Dwell's Favorite Home Design Ideas and Photos

Rustic, Scandinavian-style The Hut, in Ohio, is a true family affair; the sustainable cabin, covered in cedar shingles, was built by architect Greg Dutton and his brother and father. Inside, views are amplified through a 25-foot wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.
In Chile's Chiloé Archipelago, architect Guillermo Acuña developed a 12-acre island for his friends and family to unwind, first with a boathouse, later with pathway-connected cabins at the water's edge. Design details include glazed walls, eco-friendly pine, and a bright red palette that calls to mind the intensely colored chilco flowers that bloom here come spring and summer.
Beach, hills, and flatlands vibes all swirl together in architect Clive Wilkinson's Los Angeles home, where guests are greeted with a laser-cut metal stair railing. Situated on a steeply sloping site, the distinctive structure lends itself to a living attic, pool deck, and garden terrace, mixing elements like low-slung Italian furniture and oak flooring. Bright green makes a splash in the kitchen, which is tucked underneath Douglas fir rafters.
Sri Lankan architect Palinda Kannangara's home and studio outside of Columbo nods to brutalism, with sustainable double-layered concrete and perforated brick walls. The rooftop is the greenest element, strewn with an herb garden and biological pond that regulates storm water. Hovering within the main volume is the living area, buoyed by jungle views, as dramatic a sight as the double-height office.
A stainless steel chimney painted red pierces through this two-story chestnut-clad holiday pad facing the sea, the handiwork of ECE Architecture's Nick Evans. Built into a sandstone hill in East Sussex, England, the highlights include the kitchen—Evans's wife is a chef—a room enlivened by a shiny 16-foot steel countertop and cabinetry in custom hues of green. For a breezy beach feel, reclaimed roof beams, sawed and painted white, were converted into floorboards.
A single Japanese red pine tree provided the impetus to build this spartan, three-story dwelling and office designed by architect Go Fujita of Gosize in Nishinomiya, known as a prime site for Japanese cherry blossom sightings. Fashioned almost entirely of concrete, it has high ceilings and full walls that make way for select materials including tin, oak, and silver foil.
In this kitchen, three globe pendants with brass details and burgundy cords match the hood tube hanging above the kitchen island.
Hatchet Design Build took a contemporary approach with this kitchen while still drawing from the a traditional palette. The grain-matched walnut cabinets echo the walnut pocket doors elsewhere.
The owners of this updated Tudor-style abode in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock, Amanda and William Hunter, are the design duo behind the William Hunter Collective, which rehabs homes. Handmade tile, soapstone counters, walnut wood, and steel make up the artfully styled kitchen.
This kitchen is outfitted with concrete counters and floors and off-grid-friendly low-energy appliances. The ceiling is paneled in reclaimed barn wood.
After: Pink-toned terrazzo tile counters and a backsplash and olive green-painted cabinetry enlivens the kitchen, where the designers created open shelving using leftover plywood from the mezzanine ceiling panels.
This remodeled kitchen features Silestone countertops and backsplashes paired wood cabinetry with laminates.
The entire kitchen wall by Lignum Cabinets is made from laminates and features functional peg board-like shelving above the sink, allowing it to be customized to the homeowner's needs.
White laminate cabinets are the perfect solution to keep costs down for the small, open kitchen in this Madrid apartment.
This eye-catching villa in the Netherlands, designed by Next Architects, proves that you can go big and go home as well. While some homes feature hints of color, the Villa van Vijven structure garners well-deserved attention thanks to its warm orange facade that is meant to mimic the tiled rooftops of Holland’s country buildings. The orange of the exterior also carries over into the communal entrance beneath the building, offset by natural elements such as stones adjacent to the entryway.
In this renovated midcentury in Seattle, the living room’s fireplace has been powder-coated orange to complement the vintage furnishings, including a test bomb discovered at an antiques mall.
In February of 2007, two San Francisco art and travel addicts purchased a 3,200-square-foot former Chinese laundry and tooth-powder factory with column-free interiors and a zigzagging sawtooth roof in lower Pacific Heights. They customized a pair of shipping containers to accommodate their collection and reflect their passions, and hired a local company to sandblast the interior to expose the board-formed concrete walls and replace the carpeted floors with Georgia hickory pecan planks to further lengthen the loft and make it look more like a warehouse.
