Meet the Builder

In June, we featured profiles on four of our Independent Representatives (IRs) with whom we have worked the longest. One of those IRs is CM Allaire & Sons, and we encourage you to read the post on them if you’ve yet to do so. In two weeks, CM Allaire & Sons is having a Sunday open house at their model home. Here’s a look at the model home, and the Mendon floor plan on which it is based.


The Mendon model is a mid-sized plan at about 2150 square feet, with a very open floor plan in the public spaces. The door opens into a small entryway with closet. As you enter the model home, the large fieldstone fireplace commands center attention in the great room. The rocks composing the fireplace were primarily harvested from the build site.


The great room and fireplace.

Since this is a model home, many of the possible material choices are featured. The exterior logs are V-grove (“D” profile) to show how both flat and round profile logs can look on the home. Square posts are used within the home, while full log rafters are used above.


The bright red cabinets are a wonderful touch of color.

The kitchen has red painted cabinets, which depart from the normal natural wood tones found in log home kitchens but provide a welcome splash of color. Next to the kitchen is a sun room, with copious light entering through windows and skylights. The first floor also houses the spacious master bedroom, with walk-in closet. The model home does not have a dedicated master bathroom, but the design is easily modified to accommodate one.


One of the upstairs bedrooms.

Arriving at the upstairs landing via the half-log stairs brings us to a loft space that is used here as an office, but can be put to a variety of uses. With its wonderful continuity to the great room below, it feels like an extension of that space. Also upstairs are two additional bedrooms and another full bathroom.

We hope this preview of the Mendon model home has inspired you to pay it a visit. The model home is open on most weekdays, and the open home is Sunday, November 6th from 9am to 2pm. If you’ll be in Southern New England, check out the details here. If you can’t make it, hopefully you enjoy the video above of Dave Allaire giving a tour of the home. As always, if you have any questions about this or any other Real Log Home, please contact us.

Selecting the Perfect Chandelier Size

As its name implies, the chandelier started out its life as a holder for many candles. The earliest chandeliers were only found in the wealthiest of homes, and were so expensive that they were actually moved from room to room rather than being fixed pieces. Over time, chandeliers became more common and less expensive, and are now to the point where a great deal of homes have them. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect size chandelier for every space in your log home.


Even low-ceiling bedrooms can have a chandelier!

The size of your chandelier is going to depend on the size of the room it is in as well as the function of the room. For an entryway, the usual rule for the diameter of a chandelier is to add the dimensions of the room and divide by 12. In other words, if you add the width and depth of a room together in feet, this is the ideal diameter of your chandelier in inches. For the height, most guides recommend 3 inches per foot of ceiling height, with the chandelier at least 6 ½ feet above the floor. Since this is still a bit cramped for tall people, entryways with tall ceilings are best for chandeliers.

Log home dining room with antler chandelier

Antler chandeliers are popular, but they often very large, so be sure they will not overwhelm the space.

Great rooms and living rooms follow a similar rule for the diameter of a chandelier. In terms of placement, centering the fixture in the room is a good choice. Often, this makes placing the chandelier above the coffee table the ideal location. For height, since great rooms see more traffic than entryways, keeping the chandelier at least 7 feet above the floor is a wise precaution.

The Big River Lodge features Swedish cope logs and rafters.

A high ceiling allows for a multi-tiered chandelier.

A dining room is a natural fit for the chandelier, since the charm and stateliness is most appropriate here. In this case the fixture should be sized to your table. The diameter of the piece should be around half the table’s width, or should at least be one foot narrower than the table. For a rectangular table, you can use a chandelier that is wider along the long axis of the table. The chandelier should be at least 30 inches above the table at its lowest point, so that you and your guests can see each other.

kentucky log home dining room with french doors on to covered porch

Iron chandeliers can be elegant or rustic.

