With little beach to speak of, sunbathing happens right on this craggy bit of rock just above the water at a cliffside house near the town of Las Caletillas in Spain's Canary Islands.
For a charming weekend cottage in Marin County, a Bay Area landscape designer works her yard like a jigsaw puzzle, packing a bevy of distinctive destinations into a steep and diminutive plot.
A pair of environmentally attuned architects combined adjoining properties in a Los Angeles canyon to house their modernist menagerie. A tepee playhouse stands on a platform in the backyard, where their daughter and her friends erect sets for theatrical productions.
Facing tight building codes and an even tighter space, homeowners Karen White and David MacNaughtan needed an architect who could turn lemons into lemonade. Donald Chong devised a refreshing solution for the narrow, three-story home in Toronto, leaving enough space in the 16-foot-wide backyard for a garden and comfortable dining area.
For the residents of Curved House—so named for its U-shaped plan that wraps around an expansive, Japan-inspired patio—a summertime shindig typically involves splashing around the pool in the afternoon, barbecuing in the evening, and gathering around a custom fire pit as the sun goes down. “Climbing down into the pit feels very intimate,” says architect Matthew Hufft, who modeled his design after the recessed conversation areas popular in 1960s and 1970s interiors.
The residents of this 900-square-foot Southern Californian bungalow near Manhattan Beach designed the long steel-and-ipe bench, which suspends from the low concrete wall of their backyard.
Though the front of this 1880s home in Adelaide, Australia, maintains a traditional facade due to strict heritage laws, the rear is as modern as they come, with enlarged glass windows, a rectangular pool, lawn, and grilling deck.
A home at Sea Ranch, a half-century-old enclave of rugged modernist houses on the Northern California coast, captures the spirit of its surroundings. Here, its residents dine at a sequoia table by Redwood Burl next to a hulking juniper tree that they asked the architects to preserve as a centerpiece of the property.
A 500-square-foot outdoor space with a grill, a table, and a hammock sits just off the entrance level of a monochromatic Copenhagen townhouse, offering extra room for entertaining. The corner couch is a custom piece inspired by the large cushions of Moroccan sofas. The Fermob table is paired with Hay Hee dining chairs by Hay.
On a double suburban lot in Tokyo, the Office of Ryue Nishizawa built a neighborhood-scaled, flexible-format minimalist steel prefab compound for Yasuo Moriyama—a very private individual with a powerful social bent—and six rental tenants. Here, tradition and innovation interweave to create a new kind of community, where every room is its own building. None of the ten units is purely communal, but detached Unit C, Moriyama’s “living room,” functions the most publicly. It houses a DVD player, a plasma screen TV, and little else, but it has a tea-room ambience.
At this sustainable Los Angeles home, the residents love to relax in their indoor-outdoor living space, made by opening the glass sliding doors to connect the living room and engawa deck.
The al fresco dining area of this New England vacation home on Chappaquiddick Island sits adjacent to the kitchen, defined by three glass walls that open the room completely to the elements, while the roof still provides shelter and shade. A long, family-style dining table made by Larry Hepler anchors the space.
Cold nights become cozy hangouts by this fireplace, a Rose Bowl Flea Market find by the residents of this renovated home in Los Feliz, California.