Luxury Living in the Wild: 5 Secluded Paradises in America

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By Katie la Kapro / Published by Katie la Kapro
These five architects show us how to get away from it all in style.

We all want to get away from it all once in awhile. Some architects, as we’ve seen on Dwell, know how to design a home that can help you get escape from the stressors of modern life. 

If you want to live in a home that will allow you to forge an intimate relationship with nature — or if you simply value a high level of privacy — the dwellings in this list will likely spark your interest: 

Beetlebung at Treecloud Creek - San Francisco Bay, California

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The San Francisco Bay Area is adored for its scenic views, including lush hillsides, meadows, and forests. Twenty miles north of the population center of San Fran lies the Beetlebung at Treecloud Creek, a beautiful and secluded 21-acre retreat. The nuanced design of the home takes full advantage of the natural beauty of the area. As the homeowner states, "The whole hillside is your living room."

The home was remodeled with the assistance of a Zen Buddhist teacher by the name of Paul Discoe, and the spiritual influence is apparent. The building feels like a natural extension of the surrounding area. Nearby wildlife can be frequently sighted, and thousands of stars light the sky every night. 

Rimrock - Spokane, Washington 

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Rimrock was truly designed to be an organic part of the wilderness. The name of the home refers to the area it was built on: it is situated at the edge of a cliff, like a bridge over the seam in the ground below. The home is outfitted with massive, full-height windows. Not only do these maximize the view of the north Spokane landscape below, the natural sunlight makes the home feel pleasantly spacious. The path below the home even allows animals to migrate unimpeded.

As people who live in Washington know, the state can encounter some extreme weather conditions. Fortunately, Rimrock has more private areas in the lower level of the home. Furthermore, it was constructed with hardiness in mind; durable steel frames ensure that it will withstand the harsh weather. 

Desert Wash - Paradise Valley, Arizona

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Situated in Arizona, Desert Wash is an expansive prototypically modern home with four bedrooms and baths. While most architects would view the desolate desert landscape as a huge obstacle, the architects at Kendle Design Collaborative welcomed it as a challenge — and they accomplished their goals with flying colors. 

Like Rimrock, this home takes advantage of large windows with impressive views of the local scenery. The uniform black and white furnishings starkly contrast with the beige surroundings, but the large, beautiful porch gives inhabitants plenty of reason to enjoy the outdoors. If you want to enjoy the unique beauty of Paradise Valley in style, Desert Wash is the perfect example of how it’s done.

Candlewood Cabins - Ocooch Mountains, Wisconsin 

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Taking a refreshing vacation in a secluded cabin is a classic method of unwinding, and Candlewood Cabins takes this experience to a new level. Named the Hillside Cabin, the Log Cabin, the Glass House, and the Meadow House, these abodes in the Ocooch Mountains give an unparalleled view of the area. Living in one of these cabins for a few days can be an intensely private and romantic experience. 

If you’re tempted by these lodgings, prepare to practice some patience; you need to book one of the cabins well over a year in advance, due to their popularity. These four glass cabins give visitors the opportunity to forget the commotion of daily life and reconnect with nature — just don’t forget to set up voicemail before you unplug! 

Modern Marsh House - Charleston, South Carolina

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The Modern Marsh Houses rests in a nature preserve in the marshland near Charleston. In stark opposition to the colonial architecture of the area, this home has a contemporary design with a minimalist aesthetic that respects the wild flora and fauna around it. Indeed, the building only consists of 2,900-square-foot structure with a single bedroom. Nevertheless, once you view the beauty of the area and step inside, you’ll understand why this home earns the label of a "paradise." 

Living in this home is certainly a transformative experience. Despite the radical design, the materials used to construct the home are old traditional materials from the area: aged fieldstone, cedar wood, and copper. The process of reshaping well-worn materials into something new and exciting truly exemplifies the direction of the South today.

House in the Woods - Buffalo, New York 

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With what is perhaps the most unusual design in this list, this home is simply named "House in the Woods." It is secluded in the woods next to the Buffalo River, and it is a novel sight to behold. A minimalist, Japanese-inspired aesthetic runs throughout the house, while red, white, and black accents unify each room. To top it off, the home has it’s own sauna. 

The design of the home greatly accentuates the beauty of the area surrounding it. The master bedroom area connects to a washroom known as "the Cube" that seems to stand separate from the building via a hallway enclosed in glass. It is a truly unique home. 

It’s hard not to admire how these homes not only showcase, but enrich the beauty of the natural landscape surrounding them. If these homes have you aching for a chance to break away from the daily grind, consider how aspects of their designs can impact your own lodgings. Perhaps they can guide your future decisions when it comes to choosing, remodeling, or designing your next home.