There’s something deeply romantic about Nina Freudenberger’s new book, Mountain House. Perhaps it’s the season in which they were captured: Many of the homes—which range from cliffside manses to log cabins—are photographed within the cool, snowy expanses of winter. Perhaps it’s the interiors, most of which are the visual epitome of hygge. Or perhaps it’s their faraway settings, that allow us to indulge in our very own escapist, Walden Pond-esque fantasies. “There is something about the sheer fact of distance and the incredible beauty of these landscapes that can put the perspective the endless beeping and buzzing of our devices. In a world this big, nothing is quite so urgent,” Fredenberger writes.
Indeed, beauty abounds within the coffee table book’s pages, which feature remote residences from the Austrian region of Tyrol to the Atlas Mountains. Some of them have well-known names attached to them: a home in Méribel, for example, is designed by the late, great French modernist Charlotte Perriand, whereas another in Patagonia is owned by Michelin-starred chef Francis Mallmann. Meanwhile, an expansive spread is dedicated to the childhood home of Not Vital in Sent, Switzerland—which now serves as his artistic retreat. “If you’re from this valley, you always tend to come back here,” Vital says. “Nature, the surroundings, the language—we speak Romansh, a language that not even one percent of the Swiss population speaks, so I had to come back to use my mother tongue.”
There’s a famous stanza in the Robert Frost poem, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”: My little horse must think it queer / To stop without a farmhouse near / Between the woods and frozen lake / The darkest evening of the year. With all respect to Frost, Mountain House is full of places where staying awhile seems like the most natural, desirable thing in the world.
Below, see some of the most spectacular homes in Mountain House.