Dwell’s Favorite Home Design Ideas and Photos

A view from the sleeping space into the living area, where Ligne Roset sofas sit on an IKEA carpet under a vintage Lightolier chandelier. A custom curtain rod bends onto the adjacent wall so that the drapery does not obscure any of the window. "There is strong light and shadows in the apartment," Antonio says.
The bedrooms feature stone walls and rustic timber ceilings that slope toward the floor.
The tiny houseboat, named Sneci, is crafted primarily from wood and aluminum.
Throughout the home, the walls and floors feature the natural grain patterns of lacquered plywood. The Stokke Tripp Trapp chair in the dining room was Lizz’s when she was growing up in the 1980s while the two Steen Ostergaard chairs were a thrift store find, and Project Room designed the table.
The deck is framed as an open-air room where the ceiling and walls have been peeled away. The grill is a vintage Weber Genesis 1000. LG solar panels from Pick My Solar contribute to the home’s net-zero energy profile, as does a moisture barrier in the walls that allows heat to escape.
The master suite features a sitting area and timber built-ins. “Our team of trim carpenters practically lived in the house for a year,” says architect Nicholas Fiore. “The value of built-ins is multifaceted, and it runs from the ephemeral to the most pragmatic.”
Concrete walls provide privacy in the main bathroom, where the Holtzes installed a deep hinoki cypress soaking tub.
"For the first three months of the pandemic, we hiked every day—rain or shine or snow,
An adjacent flat-roofed volume holds the garage, entry vestibule, laundry, and wine cellar.
Creede Fitch and his wife look out on the courtyard of their Austin home, where a heritage pecan tree has pride of place.
A new cedar and glass dining pavilion extends through the back of a weekend retreat in rural Ontario designed by architect Brian O'Brian for Ben Sykes and Erin Connor. The 19th-century timber and stone structure, formerly a one-room schoolhouse, proved to be the perfect palimpsest for a modern intervention.
Twelve electrically heated windows pierce the facade, framing views of the surrounding forest and fields.
Overhead, a 102-square-foot skylight fills the interior with daylight that streams through the catamaran net, where Ulla lounges.
“The pitched ceilings and ribbon of clerestory windows make the interior feel more spacious than it is,” notes Gooden.
The mezzanine level hosts the bedrooms and overlooks the lower living spaces.
The garden was planned by Megan, who selected agaves amongst other plantings as a tribute to her California roots.
Architect Minwook Choi’s 710-square-foot Seroro House rises from a tiny urban lot in Seoul that had long been neglected because of its challenging size.
The custom steelwork seen throughout the home was all done by Identity Construction, including the bar in the loft space that overlooks the living area.
“Courtyards are a fantastic way of controlling the sun here,” says architect Cavin Costello. “We live outdoors primarily in the late fall/winter, when the sun angle is very low, and tall walls are often more effective than roofs in providing shade for the outdoor spaces.”
Photo: Willem-Dirk du Toit
The ribbon-like design affords the building three different gable profiles—one is symmetrical, while the other two lean in opposite directions.
The structure is made entirely from treated pine, while its corrugated polycarbonate roof protects it from the elements.
The sinuous interior is lined with CNC-cut wooden panels that define stepped sauna seating and porthole windows.
 The sauna is named after Huginn and Muninn, two ravens from Norse mythology.
Designed by Marco Casagrande, this floating sauna was a gift for the Rosendal community, a village at the end of the majestic Hardangerfjord in Norway.
Bathers can easily exit the structure and dive into the cool water via the door or the side hatch.
The living and dining room look out to the central courtyard, promoting indoor/outdoor living. Here, five doors slide into a pocket in the wall to create a nearly 23-foot-wide opening on one side looking into the garden. Another set on the opposite side enhances cross ventilation.
In this home in Venice Beach, California, every interior space is accompanied by an outdoor room. The homeowners often dine on the patio adjacent to the kitchen. The rooms are intimately scaled but feel expansive due to their visual and physical connection to the environment.
Nestled in the jungle of São Paulo, Casa de Vidro (or Glass House) was the first built project by architect Lina Bo Bardi. Its glass volume stands on thin support columns that allow greenery to grow into the home.
On Bainbridge Island, Jim and Hannah Cutler created a cabin for reading and working. Sited just steps from the main house, it’s a welcoming retreat that the father and daughter share.
From prefab pods to cozy cabins, these backyard offices make working from home a breeze.
Architect Charlie Lazor designed this peaceful, lakeside prefab in Ontario, Canada, with a Japanese-style bathroom clad in richly stained teak with a matching tub and sink by Bath in Wood.
The husband is a psychoanalyst who attends to patients in São Paulo as well as in the home—hence the generous proportions of the library and office.
A white-painted steel-plate staircase leads from the third floor to the attic level.
The stone island bench in the kitchen is a Montenegro Quartzite from Artedomus. “Its monolithic quality really grounds the space under the towering void above,” says architect Bronwyn Litera.
Fittingly named the Courtyard House, the residence features a large outdoor space tucked underneath the cantilevered upper level, providing a quiet and shaded area for Lalita to enjoy her coffee breaks. Rotated masonry blocks extend from the courtyard wall to create succulent planters.
Ben Koush has amassed a collection of new and vintage furniture that complements the few pieces he designed himself, like side tables and art stands in the living room.
Construction pausing during the pandemic turned out to be a boon: Living in the half-finished space, the couple realized they needed to open up the pass-through to the rest of the house for even more circulation.
The shape and orientation of the extension prevents snow from piling up on the south-facing outdoor terrace.
The curved ceiling was built from layered Austral Plywoods hoop pine plywood sourced from Queensland plantation forests. The flooring is blackbutt timber.
The rear of the garage and studio is fitted with a slatted screen, which creates unique shadows on the stairwell and inside the unit. The outdoor room also benefits from views of the lake and is anchored by a two-sided, white brick fireplace.
Folding doors create an indoor/outdoor experience.
The black slate staircase draws the eye upwards to the wooden ceiling, which took six months to restore. Dodi Moss “treated it just like an intervention on a work of art, as a testimony of and investigation into the skill with which it had been created.”
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Without the need for a permanent foundation, the Hüga House can be relocated at any time.
The Majamaja Cabin by Littow Architectes was constructed on-site from prefab wood panels and without the use of heavy machinery. The self-contained unit makes for a perfect eco-retreat, especially when positioned at water’s edge in Finland.
The home’s exterior is clad in panels made from expanded corkboard—a sustainable, cost-effective material that provides insulation.
Considering the abundance of biodiversity, lifting the structure off the ground was an ecological measure as much as a utilitarian one.
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This compact vacation home by TACO—or, Taller de Arquitectura Contextual—is immersed in southeastern Mexico’s wild landscape. The home is designed for a pair of young adults, and the firm’s objective was to achieve a reflective and contemplative place that links the occupants with the surrounding environment. The result is an intuitive, functional, and simple living experience that offers great spatial warmth.
While brick is what was expected for the neighborhood, Mandel used a brick shingle for the extruded extension that occupies what was originally the side yard.
"We really wanted the rest of the house to be quiet in order to showcase the shipping containers as art objects," says Davis. "So, we used a very simple materials palette: lots of big windows and doors to bring in light and open up to the yards; heated concrete floors, polished to reveal the aggregate; basic IKEA cabinets; sheetrock painted a gallery-like white; and some touches of light, natural wood to add warmth and texture."
"Light is the most important part of a successful living space," Naughtin says. "We utilized double-height glazing with operable windows and large doors to maximize the intake of light and achieve a strong connection to the outdoor space." European oak storage in the living space matches that in the kitchen for a continuous flow.

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.