Need help with balcony and porch design on ugly cabin!!!
April 25, 2012 in Design Dilemma
In trying to modify a simple 2-story cabin design I have managed to mess up the appearance of the whole thing. I added my "must-haves" - upper balcony, old arch top french doors and a large ornate bathroom window to a simple plan and have worked myself into an ugly house, at this point.
Please, do you have any ideas about how I can incorporate an upper balcony (the little present one will be knocked down), a lower front porch or deck, all while trying to lessen the excess space above the
second floor doors?
My fault.......should have left well enough alone, but now need expert help and ideas. I finally have the money to finish the cabin (after about 8 years of tinkering/stewing over the porch design) and appreciate any help!!!!! Will consider all construction ideas; gable over balcony, asymmetrical/modern or traditional porch design, etc. I originally was going for old mining shack look (weathered boards, rusty tin roof or siding) until I screwed up with french doors that I just HAD to have :(
Property is at 10,000 feet elevation, huge amounts of snow.
I thank you so much for any help.
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Oh, the I want syndrome...I completely understand. I'm going to suggest that all is not lost! I'd suggest for the top half of your cabin to run siding horizontally rather than vertically. Paint out the doors and trim a colour a little more fitting of your natural surroundings (thinking evergreen,black or grey). Do a non fussy deck and balcony...think clean and simple. As for the ornate bathroom window , I'd dull it down by trying to make it look like a leaded glass, rather than a shiny brass/gold (hard to tell) stained glass. Here's an example of a clean and simple rustic cabin.

There is a great book that I'd like to refer to you, it's called The Cabin : inspiration for the classic American getaway by Dale Mulfinger and Susan E. Davis
Hope this helps, good luck!
April 25, 2012 at 10:56AM   
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Interesting ideas, Davis. I have spent the last hour trying to find software for a Mac that will let me draw on and make changes on picture of the cabin. Do you have any suggestions? I like the idea of horizontal siding on the top....... As far as the fancy window, guess I'll try not highlighting the wood trim, window was expensive believe it or not :) and I can't get to the brass cames to dull them because they're between tempered glass panels. Wish I hadn't even bought it!!
Thanks again.......
April 25, 2012 at 12:11PM   
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Personally I like your cabin, all but the window :( But you could replace it with something more suitable.
1.Put in a porch level with the top step or as high as possible to miss the louvered vent.
2. Maybe nice stone steps and walkway
3. Some Red, since this seems to be your color, mine too! Red chairs, table for porch
4. Plant some greenery in front of porch.
5. I like the idea of a green door, but red is fun and this is a cabin.
6. The above balcony, I like, why do you want to replace it?
April 25, 2012 at 12:33PM     
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I want to replace the balcony because it's not well built and doesn't provide a ceiling for a covered deck and entry below (which we need because of all the snow.....) the stairs are temporary, just a way for us to get in the house. I'm tempted to replace the window, but it cost so much!!!! Hate to eat my mistake, I guess, but agree it would be better gone.....I like green, too! Also can't WAIT to landscape but need to get that front porch built first.
Thank you for responding, I like your ideas.
April 25, 2012 at 2:18PM   
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Some of the folks on here use Photo shop 10. I don't know how much it cost or how easy it is to use.

I see your need for something over the entry, but I don't know how the balcony would look being that big.... :(

Wish some of the other posters would check in and give you advise.
April 26, 2012 at 7:28AM   
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HI -- I love your cabin in the woods ! Build a DECK across the front with a balcony above. Do peeled logs for the posts and make them long enough to be part of the support for the balcony above . The width of the BALCONY should go from the top right corner of the square window ( inline with the right edge of the roof gable ) and over to the left corner of the cabin. Now the BALCONY is part of the roof over the front door. Have some wide steps to the front door. The depth can be maybe 6 to 8 ft. Use the log wood for the whole thing to keep it rustic. Then I think the window won't be an issue. I personaly don't think you have made any mistakes because it looks charming. You will have to put somemore lighting for the lower part now. Please keep the doors and don't change the siding or the colors because it looks real good-NOT ugly !. It is very much like some of the vacation cabins in BC Canada
April 26, 2012 at 8:48AM     
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Thank you!! I have been on a road trip for 2 days and haven't seen your post.
I THINK I see what you mean, but oh, how I wish I could see a drawing....don't guess that's too easy on this site. When you say "square window" it the ornate one or the little one up top?
Thanks again for sharing your excitment. It helps!
April 27, 2012 at 5:45PM   
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I believe he is talking about the stain glass window.
April 27, 2012 at 6:43PM   
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I love your cabin!
October 24, 2012 at 12:27PM   
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I posted some ideas on my ideabook titled Cabin Porch and you're weldome to look. I would not extend the porch further to the right than the spot where the roof line changes. That will avoid having to deal with the vent below. Take a break and check out the cabin I manage at
October 24, 2012 at 12:44PM   
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Thank you, Cheries! I am having a ball doing some of the work myself - yup, it's not finished yet!! Thanks again.
October 24, 2012 at 12:45PM   
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You know it looks kinda cute to me. Before you do anything major would you paint the trim on the bathroom window the same dark grey that is around the doors? I think your balcony is great. How about bringing that concept with the red rails AND the caging down to the front door. You need railings. Make the steps more substantial. And the roof line (fascia board?) , also the darker grey? And stones around your foundation!!!!

October 24, 2012 at 1:01PM   
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I love your doors. I think the idea of a balcony across the front from the vent over to above the door. Make the porch underneath as wide, with wide comfortable steps coming up to door will make the house seem as welcoming as the red doors do, and provide covered space for relaxing.
October 24, 2012 at 1:03PM   
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amydutton Home
Congrats on a great cabin! I like the idea of building a front porch with a railing that looks like this:
I think that it should be fun yet classy. I do like the use of color and interest in second homes - it the one chance you have to "step it out a little". I would also suggest expanding the second floor balcony and using a cable rail system. This will allow for views but also provide a roof over the front porch so that you can enjoy the outdoors even if it's raining.
Have fun!
October 24, 2012 at 1:25PM   
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Cynthia Hamil
This cabin is adorable! Far from an "ugly cabin"! I love it! Congratulations!

I'm loving the entire color scheme that is already happening here.

Move in the direction that the horse is already riding.... I would build some type of elevated patio space with an exterior flower box that surrounds the patio. I would continue the red flower theme all across the front of the deck area.

This is a charming cabin-- I would go with that flow!

Why not? It would be simply stunning!

Here's a lake cabin type home with a deck built towards the front of the house. Imagine this surrounded by gorgeous red flowers in a planter box.
October 24, 2012 at 1:50PM   
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Gretchen Maurer
here is our 70's redo...shingles and different colors helped break it up but over all I like yours......I would leave it as is until you get some type of porch put on. We are in NH so I know about snow......also ours is for sale if anyone is interested... 2 patten hill rd hillsborough, NH check it out it is all redone a whole new second floor was put on....sub floor to roof all new....
September 7, 2014 at 12:24PM   
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This is two and a half years old in case anyone is interested. Need to check dates as most threads in the box to the right are very old.
September 7, 2014 at 12:48PM   
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