While people love a grand old house, American architects and designers continue a tradition of innovative homebuilding today. At just under $1 million, this Three Oaks country retreat designed by Chicago architect Larry Booth shows what modern builders can do. Constructed in 1993, but with a complete interior redesign in 2012, this 1-bedroom contemporary has two guest houses and can comfortably sleep eight. Just steps away from the Galien River, the home features stunning outdoor living spaces including a stone dining area, swimming pool and spa with views of the estate's 57 acres of untouched Michigan prairie.
Relaxation happens indoors, too—a massive free-standing soaking tub in white porcelain contrasts elegantly with the master bath's wood paneling (itself a fun, understated nod to old-school Up North cottages). A sun porch with glass walls gives guests the feeling of being up high in the trees. The main living space has a massive concrete fireplace, and sculptural beams whose angles playfully hint at old barn posts.
While the property has amenities enough to keep visitors completely occupied, Lake Michigan beaches (including New Buffalo), are just minutes away, and the nearby village of Three Oaks offers dining and drinking venues like the Journeyman Distillery (known for whiskey and tapas) and Pleasant House, whose authentic British pub fare includes massive scratch-made meat pies. - Rebecca Golden