7 Off-the-Grid Homes That Will Make You Want to Unplug

Living sustainably doesn’t mean roughing it.

The chaos of modern life — with the constant stream of emails, multitude of devices and keeping pace with modern technology — can be exhausting. If you’ve ever thought about throwing away all your electronics, living sustainably or finally ditching life in the city, these seven off-the-grid homes may have just what you need.

Ambajejus Lake, ME

Moreair Is, Ambajejus Lake, ME
For sale: $389,600

Photo from Zillow listing.

Unplugging from smart phones and the internet wouldn’t be difficult at this ultra-private island property off Ambajejus Lake. In addition to the beautiful lake and Mount Katahdin views, it features two structures: one that is more insulated for winter stays, and a larger cabin that would be more comfortable during the summers. You can enjoy complete solitude with this property — your nearest neighbor would be approximately one mile away.

Find more homes near Lake Ambajejus.

Boise, ID

50 Yellow Pine Ln, Boise, ID
For sale: $725,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

This charming Idaho log cabin has floor-to-ceiling windows, a beautiful stone fireplace, a gourmet kitchen and a large bathroom with a clawfoot tub for soaking. The home comes with a large horse barn and complete-and-utter privacy on 40 acres of land. Hydro- and solar-powered, this home makes it very easy for you to enjoy a sustainable, off-the-grid lifestyle in the middle of the woods.

See more homes for sale in Boise.

Winthrop, WA

98 Sage Canyon Rd, Winthrop, MA
For sale: $497,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

This home, with views of the North Cascades National Park and Methow Valley, makes going off the grid look luxurious. The house is set on 97 acres, featuring protected meadows, wildflowers and a pine forest. Inside, the home boasts 3,600 square feet of custom craftsmanship, including a spiral staircase, large rec room and a spa-like master bathroom.

See more homes in Winthrop.

Sierraville, CA

804 Fiberboard Rd, Sierraville, CA
For sale: $988,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

With such close proximity to Lake Tahoe and Reno, NV, this home is the perfect getaway for those wishing to unplug. The interior of the home is rustic yet modern with a chef’s kitchen, two-story ceilings in the living area and a large stone fireplace. The property is perfect for snowmobiling in the winter and fishing in the summer, and even includes its own helipad.

Check out more homes for sale in Sierraville.

Albuquerque, NM

20 Canoncito Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM
For sale: $612,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

Steps from the Piedra Lisa and La Luz trailheads, this solar-powered home is made for exploring the high desert. It was also designed to bring the outdoors in with large windows, a deck spanning the width of the house and a cozy window seat.

See more Rio Rancho listings.

Wolcott, VT

1858 Town Hill Rd, Wolcott, VT
For sale: $399,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

Whether you’re craving a cozy spot to finally draft that novel, or you simply want to enjoy the privacy and tranquility of rural Vermont, this custom-built, modern home fits the bill. Completely self-sufficient with propane radiant-floor heat, it’s made for those harsh Northeastern winters. It also has an apple orchard and a permanent tree blind for a homeowner who wishes to hunt on the land.

Find more homes in Wolcott.

Black Mountain, NC

60 Bucks Walk, Black Mountain, NC
For sale: $949,000

Photo from Zillow listing.

Sweeping mountain and forest views, a custom-crafted interior and a separate, spacious guest cottage are just a few of this home’s selling points. Though the home has the capability to be completely off the grid with solar paneling, a diesel generator and cistern water storage, you won’t be roughing it with an updated kitchen, tranquil bathrooms and a library.

Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow


6 Log Cabins You’ll Want To Live In All Year Long

Lake views framed by the Appalachian Mountains? Yes, please!

Rough around the edges? Maybe. Roughing it? Hardly. These six log cabins for sale might change your mind about what log-cabin living can be.

Wish you could swap your surroundings for towering redwoods, sparkling lakes, and black bears (from a safe distance, of course)? These six log cabins for sale on Trulia right now could allow you to do just that.

