Mountain-Style House Plans: Not Just for Vacation Homes
Tired of waking up to the sounds of tooting car horns and screeching tires? And the sight of high-rise buildings when you look out your windows? Then it’s time to head up to the mountain retreat and get in tune with nature and its many beautiful sights.
Once most prevalent in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain States—and as vacation/weekend retreat homes—the mountain-style house plan is now emerging as one of the trendiest designs in today’s architectural scene. Today, it’s a popular choice among a growing number of homeowners attracted to a rustic, tranquil setting with wonderful views.
With its many decks and windows, this two-story, five-bedroom Colorado mountain-style home provides wonderful views from great vantage points: the front entrance at sunset, top, and the rear view below during the day (Plan #161-1028). (Courtesy of Rentfrow Design / Photo credit: Warren Diggles Photography)
What is the Mountain-Style House Plan?
A style that takes advantage of sweeping views of the natural surroundings and the outdoors, the mountain house plan is a versatile design that can be adapted as a permanent home, a vacation place, and a weekend retreat at any time of the year. Mountain homes can be built by a lakeside, in the mountains, or in a wooded or sloping area.
Enjoy nature’s spectacular beauty above from the sundeck of the two-story, four-bedroom mountain-style ranch seen below (Plan #163-1048).
Features of the Mountain-Style Home
Today’s mountain-style home can be a combination of the rustic, casual, modern, and sophisticated. Usually two-level structures, mountain house plans typically have these distinct features:
1.Large windows and wide wraparound decks to take advantage of the scenery.
Windows, windows, more windows provide this two-story, four-bedroom Colorado mountain house plan with plenty of views (Plan #161-1036). Sit back and bask in the surroundings from the deck, below.
2.Cozy fireplaces, usually constructed of locally-sourced, natural materials such as stone.
Top: Relax and warm up in front of this rock/stone fireplace in the family room of a one-story, five-bedroom mountain home (Plan #135-1018). Bottom:The stone facing stops at the mantel in this living area of a two-story, three-bedroom log cabin (Plan #160-1009). Note the high ceilings in both rooms and the fireplaces made of stone with wood mantels.
3. Timber/log, wood siding, or shingles for exteriors and exposed wood beams outside and inside.
This typical mountain-style home has exposed wood beams and an exterior of rock/stone and wood siding (Plan #135-1087).
4.Steep rooflines so heavy snow will fall to the ground instead of staying on the rooftops.
The snow-covered roof of this five-bedroom mountain home is a pretty sight (top), but it doesn’t stay long on the steep gable roof, as seen above (Plan #135-1015).
5.High, vaulted ceilings with rustic beams, which create an open feel and cozy environment.
This close-up picture (above) shows the high ceilings and exposed beams of the living/family area of a five-bedroom luxury mountain home design. Below is a full view of the room with the arched beams and wide windows framed in wood (Plan #135-1018).
Here is an amazing open floor plan of a two-story, four-bedroom luxury mountain-style plan. Its modern design gets a nice touch of the homey with the patterned cushions on the solid blue L-shape sofa. Straight ahead is the dining area, and to the left is a billiards table (Plan #161-1000).
7.State-of-the-art kitchens for family gatherings and entertaining overnight guests.
From this Great Room (top) of a two-story, four-bedroom Colorado mountain-style home, family and friends can move the party to the lovely kitchen painted in warm hues (above). On the right is a closeup view of the stovetop and built-in cabinets (Plan #161-1036).
A modern and spacious kitchen is one of the wonderful features of this five-bedroom luxury Colorado mountain home. Built-in wood cabinets, track lighting, and hanging lights make the kitchen very attractive. Check out the cozy breakfast nook and the intricately designed high chairs (Plan #161-1028).
The Many Faces of the Mountain-Style Homes
One of the attractions of the mountain-style plan is the flexibility it offers in the way of architectural design and size. It may be a log cabin or an A-frame for a vacation/second home or a weekend retreat in the mountains, or a luxurious permanent home. Here is a close look at the various mountain-style house plans.
Throw away the image of a one-room hunting cabin in a wooded area!
The 21st century version is a far cry from the handcrafted one introduced in the 1700s by Swedish immigrants. That original single-room log house—made of hand-hewn or sawn timbers—has evolved into a bigger, more sophisticated home with all the conveniences of modern living but with all its rustic charm intact.
Today’s log cabins still evoke visions of mountains, rivers, woods, peaceful relaxation in front of a fire, and the longing to have your very own fairy-tale cabin by the lake. They still have the signature interlocking timbers as part of their design, as well as the wood interiors, wraparound porches, decks, tall windows, and high ceilings with exposed beams.
