Dwell's Favorite Home Design Ideas and Photos

Their creative confections may ruin our diets, but we’re happy to be their taste testers anytime.
Just because your kitchen is on the smaller side doesn’t mean you can’t make it as efficient and effective as possible.
Newberg Residence
Each Getaway location features multiple cabins (complete with picnic tables and fire pits) that are spaced far enough apart to preserve privacy.
On a hillside in Los Angeles, architect Clive Wilkinson created a three-story home for himself, his wife, Elisabeth, and their children.
“Many of Los Angeles’s iconic modern houses float above the city like tethered spaceships on stilts,” says Clive. “I had always yearned for the opportunity to design my own floating home.” Custom black zinc panels and sandblasted concrete form the exterior.
“The steeply sloping site provides three unique spaces—the living attic, the pool deck, and the garden terrace.”
In the living area, sofas and a chair by Piero Lissoni for Cassina join a floor lamp by Michele de Lucchi for Artemide.
From the street, the house rises two stories, dropping down on the opposite side to follow the slope. Clive envisioned the top floor as a “crow’s nest.”
The house is broken up so that the natural site flows through the courtyard, which has a fire pit and a hot tub.
When they needed more room for visiting children and grandkids, Karen and Rick Hawkins paid homage to a once common Midwestern sight, the corn crib, by adding to their family farm.
This colorful terrazzo makes a bold statement against the all-white cabinetry.
Not only do built-in appliances keep kitchens tidy, but they also improve coherence between it and the rest of your home, creating a more fluid experience.
Oiled jarrah eucalyptus contrasts with a kitchen niche of reddish-brown stained plywood in this kitchen alcove in a New Zealand cabin.
One-way mirrored glass wraps around a portion of the home. "We wanted it to reflect like glass so that when you sit on the terrace, you see trees or the view in all directions—including when you look towards the house," says Larsen. The mirror effect is slightly distorted, and no birds have flown into the glass.
Pivoting brass shutters were custom built to highlight the shape of the windows. They can be turned to block views for privacy.
Soap-washed pine flooring features throughout the home.
Pictured here is the door to the bathroom. White curtains inside the bathroom provide privacy.
Set on a four-acre, moderately sloped, rocky site by the lake, the Kawagama Boathouse minimizes its site impact with small-diameter pier foundations and a natural material palette that blends the building into the surrounding forest.
The journey through the dark tunnel to the new, light-filled addition is both a texturally interesting and atmospheric experience, where the contrast between old and new, dark and light, can be felt.
Robertson restored the existing rooms in the front of the original house, and redesigned the back of the home to have a much more modern, indoor/outdoor living experience.
"A well-performing house extension facing south on a small inner-city block built in rammed earth is not easy to achieve," said Welsch. "However, in this challenge was our opportunity: We decided that our extension will curl around to capture the sun, creating a communal courtyard and allowing the occupants to look at their own house rather than a paling fence."
A steel-and-glass extension hosts the main living spaces and flows into the backyard.
An integrated terrazzo-tile counter holds an induction cooktop under a simple, cylindrical extractor hood in Sorrento House by Figureground Architecture. The cabinetry is composed of blackbutt timber.
Drawing inspiration from Japanese contemporary architecture, Jorge Alonso Albendea of Zooco Estudio gave this home in Madrid a modern and minimalist aesthetic. The kitchen features a waxed concrete floor and Muji-esque cabinets, lighting, and counters.
When creative director Martin Ringqvist and his wife, My, a teacher, moved back to Sweden after a year in Los Angeles, they wanted an authentic, warm space to live in with their two children. The kitchen’s matte-black Vipp system is paired with an antique white ceramic tile stove that was typical in the late 19th century. Although it’s not operable, the stove is used by the couple as a staging ground for illuminated candles and a storage space for an iPad that controls the home’s sound system.
When Nook Architects set out to renovate a 720-square-foot apartment in Barcelona's Poble Sec district, they knew they wanted to retain the space's characteristic elements—especially the original barrel-vaulted ceilings. Here, the track lighting accentuates the rhythmic curves.
The kitchen island of OCM House was custom-built on-site by Studio Jackson Scott using Australian Blackbutt.
Completed in May 2018, the Crossfield Street House is the residence of architect Jonathan Pile, his wife Katherine, and their five-year-old son.
The refined architectural detailing is finished with natural textures and subtle color shifts, from clay brickwork to rose linen accents, creating a robust yet calming home.
