Artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Friday, April 21, 2017

    Many amazing people played an important part in making the Arts and Crafts Movement happen, not just in Britain, but worldwide. So many in fact that it would take a book as thick as a dictionary to name them all. Here are some of the most popular artists of the movement that changed the way the entire world purchased, built and designed their homes.

    William Morris (1834-1896)
    This man was a major contributor to the revival of the traditional methods of textile art and production. He was best known as a poet, but became better known for his designs of the Arts and Crafts movement. Much of his work is still in production, but originals can be found in museums across the globe. The William Morris Society was founded in 1955 to honor his legacy.

    Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
    Jones, a British artist and designer, worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts and was also a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company. He worked hard to bring back the traditional use of stained glass art in Britain. In 1857 Burne-Jones joined Morris and a few others in a crazy scheme to decorate the walls of the Oxford Union but the technique they used ultimately failed, as the paint they used peeled away.

    Gustav Stickley (1858-1942)
    One of eleven children, Stickley was born in Wisconsin and played a major role in bringing the movement to America. His first work for the movement was part of an experimental line of furniture in 1900 called the New Furniture, which reflected the ideals of simplicity.

    Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942)
    Ashbee founded the Guild and School of Handicraft in London in 1888, but the school closed in 1895 after political issues. However, the following year the Ventral School of Arts and Crafts opened. He was also the advisor to the British Mandate of Palestine where he oversaw building work and protected historic sites and monuments.

    Joseph Southall (1861-1944)
    A lifelong Quaker, Southall was the leading figure in the nineteenth-century revival of painting. He became president of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1939 and stayed until his death in 1944. His work as a painter drastically fell apart at the start of World War I which led him to devote his efforts to the antiwar campaign.

    Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930)
    An American archeologist, Mercer was an avid collector of artifacts and the designer of several structures such as the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. He attended Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He became the University of Pennsylvania’s curator of American and Prehistoric Archeology in 1890. He was well known for his ceramic tile creations and his architecture.

    Although there are more people who had a strong influence in the Arts and Crafts Movement, these amazing artists had a hand in starting it all. The legacy these artists left behind is found throughout art, textiles and even homes in the Arts and Crafts design today. 

    Choosing the Right Location for Your Cabin

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, April 20, 2017

    After months, and maybe even years, of planning, you have finally decided on the log cabin of your dreams. Now comes the most important part of any cabin build, where to put it. The location is everything when building a log cabin for several important reasons, which include sun exposure, the wind, terrain, accessibility, and of course the best reason, the view!

    Accessibility Is Key
    What good is having this amazing cabin with a stunning view if you can’t get to it? Accessibility is the most important thing when choosing a location and not just so the builders and machines can get to the location, but for safety reasons as well. In the case of an emergency, severe weather or a Bigfoot attack, you are going to want a good road to your cabin.

    Excellent Sun Exposure and Good Shade
    It seems contradictory to want a location with both sun and shade but it's for good reason. Sun keeps your cabin dry and warm all year long, and the right amount of shade will protect the wood from overexposure to the sun.

    The right balance of shade and sun throughout the day will lower your overall cost of maintenance and your utility bills. Good sunlight through most of the day will provide natural light inside your home, meaning you won’t have to use interior lights until later in the evening.

    Good Terrain Can Save You Thousands
    When building a cabin, you need to consider the slope of the land around it. Try your best to ensure the land slopes away from your cabin to prevent water from building up around the base of the cabin. If this happens, your logs will rot and the cabin will attract unwelcome guests such as insects whose sole purpose in life is to feed off your home.

    Although there are ways to seal the wood to prevent insects from moving in, it will be a waste of time and money if you can’t keep the water away. If there is no way for your location to have the land slope away from your cabin, proper drainage devices such as gutters and land drains will need to be installed to protect your home.

    Test the Soil
    Just as the slope of the land is important, so is the type of soil you build on. If the soil is too moist and never dries, it could cause your home to mold and even rot. Try to find a spot where the soil is hard and dry and doesn’t hold moisture very well to prevent this from happening.

    You can design the best and most beautiful cabin in the world, but if you don’t choose the right location, it will be a complete waste of money. All these factors must be taken into consideration when choosing a location. Keeping the home dry is the most important thing of all. Protect the cabin of your dreams and keep the moisture out.