These not-so-rustic retreats balance the call of the wild with creature comforts like fully loaded kitchens, cozy fireplaces, and spacious decks. And that’s not even mentioning the stunning views, wide open spaces, and wildlife sightings

These 6 Log Cabins for Sale Bring out the Pioneer in All of Us

A one-bedroom getaway: 4475 Lower Bear Paw Road, Murphy, NC 28906

Price: $82,900

Aptly named “Bear Paw Cabin,” this quaint, one-bedroom retreat in North Carolina, sits on 1.07 acres in black bear country — that is, the Southern Appalachian Mountains of Cherokee County. Deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife make a home in the area too, and you might even spot one of the above taking a cool drink from the water’s edge at Hiwassee Lake. Technically a reservoir, the 22-mile-long, 6,090-acre body of water is about a 10-minute drive from the 1,016-square-foot cabin (hello, trout fishing and boating!). Ideal as a vacation home, the cabin is just 25 minutes from downtown Murphy, with its picturesque boutiques and historic points of interest.

A 3-bedroom lakeside log cabin: 75 Bluff Court, Tuscumbia, AL 35674

Price: $179,900

Heads up, anglers: This modern, lakefront log cabin in northwest Alabama is only 1,000 feet from the 43,100-acre Pickwick Lake, a body of water that’s renowned for its smallmouth bass and catfish. The centuries-old town of Tuscumbia, where this cabin is located, is famous for something else altogether: It was the hometown of Helen Keller. The cabin was built in 1979 and features a front porch, beamed vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, an updated kitchen with a center island and breakfast nook, and a sunroom that overlooks a portion of the property’s 0.7-acre wooded lot. With 2,178 square feet that include three bedrooms and two bathrooms, this place could certainly serve as the year-round residence for a lucky family.

A custom cabin in a national forest: 8505 S. Breezy Pine Road, Mayer, AZ 86333

Price: $409,900

This custom-built, 2,900 square foot log cabin in Prescott, AZ takes rural living to new heights. The property has been carved into a tiny corner of the 1.25 million-acre Prescott National Forest, with an elevation of 7,000 feet. Rising from a landscape of ponderosa pines, juniper, and chaparral, the three-bedroom, three-bathroom residence features custom touches. Think hand-hewn door frames, hickory cabinetry, and a river-rock fireplace. The two-story great room is completed by cathedral ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and sliding doors that lead to a wraparound deck. There, guests can take in a stunning view of the valley before heading to the ground-level hammock and pergola.

A view in California’s gold country: 1601 Tai Pan Drive, Placerville, CA 95667

Price: $500,000

With its wraparound deck and Sierra Nevada-setting, scenery is paramount at this 1,920-square-foot cabin in Placerville. The panorama of treetops is met by the sound of rushing water from nearby Granite Creek, which snakes through the property’s private 7 acres (horse-lovers take note). Inside the cabin, residents can kick back beside the wood stove, gather around the massive island in the modern kitchen, or take a catnap in one of the three bedrooms. There’s no shortage of things to do out and about in El Dorado County, nicknamed the “Mother Lode” due to its role in the California gold rush. Explore historic gold mines, visit a winery or orchard, take a day trip to Lake Tahoe (it’s about a two-hour drive), or have brunch at Sweetie Pies, one of many restaurants in downtown Placerville.

Luxury log cabin in Tennessee: 107 Peek Over Knoll, Butler, TN 37640

Price: $839,680

Just wait until you see the water views offered by this 3,349-square-foot, heavy-timber luxury log home in Butler, a small town on the northern shore of Watauga Lake in northeast Tennessee. The 10-square-mile man-made lake framed by the Appalachian Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest can be seen from nearly every room in the 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom custom-built home, but it’s simply spectacular from the cathedral-ceilinged great room. Still, the best views of the lake can be found out on the rear deck, where the natural scenery serves as a gorgeous backdrop. The cabin is about 1 mile from the local marina and downtown Butler (stop by The Butler Museum to learn how it earned the nickname “the town that wouldn’t drown”).

