written by:
August 12, 2013
Vacation homes shouldn't be a pain—they should be low-maintenance places for respite. Here's how ten lakeside and beachfront retreats use the most low-maintenance of materials: wood.

Clad slanted walls and ceilings with wooden beams.

Katja and Adam Thom’s cabin, on an exposed postglacial archipelago in Canada’s windswept Georgian Bay, is more than eight miles from the nearest road.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in On the Rock
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Make it float!

On the edge of a tiny island on Lake Huron, accessible only by boat, this buoyant summer home lives the life aquatic.

2 / 10
small space trailer malibu kitchen

Build open shelving.

Los Angeles firm Commune Design remade what was formerly the "dinkiest, cheapest, grossest" trailer at the Paradise Cove Mobile Home Park in Malibu with some ingenuity and bright colors. The custom open shelving was inexpensive to fabricate and holds all the home's kitchen tools with unfussy aplomb.

 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Modern Beachside Trailer Home in Malibu
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Girl by a sliding panel door with matte marine hardware

Use plywood for doors and walls.

Architect Page Goolrick preserved the humble roots and mellow vibe of this 1960s Long Island beach bungalow with touches like this sliding panel door with matte marine hardware that will age gracefully in the salty air.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Long Island Found
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The exterior is clad in 100-year-old cypress meticulously crafted for the home by former shipbuilder George Velmachos of Wright and Company. Courtesy <a href="http://architectsandartisans.com/">Architects and Artisans</a>.

Incorporate a brise-soleil to simultaneously shield the sun and let it shine in.

New York architecture firm Tamarkin Co. used 100-year-old cypress salvaged from the swamps and rivers of Georgia and Florida for the skin and structure of this Shelter Island beach house. A former shipbuilder crafted its 36-foot-long beams.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Shelter Island Retreat
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Wooden guest cabin rooms with ladder

Treat it like a treehouse.

On this lakeside plot outside Toronto, four friends forge a new kind of vacation house. The complex is designed to promote an easy flow between the two families' spaces, which include guest cabins and a shared porch for hanging out and eating.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Four Friends Joined Forces to Realize This Idyllic Forest Retreat Outside Toronto
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Pine clad dining room with built-in furniture

Deck out interiors like a boat. 

On an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, a green getaway is chock-full of nautical details and space-saving storage solutions like this built-in breakfast nook.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Tiny Cabin is This Writer's Off the Grid Getaway
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flood proof house exterior

Tranform an outdated facade. 

On a sandy cul-de-sac in Stinson Beach, California, architects Matthew Peek and Renata Ancona built an elevated modern structure beside a modest 1940s bungalow.

Originally appeared in A Look at Waterfront Homes
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Pair it with glass.

Wood cladding on an exterior brings the very concept of a vacation home back down to earth. When paired with glass, like in this lagoon-side abode in Northern California, a facade can be both cozy and open to its natural surroundings.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Green Lagoon
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Inside the cedar-framed pool house are a 40-foot-long lap pool and a hot tub. Should that feel too limiting or too tame, the Atlantic Ocean is only a short 200-yard stroll away.<br /><br /><strong>Project:</strong> Morgan Pool House
<strong>Architect:</st

Build a separate house for your pool. 

Inside this cedar-framed pool house in New Jersey are a 40-foot-long lap pool and a hot tub. Should that feel too limiting or too tame, the Atlantic Ocean is only a short 200-yard stroll away.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Pool Houses: From Laps to Naps
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the thom cabin dining room

Clad slanted walls and ceilings with wooden beams.

Katja and Adam Thom’s cabin, on an exposed postglacial archipelago in Canada’s windswept Georgian Bay, is more than eight miles from the nearest road.

Photo by Mark Giglio.

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