    Create an Amazing Feature Wall

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, April 19, 2017

    Tired of boring, lifeless walls within your home? Whether it be in your living room, dining room or even your bedroom, a feature wall can be a striking addition to your design. The best part is that it is cheap and easy to create and can be done in a day. Here are some great ideas for feature walls in your home.

    Go Rustic
    A rustic design brings nature into your home and creates a cozy effect. Enhance that effect with a shiplap style feature wall, but instead of having all the boards the same color, use multiple colors. Stain each board a different shade and alternate the colors along the wall. This will add color and character to the room and give you a color scheme to play off of for the other items in the room, such as furniture and linens.

    Brick It Up
    Bricks are pricey and heavy, but look beautiful on a wall. Faux brick walls are a popular thing today, and they look amazing. Either in the form of contact paper or wallpaper, or as foam brick pieces that stick to the wall, it is an inexpensive way to achieve the brick look on the wall, without all the messy concrete or taking space away from the room. These items come in many different colors and textures and take a little time to install depending on the size of the wall you are adding them to. The only difference between the contact paper and the foam bricks is that the foam bricks give a more realistic effect where the contact paper, although it looks good, has no texture to the look.

    Concrete Is Beautiful
    Using concrete to create your feature wall is a little more time-consuming than the other ideas, but just as stunning. The easy part is applying it, the hard part is waiting for it to dry. Once it's applied to the wall and has had a chance to dry, simply polish it up or leave it flat to create a gorgeous modern, industrial look. This concrete feature wall can be accented with some metal art to create a very beautiful industrial vibe within that room.

    Just a Touch of Paint
    Probably the least expensive of all the ideas is paint. Simply paint your feature wall a different color than the surrounding walls. Be sure to use a color that coordinates well with the other items in the room. If doing the wall one solid color isn’t enough, create a pattern with multiple shapes and colors, such as grey-white and yellow chevrons on the walls. This would look great with a white or gray sofa, area rug, and throw pillows.

    There you have it, four amazing ways to create a feature wall in any room of your home without spending a fortune. There are hundreds of thousands of ideas for feature walls out there, so no matter what style you are going for, there is a wall for you. Happy decorating!

    Spring Cleaning for Your Cabin

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    With spring just around the corner and the snow and cold almost behind us, it will soon be time to get some spring cleaning and maintenance done. When you own a log cabin, however, cleaning and maintenance go hand in hand. There are some things you need to get done to your cabin at the start of spring.

    Make a List
    All good projects start with a list, and let’s face it, when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your log cabin, it quickly becomes one huge project. Things that should be on that list include caring for the logs of your home, your gutters, your roof, and the seals around your doors and windows. Any maintenance should be done prior to cleaning as it can get a little messy depending on what needs to be done. A great suggestion by many cabin owners is to create your list in a schedule format and spread the maintenance and cleaning tasks out over a week’s time. Set which tasks get done on what days so that it isn’t overwhelming, and everything gets done.

    Know Where to Start
    Start outside with the gutters and downspouts. You want to keep as much moisture as possible away from your home and maintaining these two are your first steps in doing so.

    The next thing you should do is check the seal of the wood. Having the wood resealed at least once a year protects it from moisture and insects, plus it extends the life of the logs that form your home.

    Next, check the seal around the doors and windows. Ensuring the seals in these areas are good is not only essential to keeping cold air out in the winter, but it also keeps moisture from seeping in between the window sill and walls which can cause mold, mildew and wood rot, not to mention the hordes of insects that could find their way into the tiny crevices. Lastly, for the exterior maintenance, you should check your roof for any small leaks and fix those immediately.

    Understand Maintenance
    One decision you must make during your cabin ownership is whether you want to do the maintenance yourself or hire a professional to do the tasks for you. If you know exactly what you are doing and have the time, you can save loads of money by doing the maintenance and cleaning yourself. However, if you aren’t very handy when it comes to fixing things, it might be a lot safer and a lot cheaper, in the long run, to hire a professional to do the job for you.

    Nothing good in life comes easy. This is true for owning a beautiful log cabin. Although it is hard work, it is totally worth the effort to maintain a home of this quality and beauty. Log cabin ownership is a huge investment, but a great one and certainly one worth protecting. So break out the brushes, ladders, and cleaning supplies and protect that cabin of yours.

    Interior Design Basics for Beginners

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, April 17, 2017

    Anyone just starting out on their own may need a little help when it comes to decorating their first living space. Whether that space is an apartment or a home, decorating can be tricky. This isn’t your bedroom with your parents, so boyband posters and stuffed animals won’t work here.