An oasis on the San Francisco Peninsula: 13890 Skyline Blvd., Woodside, CA 94062

Price: $1.749 million

Sandwiched between the 4,711-acre Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve and 900-acre Purisima Park, this contemporary cabin on the San Francisco Peninsula promises peace. The 2,160-square-foot cabin’s wood- and rock-adorned exterior give it a Zen-like aesthetic, especially when fog hangs low over the lush, 3-acre property. The meditative vibe continues inside, thanks in part to clean lines, a river-rock fireplace, planked ceilings and walls, and plenty of skylights. With four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a modern kitchen, and a short 6-mile distance to the Pacific Ocean, this place has “rental income” written all over it. That is, if you can bring yourself to leave.

Posted by Julie Davis on Trulia


Techniques for Designing Your Home with a Rustic Theme

Winter often gets us in the mood for a cozy environment. One that allows to snuggle and feel like we have a rugged atmosphere to stay warm. Designing your home with this rustic theme that reflects a winter escape or log cabin feel can be accomplished with a few techniques and design elements to incorporate into your home. 



Using wood throughout your home, brings a level of rustic automatically. If you have woodfloors and especially if you incorporate large wide planks, the rustic appearance will definitely be highlighted in your home. Wood casing around windows and wood blinds will also add to the warmth and appearance of a log cabin feel. Adding some wood panels to some walls or using homemade wooden headboards will give you a mountain home feel. Try adding a reclaimed wood to cabinets, a counter top or a table to bring in the old to create the special feeling of being an authentic old world home.


Using warm colors like burnt orange, rust, olive green, and multiple shades of browns will also give the rustic appearance of a home. Think fall colors on trees. A picturesque fall New England scenery is the color scheme to support the earthy theme associated with a rustic design. Adding elements of these colors whether in sofas, bedding, counter tops or accent pieces around a home is an easy way to add the rustic design concept. Wood elements already have the brown tones, but using different woods to create more dimension to the spaces will also help add multiple shades of brown.

Natural Elements

Like wood, using natural elements like stone, metal and plant material can further enhance the outdoorsy theme associated with a rustic design. Using stone on walls, fireplaces, showers, sinks, counter tops and other areas only further solidifies the heaviness that accompanies a log cabin feel. Add pine cones or pieces of wood decor along a table as a center piece. Bringing in tree branches and thick trunks as decor or bases for tables can also showcase the natural elements. If you have hunters in your family and you keep the skins for rugs or blankets, these skins are the most natural it can get. Metals are forged from elements in the ground and adding metal around the will also create depth in the design of the home.

Posted in HomeZada

5 Ways to Warm Up a White Living Room

Nothing’s better than crisp, clean white walls, especially if you can add comfort and character with color and texture. Here are five ways to warm them up from Marni Elyse Katz on Trulia Blog.

The tufted teal ottoman is equally feminine, and potted plants bring the lush landscape in, making this room warm and inviting. Photo by Tessa Neustadt for Homepolish

I’m lucky enough to have a summer place on Cape Cod. While the structure itself is fairly traditional, inside there’s an open plan with all-white walls, light oak floors, and plenty of sun. It’s sparsely furnished, by choice, with clean lines and white upholstery, and pretty much no art on the walls. And I like it like that.

Admittedly, in photos it looks slightly unfinished, almost stark, but it’s a getaway, not just from city life, but from the material possessions that clutter my life. As much as I’d like to live similarly at home in Boston, it’s just not realistic, especially with a family.

Aside from strict modernists, most people can’t live such a spare existence daily, or even want to. But still, that’s no reason to eschew all-white (or at least mostly white) interiors. Nothing’s better than crisp, clean white walls, especially if you can add comfort and character with — restrained! — color and texture.

