Beautiful, private mountain retreats, with cozy living spaces, plenty of warm colors, and fireplaces are the perfect place to burrow for the winter holidays. Retreating to one of these cozy spaces, you can plan your whole day completely devoted to reading in front of the fire, curling up with a good book and watching the snow fall through floor-length windows, with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. We have put together for you an extensive collection of snowy retreats that will help put you in the mood of Christmas, wherever in the world you live. Some of the retreats we have featured have links to view the entire home if you would like further inspiration. Be prepared to be blown away by these fabulous homes. If you prefer burrowing in blankets of chenille to blankets of snow, these contemporary winter getaways boasting sweeping views will be right up your alley!
This light-filled living room owned by Estee Lauder’s global creative director, Aerin Lauder, is a fabulous getaway for the winter. Floor-to-ceiling windows, awesome 60s-inspired rattan chairs, and throws and pillows make the white and natural space warm and personal in Aspen, Colorado.
In Montana’s Yellowstone Club, a getaway home showcases the Old West vernacular with an industrial edge. To see more of this spectacular home, check here.
Four-Cornered Villa is an 840 square foot home situated on a horse shoe shaped island in Virrat, Finland.
This alpine chalet is a contemporary barnlike structure located on a cul-de-sac in a private ski club development in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada. Ceilings that reach for the stars belong in a home with plenty of windows and bring the outdoors in, sans the uncomfortable cold and wet aftermath of actually being outdoors. A cantilevered fireplace is the showstopper here, keeping you warm when you do head home after a day on the slopes.
Nottawasaga Bay in Ontario, Canada looks like a fine place to cozy up with a book. A stark contrast to the black exterior, the snow-white interior boasts a minimalist, frameless fireplace, and an assortment of furniture with ultra-sleek lines.
This super stunning concrete mountain retreat captures snowy views at every turn in Snowmass, Colorado. The rest of the home can be viewed here.
Enjoying mountain views throughout this home in the old village of Sugar Bowl in Norden, California, the windows frame views of horizontal snow drifts and vertical stands of pine trees. To see more of this stunning home, have a look here.
This contemporary Lower Foxtail Residence hovers in the pines stretching laterally to take full advantage of the bold mountain views in Big Sky, Montana.
At 15,000 square feet, this contemporary mountain home in Aspen, Colorado’s exclusive Star Mesa enclave is warm and approachable from the start, as can be seen here.
This gorgeous modern mountain home is set amongst the woods in Martis Camp, North Lake Tahoe. The rest of the home can be viewed here.
Nestled into the mountainside, with spectacular views of the resort and surrounding scenery, Chalet Trois Couronnes is a private Alpine Estate in Verbier, Swiss Alps, Switzerland.
This snowy retreat was constructed of steel, concrete, timber and locally quarried stone, built within the scenic Australian mountains in one of Victoria’s premier ski resorts, the Dinner Plain Village, overlooking Mount Hotham.
“Ski On Home” is a single-family home built for a young family of four avid skiers and snowboarders (mom and dad are also both world-class skydivers). It is located on the main ski run in Squaw Valley, CA and nestled into the mountain, naturally protected by the earth from avalanches and other extreme weather. The year-round residence has ski-in / ski-out access on all levels and sleeps up to 17 guests at a time (extended family and a constellation of friends).
This incredibly stunning modern rustic mountain retreat was built as a family compound in Telluride, Colorado, which can be viewed here.
When you have a kitchen like this, bake up a storm for your friends that come to visit you during the holidays. The huge floor-to-ceiling window will make you feel like you are in the great snowy outdoors sans the cold weather.
