Top 10 Black Gable Homes of 2020

A dramatic take on an archetypal shape, these pitch-roofed residences cut a striking figure.

With jet-black exteriors and gable roofs, these modern dwellings make a bold statement in their often bucolic locales. These reader favorites are exquisite examples of a trend that shows no signs of abating.

10. A Dramatic Hallway Forms the Spine of This Shou Sugi Ban Retreat in Mexico

A simple floor plan emphasizes the rugged materiality of this elongated, cabin-style home in Valle de Bravo.

Japanese-style burnt wood, Canadian dark wood, and concrete accentuate simplicity while simultaneously adding depth.

The modern dwelling incorporates its woodsy-yet-urban surrounds through copious glazing. 

Pared-back yet striking, the interior mixes what Juul Sørensen describes as "a typical Nordic palette" with an aura of inviting warmth. Oak abounds in the house—it was used on the floors, the walls, and the sculptural staircase that leads up to the three bedrooms. In the kitchen, concrete floors and countertops are a cool contrast to views of the tranquil back garden.

It was a lifelong dream for couple Merriss Waters and Andrew Fleming to live in a cabin nestled into a forest on an island, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. They recently brought this dream to life at Saltwater Farm, a boutique retreat designed by Jason Grauten, Philip Auchettl, and David Loewenstein of RAD LAB on the shores of Washington’s San Juan Island.

The main house is divided into two parts. The downstairs common space, for use by both the owners and guests, blends an open kitchen/dining/living area with an expansive outdoor deck. The glazed, bi-fold doors offer carefully framed views of the shoreline and distant mountains.

Australian architect Roger Nelson spent almost a decade designing a home for his family in Lorne before teaming up with DREAMER to reimagine his vision as a rural retreat. 

The kitchen is located in a bespoke timber joinery unit that divides the "living shed." The timber has been stained black to contrast with the surrounding timber cladding, and brass counters and backsplashes echo the use of brass details throughout the interior. "Brass was a very special material—used sparingly—that has come to be a hallmark of the project," says architect Ben Shields.

Surrounded by stately oak and eucalyptus trees and exhilarating Santa Ynez Mountain views, a couple living in the stylish enclave of Montecito in Santa Barbara County were understandably enamored with the location.

Inside the main house, dropped ceilings were eradicated, leaving the wooden ceiling structure exposed to lend a sense of openness, an impression that is reinforced through the overall revision of the floor plan. 

It’s a sensation of letting go, and entering into a new frame of mind—at least for a little while. And it’s exactly what homeowners Aaron and Orlee (and their kids) wanted to amplify in their own vacation retreat, the Ell House.

The exterior is clad in burnt cedar, and the carbon-colored building pops against the sun-washed grass and blue sky. But inside this black box, it’s pure light. "The idea was to have the whole place as outward looking as possible," says Handa.

Desai Chia Architecture draws upon rural architecture to create an austere retreat that frames spectacular vistas.

The home’s programs are neatly arranged beneath the precisely shaped roof. The openings are cleanly defined to frame views like Japanese paintings, and the internal spaces are fluid to cater to easy living and minimize blockage of the scenery as much as possible.

Even as the square footage of this cottage in Fayston, Vermont, shrank in response to budget constraints, architect Elizabeth Herrmann remained focused on making the space feel warm and functional for a family of four and their dog and cat. "I think the trick to making small spaces feel much larger is to design the experience of being there," attests Herrmann.

To increase the visual space, Herrmann took advantage of the bucolic, hillside setting, and made it a vital part of the interior experience. Every room features at least one large window, each showcasing a different view of the ever-changing landscape: mountains from the living room, woods from the kitchen, and wooded hillsides from the rooms upstairs.

Located on a 13-acre property filled with meadows and wetlands, this home was once a lackluster complex of three midcentury structures—until vonDalwig Architecture unified them with a carefully considered renovation.

One of the firm’s main goals for the project was to introduce better flow between the individual buildings, and to connect the exteriors with the interiors. "Our approach was to allow the parts—the buildings, the landscape, and the pool—to unfold and connect to the whole, both inside and out," shares von Dalwig.

Handcrafted details, energy-efficient principles, and a thoroughly contemporary interior combine at the Friends Lab, a barn-inspired home designed by Madrid-based AMPS Arquitectura & Diseño. The clients are a young family who wanted a house they could share with friends and family on their farm in southern England.

In contrast to the black timber exterior, the interior is bright and full of light-toned materials including limestone and lime-based mineral micromortar (Mortex) floors, warm timber surfaces, and colorful tiles and furnishings.


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