Here are five ways to warm up white living rooms.

1. Contemporary natural

Natural elements can bring warmth and texture to a space. Photo by William Waldron

The Southampton, NY, home of interior designer Kelly Behun is a sleek, modern marvel by architecture firm Sawyer | Berson, but the interior, which Behun designed solo, reflects that casual air of its beach locale. With all that openness and sunlight, the room could quickly seem stark, but the wood-framed floor-to-ceiling windows, wood dining table, and living room chairs add a pared-down taste of nature. The subdued yet traditional rug, whimsical sofa, and chunky macramé plant hangers infuse additional warmth, textural interest, and an air of casualness, while still maintaining a contemporary vibe.

2. Anchor with black

You can black in an all-white room to soften the overall look. Photo by Maxwell Tielman for Design Sponge (left) Photo by Christine Francis for Yatzer (right)

Pairing white and black can often be a recipe for hard-edged minimalism, but these all-white rooms use black to help ground rather than provide jarring contrast. In the Catskills getaway on the left, which is painted in Pratt & Lambert “Silver Lining,” the black-painted brick fireplace holds one’s attention as the room’s focal point, while the ebony wood credenza provides a clear border on the right. The brass sputnik chandelier, salvaged raw wood floors, and whitewashed beams above add patina.

An overdyed black rug grounds and softens the minimalist living room on the right, in a Victorian home in Melbourne, Australia, designed by Georgina Jeffries and Pip McCully of Wonder Design.

3. Glam accents

Use beautiful accents to bring a bit of glam. Photo by Tessa Neustadt for Homepolish

Designer Orlando Soria, the West Coast creative director of interior design service Homepolish, put together this casual glam living room in Palm Springs belonging to best-selling author Kelly Oxford. Surrounded on every side in white, with frameless floor-to-ceiling windows with plain white curtains and glossy white wide-plank floorboards, not to mention modern white sofas, the space could easily read as sterile. The neutral rug (love that he resists the same-old, same-old sisal) adds a homey touch and honey glow, while the triple-tier brass side tables announce a glam girl lives here. The tufted teal ottoman is equally feminine, and potted plants bring the lush landscape in.

4. Pretty in pink

Pastels in an all-white room can help create an inviting environment. Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl (left) Photo by Anne de Leeuw for VT Wonen (right)

Danielle Moss, founder of popular lifestyle site The Everygirl, committed to using color in her new Lincoln Park, Chicago, apartment, seen on the left. The walls, painted Conforth White by Farrow & Ball, are actually the palest whisper of gray. Gold sconces and accessories add shine. The piece de resistance is a painting by fellow designer/blogger Jen Ramos.

In the living room on the right, styled by Marianne Luning, pink tones (and undertones) in mottled finishes match the almost unfinished character of the concrete walls. The soft lines of the sofa and plush fabrics, from the rug to the velvet pillow to the shaggy sheepskin ottoman, complete the inviting effect.

5. Rustic chic

Mix vintage and modern design elements for a cozy feel. Photo by Paulina Prcklin for The Style-Files (left). Photo by Pernille Kaalund for Femina (right)

Danielle de Lange of interior design blog The Style Files swathed her 100-year-old farmhouse in neutral colors and natural textures, creating an earthy feel she describes as rustic chic. Combining vintage finds and modern pieces, including antlers and a table that still resembles a tree, aboriginal artwork, and wooden stools, the room is both primarily white and absolutely cozy.

On the right, Danish fashion designer David Anderson uses vintage finds, like a movie lamp spotted in Copenhagen, to lend an industrial feel to his otherwise modernist white house. Safari chairs draped in animal skins add to the rawness.

