Scooping up the title of the "Best New Home," doled out each year by Southern Living, is this ridiculously charming 5,000-square-foot lake house, built from locally sourced materials and inspired Early American Colonial architecture. Birmingham, Ala.-based architect Bill Ingram employed certain traditional design elements to give the Lake Martin home "the heft and permanence of a much older structure," like an exterior built entirely of cedar shingles and stone quarried in Alabama. "It looks like a historic country house, yet it's new!" gushes one of the editors.
From the inside, though, the spread feels rather modern, with an emphasis on open, sunny spaces. "We did not want the interiors to overpower the architecture or appear fussy," explains the architect, adding, "I always design floor plans to pull visitors toward the daylight." Standouts include the modern staircase, the pop of green paint on the kitchen ceiling, and those massive windows offering lake views on all sides. Southern Living has more photos, right this way.