Photo Sources: 1. Ram Arkitektur, 2. Vogue Magazine, 3. Peace Design, 4. Avanto Architects, 5. Pearson Design Group, 6. AKB Architects, 7. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 8. Atelier Kastelic Buffey, 9. Architectural Digest, 10. Bay Cabinetry & Design Studio, 11. Kaegebein Fine Homebuilding, 12. John Maniscalco Architecture, 13. Karl Neumann Photography, 14. Gabberts Design Studio, 15. Knudson Interiors, 16. Lisa Kanning Interior Design, 17. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 18. Lohss Construction, 19. Raven Inside Interior Design, 20. Reid Smith Architects, 21. Lisa Kanning Interior Design, 22. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 23. Raven Inside Interior Design, 24. Locati Architects, 25. Patty Jones Design, 26. Hendricks Architecture, 27. Alder and Tweed, 28. Krannitz Gehl Architects, 29. Billy Beson Company, 30. Cabbage Rose Blog, 31. Centre Sky Architecture, 32. Pinterest, 33. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 34. Architectural Digest, 35. sagemodern, 36. Reid Smith Architects, 37. Centre Sky Architecture, 38. Ultimate Luxury Chalets, 39. sagemodern, 40. Teri Fotheringham Photography, 41. New Mood Design, 42. Still Water Dwellings, 43. Giovanni D’Ambrosio, 44. Reid Smith Architects, 45. Teri Fotheringham Photography, 46. Centre Sky Architecture, 47. Strawn Sierra Alta, 48. New Mood Design, 49. Poss Architecture, 50. – 51. Pinterest, 52. Charles Cunniffe Architects, 53. Pinterest, 54. Poss Architecture
Chalet Les Sorbiers offers a peaceful and secluded location, nestled into the mountainside, in the heights of Courchevel 1850, in the village of Val d’Isère, France. As part of one of Courchevel’s most luxurious and exclusive hotels, Le Kilimandjaro, Chalet Le Sorbiers offers all of the facilities and faultless service that you’d expect from the 5 star hotel, in the privacy and opulence of your own luxury ski chalet. From its traditional wooden exterior, exposed beams and wood paneled walls and ceilings, to the massive stone fireplace centerpiece, the chalet exudes alpine charm, which is complemented perfectly by elegant furnishings and the latest technology.
The retreat showcases a large open plan living and dining room with a grand central fireplace surrounded by comfortable armchairs and sofas. There is an LCD television, audio equipment and home cinema system for entertainment. The dining area has a spacious table that can comfortably seat all ten guests. There is a fully equipped separate kitchen where your private chef will prepare breakfast, afternoon tea and superb evening meals. There is also a butler who will always be around to make sure that you want for nothing.
To stay at this sensational chalet, rates are from $53,029 per week, sleeping 10, from here.
There are five en-suite bedrooms spread over the three floors. There are two doubles with en-suites on the ground floor along with double that features a stunning fireplace and en-suite. On the same floor as the sitting area is another en-suite double although it is slightly smaller than the other bedrooms. The fifth and final bedroom is on the top floor and is a superb master suite with sitting area. Outside on the south-facing terrace is a beautiful wooden hot-tub, there’s a small private garden and the property has a heated garage, although there is a chauffeur-driven car at your disposal throughout your stay.
Dutch Mountain home is a spacious single family home designed by architecture studio denieuwegeneratie, situated on a historical agricultural plot amidst hayfields and woods in a nature reserve in Huizen, The Netherlands. Although the plot has been overrun with small trees in time, it still bears the original character of the open field. To minimize disturbance of the landscape and as a reference to the surrounding hilly terrain, the 7,631 square foot (709 square meters) house is embedded in an artificial hill. At the same time, this answered the client’s demand for keeping his ecological footprint with the house to a minimum. The embedding in the hill simultaneously functions as camouflage and as a blanket, hiding the house from view from the north side and using the earth as thermal insulation. One enters the house through cuts in the mountain, sided with panels of slowly corroding scrap steel.
On the south side, the house has been opened to a maximum. The grand glass facade is framed in timber,which guides the transition from the artificial to the natural. The canopy regulates sunshine through the seasons and allows for a large terrace along the full width of the house. The terrace follows the split level of the ground floor, jumps up to the higher west facade creating a henhouse underneath. Finally, it curls back up to become the canopy.
The frame is constructed out of lark wood, forested from the immediate surroundings and therefore making it a hyperlocal use of material. Detailing creates a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior: the concrete floor, window frames and terrace finishing are all flush and continuous from inside to outside.
The spatial structure of the house is a rectangular 12 x 19 meter open space. Steel cross the entire 12 meter width allowing great flexibility to the interior arrangement. Inside the hall-like space, the rooms are stacked in a disorderly manner and built out of light wooden structures, facilitating easy implementation of possible future changes. The interior can evolve along with its inhabitants, a young family, rooms being added or removed through time.
There is a binary spatial experience in the house. Either you are in a room, with a cave-like atmosphere, daylight coming to you through deep cuts in the mountain – or you are in the large open space in front of the stacked rooms. This large space is oriented towards the 90 m2 glass facade which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding woods.