This Modern Mountain Retreat Is Ideal Place to Unwind

Looking to get away this winter season? This modern retreat on Founders Ridge at Martis Camp in California’s High Sierra strikes us as an ideal place take in some fresh mountain air and unwind in front of a roaring fire.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Nestled among mature pines and rock outcroppings, the slanted-roof contemporary in Truckee, Calif., is a far cry from some of the massive mountain getaways found around the California-Nevada border. However, it’s hard not to like the coziness of this two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, which complements its summit setting perfectly with a mix of timbered hues, pitched beams and modern conveniences.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Inside, the sleek modern dwelling soaks up its rustic landscape though towering windows, while vaulted ceilings brighten wood-paneled spaces with a wealth of natural light.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Enjoying panoramic views of the Carson Range, the modern mountain retreat currently lists for $2.65 million.

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

from realtor.com

Katie Tyler of Tahoe Mountain Resorts Real Estate is the listing agent.

This article was originally published by Neal J. Leitereg on realtor.com. See more photos and the original article here. 

Architectural Elements: Sliding Barn Doors

We revisit a perennial favorite: traditional sliding barn doors.

Whether they’re new or reclaimed, the doors lend their rustic, practical sensibility to a space. They save room but are not tucked away like pocket doors, making a virtue out of their rugged beams and industrious hardware.

A San Francisco entryway by Feldman Architecture.

A black barn door in the entry hall of a TriBeCa Loft by Schappacher White Architects. Photograph by Jason Lindberg.

A black barn door in the entry hall of a TriBeCa Loft by Schappacher White Architects. Photograph by Jason Lindberg.

Photograph by Aaron Farley for Paper Magazine.

A bright red door by Los Angeles architect Barbara Bestor. Photograph by Aaron Farley for Paper Magazine.

A rustic barn door in a lake house designed by Birmingham, Alabama–based Studio C Architecture.

A rustic barn door in a lake house designed by Birmingham, Alabama–based Studio C Architecture.

With a simple Shaker sensibility, this sliding barn door divides the dining and play spaces at the Seesaw Cafe in San Francisco.

With a simple Shaker sensibility, this sliding barn door divides the dining and play spaces at the Seesaw Cafe in San Francisco.

A leather handle used on a sliding barn door by Alchemy Architects.

A leather handle used on a sliding barn door by Alchemy Architects.

An oversized reclaimed door in a studio by Patrick Davis Design.

An oversized reclaimed door in a studio by Patrick Davis Design.

Barn doors in the Vermont home of the founder of Oughton Limited Bags.

Barn doors in the Vermont home of the founder of Oughton Limited Bags.

The door of this bathroom by the Brooklyn Home Company was sourced from a New Hampshire sheep barn.

The door of this bathroom by the Brooklyn Home Company was sourced from a New Hampshire sheep barn.

A sliding barn door conceals a home office in a project by Greene Partners.

A sliding barn door conceals a home office in a project by Greene Partners.

The door to a bedroom in a Mill Valley, California, home by Artistic Designs for Living.

The door to a bedroom in a Mill Valley, California, home by Artistic Designs for Living.

Furniture maker Cliff Spencer crafts barn doors from reclaimed wine-barrel oak.

Furniture maker Cliff Spencer crafts barn doors from reclaimed wine-barrel oak.

This article courtesy of Remodelista.com, a one-stop sourcebook for the considered home, guiding readers through the design and renovation process with features such as Steal This Look, 10 Easy Pieces, and Architect Visits. The Remodelista.com aesthetic favors classic and livable over trendy and transient, well-edited interiors over cluttered environments, and thoughtfully designed products over mass-market, disposable goods.

Creating the Rustic Barn Look in Your Home

You may not find a wraparound porch or stalls with hay, but newly constructed homes and remodeled properties around the country are getting the barn treatment.

Tall windows weren’t commonly found in barns, but by adding overhead beams, Locati Architects made this space architecturally believable.

Designed by Locati Architects

“Everyone wants something like going home to grandma,” explained Christopher Travis, an architect and designer specializing in restoration projects and high-end remodels in rural communities. “The inspiration at the heart of it are things that remind them of their own experience or a period in history.”