Recently, it has become popular to even have chandeliers in the bathroom. The size can vary, depending on placement. If placed over the tub, then a smaller chandelier may be used than if one is placed in the center of the bathroom. However, a chandelier over a tub should provide at least 8 feet of clearance below, since you need more space to get into and out of the tub. Needless to say, this is only a good idea for a stand-alone tub, and not a tub/shower combination!


A bathroom chandelier is an interesting touch.

We hope this guide has helped you pick out a great chandelier for any space in your home. If you liked any of these homes with chandeliers, or are looking to build a great log home with your preferred chandeliers, please contact Real Log Homes today.

Managing Kitchen Odors

This week’s post was inspired by a little mishap with the blender the other day that led to a small explosion. What began with the wonderful aroma of garlic, onion and and fresh herbs turned into a much more funky odor over the next couple of days when it was discovered that some of the bits had actually fallen into the downdraft kitchen vent (you know, the kind that are flush with the stove, not the ones that rise up).

While we may love spending time in the kitchen, the room rightly has a reputation as being an odoriferous one. While you can create a finely crafted dinner that smells wonderful, the moisture and grease that are byproducts of the cooking process can lead to a mess if not handled properly. This is especially a concern as we move towards the winter and large holiday meals are cooked. Here are a few ways to ensure your kitchen doesn’t accumulate odors over time.

Close Doors to Other Rooms

While cooking, you should always use a range hood to vent odors outside. Another great idea is to close off the doors to other rooms, especially those with a great deal of carpeting or fabric upholstery. Fabric and carpet tend to absorb odors, so by closing off other rooms you lessen the frequency with which you will need to clean them for odors.

Modern log home kitchen

Closing doors helps isolate odors to the kitchen, easing cleanup.

Use a Splatter Shield

Oil is very good at carrying odors, and the walls and backsplash near a stove are notorious for acquiring oil splatter. Use a fine mesh shield over frying pans to prevent oil from splattering out of the pan. It is best to immediately clean the area around a stove after you cook, since it is much easier to clean than if you wait.

Log Home Kitchen with Colorful Cabinets

Range hoods are important, and can come in many colors.

Promptly Remove Food Scraps

Some food scraps, like fish skin, spent cooking oil or garlic, can begin to stink almost immediately after use. Although putting food scraps in the trash can help, the odors may still seep into the kitchen. For these items, taking them out of the house as soon as possible can be important. Although fatty items like meat and seafood products or oils should be thrown away, smelly vegetable matter like onions or garlic can be taken directly to your compost system.


Stinky foods can make great compost for the garden!

Clean the Dishwasher Trap

Modern dishwashers are great devices, which can clean your plates and pans better than a person while using less water. In the course of doing so, however, the trap at the bottom of the machine will collect food debris and begin to smell over time. Clean out the scraps occasionally, and run a “rinse only” load with a bit of vinegar to neutralize the odors if necessary.


Cleaning the dishwasher trap prevents food odors from forming.

Boil Vinegar

Sometimes, even if every surface in the kitchen appears clean there can still be lingering odor. Boiling a small mixture of half vinegar and half water for a short time will help neutralize odors. The vinegar will bind to the aromatic molecules and eliminate their smell. Don’t worry, the odor of the vinegar itself will dissipate in a few hours, leaving a fresh feeling kitchen.

luxury log home kitchen

A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen!

Like most items of household maintenance, a bit of prevention and everyday care can keep a kitchen free of odor without time-consuming major cleaning. Still, this is a great time of year to give the whole kitchen a once over and make sure it’s in top shape before the holidays arrive. If you have a question about any of the wonderful log kitchens featured in this post’s photos, please contact Real Log Homes.

Iron Details in the Log Home

Two weeks ago, we discussed how the metal roof is a great choice for the log home. While metal (usually steel or copper) roofing is a good choice on the outside of the home, the inside of a log home is also a great canvas for metal accents. Usually, cast or wrought iron is the metal of choice on the inside. These metals have a rugged appearance that fits right in with the log home character. Here are a few ways these metals are used around the log home.

log home bedroom with wood stove and spiral staircase

The wood stove and staircase feature iron construction.