The contrast between shell and rooms is clearly visible. The concrete wall, needed to retain the mass of the mountain, is left unfinished. The welding joints of the steel spans are visible and the wood is untreated. Within this rough shell of untreated construction materials, the stack of rooms tells a completely different story: every room is finished by the inhabitants in a unique and colorful way, which expresses the individuality of the boxes.
The design is an experiment in sustainable strategies in both architecture – the hardware – and the technical installations – the software – which have been designed by Arup Amsterdam. The software concept consists of photovoltaics, LED lighting, wood pellet heating in combination with low temperature heating, CO2 monitored ventilation, a grey water circuit and the use of smart domotics. The result is a house in which the total amount of energy produced exceeds its consumption: excess energy can be used for a electric car.
The house is bold and unpredictable: an experiment in sustainable strategies in concept, structure, material and technical installations. A house that blends quietly in its surroundings, but stands out with spatial surprises.
Designed by Fougeron Architecture, Jackson Family Retreat is nestled on a wood site next to a creek and dominated by steep canyon walls in California’s Big Sur region. When the owners first commissioned the architects to build this fabulous home, local governing agencies were intent on leaving the land as it was-overgrown and uninhabited. However, working with ten consultants over three and a half years, all the necessary requirements were met to build a modernist 2,500-square-foot two-bedroom family retreat here.
The structure sits lightly on the land, respecting the ecologically fragile nature of the site, and is precisely attuned to its forces. A formal object in a natural context-like Stevens’s jar on a hill-the house holds its own in this tall, cavernous place, neither dominating it nor dwarfed by it.
The building is composed of four volumes made of different interwoven materials that create visually and spatially complex exterior and interior spaces. The main volume, clad in standing seam copper, runs parallel to the canyon. Its thin butterfly roof sits delicately above a band of extruded channel glass, connected to the roof structure by thin rods that are invisible from the exterior. These rodlike columns, which become wider as they go further down into the walls, are used to lift the entire structure two and a half feet off the ground, reducing its impact on the land. At both ends of the house, two-story clear windows frame views of the redwoods and the canyon ridge, bringing in vistas of the sky-sunny by day, starry by night.
A one-story volume in the front half of the house comprises all of the service functions-cooking, bathing, washing-while a custom steel-and-glass volume at the back opens to views of the creek. The fourth volume, the staircase, clad in stucco, acts as both the house”s seismic structural brace and a visual foil to the shimmering, transparent volumes floating around it.
The plan explores the tensions inherent in family getaways: open areas for communal living; private spaces for solitary retreats; and outdoor expanses for relaxation. A combination of transparent glass and extruded channel glass reflects and dapples the light throughout, creating a dynamic play of brightness and shadow.
Photos: Richard Barnes
The Rollingwood Residence is a contemporary property designed by Chioco Design in Austin, Texas. This spectacular home thoroughly reflects the needs, habits and lifestyle of the homeowners, Kelly and Lino Mendiola and their two daughters as well as their beagle-mix. The family had originally planned to remodel, but instead decided to break ground on a total redesign with the primary goal of opening their living environment to its natural surroundings. The architect designed a home that created a beautiful dialogue between the outside elements and interior living space of this new family dream home. They wished to preserve as much of the unbuilt land as possible, taking advantage of the property’s existing Live Oak trees and sloping lawns. On approach to this incredible home is a study in interlocking linear volumes defined by right angles, vertical glazing and lush, elevated steel planters.
Just beyond the entry is a combination of stairway, reading nook, double-height bookshelves and library ladder, which are all visually dynamic in a space framed by natural light and warm, oak-paneled walls. The architects challenge was to achieve the contemporary look while accommodating the practical needs of the family with an intimate, yet comfortably spacious design. The owners themselves were not big fans of modern design, yet they wanted to create a house that was of its time and they had faith that the architect could make modern feel “homey”. The homeowners also wanted to have an adjacent guest room that operates as a functional small apartment with a kitchen, dining, bed and bath and living area for their aging parents. Both the primary den and side suite look out to the rear pool area and backyard. The landscape was designed to provide the family with numerous peaceful views from varies vantage points around the home.
The transparent corridor connects the main house to the guest quarters and pool, creating a sense of continuity between the home’s diverse elements.
The combination of rich woods with angular lines softens the modernist aesthetic that informs the architecture of the Mendiolas’ home.
