Dwell's Favorite Home Design Ideas and Photos

Loft stair with hidden pull-out storage
Laurier Blanc acrylic glass Hekla Side Table & Stool, embedded with burnt wood truck, with accents of resin, compliments the Taylor Forest club chair, beneath the Amir Zaki waterfall photograph.
City Cabin | Olson Kundig
The home at dusk.
One of the most dramatic black and white kitchens on our list, this utilitarian kitchen was designed by the owner, a chief designer at Vipp. For this look, the company’s trademark materials—stainless steel, painted metal, and rubber—were heavily used. The gas stovetop is by ABK and the refrigerator is by Smeg. White Le Perroquet spotlights from iGuzzini pairs with a light-colored floor to add visual interest and lighten this otherwise dark kitchen.
This spacious kitchen was designed for simplicity and functionality. Black and white kitchens that incorporate elements of gray tend to have a softer look. Seen here, gray accents, like the pendant lights and backsplash color, abound. Says the architect, "The design of the interior achieves a softer touch by using bespoke detailing and a rich palette of materials such as stone and timber."
In white kitchens with black countertops, the countertop often becomes the focal point. Here, twin Foscarini Gregg pendants tie together a black table and this large island, made of oak with a thin, black stone countertop.
Another simple, white kitchen with black countertops is this diminutive kitchen in Singapore. Light pours in through the large window, and a tiny but tasteful farmhouse kitchen table rests in the middle of everything.
Marble countertops of black and white with kitchen cabinets finished in sparkling white are offset by a unique glass backsplash, which offers a hint of the surrounding rainforest.
Black and white elements intersect in this clean, modern kitchen. Often, black and white kitchens benefit from a pop of color, seen here with these bright red barstools.
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.
Aaron and Yuka Ruell transformed a 1950s Portland ranch house into a retro-inspired family home with plenty of spaces for their four children to roam. In the kitchen, interior designer Emily Knudsen Leland replaced purple laminate cabinets with flat-sawn eastern walnut, and added PentalQuartz countertops in polished Super White for contrast. The kitchen island is clad with original red tiles, and hanging cabinets above it were removed to maximize light and family-room views.
At a seaside New Zealand house, the simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The bright green cabinetry of the island are a happy pop of color that references the native greenery outside.
Guess used inexpensive graded pine plywood so that he would get heavy grain patterns on the surfaces. One of the main goals in the kitchen was simplicity. To that end, he opted for a poured-in-place concrete island. "We didn’t know if we could afford to do that, but we found a great subcontractor [Nate Francis of Countertop Creations] here who had never really built anything like that," Guess says. "Because he was interested in giving it a shot and adding it to his portfolio, he didn’t charge an exorbitant amount of money because it was sort of an experiment for him as well." The kitchen features a GE Profile refrigerator and KitchenAid range, microwave, and dishwasher. The sink and faucet are from Kohler. The project's builder was Joe Doherty with Custom Homecrafters of Austin.
In New York about two hours north of New York City, architecture and interiors firm BarlisWedlick created an eclectic compound designed to suit a client with an idiosyncratic wish list. In the kitchen, a custom Stickbulb LED lamp hangs above a kitchen island topped by concrete from Get Real Surfaces. The cabinets and island feature a modern version of a traditional board and batten siding that are given an even more contemporary feel with the concrete countertop.
The idea for Simon Pillard and Philippe Rossetti’s Lego kitchen island in Paris sprouted when Pillard put 500 blocks and a day’s worth of work into building a Lego-legged chair. They covered their kitchen island—a simple wooden block—with 20,000 Lego pieces.
Konstantin Grcic’s Venus chairs for ClassiCon surround a table by Poliform in the formal dining room. Hill selected the Flos chandelier designed by Marcel Wanders for its "Old World reverence." The sleek fireplace mantel was designed by Hill and cobbled together onsite from three solid slabs of limestone.
Architect George Bradley and his husband, Eddie Baba, renovated a 1941 house in San Francisco. Tiles from Heath Ceramics surround the Ortal Clear 130LS fireplace. The white ceramic logs are by Klein Reid; the floor is oak.