Built-in closets and cabinets in the bedrooms have the same simple, white cabinetry as the kitchen.
Nestled within a forest clearing near the Argentinian city of Córdoba, this 2,153-square-foot house named "La Negrita" is designed to exist in harmony with nature. Designed by Córdoba–based Morini Arquitectos, the house first reveals itself as a black corrugated wall in the middle of the woodlands. "The house is totally introverted [and] mysterious towards the street and extroverted towards the interior," says Morini.
The crumbling stone walls of a 17th-century farmhouse in the remote countryside of Dumfries, Scotland, presented a unique renovation opportunity for Lily Jencks Studio and Nathanael Dorent Architecture, the teams behind this project. Rather than demolish the old walls, they inserted a crisp, modern home within them, so as to emphasize the site's history and passage of time.
A look at the home's front facade. In a Melbourne suburb, Splinter Society Architecture designed the versatile home for Mark and Cara Harbottle and their three young children.
The reclaimed hickory facade of the Micro Cabin by BC-OA is punctured by windows that overlook National Forest Service land.
This elevated prefab cabin along the Chilean Andes has a buffer zone that helps protect it against harsh climatic conditions. The 1,033-square-foot Casa R opens up to a "chiflonera," an intermediate space between the interior and exterior commonly found in Patagonian homes.
The cabin structure and arches are made of locally sourced poplar plywood. The design team selected this material because of its fast-growing characteristics and wide availability in the Netherlands. "Because they grow fast, there is a lot of water in the tree," add the architects. "During drying, this water is replaced by air—that’s why this wood insulates, and therefore feels warm and pleasant (it is the same wood type used for making clogs). The wood does not splinter, and it is non-toxic."
Following the house-within-a-house concept, this playful playhouse-like addition features an all-plywood interior.
Marine plywood dominates the interior and is especially striking in the compact kitchen and its island's geometric design.
Built in 18 months on a budget of $105,000, this charming A-frame saves on costs with an interior lined with exposed plywood.
Remodeled on a budget of just $35,000, this 355-square-foot apartment uses affordable birch plywood for the flooring, doors, and storage units for a warm feel.
Fir-veneer plywood wraps the entire interior of a compact guest cabin with a 12-by-15-foot footprint, smaller than a single-car garage.
“The walls consist of a stick-framed stud wall with prefabricated structural insulated panels attached to it, made off-site in a facility to our design and specifications,” explains Gibson. “The roof structure consists of trusses built off-site.”
Repetitive patterns create a soothing sensation, with staircases, rails, and wall panels mimicking elements of the courtyard. This architectural approach is also echoed in the furniture pieces.
Villa Hohenlohe by Philipp Architekten won the prestigious Hugo Häring Award in 2014.
Sliding glass doors offer expansive views of the rear garden—and they can be opened in the spring and summer months to extend the living space outside.
“We played with the ceiling forms to create spaces within the overall space, while soft natural light is introduced into the depths of the home with skylights,” says Lisa Breeze. The dining room of Coburg House takes advantage of this to stunning effect.
“The house was designed for a family with young kids—it’s a place to get outside, collect specimens along the shore of the lake, play in the dirt, and spend time with family and friends,” explain Taylor and Morris. A glimpse of the detached two-bedroom guesthouse can be see behind the great room building.
A removed bathroom makes space for a designated dining area with a built-in buffet and storage.
The backyard is one of this home’s best features. With a lot that nearly equals the square footage of the home itself, there was plenty of room to play with landscaping.
Since the renovation, the full-length window at the back of the kitchen is populated by dense greenery, offering even more privacy to the homeowners.
Lovely details in living room
Kitchen
In the coastal town of Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia, local practice Harley Graham Architects elevates the Australian "garden studio" with this 646-square-foot granny flat. Named Marvel Street Studio, the guesthouse is an addition to a home designed by Paul Uhlmann.
The clients for an existing home in Seattle approached Best Practice Architecture with a need to make space for an aging family member, but the home on-site was already filled to the brim. The firm's answer was to expand the existing detached garage into a gracious and airy living suite. The architects worked with the natural, six-foot slope of the site and built the Granny Pad into the hill to gain the needed interior height. The volume on the right is the original garage footprint, which now houses a kitchen and sitting room. The added volume on the left hosts the bedroom, as well as a bathroom beneath the loft space.

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.