The playful aesthetics of Austin Maynard Architects have once again breathed new life into aging building stock—this time with the transformation of a dark and narrow terrace in Melbourne into an open and light-filled home fitted out with sustainable features. Upstairs, the "parents’ retreat" includes a centrally located bathroom "box," seen on the left of the image. The bright orange walkway is perforated to let natural light pass through.
In this custom-built London guesthouse kitchen designed by Studiomama, lustrous vertically clad cabinetry achieves additional depth with the addition of the chairs, which were picked up for $15 each at a local market and powder coated in bright orange.
Homeowner Simon Doonan stands next to the front door. "We have flamboyance, and we’re not inhibited about anything. [Architect] Gray Organschi gave [the house] that intellectual rigor needed to make it beautiful. We were well matched."
At 74 square meters (797 square feet), this variation of the Vinkelhuset line by Danish modular cabin designer Møn Huset is L-shaped in plan and hits all the right notes, boasting clean lines, a practical gabled roof, and simple, attractive detailing on the interior.
The Plus House—named for the perpendicular trajectories of light and air that pass through on the top and bottom floors—is one in a series of architect-designed homes commissioned by Arkitekthus, a development company founded five years ago with a pledge to improve the quality of prefab architecture. The spruce panels that coat the second-floor exterior will fade in tandem with the zinc-coated steel that rims the glazed windows and doors. "They will go gray like we do," says architect Claesson Koivisto Rune.
"How would a kid draw a house?" architect Per Franson asked himself when designing the Olivero-Reinius family home. The simple prefab structure’s unusual color comes from a traditional source: falu rödfärg, the historic mineral paint that gives the region’s famous barns their red color.
For this kitchen, the architects paired slate-gray HPL (high-pressure laminate) cabinets by Henrybuilt, cool Basaltina countertops, with custom shelving and a white Corian backsplash.
The design of this Australian houseboat features a soft, modern color palette. Here, light sage laminate kitchen cabinets are paired with leather recessed pulls.
If you’re traveling to Puglia in Italy, one of the most iconic sights are trulli (trullo is the singular), an ancient hut that's specific to the Itria Valley in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Made with dry stone, trulli date back to medieval times.
Resting along the crest of a volcanic crater on the little-known island of Nisyros in the Aegean Sea, Villa Nemésis marries the mystique of ancient Greece with modern design.
City House by SMS Arquitectos features a second-floor townhouse extension that explores new possibilities with plywood.
"The placement of the stacked boxes and the space between them has been treated in a sculptural way—always considering the functional needs of habitability and the beauty of the house," explains Estudio Caballero Colón.
Rug designer Nani Marquina and photographer Albert Font created their home in a peaceful corner of the Spanish island of Ibiza. In their living room is a pair of kilim-covered chairs by Philippe Xerri, a chest of drawers by Piet Hein Eek, and a handmade Tunisian rug that provides bursts of color amidst the overall color scheme of white, ecru, and cream.
The bathrooms are reminiscent of a luxe spa with sleek fixtures and soothing amenities like a soaking tub.
New Exterior connection via Kitchen
Wishbone chairs by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn surround a custom dining table, which is made out of a leftover piece of scaffolding from construction. The lighting is custom by Heather Dahl.
When designer Hilton Carter furnished the industrial-style Baltimore apartment and work studio he shares with his wife Fiona, their dog Charlie and two cats Zoe and Isabella, he created a wondrous indoor woodland that offers all the benefits of being outdoors without leaving home.
The challenge of renovating an iconic midcentury house is surely a daunting one for any architect, but apply this formula to a Richard Neutra house, and the responsibility rises exponentially. This was the situation for Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Los Angeles–based Nonzero Architecture, who inherited the task of taking on significant updates to an already-altered Neutra—the 1949 Freedman House in Pacific Palisades, California.
An artist and an architect built their home, studios, and an exhibition space inside a lushly landscaped Antwerp warehouse.
Architect Javier Senosiain created this remarkable home on a hilly site near Mexico City. “The green dune wraps itself around the inside spaces almost completely, rendering it almost invisible. From the outside, all one sees are grass, bushes, trees, and flowers,” he says.
