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The ultimate woodland retreat

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When we say, ‘woodland retreat’ you say, in unison, ‘thatched cottage’ or ‘Hansel and Grettel’s witch’s house’ (just us? Oh, ok). Thankfully architect firm Miller Hull had something more contemporary in mind when they created this house for The Davis's.

Perched snugly on a cliff edge peering down on to the San Juan Islands of Washington State, on approach, the property looks like a glorified shed thanks to the polished metal cladding. But, move into the 1,400square foot space and you’ll find walls of glass looking south down the picturesque coastline.

Locating any sort of building in a coniferous forest means the building is going to have to resist the damaging effects of fir trees' acidic needles and sap. Large overhangs keep the glass out of harms reach as well as providing shelter for the inhabitants.

The main structure contains the kitchen and studio space, while a connecting tower holds the living room and master bedroom. It may not have any thatching, or sweets for walls, but we’d take this country house over anything we’ve seen in Hampshire - or in Fairy Tales - any day of the week.

Picture: Benjamin Benschneider.

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