Modern homes come in all shapes and sizes. Many are constructed to a standard design, with timber frames or brick and mortar walls. If your home is in a city, you have complete freedom to design a structure that suits your needs, as long as it is up to code and in keeping with the rest of the homes on your block. If you are designing a country home, you might want to pay more consideration to whether it blends in with its environment.
Forest cabins, lodges, and country homes are usually built with the local environment in mind. After all, a steel, concrete, and glass structure would look out of place in the middle of a beautiful forest. It might be OK on the coast, adjacent to a beach, but that would depend on the other properties in the vicinity. However, it’s much better to design a home that blends in. There are many ways to do this.
Timber is a readily available and sustainable building material. Timber homes are long-lasting provided the right timber is used. If you want to create an eco-friendly home, use recycled timber or timber cut from a sustainable forest. Use logs to clad your home and design the interior with locally sourced timber. This is a traditional way to build a home – if you need inspiration, look at settler homes. A timber house blends in perfectly when constructed in a forest setting.
You can also use timber cladding to line the exterior of a house built from steel and concrete. Timber cladding ages beautifully, with the rich, warm color slowly fading in the sun, wind, and rain. Eventually, the cladding may need to be replaced, but you can extend its longevity by using wood preservatives.
Stone is another material that adds something special to a home. Choose from a huge range of different stone finishes, such as this Kafka stone veneer. Crushed stone chips can be mixed with concrete for a tough, weather resistant finish, or stone half-slips can be stuck to the exterior to make it appear that the walls are constructed from solid rock.
If you have ever seen the Lord of the Rings movies, you will be familiar with Peter Jackson’s vision of a Hobbit Home. Hobbits live in homes built into the side of the hill. Rooms are carved out of the earth and aside from doors and windows, it is hard to tell there is a home there.
Creating a hobbit-style home isn’t always viable, but if you are building on a slope, it’s worth investigating whether you can build into the lee of the slope and disguise the roof so from above, the structure is hidden. If the front façade of the building is largely glass, it will be very light and airy, with great views over the surrounding area.
Don’t forget to consider the merits of green roofs, where natural grasses are sown to create a living roof.