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The Lifestyle Home: Timber Home Design

We asked two timber-home design teams to create two different timber frame house plans to match lifestyle requests from consumers.

Every potential homeowner has what we affectionately call the perfect-home vision. That is, his or her ideal for how a timber home should look. It's wonderful to have this blueprint in your mind, but we also recommend coupling it with your family's lifestyle. In other words, if you rarely entertain, don't build a kitchen worthy of a budding chef and 30 guests. If you don't have great views, spend money on finishing materials instead of blowing it on mammoth floor-to-ceiling windows. And if your children are grown and out of the house, don't build a timber home worthy of accommodating the Brady Bunch. Instead, design a timber home that will suit your world today — and in 20 years.

To show you how a timber frame house's plan can reflect a lifestyle, we took two common themes — the great outdoors and smaller, scaled-back living — and asked the folks at Blue Ox Timber Frames and New Energy Works Timberframers to create timber frame house plans to showcase how a solid layout can complement the way you live. Our editorial team assigned a theme to each company, gave them a week to customize a timber frame house plan and welcomed each designer with a standing O when the plans rolled in. We think you'll be inspired by what you see, knowing that any timber framing company's design team can modify existing plans and create something that fits your lifestyle perfectly.

Timber Frame House Exterior Bitterroot Timber Frame House Plan: Bitterroot

The Bitterroot

COMPANY: Blue Ox Timber Frames

LIFESTYLE THEME WE REQUESTED: Outdoor-living enthusiast, take advantage of stellar views (lake, mountain), adherence to natural aesthetic


ROOMS: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

WHY WE LOVE IT: Far too many timber homes built "away from it all" feel like they belong in the suburbs. Not here. The ingenious plan matches the excitement of the great outdoors with a superb 4-season room, outstanding site lines from nearly every angle and one of the best mudrooms we've come across (notice the lockers and enormous closet). This is a timber house that begs for a crowd, offering a mix of elegance (great room and dining area) and rugged comfort.

Timber Frame House Plans: Vermont Street Project Timber Frame House Plans: Vermont Street Project

Vermont Street Project

COMPANY: New Energy Works Timberframers

LIFESTYLE THEME WE REQUESTED: Empty nest, scaled-back needs on space, desire for energy-efficiency


ROOMS: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths

WHY WE LOVE IT: Talk about smart timber framing design. For anyone looking to downsize, this timber house has the feel of something much larger without the giant carbon footprint. The L-shaped kitchen is smart, but what's even smarter is the generous-sized pantry and mudroom. The porch and terrace areas aren't overkill, and the first-floor master bedroom feels like a hidden suite — and it'll save your legs from incessant stair climbing.

Editor's Picks

All products featured are carefully reviewed and selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

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