Infused with traditional materials and aesthetics, this open-plan home in Japan strengthens the bond a young family has to nature and to each other.
The master bedroom has access to the netted play nook through a whimsical door that punches through the upper part of a wall. A repurposed street lamp from Copenhagen is suspended from the ceiling.
In the backyard, there is a laneway structure that is partially clad in the same shingles as the main house. Brian and Karen rent the outbuilding to a tenant. Measured collaborated with Aloe Designs on the landscaping.
Karen and Brian’s home is a vibrant new addition to a block of midcentury bungalows in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the volumes is clad in untreated tongue-and-groove Western red cedar. The other is covered in multicolored cedar shakes, which are skewed at an angle that aligns with the slope of the roof. Architect Clinton Cuddington of Measured Architecture worked with the owners to fine-tune the unconventional pattern and color palette. Concrete from the building that formerly occupied the site was repurposed for the stoop.
See Arch removed a wall to create a more spacious kitchen with a stronger visual connection to the dining area. The updated kitchen is outfitted with quartz countertops and Viking, Fisher Paykel, and Asko appliances.
The Stewart-Schafer team hand-selected each slab of Calacatta Vagli marble to be book-matched. "We love the beautiful natural veining and imperfections of marble against the clean lines of the kitchen design," noted Stucker.  To protect the marble, they used a trade secret sealing product that comes with a lifetime guarantee, which, according to Stucker "helps alleviate the hesitations some clients have with marble."
The black roof and siding is all galvanized sheet metal painted black.
Inspired by a haystack, Chalet Jelovac was designed to have a “good visual, spiritual, and physical connection” with its natural surroundings.
The firm enlarged the opening to the courtyard to create better flow between inside and out.
Vibrant red siding references the original buildings on the site.
A glassed-in walkway connects the open-plan living areas to a separate bedroom wing.
The architecture follows the natural contours of the wedge-shaped site: the building is placed on higher ground on the site’s wider east end, while exterior decking steps down to the pool to the west.
Niko Architect and landscape firm Ecopochva designed a Moscow home that doesn’t play by the rectilinear rules of conventional architecture. Vegetation blankets the home’s concrete form, and its walls sweep upward and outward to become roofs. Molded floor-to-ceiling windows curve to grant panoramic views of the backyard and swimming pool.
A young Vancouver family asked Falken Reynolds Interiors to convert their waterfront vacation home on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast into their primary residence. To facilitate livability for the foursome, an enlarged kitchen, complete with a large white island with wood hardware, was a major part of the renovation.
When tapped to redesign a darling cottage in Brisbane's Little Italy, the team at Cavill Architects was inspired by "architecture with veneration for the past." As a result, the newly remodeled dwelling now pays homage to the Italian migrant workers' housing that was a crucial part of the Australian city's post-war settlement. The open kitchen has a warm Mediterranean-like feel and overlooks the central garden.
The sunshine-yellow spiral staircase stands out against the pale tone of the brick facade.
In the dining room, black light fixtures by Brokis visually connect to other black architectural details, like the window frames and light switches.
Halfway through a pregnancy isn’t exactly the ideal time to buy a house. So after spending months scouting San Francisco’s Victorians and turnkey cookie-cutters—and almost defecting to the East Bay—Lorena Siminovich and Esteban Kerner decided to put the hunt on hold until after their baby was born. But then one afternoon Kerner, a design director with Old Navy, logged on to Craigslist on a whim. He saw a below-market listing for a single-family home in Noe Valley, their neighborhood of choice.

With crumbly brick cladding, peeling rust-brown paint, and rotting garage doors, the house lacked curb appeal. But the Argentine couple was drawn to the interior. "It was amazing and strange at the same time," says Kerner of the 1,485-square-foot, multilevel, midcentury maze. "Mind-boggling," adds Siminovich. "It was just a knot of doors and a series of insane stairs to nowhere."
In the wintertime, the living room is cozy and welcoming with its large fireplace and warm lighting.

Dwell's favorite photos of modern homes and design ideas. From midcentury gems, prefabricated units, and eye-opening renovations, to shipping container construction and custom trailers and campers, these projects display the best from Dwell Magazine and submitted by the Dwell community. Here, you'll find ideas for every room in the house, whether it be kitchen, bath, bedroom, living, or dining—and beyond.