Backyard Room

Make more use of your home's lot with a Backyard Room. Ranging in size from just over 5 to nearly 23 square meters, they can be configured as offices, pool houses, studios, or even full-featured dwellings. Each one is made primarily using wood from renewable, certified sources, and has other earth-friendly features like high-insulation floors, walls, and roofs, optional solar panels, and optional garden roofs. Best of all, they typically don't require a permit, can be designed and built in just six weeks, and can be installed in under a week. The bad news? If you live outside of Australia, you're probably out of luck.

  • Case Study House #21

    Sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine, the Case Study Houses provided post-WWII America a vision of modern living, as conceived by such luminaries as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Eero Saarinen. One of just 17 originals not demolished, remodeled beyond recognition, or never built in the first place, Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #21 is an LA-area steel frame masterpiece. It measures just 1,280 square feet with two bedrooms and two baths. Yet it never feels cramped, thanks to the generous glazing, water ponds surrounding the house, and smart layout that separates the public and private areas with a core comprised of bathrooms and mechanical space. Koenig was asked by the current owners to restore the house in the late '90s, and if you're curious what it looked like originally, take a look through the magazine article announcing its completion.

  • Rancho Dos Vistas

    With outstanding views of the Pacific coast on one side and the Santa Ynez Valley on the other, Rancho Dos Vistas is a most fitting name for this expansive property. Situated just minutes from Santa Barbara, it covers over 1,400 acres, including two miles of ridge line. The 2,500 main house has a rustic modern vibe, with windows in every room to take advantage of the location, and is surrounded by over 40 miles of roads and trails that wind throughout the hillside.

    Photos: Kerry Morman & Associates

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