    How to Balance a Room
    We’re not talking weight on a scale. In interior design, balance is how you distribute the visual weight of a room. There are three types of balance. First is symmetrical balance, which is when you divide a room right down the middle and have the same décor and furniture on each side. For example, placing your bed in the center of the room and placing the same table with the same items on each side of the bed.

    Next is asymmetrical balance. This is when you add different items, but of the same visual weight on either side of the room. Lastly, when talking about balance, is radial balance, which is the arrangement of objects around a center point in a room. A great example is arranging living room furniture to face the fireplace or the focal point of the room.

    Proportions Are Important
    When designing a room, using the right proportions is essential to making a room look and feel amazing. Three important points about proportion to remember involve scaling. First, if a room is small, the items in the room should also be small. The second point is the opposite of the first—if a room is large, then large furniture should be used.

    Lastly, use taller furniture in rooms with high ceilings. If you put large items in a small room, they will only overpower the space. If you put too small an item in a large room, the room will feel empty. That’s why proportion is so important in design.

    Every Good Design Has Rhythm
    There are four kinds of rhythm in interior design. First, there is repetition. Repetition is when you have repeating elements of design such as framed art of the same size, shape, and style on a wall. Next, there is alternation. This is when you alternate two or more elements in a pattern like a tall vase, short vase, and a tall vase all lined up atop the mantle.

    Then we have progression. This is when you have a series of objects organized by size. A great example of this is artwork hung on the wall from largest to smallest. Lastly, there is contrast, or using two elements that are opposite in some way, such as a round mirror on one wall and a square mirror on the opposite wall.

    hen it comes to interior design, balance, rhythm, and proportions are the three most important aspects of a good-looking design. Designing your first space can be an overwhelming task, but having the right knowledge can save you stress and money—so gather your décor and get decorating.

    Dreamy Log Cabin Interiors

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Friday, March 31, 2017

    Have you ever seen pictures of a log cabin and thought, where did I go wrong? Those cabins look so amazing and yours just feels so dull and dark. Sure, it's serving its purpose and you have that country rustic feel, l but where’s the décor? Where is the character? Well, envy no more. You’re about to learn how you can make your log cabin as dreamy as those in magazines.

    Go Beyond the Wood
    With log walls, hardwood floors, and log or paneling for the ceilings, the wood can be the most dominating feature. All that wood isn’t a style for everyone. There are several easy fixes to that overabundance.

    One is to add some drywall. This will smooth out the walls and can be painted any color you like. Adding texture to the walls with plaster gives them some depth. Replace hardwood floors with stone flooring to keep the natural feel of a cabin without the endless miles of wood.

    Learn to Live with Wood
    If you don’t necessarily want to get rid of the endless amount of wood, but hate the earthy tones it brings, then try to find ways to love it. Whitewashing the wood gives a rustic, chic look and is very beautiful. Especially when pastel-colored furniture and light carpet or rugs are used. Light stains or even bleached wood also look amazing. Bleaching gives a driftwood look that, when blended with log furniture of the same tones, gives the cabin a very coastal feel. There are many ways to live with the wood in your cabin that keep it looking amazing. It completely depends on your style.

    Built-ins Belong in a Cabin
    It's hard not to love built-ins. Whether in the form of cabinetry, shelving, or even seating, built ins give a natural coziness to any home, but even more so to a cabin. Built-ins offer functional storage and make a room feel complete. They can easily be customized to fit whatever décor style you’re going for. If your cabin didn’t come with all the built-ins you were hoping for, it is very affordable to add them in yourself or hire a professional. Whatever you choose, this is one way to upgrade the cozy factor in any room of your home.

    Just because it’s a cabin doesn’t mean everything has to be nature themed and rustic. It's your home after all, so anything can happen. Any style you choose is allowed in your cabin. There is no rule that says a cabin should be styled a certain way, so if yours isn’t as dreamy as you would like, then choose a style that makes it dreamy for you. For many people, comfort and style go hand in hand. A cozy, dreamy cabin like you see in the magazines is easy to obtain, but isn’t for everyone. Let your creativity take over and create the cabin of your dreams. 