In the early 1900s, American barns were purchased as kits from companies such as Sears Roebuck. Travis says crosshatch doors and other classic barn features were added because they were easy and cheap at the time, but now you have to make them from scratch.

As a result, today’s barn-home style is less about building an exact replica than embodying the rustic look and feel.

“It’s a flavor of rustic architecture,” Travis said. “People are drawn to it not because of aesthetics but because it’s comforting — it speaks of a time when things were simpler.”

Locati Architects built this home to look like a farm with the barn and outbuildings slowly added over time.

Modern amenities, rustic accessories

To create the look in your home, designer Anita Oates says you don’t have to have make your space old fashioned. In fact, she says it’s crucial to first design for your lifestyle.

A sliding barn door, barn-wood table and antique chandeliers give this contemporary kitchen a rustic feel without being dated. Designed by Anita Oates of Otrada LLC.

“Don’t have so many rules — it limits the creative process,” she said. “And, it all depends on how you choose to live. Do you have sit-down dinners or just grab breakfast and go?”

Once you’ve determined how you are going to use your space, don’t be afraid to bring in stainless steel appliances or other modern amenities. Just hide outlets, cords and remotes, if possible.

Christopher Travis shows how you can achieve the look and save money by mixing and matching dining room chairs.

Then try to be unconventional with the surrounding furniture and accessories. Consider bringing in a few antiques to create that lived-in feel.

“There are so many different ways to bring in six to 10 dining room chairs,” Oates said. ” Personally, I would put folding chairs under a barn-wood table.”

Interior designer and real estate agent Dotty Hopkins designed her kitchen with vintage-inspired, modern fixtures and appliances.

Travis suggests using an apron sink and curtains instead of cabinet doors. Here are a few other barn-inspired elements you could use to balance a contemporary space:

  • Crosshatched or barn doors
  • Riding boots
  • Embroidered initials
  • Wheelbarrow side table
  • Wheat or crop centerpieces
  • Burlap or canvas

Natural woods & metals

From barn-wood coffee tables to industrial light fixtures, barn-style furniture shows off two key materials: natural wood and metal. And, it’s not just the furniture; these materials can also be woven into the architecture of your space.

The key, Travis says, is to select items that are believable.

“You never see sheetrock in a farmhouse or barn-style building,” he said. “It’s always a plank wall. It has an emotional connection for people because that’s what they had in actual barns.”

Jordan Design Studios combines plank walls and vintage accessories for a historic barn look.

To give a new guest cabin a historic look and feel, Locati Architects‘ Greg Dennee experimented with industrial, reclaimed metal.

Locati Architects uses industrial metal on the walls of this bedroom to embody an old farm outbuilding.

“Our main strategy was to eliminate drywall because it didn’t exist 100 years ago,” he explained. “Nothing gives it away because it’s metal from end to end.”

Recycled materials in small doses

While authenticity is key, designers advise taking a less-is-more approach with bringing in recycled barn materials. Not only are they expensive, but they can also lose their appeal if used in abundance.

Dennee recently designed a barn-style home with large windows to show off the view of a nearby mountain range.

“The homeowners needed tall windows, but they were not historically accurate,” he said. “We had to find the right balance there, so I used recycled timber trusses to keep the scale manageable and believable but also create a large open space the homeowners wanted.”

Locati Architects purposely mixed materials in this man cave, creating a light space with architectural interest.

In a game room redesign, Dennee used barn-wood planking, tin countertops and backsplash, and a white wall to keep the room from feeling too heavy.

“You would never find white drywall in a barn, but we wanted it to feel light and bright,” he said. “Also, it doesn’t compete with other things in the room.”

The overall goal, according to Travis, is to avoid anything that connotes a completely contemporary or manufactured building.

“You want it to look like someone bought old antiques at an antique show,” he said. “Pick the pieces that are really special and speak to you emotionally, and have your designer build them into your space.”

This article was originally published by Catherine Sherman on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.