Wrought iron has inclusions within it that are very fibrous, which gives the iron a grain resembling that of wood. This helps explain why it is such a popular material choice for balusters in the log home. While wood is also a popular choice, metal balusters can help lend a more modern feel to the home. Wrought iron can also help give a more open feel to a staircase when used as a banister (which is just a specific term for a baluster on a staircase).


Iron balusters create a more open feel.

Wrought iron is also a popular choice for furniture items throughout the log home. Since wrought iron was once a popular building material but now sees little use, most of these items are made with reclaimed or recycled iron. Most fire irons are wrought iron, and it is also a popular material for everything from barstools to pot racks.


Fire tools are traditionally wrought iron.

If you’re going to have a wrought iron pot rack, it only makes sense to use it to hold a cast iron pan or Dutch oven. Despite their antique appearance, cast iron cookware has many advantages over more modern cookware. It retains heat very well, which is great for searing and simmering. It is also non-stick if it is seasoned properly, although some care should be taken with cleaning and you should avoid acidic foods. For a more modern option, consider enameled cast iron cookware, which is easier to clean and works with acidic foods.

log home kitchen with rustic bar stools

Cast iron is great for pot holders.

Since iron is a great material for hot locations, woodstoves and inserts are often made with cast iron as well. Since early chandeliers held candles, fire-proof iron was a popular choice here as well. While a modern chandelier uses electric light, wrought iron is still a popular choice for chandeliers in the log home.


Chandeliers, balusters and wood stoves look great in cast iron.

Do you like the look of iron in the interior of a log home? Whatever materials you like, we would be happy to design and build a log home just for you. Please contact Real Log Homes today to get started.

French Terms Around the Log Home

The home as we know it is a concept that originated in the Netherlands. Despite this, many of the words we use to refer to items around the home are French in origin. This may seem peculiar, since the English language contains approximately the same number of words of French and Germanic (including Dutch) origin. In fact, it is an interesting consequence of English history.


Many home terms are French in origin, even if home designs typically aren’t.

After the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, the Normans removed essentially all of the Anglo-Saxon nobility. Since the new nobles spoke French, words with French origins began to be regarded as more prestigious while the Germanic Anglo-Saxon words were regarded as crude. Since homes in England were typically defined by aristocratic estates, the French names stuck.

log home with architectural shingle roof and two dormers

Porch is a French term, meaning passage or colonnade.

Even before entering the log home, we can see this dominance of French words just by looking at the entry. The log home almost demands a porch, which is of course a word of French origin. It literally means passage, since in many cases a porch can simply be a small area through which one enters the home. It also is very close to the word for colonnade, which many log home porches resemble.


While porch is French, terms like rafter and timber are Germanic.

French terms continue at the front door. While door itself is a Germanic word, many of its components are French. The door sits in a jamb and is surrounded by a casing. It is composed of panels and is decorated with an escutcheon. All of these part names come from the French language.

log home with double front doors in craftsman style

Many door components have French names.

Inside the house, rooms are more likely to have French names if they serve a public function. As we covered before, parlor is a French loan word. It also seems very appropriate given the French passion for food that the dining room and pantry take their names from French as well. At the same time, more private rooms in the home have Germanic origins, such as the bedroom and den. Kitchen is also a Germanic word, since this was not a public area of the home until recently.


The kitchen wasn’t a public room until recently, so it has a Germanic name.

If you look at our name, you’ll find a neat blend of Germanic and French origins. Real is a French word, while Home comes from Dutch or German. Log, however, has an unknown etymology. It first appeared in English in the 14th-century and may not have come from another language. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests log may have been created since the word suggests through its sound “the notion of heaviness.”


The word log suggests a “notion of heaviness”.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the origin of French names in the log home. If you’re looking to build your own log home, please contact Real Log Homes today.