Once Chioco and the Mendiolas decided to design a tall bookcase, the idea of a cozy, yet functional reading nook was a natural next step.
The floor-to-ceiling white oak cabinets continue the system of wood volumes that also influences the stairwell and office.
The custom kitchen island is made entirely from a single slab of walnut that turns down on either side to support the top, featuring live edges and lending an organic feel to this central area of the home.
Rather than building a large room, Chioco opened the Mendiolas’ bedroom to the courtyard, creating a bright and comfortable space.
The materials used throughout the home continue into the bathroom, which Chioco notes, “was meant to be spa-like, with plenty of natural light.”
“The house during the evening is more dramatic,” Chioco observes. “I think it lights up quite nicely.”
Ultimately, the homeowners wanted their new home to reflect the modern sensibility of urban living while enjoying the benefits of suburban-sized space. The successful redesign offers a welcoming place for intimate family gatherings and casual get-togethers with the neighbors in a warm, light-filled home just minutes from downtown Austin.
Photos: Casey Dunn
The SGNW House is a contemporary single family property designed by Metropole Architects, located in Zimbali, South Africa and was completed in 2011. The scope of the design project entailed clients who wished to create a dream house for their site in the Zimbali forest estate. Several bodies of water, including Koi ponds, water features and a rimflow swimming pool appear to coalesce into one, and flow through the house and out into the forest. The stacked roof is fragmented and linked with flat roof slabs, in correspondence to the spatial arrangement of the rooms below, which both scales and articulates the massing of the house. The main bedroom suite cantilevers six meters over the patio below, providing protection from the weather, as well as “wow” factor. Large amounts of glazing optimize views of the indigenous bush that encapsulates the house, and together with the palette of raw materials including natural timber, off shutter concrete, water and natural stone cladding, offset the clean architectural lines with a warmth and Zen like ambiance.
Photos: Grant Pitcher
The Brick Bay House has been designed by Glamuzina Paterson Architects, situated in Snells Beach, Warkworth, a small coastal town in the north of Auckland Region in the North Island of New Zealand. The dwelling is an enquiry into where a site begins and ends; how to define the edges of the project; and the way landscape may be inhabited. Firmly dug into the earth and composed as a simple L plan, its low form recollects modest farming buildings and the idea of an ‘Elegant Shed’. The house was designed for a family of five, with the clients wanting a house that responded to the contours of the land with a relaxed sense of connection to the rural surroundings. The house is located on the road to Snell’s Beach on a 4 ha section, that’s steeply rises to the west with views to Kawau Bay and a main road along the south western boundary.
The house negotiates the contours of the site with the private areas staggering down the hill to the south, creating a courtyard, and providing protection. The L plan forms a barrier to the road above on the south west boundary, blocking noise and giving privacy. The north deck opens to the east and west allowing afternoon sun to penetrate the living areas. The open plan living areas under the gable roof have porch enclosures to north and east that frame views to Kawau Bay.
The facade of Macrocarpa board and batten wraps the house with a beautifully textured grain that gives a natural warmth to the facade, registering time as its color changes. The louvered frame to the walkway gallery provides shade in the summer and protection in the winter. The environmental benefits of timber was vital to the project, with timber being locally sourced and milled in small runs from Riverhead shelterbelt trees. Waste was dealt with on site with sawdust used for the garden and farm, and off-cuts for firewood and furniture.
Photos: Courtesy of Glamuzina Paterson Architects
Creek House is a weekend retreat for a family from Manhattan, designed by Studio MM, situated in Ulster County, New York. The architect had purchased 38 acres in the area with plans to design and build five custom homes; this one is the first completed. The contemporary 2,600 square foot, three bedroom, three bathroom split-level home is set within 7 acres of dense woods and undulating terrain, drawing on the privacy of the surrounding landscape to provide a peaceful escape from the intensity of the city. One side of the house is nestled into the hillside, minimizing the impact of the mass of the house on the site and taking advantage of the geothermal qualities of the earth. The opposite facade opens up at the edge of a steep slope to capture the view of the rushing stream 100 feet below. The goal for the design of the house is to maintain a functional yet modest floor plan that offers an open and spacious home for its users. To accomplish this, the living room, dining room and kitchen are designed as one interactive space with expansive exterior glass walls which open up to increase the living area of the home by almost double. Essentially, the outdoors becomes the living room. Plenty of sunlight with large windows on both floors facing toward the south contributes some passive solar heating in the winter, while the trees keep the house from overheating and relying on air conditioning by blocking the high summer sun.
