7 Timber Framing Design Styles

How to Achieve the Look and Expressive Beauty of Hybrid Timber Framing

We make design easy for our clients, but take no shortcuts in planning to achieve a stunning design that will last a lifetime.

As the sworn enemy of ugly, we have created a proprietary design-to-build system with all the tools you need to achieve 100% satisfaction for your hybrid post and beam project. You can gain access to our design specialists by requesting a brainstorming session.

While you may have a pretty good idea about how you want your timbers to look, there are many decisions to be made on our journey together due to the complexities of post and beam design and construction. Our professional design services are available to expedite your ideas for quicker approval.

1. Classic Style

Arched, Graceful, and Rustic with Curved Detailing 

Does the word “CLASSIC” give you conniptions as it does me? Like you, we must “back into” a common descriptive language with each client – both parties honing and adjusting communication of how to speak and interpret the styles, concepts, and ideas. The best definition of Classic I have run across is: A style, a model, or thing which once created becomes an enduring idea remaining popular over time- ageless in a sense.

Because of this, the perception of classic has grown quite broad and is more of a chameleon compared to the other six categories.

What comes to mind for you, in a general sense, when you hear the word Classic? Perhaps proven quality and smooth functionality? Perhaps well-grounded longevity, distinct lines, and tactful? Learn more about this style and how to avoid the pitfalls of this design.

2. Modern Style

Crisp, Clean, and Edgy with a Surprise Twist 

If “modern” were a person, or a client of yours, you would probably notice a restless, curious openness- a desire to try new things.

You would probably see formal, cutting edge attire with a flash of color or some other form of surprise.

“Modern” might be accompanied by a Chihuahua or bull terrier and be very interested in art, civic duty, or fundraising for charity.

If “Modern” had a pet peeve in might be: Apathy or lack of daring. Or perhaps simply clutter?

See Modern Architecture Embodied in Timber Framing

3.  Craftsman Style

Low, Cozy, and Horizontal With Angular Detailing 

Craftsman style- The early American version of feng shui? Or perhaps the antithesis of the Queen Anne Victorian style?

It is interesting to note how Craftsman style is the iconic remains of the American arts and crafts movement which began in the 1890s.

This movement was fueled by frustration of the over decorated aesthetic of the eclectic Victorian style and the desire to emphasize handcrafted work over mass-produced goods.

Learn more about this style and how to avoid the pitfalls of this design.

4. Euro Style

Sophisticated, Curvy, and Elegant with Scroll Detailing

Europe has spawned so many unique styles over the years, achieving “fluency” in architectural speak to describe Euro Style can be a bit like eating an elephant.

But because timbers have such an oversized impact (kind of like an elephant!) on the statement of your projects, we do not have to dissect every conceivable style associated with Europe.

Learn more about this style and how to avoid the pitfalls of this design.

5. Beach/Coastal Style

Driftwood, weather gray, natural textures

If I were forced to describe what I consider the epitome of Beach or Coastal Style you might hear the following adjectives:

Weather gray, compact, low Space volume, sheltered profiles, and effective use of space- such as an open, multi-purpose room with many windows in a view wall, facing the sea.

Circular stairways, sleep cubbies, efficient kitchens, and stowaway Murphy type of beds also come to mind. For our purposes, it is enough to touch on the small things we have noticed regarding the use of exposed beams to influence style for projects located on the Beach or Coast.

Learn more about this style and how to avoid the pitfalls of this design.

Straight, Simple, and Functional with Minimal Detailing

“Ho-hum, predictable, and boring.” Or, “The vanilla of building styles.” This perception is loosely associated with the word, Traditional. But then again, so is safe, reliable, and predictable.

In colloquial terms, Traditional style is perceived as the tried-and-true normal.

Architecturally speaking, Traditional style might include colonial-style, Federal style, George and style, or Prairie and Farm style. From both perspectives, Traditional Style tends to be some form of a boxy two story with different roof, post, and window treatments. So a project with clean simple lines, uniformed (often mirrored) design touches, with an old, familiar feel, might be good candidates for the “Traditional” style label.

Heavy, Rugged, and Stout with a Fortress Theme, Weathered boards, rusted metal

Rustic style is a very broad term that includes Lodge or Mountain style, Chalet, Log, A-frame, Organic/natural, and Western styles. Whether it is tall or wide, big or small, visitors are left with the impression that it is a log cabin. Many people tire of the extremely rustic décor, leaving them without the long-term satisfaction they envisioned. Important considerations for Rustic Style is to figure out how much Rustic makes sense in and urban or semi urban setting, considering the neighboring properties, resale value, and any covenant criteria. Learn more about this style and how to avoid the pitfalls of this design.

The feedback we have received from clients is that the models we produced and options we presented were invaluable to the process. The only real “aha” that our clients report is that their actual timber home always looks better when it’s finished than the model ever does.

What is Your Design Style Really?

Modern? Rustic? Something Else?...

Get the design style of your home wrong and you'll create aesthetic headaches to work around. Get the RIGHT look and things come easy.

“We were very fortunate to run into Bert back in 2010. We talked about our dream of owning a home in the country with timber elements to it. I’ve come to realize we’ve hit the sweet spot with the layout of the timbers. Everyone remarks when they come in about how good they feel in their presence. It feels like home to us and it was put together with great love and care. We’re very happy that Arrow Timber framing has done their good work in our home”.


“We were happy to have gotten to know Bert better throughout the process and we were left feeling like we had made a new friend. We look forward to many years of enjoyment from Arrow Timber Framing’s craftsmanship. We would highly recommend Arrow for any project you may be considering.”

Doug and Juliana Pearson

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