Open floor plans are exceedingly popular in new home construction, and it is easy to see why. With their great flow between the great room, dining room and kitchen, open floor plans are perfect for entertaining and everyday living. Since REAL LOG HOMES do not require load-bearing interior walls, they are perfect for an open floor plan design. Without walls, though, how do you define the division between the rooms? One great way to create separate spaces is by using differing ceiling height to your advantage.
In order for a great room to feel great, it needs to have a tall ceiling. However, the kitchen and dining rooms are usually more intimate rooms that benefit from a lower ceiling height. One extreme example of differing ceiling heights is the Big River Lodge. The great room here has very tall ceilings and cathedral windows over two stories tall. Yet the adjacent dining room and kitchen have a modest single-story ceiling height. At floor level, there is no division between these rooms, yet it is immediately apparent where one room ends and the other begins.
In most homes, the dining room and kitchen share the same ceiling height. In order to create an airier dining room, this California Real Log Home features a gabled roof dining room with higher ceilings than the kitchen. This makes the dining room a more inviting space, and will draw your guests out of the kitchen. Naturally, the nearby great room has even taller ceilings and again feels like an entirely separate room despite there being no physical separation between rooms.
Loft spaces can also be used to create different rooms, like this home in Vermont. Inside the kitchen or dining room, the low ceiling makes the room feel cozy like any single-story room. However, from the great room you can also see the open loft space above these rooms. This gives the great room a very open feel, with both its own cathedral ceiling as well as the ceiling over the loft space in full view.
Of course, sometimes a division between the dining and living spaces is not desired. A log home is perfect for these situations as well. Especially in cabins or family retreats, having a truly open plan between the kitchen, dining and living areas may be what you’re after. This California home simply uses furniture to demark the different spaces, while leaving every room fully open to one another.
With some creativity and design experience, the height of a room’s ceiling can have a great effect on its character and relation to the rooms around it. You can see more examples of this effect in our image gallery, or you can contact a Real Log Homes team member about designing a perfect open floor plan house just for you.