those other pesky things that can clutter up a household? the animal food; animal feeding stations (I hate bowls on the floor); shoes (in the entry area); knitting or craft supplies; computer; office files; - all the stuff you use for daily living but don't want left out.
Storage is definitely an issue... initially we were going to have a garage for my car in the basement, however, after a very quick review...we decided! NO! and we now are going to finish the basement and have 3/4 for the "entertainment" area and 1/4 storage/work bench/utility. My laundry was designed to be in on the main level, however, it to has been revamped into my pantry. We left the "plumbing works" intact, so that in our golden years we could still have washer/dryer up on main floor instead of going to basement to do laundry.
I designed two master walk-ins "his" and "hers"....altho not wide, they are deep and there are plenty of options to maximize the space.
I will miss my linen closets...currently using a cupboard for towels, but when we live in cabin full time I see that I quickly run out of room.
I believe that under the stairs storage will become a lifesaver...
Dee, Hi. I've seen set in dressers, closets in dormer areas and they look great! It's a smart way to use what would otherwise be wasted space. I agree....more storage does equal more stuff. Our guest room does have a WIC but its being used for 'our' storage. We figure this shouldn't too much of a problem for our 'guests'.

Some suggestions for those 'pesky' things you mentioned.....

Animal Food - we're going to use some of the left over spindles, rails, etc. to make an elevated log pet feeder. I'm on the hunt now for a 'decorative' lidded container to house our plastic dog food container.

Shoes in the entry.....I've seen some use a bench with either a shelf or closed- in storage underneath it. Doesn't look too bad as long as you have the room for it.

Computer, offices files, etc. - we're using an armoir/entertainment center in our dining room as an office space. It's enough space to house our printer, bulletin board, calendars, office supplies on top and the cabinets below are the perfect size for small file containers, laptops, misc. supplies, etc. When the office is 'closed' so are it's doors. Don't even know it's there.

Hope these help. Best of luck to you with your project. Please keep us posted.
Those drawers in the steps are intriguing - not sure if I like them or not - but they sure are creative!
A folding attic ladder installed in the ceiling over accessible first floor areas provides access to great storage space. Care must be taken to provide adequate support to the ceiling and storage plating. 2x6's 12 " on center will adequately handle most bulk storage i.e luggage, holiday decorations, snow tires, sports equipment, back stock of paper supplies etc. The ladder ceiling plate can be trimmed, painted or covered to match your interior.

The area over laundry rooms has been my favorite, plenty of room to lower the ladder and the room is generally about 8' wide providing good support from the side walls (consult an engineer to be safe).
Home Depot offers an aluminum folding ladder that adjusts for ceiling heights up to 12'. I have installed several of these with great success.
I am moving along in my decorating and design -I am collecting ideas and using a notebook to file everything by room.

I am definitely having a shed (mud room) at the entry with lost of storage. These are my ideas so far: bench for putting on and taking off shoes, coat closet (boots too), closet for vacuum cleaner - brooms - etc, a coat rack for guests, and a mirror. I was watching Sarah's House and she had a cute entry in her farm house that included a powder-room. I won't be adding a powder room. Here's the link http://www.hgtv.ca/sarahshouse/video.aspx

I can't seem to get the video to work for me. So I included some pictures - I am loving the top one of the closets with the cabinet between.

We are not actually doing a thing on the inside until we can visit our house and marinate in it awhile.
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Hi,

We are under contract on a 10 year old log home in Ohio. I have a blog about our log home buying adventures with all the pics: http://wereohiobound.blogspot.com

