Dreaming Of: A House in the Woods
Designs for Living Among Trees — in a Real Forest or Where You Live Now
My husband and I live in a 1950 ranch-style home a few miles west of Madison, Wisconsin. When I'm not working, I like to do projects around my house, get out in my solo canoe or go camping, read design and psychology blogs and work on mixed media art.
My husband and I live in a 1950 ranch-style home a few miles west of Madison,... More »
As I make my journey to and from work each day, I find myself gazing across acres of windswept fields and golden prairies. Just past these flats are the rolling hills and bluffs of Wisconsin's beautiful driftless area. I can't help but to dream of the charming homes buried deep within the bluffs, surrounded by nothing but trees and wildlife. Soon, this alluring daydream got me thinking about my own dream house. Most of us have our own vision of this sort of thing. Some dreams involve a lake, others take place in the city, and most have ample sunlight ... but mine? Mine seems to drift into the woods.
Let's get things started with the inspiration behind this ideabook, shall we? I saw this gorgeous home a couple months ago and I'm pretty sure I drooled a little. Oh, is that too much info? Sorry. I can't get over the pleasing rugged style and the contrast of colors against the forest behind. It fits in perfectly with its surroundings, and I'm really digging the slightly modern vibe.
A house with strong, clean lines can easily run the risk of looking stark and cold, but not when it's softened by a serene backdrop of lush greenery. It's really a nice balance, and I'm sure the view from the deck would be nothing short of spectacular.
This concrete path wraps itself around the yard and trees like open arms. The angled layout of the home would provide various views from within, allowing this lucky homeowner to have a different perspective from each part of the house.
Another beautiful modern home, this time surrounded by majestic pines that practically touch the sky. Heck, even the house practically touches the sky. Here is another great example of how a boxy home can feel just right when it's surrounded by trees.
A house in the woods and a lakefront, too? This may very well take that dream list of yours to the next level. I often wonder where homeowners like this go on vacation. Do they prefer to stay in the woods or do they venture off to enjoy a faster pace?
The privacy offered by a densely wooded lot is unmatched by a yard in the city or even the suburbs. How nice would it be to open the windows and hear nothing but singing birds and rippling leaves? I could get used to that.
One of the best things about living under hundreds of trees would be relaxing outside. This photo looks like it came straight from an enchanting fairy tale. Don't even get me started on the beauty of that greenhouse.
So I'm showing you all these photos of houses surrounded by gigantic trees and I'm sure that some of you are sulking in the fact that a house in the woods is simply not going to happen. Have you thought about adding some potted trees to your patio or deck? You can easily mimic the feeling of a forest just by adding a few ornamental trees and shrubs to your deck. Top it off with a shady pergola and you're set.
While we're on the topic that most of these homes are simply pipe dreams for many, this house actually feels obtainable to me. It's not as design-driven as many of the other homes featured in this ideabook, although it would be fun to make it that way over the years. Painting the trim orange would provide a great contrast to all the greens and browns. Something to consider in the woods: Would you rather blend in or stand out?
This tiny cabin is pure bliss. Imagine having something this cute a few hours from home. Close enough for a weekend getaway but far enough to feel like vacation. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but property is dirt cheap in parts of the U.S.'s Northern Midwest. I wonder how much something like this would cost to build? It could very well be the answer to dream-house lust.
How lovely would it be to come home to this modern style beauty after a long snowshoe excursion? I know that in many parts of the country we just got rid of snow and I shouldn't even mention it, but I can't dismiss the thought of hot chocolate by the fire after looking at this dreamy house.
So, perhaps it's the merging of the design freak and outdoor enthusiast in me, but by now I'm dead set on the idea that contemporary and modern houses look 10 times better in the woods. Actually, it's more of a fact than idea at this point. I can't get over how well the two elements go hand in hand.
If you are planning on living in your current house for awhile but long for a wooded yard, you might as well start planting some trees. I'm sure you've heard the saying: first they creep, then they sleep and then they leap. It's true. If you can wait 6 or 7 years and plant a few each summer, you'll have tall trees before you know it. If you plan on going this route, be sure to do your research, as some trees are prone to various issues and can be quite expensive in the long run. I've found this website to be helpful.
Tell us: What would your dream home in the woods be like?
More: Home Design: Contemporary Country Living
Ideabook published on May 30, 2011.
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