#1 – Above is our most liked Instagram post of 2022

This home by Barlis Wedlick Architects was our top viewed post in 2022, and for good reason – it’s AWESOME!  The composition of the home’s pavilions reflects on utilitarian barn structures of the past. Material choices, color, and window placement bring it right into the future.  A classic example of a modern cottage. 

Landscape design by STIMSON.

Photographer – Peter Aaron / Adrian Jones

#2 – Simple shapes clearly defined.

Sometimes the best solutions to problems are the simple ones. Coming in at #3 in 2021, this modern cottage designed by Imbue Design offers an extremely simple design composition in the midst of a complex natural environment. The beautiful shape and materials of this home help it stand out in contrast to the natural environment.  But, as you look deeper, you begin to notice that the slope of the roof and the rhythm of the windows and siding in fact abstractly mimic the mountain.  It’s this delicate balance of simple and sympathetic design that makes this modern cottage feel perfectly at home.

Design Note: Rhythms of materials help bring “human scale” to homes.  Our eyes (but really our brains) love to look for patterns, which allow us to understand objects in simpler terms.

#3 – This was last year’s top Instagram post

Making our list again in 2022, this home renovation project by Shed Architecture is modest, simple, and would fit right in our neighborhood.  And that’s the key to its popularity. This awesome transformation seems achievable, something we could do with our own homes.  With the right design team to guide us, this home is less of a dream and more of a possible reality.

Design Note: By the way, the dark color of this home helps it to visually recede, becoming subtle and not overwhelming. By adding the contrasting natural wood color stairs and entry doors, we become intrigued and know exactly where to go.

Photography by Rafael Soldi

#4 – Traditional forms in a modern composition.

Birdseye begin their designs with traditional building forms, shapes, and compositions. Then, they flip this nod to tradition on its head and explode the homes with modern spaces, industrial building elements, and stripped-down detailing.  It’s this contrast of old and new that leads to homes that are livable for today with spaces help connect people with each other and their natural environments. This same home appeared on our 2021 list in the same exact spot, #4.

Designer Note: Our traditional local surroundings (where we have lived) influence how we perceive building and homes today.  We feel comfortable with shapes and forms of buildings that represent the local vernacular structures of the past. This is one reason why we love modern barn structures – homes built for today, but rooted deeply in the past, and in our hearts.

Landscape Architects – Wagner Hodgson 

Photography by Jim Westphalen

#5 – Simple, modern, and sweet.

This small modern cottage designed by OPAL Architecture received a Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture in the AIA Maine Awards. We’re not surprised. It’s just so darn simple and sweet. Classic local building forms are mashed up in a more modern way to install siding and, of course, those large windows.

#6 – The only interior to crack the top 10.

This modern mountain home by Pearson Design Group blends beautiful materials with the view. 

Photography: Krafty | Photos

Jacob Lilley Architects

#7 – A nicely scaled home makes us feel comfortable.

This cottage designed by Jacob Lilley Architects uses simple boxes linked with glass connectors to create a modern expression. The vertical wood siding and the windows lend a scale to the home that makes us feel comfortable. And just look at those oversized exterior sliding doors!

Photography: Greg Premru

#8 – Home as a place to recharge the batteries.

This cabin, designed by Olson Kundig, took the #2 spot in 2021 and continues to represent the ultimate getaway.  The cabin stands in harmony with its natural surroundings while at the same time offering protection from the elements., comfort, and warmth.  The “treehouse” vibe detaches living spaces from the ground, further emphasizing the separation from society, literally getting away from the chaos of the world around us. Throw in Olson Kundig’s signature “industrial-warmth” palette of materials and you get a Modern Cottage that feels cozy, warm, and inviting.

Fun Fact:  Olson Kundig’s homes, cottages, and cabins are full of fun, mechanical, and moving elements.  They refer to these as “Gizmos,” and have “Gizmologists” on staff that engineer these complex elements.

#9 – Simple design with the promise of simple living.

This design by Garrison Foundry Architecture + Decor (GFA) made our list of top posts in 2021 too, coming in at #6.  It just represents something we all continue to long for: peace, calm, and serenity.  The dark color of this home allows it to become the backdrop to living spaces (and furniture) that blend seamlessly inside and out.  Also, the color creates the impression that the home recedes into the woods, allowing the green lush landscape to envelope us.  What better way to escape the daily grind than to come home to this little paradise?

Fun Fact:  We feel better, both mentally and physically, when we are in nature.  Recent scientific studies show that our bodies release endorphins when we are outside.  These help to reduce stress, something we all could use.

Photography by Beatrice Pediconi

#10 – A dramatic, modern expression. 

Designed by Flavin Architects, this cottage’s single slope roof creates a dramatic, modern expression. Inside, the roof creates a soaring ceiling, while outside, it provides protection from the elements with its large overhang. Even with all that drama the home still feels grounded. 

Photography: Nat Rea Photograhy