So exactly what is a hybrid home? A hybrid home is designed and built from a pleasing combination various materials--for example, reclaimed wood, natural stone or exotic hardwoods. These mixed materials give each hybrid home its own unique character.
The key to doing justice to all the elements in a hybrid home is using accent materials in all the right places — and knowing when to stop. The more public a space is, the more you’ll want to show it off. So, for example, in the great room, you might want to opt for timber frame construction exposed to the interior or elaborate ceiling truss work that creates a lot of visual attention. And, to some extent, master suites are getting more attention. Their ceilings are the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.
Kitchens are prime spots for traditional construction, giving you flat walls that can easily support cabinets and appliances. But by beefing up your conventional construction to support a little extra weight, you can add decorative woodwork on the ceiling, or graft on reclaimed wood beams or trim, giving the kitchen more architectural interest and warmth, and a sense of history, too.
Designers recommend that you keep construction conventional in kids’ rooms or other areas that might see rough treatment, though. “Rooms that are located on an upper floor are more likely to have a flat ceiling, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for timber frame elements,” notes Loveland. “Kids may do things like draw on walls and add a few dings here and there. It’s probably better to just use drywall for your children’s bedroom walls, because it’s easier to repair than, for instance, wainscoting made from an exotic or hard-to-harvest wood.”
Outdoor rooms, however, are a good place to put aside conventional construction and let the natural elements of your hybrid take over. Log trellis add-ons are popular options for outdoor rooms, or using decorative veneers like barn board on the walls inside and out to help transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.
As insurance, make sure you find a design professional who really understands the products with which the house is going to be built, and who can act as a good resource for finding particularly interesting materials. “You can build a new dream home with all the amenities, and have it look like it’s been there forever. The trick is making all the components work to give you that look,” Loveland explains. “What a quality hybrid home does well is give you the conveniences of conventional construction, but with natural elements that make your dream home look like it really belongs.”