A second home can offer rest and retreat in a space that’s all your own—and it doesn’t have to be an elaborate production. Here are five modest vacation homes throughout the country that prove you can do a lot with a little.
This refined single-family residence maximizes views to the lake with large expanses of glass and modern, undistracting details. The peaceful view is prioritized in all main living spaces, maintaining a deep connection to the landscape as the resident moves through the house. Large decks extend these spaces outdoors at all three floors. The floor plan of the house is modest and uncomplicated. Everything about its design communicates respite and connection to nature.
Currently under construction, this minimalist Norwegian-modern ski cabin is a light and airy retreat from the clutter and hustle of daily routine. The material palette is kept intentionally simple, and the design focuses on spaces that feel expansive yet warm. The house is situated amongst rows of pine trees and was sited to minimize impact to the landscape. Where removing pine trees was unavoidable, the wood was salvaged for reuse in the design of the house. Large windows on opposing sides of the double-height great room create a feeling of being right in the middle of the forest, and wide decks to either side make the transition to the outdoors seamless. This house is a calm retreat that provides space for undistracted togetherness.
Stripped down to only essential spaces, this cozy guesthouse is everything you need and nothing you don’t. Two bedrooms, a sleeping loft, and a kitchen are connected by a generous covered porch that spans the length of the house. The design takes advantage of local building materials and methods of construction. Concrete floors and deep roof lines keep the space cool during hot summer months, and the limestone used throughout was sourced from a local quarry. This house encourages outdoor living and provides a comfortable place to rest.
At only 900 square feet, this 2-bedroom home is bright, open, and comfortable. The no-frills design style is reminiscent of Jackson’s historical agrarian aesthetic. The house features a double-height living space with a vaulted ceiling, an efficient kitchen, and a lofted bedroom. Simple design decisions go a long way in making the most of this modest floor plan. High ceilings, bright walls, and well-placed windows create a space that is expansive and peaceful. This house’s small footprint also leaves plenty of space for a generous yard.
This cabin is an ideal home-base for a getaway to mountain views and fresh Colorado air. Every room steps out onto a wraparound porch that’s protected from sun or snow by deep roof overhangs. Wood walls and ceilings create a sense of warmth inside. The large great room is the heart and soul of this home, balanced by modest bedrooms and an office. The kitchen is incorporated into the open great room floor plan, maximizing togetherness and wasting no space. This cabin is the perfect backdrop for making family memories.