Some may be more stylish than others. But, from the small and minimalist to the bigger and intricate, log cabins remain cozy, homey, warm, and comfortable.
Built on elevated ground, this two-story, three bedroom log cabin features a wraparound porch and tall windows that provide great glimpses of the outdoor landscapes (top). Inside is a high-ceilinged Great Room (above) with a fireplace, small-paned glass windows, and double doors that open to the deck (Plan #160-1015).
While this two-story, three-bedroom cabin looks unimposing from the exterior (top), it has a lot of charming features—starting with the decks (above), warm wood interiors, high ceilings, fireplace, and the entire second level devoted to the master suite (Plan #160-1009).
Here is a look into the kitchen/dining area from the Great Room (Plan #160-1009).
People who prefer to go retro with their mountain home may like the A-frame—a style that took off in the late ‘50s through the ‘70s. With its steep roofline that helps the snow slide to the ground, the A-frame is often considered a classic style for a vacation home/weekend retreat in the mountains or in snowy lake areas.
This delightful two-story A-frame vacation home above—with the signature steep roof—packs a lot in 1,677 square feet of space: a wraparound porch with a roof over the main entrance (below), an abundance of large windows around the home for natural light to filter in, high ceilings, a spacious Great Room, two bedrooms, a loft for extra sleeping space, a mudroom, a pantry, and a private deck in second story master suite (Plan #177-1032).
A-frame homes are simply constructed—with a mix of wood and stone that gives them a feel of the rustic. Usually one-and-a-half to two-story structures, A-frames have high ceilings with exposed beams and modern open floor plans. Their distinct features are: wraparound porches, huge glass-pane doors, floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the decks, fireplaces, and lofts for additional bed space.
Here’s another classic A-frame style vacation home, nestled in the mountain area. The two-story, three-bedroom house plan comes with wide windows, high ceilings, a spacious wraparound deck for outdoor entertaining, a Great Room, a fireplace, and a master suite on the second floor. You can look down at the living and dining areas from the second-story balcony (Plan #146-2827).
Craftsman-Style Mountain Homes
With its emphasis on simple elegance and beauty, the mountain house plan is closely related to the Craftsman style, one of the most popular and appealing architectural designs. Craftsman homes—born out of the Arts and Crafts movement—emphasize simplicity, originality, functionality, and the use of local materials, including shingles, brick, stone and wood.
Craftsman homes are versatile and adaptable. Similar to the mountain-style homes, they come with wide porches, high ceilings, open floor layouts, exposed beams, and rafters along with triangular trims in the gables. All of these features create an inviting and lovely rustic look.
This one-story, four-bedroom Craftsman-style mountain home—built in a secluded wooded area with mountain and lake views—has an expansive covered porch, a gable roof with asphalt shingles, and shakes for the exterior wall. Photos show a glimpse of the many windows that surround the house. With all of the windows and an open floor layout, the home is bright and airy (Plan #163-1054).
Contemporary Mountain Homes
If you’re not captivated by charm of the log cabin, A-frame, and Craftsman home plans, then you can opt for a modern, contemporary mountain-style plan. These designs may come with asymmetrical rooflines, various angles, and other unique elements of contemporary plans. But they all have the common features of mountain homes: lots of tall or wide windows that allow the light to stream in and provide views of the outdoors, open floor plans, porches, and decks.
A luxurious contemporary one-story, five-bedroom mountain-style home plan features an asymmetrical gable roofline with stick and truss framing (Plan #135-1018).
Here is a close up look at the stone-and-wood exterior facade from the rear elevation (top). Unwind in the spa room above and enjoy the outdoor views (Plan #135-1018).
This is as modern and contemporary as you can get with the mountain-style home. A two-story, four-bedroom home built on an upslope has amazing curb appeal. Windows of all shapes and sizes allow lots of light and give the home a warm and airy feel (Plan #161-1000).
Imagine entertaining in this marvelously spacious modern eat-in kitchen at top, which includes a kitchen island, nook/breakfast area, peninsula/eating bar, butler’s pantry, and walk-in pantry. After a meal, you can walk down to the rear patio above for some quiet moments (Plan #161-1000).
So if you're looking for an attractive and amazing home design for your lifestyle, you may discover that the mountain-style house plan—from the simple, rustic, quiet vacation/weekend retreat to the elegant, sophisticated primary residence—is the answer.
Footnote: The lead image in this article is from a one-story, three-bedroom rustic mountain home. For more details, see Plan #135-1049.