Get out of town – and take your modern lifestyle with you. August is a time for cool breezes, whether they are coming off the water or down a mountain valley. Cottages and cabins aren’t the only choices. Modern homes make sense outside the city limits, too. Here are five modern homes listed with VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner) that help you get away to a different place, and in one case, a different time.
Ski chalets are popular in summer, too. Being close to Mt. Baker is appealing when the lifts are open, but this modern chalet also puts you close to the mountains, forests, and streams that draw many in to hike. Designing it like a spa makes it easier to recuperate, but the spa is so nice that you may not want to be far from the sauna (infrared), hot tub, and BBQ that sit on a shaded and sheltered back patio / outdoor living space. The style may be modern, but they’ve done so using natural stone inside and outside. It’s a pleasing choice, and a practical one, too, considering the messy nature of ski and hiking boots. Even the name of the neighborhood is refreshing: Snowline.
Pay homage to the culture that got here first. A totem centers the house, telling a story that some interpreter will eventually fill in. The house sits on the shore of Camano Island, looking west across saltwater that welcomes residents that arrived before the humans: eagles, salmon, osprey, and whales. The open deck with a gas fireplace may be the most modern attraction. Watch the sun set while the evening breezes swing from land to sea. Tired from playing on the beach, the water, or in the park? Slide into the covered hot tub. Still too hot? Hit the air conditioning and relax in the large open spaces inside.
The east side of the Cascades are open and expansive; and this apartment is a great example that modern style can fit in anywhere, even at the end of a three-mile long, dead-end gravel road. Drive in and up to look back on a panorama of wildflowers, peaks, and an immense sky. Mountain chalets don’t have to be peaked cabins. This one has a shed roof that uses the higher walls to bring in extra light, something greatly appreciated in the winter. In true country fashion, the land isn’t fenced – at least not fenced to keep dogs in or out. For your pet, it can be the open range, something to celebrate and to be respectful of. Cougar aren’t just a mascot, you know. Another example of modern living in remote locations, the owner lives on the site – and works from there, too. Thank you, internet.
Retreat in time. Awards were bestowed on this mid-century modern. It may not be a retreat by the shore or in the mountains, but it is set in an interesting mix of eras. The original impressive design remains, and has also been updated for modern conveniences. Modern appliances are a natural upgrade, and an enticement to shop local and play with your food. Gas and propane fireplaces and firepits create ambiance and a focus for socializing. (Check to see if you need to supply your own fuel.) The greatest attraction, however, may be the simple design that has survived shifts in fashions for decades, an impressive achievement worthy of another reward.
Go big. Get away. It has to have an address, so it’s listed as part of the faux-Bavarian tourist town of Leavenworth, but the 22-acre property is miles away and remote enough for more than enough privacy. The views are of mountains, and mountains, and mountains. Paired with the view is a home of modern architecture built from natural materials, a common theme for remote moderns. This one skips the peaked roof. Let the snow and rain slide off on one side and the light come in from the other. Tall walls of windows illuminate natural stone, dressed wood beams, and structural elements like steel brackets and railings. Outside, the landscaping is left natural, wildflowers and indigenous plants that survive the climate. Inside, polished stone, tiles, and wood match with current appliances and cabinetry.
Whichever rental you choose, sit back and take it in. You deserve a refreshing retreat.