A more luxury rural retreat there could not be, thanks to the opulent creativity of the architects at Brininstool + Lynch. The contemporary Coffou cottage on Lake Michigan is the dream retreat for a Chicago family looking to trade the hustle and bustle for the trees, the water and the unobstructed views. Essentially a custom cottage – but so much more than just a cottage in its traditional sense – this magnificent, modern retreat blends seamlessly with surrounding nature. Concealed by a wooded rain screen and clad in large expanses of glass, the three-bedroom house has a certain quietness; an understated quality about it that disappears as soon as you cross the threshold. A charming country exterior gives way to chic, contemporary interiors that continue to make great use of natural materials. The open-concept kitchen, living and dining room and porch frame the forest views. In fact, Brininstool + Lynch have thoughtfully planned every room to underline the pristine views. But behind the beauty there is a purpose. These floor-to-ceiling windows absorb the sun to passively heat the home during the cold months of the year. Radiant-heat concrete flooring also does its part. Brininstool + Lynch.