Rustic Modern Retreats: 12 Earthy Hotels, Homes & Barns

Modern design needn’t be relegated to urban areas, and likewise, rustic touches can bring the charm of nature into the most metropolitan of city penthouses. But when the two styles meet, it’s like design alchemy: all of the various elements fuse into a cohesive whole that is warm, contemporary, grounded in nature and steeped with a sense of history.

Vorstadt 14 Hotel, Switzerland

(images via: remodelista)

Contrasting shades of wood against bare concrete and white walls give the top-floor suite – one of just three in the whole hotel – a warm and rustic feel at Vorstadt 14, contained within a 15th-century building in Zug, Switzerland. The bottom two suites, called FACE and BRAIN, are minimalist while this penthouse – SOUL – has a decidedly natural feel. Thick, hefty, weathered wooden beams support the ceiling above a stack of old books and a midcentury modern sofa stands out against a wall of stacked firewood. Lots of daylight makes the suite feel bright and fresh.

Forested Home in Rural Utah

(images via: bcj architects)

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects bring modern design deep into woods and mountains for everything from tiny cabins to large luxurious getaways, including the Farrar Residence in Park City, Utah. Two rectangular wings intersect at a living room with stunning views of the alpine landscape, one wing containing a beautiful indoor pool that terminates in a glass wall and cantilevers over a natural creek.

Connecticut Rustic Modern Cabin on Stilts

(images via: bcj)

Made as a forest retreat for architect Peter Bohlin’s parents, this small summer home in shades of green is camouflaged within the evergreen forest that surrounds it. The home was placed on stilts to accommodate the boulders upon which it is sited. “There is great pleasure in modest means: the shimmering green tapestry of the forest seen through red industrial glazing; the poignancy of an operating sash with its subtle gray insect screen floating in the window wall; the rippling profile of an aluminum corrugated roof,” say the architects.

Tilty Hill Barn, Essex, UK

(images via: remodelista)

Once an 18th-century Dutch barn, this incredible modern home conversion still has all the rustic charm of its Essex farmland location but with all the clean, bright airiness of 21st century design. The original wooden beams provide an irresistible focal point in the wide open interior space, which is largely walled with glass so that occupants can look out the horses in the courtyard.

V-Houses, Mexico

(images via: archdaily)

The eco-friendly platform suites at the Verana Hotel near the fishing village of Yelapa, Mexico rise above the canopy of the surrounding jungle on metal poles extending from tiny concrete platforms. Connected by a wooden walkway and open to the breeze, these 3 steel and plywood V-Houses have a far more modern aesthetic than most jungle digs but maintain a strong connection to their natural surroundings.

Modular Underground Forest Home

(images via: dornob)

An attempt to disturb the ecosystem of the site as little as possible led to an astonishingly creative rural home that is partially underground, seeming to emerge from an adjacent hill. Architects FGMF created a structural grid, filling in some areas for interior spaces and leaving others either completely open or simple platforms for open-air lounging. This grid-based design will make it easy to add on additional rooms or structures in the future.

Harrison Architects Garage

(images via: remodelista)

A green roof, lots of translucent panels and a swinging alternative to a garage door make this workspace in Washington State stand out. Where most garages are purely utilitarian – and often either extremely rustic or industrial in looks – this one by Seattle-based Harrison Architects is almost pretty enough to be a residence. The clear panels let in lots of daylight, recycled newspaper insulation regulates the indoor temperature and the green roof keeps it cool. Inside, a workbench was made from wood reclaimed from an old bowling alley.

Barn-Like Vacation Home, Amagansett, New York

(images via: remodelista)

Salvaged timber infuses a wide-open New York vacation home with a sense of history, giving it a barn-like feel that is nevertheless elegant and modern. Clean, simple lines complement the rawness of the wood and playful contemporary touches like the hanging bed and glass bubble chandelier add interest.

Chicken Point Cabin, Northern Idaho

(images via: olsonkundingarchitects.com)

“The idea for the cabin is that of a lakeside shelter in the woods―a little box with a big window that opens to the surrounding landscape,” says architecture firm Olson Kundig Architects of Chicken Point Cabin in Northern Idaho. The cabin has a massive wall of windows measuring 30 by 20 feet that opens like a garage door, exposing the living space to the wilderness. The chosen materials, including plywood, concrete and steel, were left unfinished to age naturally “and acquire a patina that fits in with the natural setting.”

Minimalist Mountain Home by Studio Granda

(images via: studiogranda)

With an aged and rustic look but a clearly modern design, this home by Studio Granda keeps up with the times while still blending in well with its beautiful natural surroundings. The staggered height of the buildings mimics the undulating hills, while the green roof ties into the lush grass. The interior continues the rustic modern theme with silvery cedar and heavy wood beams contrasted against bare concrete and matte steel.

Dramatic Hilltop House by OSKA


(images via: oska)

Designing a home in an unspoiled setting, architecture firm OSKA wanted an end result that was pleasing to the eye, functional and reflective of the coastal hills in which it is located. Using concrete and steel that will take on a weathered patina over time, OSKA incorporated sweeping angles into this dramatic home that not only make the home more visually engaging, but help keep the house cool in a hot climate.

Lake House by Hutchinson & Maul

(images via: contemporist)

With a shape reminiscent of a beached boat house on stilts, this guest house and retreat on a lake in Washington State had to complement the main house located up the hill, but retain an identity of its own. The unusual shape provides a large deck, a sunny lounging room, a cool shady space and a covered alcove that leads to a changing room. The metal cladding on the exterior was allowed to rust, giving it an earthy feel.

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