The narrow widths of glass and vertical frames echo the trunks of the trees beyond.
The kitchen island is the main gathering space for family and guests. The architect specified a slab of Statuarietto marble for the kitchen counters, one of the main features of the house.
The kitchen features back-painted glass on the wall behind the stove and range hood. “The reflections in the glass from the indirect lighting above and the trees from the living room windows opposite create the feeling of a window even though the kitchen is along the wall which backs up to the earth,” states the architect.
Like the cedar outside, the wood flooring is treated for protection; these floors are solid oak with linseed oil. The deck’s wood flooring lets it read like a literal continuation of the floor from inside to outside.
Given that the house has bedrooms above the living space, one enters on the top and either turns left to head up a few steps to the master bedroom and second bedroom, or descends the stairs to the living area and guest bedroom.
Natural light comes in through a narrow window, placed so somebody taking a shower can see outside without being seen.
Photos: Paul Warchol
RW House is situated on a beachfront site in Búzios, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, designed by Bernardes + Jacobsen Architects as an extensive program for a big family. The contemporary home was distributed exploring horizontality and sectoring, without any obstruction to the ocean view. The privacy is maintained by this site implantation, in a way that the house cannot be seen by the beach observer. The plan, in a shape of a big “H“, divides the three different axes of the house, which has a total built area of 41,979 square feet (3,900 square meters). In the first axis there are the en-suites intercalated with gardens which are linked to the bathrooms, taking the external site and environment to the inside of the house. In the second axis, the central one, a big circulation interconnects the privates circulations and the living room, that have double height ceiling and wood frame glass windows with a view looking at the garden and the beach . Over the side walls the shutting with glass takes the natural lighting through the wood structure to the inside of the room. The third axis prioritizes leisure. The swimming pool marks the transition between the social area and the gourmet balcony, firstly with a stone lake and then with the pool, that has shadow areas in consequence of the structure cornice mooring.
The concerning to use certificated wood created the structural concept adopted. All the structure is made of reforest eucalyptol wood laminated without any type of covering on the beams.
Since the house has rooms and corridors that are opened to the environment, it is well ventilated and illuminated. The internal gardens also help ventilate and illuminate the bathrooms.
Since the house has rooms and corridors that are opened to the environment, it is well ventilated and illuminated. The internal gardens also help ventilate and illuminate the bathrooms.
The wood panel’s concept was created to work as a protection from the sun insulation and adopted as the aesthetical concept of the house. It also works very well for the tropical weather of the region. These panels differentiate the external circulations, but also the private ones, since it protects the en-suites accesses. The wood detail, although similar, is different from the windows and doors detail.
The reduced second floor contains only the two master suites.
The uniformity of the materials connects all the ambiances of the house, which, despite its size, is visually light because it’s 50 cm elevated from the natural site level.
The landscape project has preserved all the native species from the region and created alleyways that connect all the different axes.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti
West Dry Creek Residence is situated on a 40-acre vineyard site in Healdsburg, California, designed by Nick Noyes Architecture. The wine country home is a spacious yet simple perfect getaway for a San Francisco family of four. The residence offers a design that blends natural materials with plenty of sunshine in a warm yet minimalist environment. The 2,400 square foot, three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home is composed of two iconic copper-roofed gabled wings that are connected at the entry by an aluminum storefront system and a sunscreen made of reclaimed grape stakes from the site. Interior walls of southern yellow pine plywood and whitewashed southern yellow pine floors were handpicked from the client’s family lumber mill in the southeast.
The same yellow pine plywood runs through the home’s bedrooms, giving the upstairs spaces a warm glow. Each piece of plywood was carefully chosen from the family’s factory and treated with a clear, matte sealer for subtle protection.
Even in closets, the plywood contrasts with the high-gloss white ceiling, beams and built-ins.
Aluminum storefront doors lead to this sunscreen, which shields the hallway from harsh sunlight. This side passage also leads to the bedroom wing. The architect had the sunscreen made of reclaimed grape stakes from the vineyard.
Passive solar techniques help keep the open home comfortable during weather extremes. Overhangs and a trellis on the southern side of the house shade the living room in summer, and plenty of windows bring in the breeze.
Although the home seems relatively isolated, it was built in close proximity to a family compound on the property, so the owners can visit with other family members when they stay here.
Photos: Cesar Rubio