    How to Decorate Your Kitchen Counters and Save Counter Space

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Thursday, March 30, 2017

    So your kitchen was a mess, it was cluttered and dirty. You went through your normal cleaning routine, dusted, wiped down, washed, and put away everything. You look around at your newly clean kitchen and think, wow … it looks so dull, bare, empty. This is because once you cleaned your counters of the mess, there was nothing there at all. Keep reading to learn how to properly decorate your kitchen counters without taking away prized counter space.

    Look at What You Have
    The place to start is with an observation of what you keep on your counters. Appliances, salt and pepper shakers, soap, sponges, and maybe even a towel or two are all things you can find scattered around your counters. All these things can be consolidated into fewer, larger items. For example, the salt, pepper and any other spices can be stored in a decorative basket or other container by the stove. The soap and sponges look better in a basket than sitting solo on the window sill above the sink.

    Roll up a few dish towels and place them in a wicker basket by the sink. Use a decorative cake stand to store cooking ingredients such as oils and spices that would usually be kept by the stove. Be sure that the storage solutions you choose go well with the overall theme of the kitchen. By adding things to bins, you actually free up some space while adding décor to the counter.

    Grow Some Nature
    Do you love fresh herbs? Why not grow some in decorative little planters on your counter? This will not only give you fresh herbs to cook with, but will also bring a touch of nature into your kitchen and we all know that nature is your best décor piece.

    Cookbooks Aren’t Just for Reading
    Display your cookbooks in the corner of your countertop or even atop your microwave, if it sits on the counter, of course. Line them up on the surface or stack them, either way. Displaying your cookbooks in your kitchen not only looks great but puts them in range for easy access.

    Mason Jars for Storing Foods
    Mason Jars are great for decorating. This tip doesn’t have to be used on the counters. Mounting some floating shelves above the counters will actually improve the overall look of your counters and the countertops can serve as the bottom shelves. You can then store your sugars, pasta, and dry foods in the mason jars on the counter and the shelves. It looks great and is a very functional way of decorating.

    Warm Coffee Corner
    Coffeemakers are a fixture in many kitchens, but by the time you add the coffee, sugar, cups, and filters, it's like your love for coffee has taken over your kitchen counters. Create a coffee corner using a decorative placemat with all your coffee items on it. Add a holder near the coffeemaker for your cups, either using a stand or placing hooks on the wall. Now that’s one cool way to conserve space. 

    Beach Bungalow Retreat

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Wednesday, March 29, 2017

    Don’t you wish you could be at the beach all year long? Bungalows make the best beach houses, but what do you do if your beautiful bungalow home is nowhere near the beach? You bring the beach inside, of course! Here’s how you can make your traditional bungalow style home a beautiful beach oasis.

    Start with the Walls and Windows
    The walls are the best place to start when it comes to designing any room because they offer the largest amount of surface space. Start with the paint color. Pastel blues, grays, beige, and white are the colors you want to use for the coastal theme. The lighter the color, the larger the space will feel. Once you decide on the color, move on to your window treatments. Choose a window treatment that will enhance the coastal vibe of the room. Thin, flowing drapes and curtains of a light color look amazing with this theme. Choose artwork that is all about the coast and everything nautical. Beach paintings, nautical rope art, replicas of ships, and sunset art are all great wall décor for this style.

    Coastal Furniture Fun
    Furniture for this style can be tricky to find if you don’t know where to look. This is where second-hand shops, flea markets, and yard sales become your best friend. Any wooden furniture can be customized to fit your beachy design. Wicker end tables, shelves, and chairs are beautiful additions to this style. They can be a natural wood color or the wicker furniture can be painted, either way, it's just fun and gorgeous. Solid color upholstery sofas are good too. Wood furniture works best if stained very lightly or painted white or gray. Furniture with a worn appearance such as chipped paint is perfect for this décor style too.

    Additional Décor to Add
    A material that isn’t used often as a décor piece but is stunning with this style is burlap. This material can be used in rugs, curtains, placemats, and even throw pillows, and can make your coastal style look great. As you walk along the beach, gather rocks, shells, and even coral that has washed ashore. Sea glass is a beautiful material as well, and many elements of your décor can be made from sea glass, such as lamps and vases. Driftwood picture frames and even furniture can be found on the market or even custom built to further enhance the coastal vibe you are trying to achieve. Honestly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding décor to fit your coastal home. It all comes down to knowing your style and knowing where to look.