Architect Alex Gil and his wife, Claudia DeSimio, affixed a 750-square-foot addition to the roof of a 19th-century Williamsburg townhouse, transforming their cramped third-floor apartment into a modern duplex. The original fireplace remains, but has been stripped down to exposed brick, as have the surrounding walls, creating an almost wainscot-like design of exposed brick with flat white drywall above.
The pleated roofline adds light and shadow to the bright and airy interiors.
Large windows punctuate the north elevation to pull views of the the water and landscape indoors.
In 2014, while recovering from a work-related injury, Denver-area firefighter Regan Foster started exploring the idea of shipping containers for a new house he was planning to build. Two years later, he and his wife, Libby, moved into a home made mostly of the giant metal bins, having done much of the work themselves. They share the residence with their year-old daughter, Evie, and Libby’s mother.
By creating a series of platforms and courtyards to expand the functional ground plane, B&B Residence circumvents the challenges of its steep site.
The Lighthouse office is clad in fiberglass with Awlgrip topcoat.
Clear Rock Lookout seen at dusk.
This unique plywood-and-slate combination makes a great choice for small bathrooms that require a corner bathroom vanity.
This bathroom, tiled in bright blue mosaic to offset the home’s limited materials and color palette, calls for a simple vanity. The sinks, toilets, and tubs are by Villeroy & Boch, while the faucets and towel rails are by Grohe and Avenir, respectively.
In contrast to its heavily glazed north facade, the home's other three sides are closed off from view for privacy.
Scott set the windows into deep recesses.
Contained within this gabled-roof section are the bedrooms and bathrooms, which look out to stunning views of the mountains.
This custom residence for actor Will Arnett was inspired by LivingHomes' RK2 model. About a third was built on-site, including a glass staircase tower and a guest wing (featuring a recording booth where Will can ply his trademark baritone).
Dawnsknoll’s exterior sidings are cement panels and Resysta wood. The house’s front gate and garage are made from recycled wood.
A wedge-shaped skylight allows natural light to suffuse the interiors. The architects preserved a palette of dark, natural materials on the ground floor.
Generous glazing mimics the experience of dining outdoors.
After: A peek inside the beautifully restored, modernized abode.
The two bathrooms are sited on either end of the rectangular plan. Each have been fitted with discrete skylights for additional illumination.
The dining area and kitchen.
The elongated, rectangular form has been delicately nestled into the island's steep terrain.
Beth draws at the desk in the cabin.
Plenty of white finishes give the interiors a clean, bright look.
“We designed a column-free interior space for the entire upper floor, indoor and outdoors, to connect the spaces. This structural approach, which includes outdoor space in the span of a roof system, is unusual. The seven sliding glazed panels at the rear and corner of the house allow it to open up onto large exterior spaces,” says McLeod.
Mountain-shaped wall cushions line the wall of this cloistered playroom, echoing the peaked ceiling of the apartment.
Floor-to-ceiling glass walls on both sides of the main living room allow sweeping views straight through the house.
Concrete and timber meet again on the stairs that lead to the upper level.
The internal courtyard looks into the living, dining and kitchen space of the home's ground floor.
"We hope that in time the house will make the client's lifestyle better by providing spaces that can change as they progress in life, much like how an outdoor space constantly changes with the environment," say the architects.
Entry Court
The material palette of concrete, weathered steel, and natural cedar mimics the colors and textures of the hills.
"With both sliding doors open, the two decks connect seamlessly through the building, dramatically changing the sense of scale, space, and connection to the site."
A Nectre Bakers oven provides sharply defined contrast at the kitchen, and also supplies heat in colder temperatures. The oven is used for baking, as well as space-heating. The translucent doors on both sides open to east and west-facing decks to capture morning and evening sun.
The stunning retreat is centered around a serene swimming pool with natural stone touches.
A vertical slit has been made in the main cube to create an inner patio. The slit brings in air and light, breaking up the mass of the cube and softening the sharp geometry of the design.

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.