Honestly, we had never set out for a log home, specifically, although we really do love it now. The ONLY most single biggest drawback to use deciding to proceed on this house was a huge lack of storage. The listing was incorrect and it was missing a bonus room, an oversized double garage and a 16x25 Lower Level laundry. The oversized double garage, is 16x25 and a wall was added to create the small laundry/pantry and leaving a much smaller garage. There is no lower level but there is a pretty high crawl space. So, it would not have made my visit list had I known. Of course once were were there I fell in love, even as I lumbered around looking for the basement door which was non-existent. 
Well we visited the house 3 times in 2 days before making an offer. Our decision was based on this premise: We became willing to give up all of our crap and clutter for an amazing log home on a peaceful, private and serene 5 acres in the country. (we are from NY). 
Of course we still need to create SOME practical storage. I like some the ideas here and I was wondering about pet bowls and litter pan. (our current litter pan occupies our second bath which we don't use because it's too gross with the pan in there!)
I think the foyer or entry is the most important because if there aren't appropriate places for people to put down all the stuff they bring in, the whole house will suffer.
The foyer will accommodate our hall bench which is great! I keep the commonly used shoes and boots under there and the seat is a lid that lifts up. I keep accessories in there like hats, gloves, etc and in summer it's sun block, pool goggles, sun hats, sun block, etc and swap it out seasonally and pack the off season stuff away. Luckily there is coat closet but it is much smaller than the big double closet I have now and I have already gotten rid of most of the coats and jackets I wanted. I will have to further cull them! 
An Idea I saw somewhere was for an outside shoe spot. We take ours off when we come in but for really dirty boots I am going to do this and we will have a covered porch so I can do this outside. Basically a tray of rocks or could use 2x4's.. http://cleanandscentsible.blogspot.com/2011/01/pebble-boot-tray.html  Since the foyer is big I could get a coat tree for our most used coats. Plus I have an umbrella stand. I plan to put a small console table in the foyer for keys, purse, mail, etc.
The kitchen also has a lot of cabinets and counter space so I also plan to make the most of that! I think my biggest storage problems will be for craft supplies and toys. I know, purge, purge, purge! I am, I am! There is a loft which will be a playroom along with crafts and could double as a guest room.
The bathrooms seems to have good storage but the bedroom closets are very small. We are used to big WICs. It's not that I have so many clothes, but I do like dressing in the closet. My new closet has bi-fold doors. I HATE bi-fold doors! 
My husband works from home, so we will use the extra bedroom for the office. I wanted a room that I could close the door to and not see his mess! Plus, for me, I am going to put a planning desk in the dining room for my laptop and a homework area for my daughter. There is also a small room, 12x4, that we will be our server and printer room and for all the networking stuff. We have a couple of servers and commercial printers. I will be so happy to have a nice looking office with all that equipment tucked away!
Hope to hear ad share lot's more ideas here!
-Katherine

Katherine - I checked out your blog and your house is fabulous!  And big!  Congratulations on getting the house.  I think you made the right choice - house over stuff!  We as humans seem to be too attached to stuff.  I am working hard to set my stuff free too. Is the little alcove in your pics your tech room?  It seems to work well - can you add a door or curtain to hide it (although I don't think you need to).

 

In my regular house - I had the cat bowls under the kitchen sink and we had always intended to cut a cat shaped hole in the doors - but instead spent years with one door off.  Now that the cat is no longer with us - we finally have two doors on the cabinet.  We did the same in the bathroom for the litter box - but never put the door on.  So our intentions never came to pass - but the idea worked well.  I can't say that I would want to cut a hole in my new cabinets though.  (smile) 

 

Shoes are always an issue for us - as they are always on the floor no matter what I put for storage in the entry.  I still plan to make a home for them in my shed/mud room.  So I keep fighting this battle. I too like modern furniture - and am wondering how to add this into my log home.  I have just decided to make my main bathroom a zen-type spa bath.  Still looking for design ideas.  I am also looking at furniture pieces for storage - as I am not having closets.  And have decided to give up one guest bedroom for a bigger bathroom.  But your issues are different as you live in your home all the time.  

 

My CA home has no storage either and I have tried to keep each room "self contained" - towels, extra toiletries, and respective cleaning supplies store in that bathroom; each bedroom stores its own sheets, blankets, etc; the kitchen stores those cleaning supplies and dish towels.  I finally got a small (and I mean small) closet in the laundry room when we redid the kitchen and store the vac, light bulbs, ironing board etc. in there.  I don't have room for a lot of extra stuff.  We store the off season clothes in those vac storage bags in the garage.  Each person has to store their coats in their own closet.  Games etc are in a cabinet in the living room.  

 

I can't help you with toys - our kids are gown.  But I do need ideas for DVDs as I don't like them showing on the book shelves (they make things look too busy).  I am an avid book collector and am concerned about book shelves in the log house - as I am not planning to put too many there.  We'll see what happens - thank heavens for my Kindle! 

We're opting for organized storage.   When we add cabinets, we opt for the maximum amount of storage without sacrificing asthetics.   If your kitchen floor space will allow, add full size pantry cabinets.  We also added full size linen cabinets in both bathrooms.  The same with the closets that we've been able to fit into the floor plan, we maximize the space by including shelving, drawers, etc.

 

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