    If standing on the beach brings you joy, why wouldn’t you create the atmosphere in your home? Your bungalow is supposed to represent you and the things you love. So get to work and create a relaxing beach house right in your own living room using these tips for a magnificent coastal getaway.

    Updating a Classic Craftsman Home

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    Original homes from the Arts and Crafts Movement are rare. If you are lucky enough to find a Craftsman style home from this period, you may be tempted to update it to fit more of today’s styles. Here are some tips for updating this style of home without ruining its vision or its value. 

    Know Its Purpose
    The first step to updating your Craftsman home is to know its value and how to keep it. Do you know what makes a Craftsman home so special? Homes of this period represent nature and true, quality hand craftsmanship. It is very possible to have a beautiful modern home, while still maintaining the appeal of its true form from the Arts and Crafts era. Natural, solid wood throughout the home doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it. Let the natural materials and unique craftsmanship shine through no matter the style you choose.

    What to Keep
    Likewise, don’t get rid of natural, stained-wood walls, cabinetry and flooring. Paint the walls a natural color such as gray, white, or beige. This keeps the open, clean feeling and lightens up the space from its once-warm color scheme.

    Keep the hardwood floors, as they are something that never goes out of style. You can restain the floors to a darker or even lighter tone to blend well with the rest of the design for your home. It is okay to paint the walls and cabinetry as well. Update the countertops to match the rest of the design of the home, but try to stick to a natural material such as wood or granite.

    Keep the molding along the walls, as this can give the illusion of larger rooms and higher ceilings. Lastly, don’t get rid of the stained glass. You can change the design of stained glass, but this is a big detail for this style of home and will throw off the entire vision if you take it away, and it could even lower the value of your home.

    Great Additions for Your Craftsman
    Traditional Craftsman homes lack today's modern amenities such as a dishwasher, laundry facilities, and garbage disposal. This means that you may have to custom install these items to make life easier for today. This may mean remodeling your kitchen to accommodate the appliances that didn’t exist during the time your home was originally built. You may also have to custom build laundry facilities depending on how old the home is and the amount of work done by previous owners. Adding these appliances will not only make your life easier but will also improve the value of your home.

    Finding a traditional Craftsman home is amazing, but not everyone appreciates the style that was once very popular. With these tips, you are well on your way to making this historic home a modern and comfortable home for you and your family, without losing its value or charm.

    Best Unexpected Rooms for Your Cabin

    Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Monday, March 27, 2017

    Log cabins have a standard layout. You get a living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and your bathrooms. In some cases you may get a bonus room, but this is the most common layout of a traditional cabin. If you are building your own or adding to an existing cabin, you have the choice to add more space to create the cabin of your dreams. Here are four unexpected rooms to add to your log cabin today.

    Sun Room Oasis
    Keep in touch with nature even when the weather is nasty by adding a sunroom to your cabin’s floorplan. Sunrooms can be built as big or as small as you would like and can be customized to fit any style. Add some comfortable furniture to give you a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature without all the insects and harsh weather.

    Game Room Addition
    Some of the best homes have a game room, but this room isn’t found in many cabins. This is a fun addition, especially if your cabin serves as a vacation home or a summer house. This is a room the entire family can enjoy. Take some time out of your busy schedule to watch a football game, play some cards with friends, play some games on your favorite console or a friendly board game for the family game night. This room gives you the chance to have some quality family time without ever having to leave home. Talk about budget-friendly!

    Cozy Cabin Library
    This is another room that is most commonly found in a traditional home but makes a wonderful addition to your cozy cabin. What goes better with a warm blanket and hot chocolate than a good book, and what better place to enjoy them all than a cozy library within your cabin? Your library doesn’t have to be huge, just a simple room filled with your favorite books and come cozy furniture. Maybe even work a large window into your design to allow tons of natural light into the room which will make it more relaxing.

    Fun and Entertaining Bar Room
    Whether for sampling fine wines or expensive liqueurs, or even entertaining a gathering of family and friends, a bar room is a fun, yet an unexpected addition to your cabin. Add on a TV and you have a wonderful place to entertain the guys for a Super Bowl party or a wine tasting. whatever the occasion, this room offers you the chance to bring everyone together for a few laughs and a couple of drinks.

    No matter the location of your cabin, these are certainly some unexpected room additions for any cabin of any size and style. Many of these rooms can be created using an existing room that is not in use or can be created on a tight budget. Add one or add them all, either way, you are sure to enjoy every moment living in the log cabin of your dreams.

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