Do you dream of living like a princess in your own fairytale palace? Or is a cozy woodcutter’s cottage more your style? The following 20 storybook homes from around the world will have you longing for the world of your childhood imagination.
20. Chrismark Castle
Disney meets Transylvania in Woodstock, Connecticut’s, Chrismark Castle, a brooding fantasy home with more than a hint of Gothic nightmare. The eccentric, 20,000-square-foot palace was built by Christopher W. Mark, a descendent of Chicago industrialist Clayton Mark Sr., and even features its own moat. In 2014, moreover, it was put on the market for a whopping $45 million.
19. Hang Nga Crazy House
Like an enchanted castle, the weirdly organic Hang Nga Crazy House in Vietnam seems to merge with the cascade of jungle roots around it. It is owned and was built by Đặng Việt Nga; her intention was “to bring people back to nature to be more friendly with it, to love it.”
18. The Boot
“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,” begins the nursery rhyme that may have been the inspiration for this quirky, boot-shaped cottage in New Zealand. Its owners rent it out as a luxurious B&B, inviting guests to “enjoy a fairytale experience of soleful relaxation.”
17. Zakopane House
Houses often have distinctive characters, but it is rare for a building to appear as if it is actually alive. This mountain house in Zakopane, Poland, though, features a fluidly curved roof and overhanging eaves that all add up to make it seem like the home is totally animated. A dwelling fit for a wizard, perhaps.
16. Woodland Cottage
This delightful cottage in Canada is immersed in a swell of forest foliage and easily looks as if it might be home to Little Red Riding Hood. The surrounding vegetation is so lush and abundant, it envelops half the house in greenery: something that just adds to the overall magical and storybook-perfect effect.
15. Maison de Sorcière
The gently decaying Maison de Sorcière (Witch’s House) features gnarled stonework, crooked banisters and a pointed gothic tower just like a witch’s hat. Little is known about the home, other than it is located in Clichy-sous-Bois, one of the most isolated and neglected suburbs of Paris.
14. Teahouse Tetsu
What could be dreamier than sipping tea high up in a tree house surrounded by blushes of bright pink cherry blossoms? The enchanting Teahouse Tetsu, built by Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori, evokes pure wonder.
13. The Winckler
The Winckler is a custom-built home surrounded by pine trees and overlooking the water on Vancouver Island, Canada. Its distinctive, sweeping, split cedar shake rooftop could easily place it in the pages of a children’s storybook – after all, it’s not too hard to picture Goldilocks nibbling on porridge here.
12. Chateau LeMoine
The fairytale Chateau LeMoine in Los Angeles was a labor of love for French architect Earl LeMoine. Inspired by the chateaux of his homeland, he built the house in 1925 as a surprise birthday present for his wife. In recent years, new owners have extensively renovated the kitschy property.
11. Half House
The diminutive Half House in Charlevoix, Michigan was created with rough-hewn granite boulders and might just suit a family of gnomes. It’s one of a series built by architect Earl Young, who stood at just 5 foot 4 inches; his friend and fellow draftsman Jack Begrow described its style as “Early Mother Goose.”
10. Spadena House
The pointy roof and poky windows of the Spadena House in Beverly Hills, California, are witchy in the extreme. The house was designed by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver in 1921 and described as “quintessential Hansel and Gretel” by architect Charles Willard Moore. Certainly, at least, it looks like it’s straight from the darker fringes of a Disney fairytale.
9. 157 Pilgrim Drive
Secluded in a Colorado valley near the town of Edwards, this sublime English-style estate is fit for a king. Its long driveway, steeped in silver-barked aspen trees, culminates in a stone-built arch and beckons the grandeur of a horse-drawn carriage.
8. Jack Sparrow Cabin
Nestled between green fields and the picturesque Falmouth Bay in the U.K., Jack Sparrow Cabin enjoys a setting that is as magical as its design. The cottage is capped by a handsome pointed roof, overlooks the sea and will immediately transport you to a more enchanted time and place.
7. Catskills Victorian Cottage
This tiny gingerbread cottage, nestled on the edge of the woods near a stream in the Catskills, began life as an old hunting cabin. Sandra Foster transformed it into her dream Victorian home for a mere $3,000 – and, due to beautiful design features like white paper garlands and a crystal chandelier, its interior is as fanciful as its exterior.
6. Circular Cottage
This quaint circular cottage is part of Blaise Hamlet in Bristol, England. It was designed by architect John Nash, a pioneer of the Picturesque movement, and built by philanthropist John Scandrett Harford for his employees in the early 19th century; this and the hamlet’s other eight cottages are owned by the U.K. conservationist charity the National Trust.
5. Storybook Cottage
The aptly named Storybook Cottage stands secluded within over eight acres of woodland in Rhinebeck, New York, and is a romantic stone-built hideaway with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings and a cozy open fireplace. Numerous artisans were employed in its construction, conjuring up such distinctive features as its whimsical curling roof.
4. Isabella’s Little Pink House
From the purple-pink color scheme to the heart-shaped window frames and profusion of cheery flowers, a lot of love has gone into this cartoon-like house in Orlando, Florida. It’s cute, sweet and thankfully sans the child-eating witch of Hansel and Gretel lore.
3. Green Roofs of Norway
The green roofs of Norway meld with the surrounding landscape and evoke fairies and nature sprites with their lush canopies of sprouting grass, trees, flowers and foliage. The tradition of green roofs dates back to the time of the Vikings and provides houses with added insulation and structural stability.
2. The House of Stone
The House of Stone was built from four imposing boulders in the Fafe countryside of Portugal and is fantastical enough to have come straight from the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm. Who lives here? Woodcutter, elf, gnome – or caveman?
1. Brooklyn Gingerbread House
The New York Daily News has called Brooklyn’s Gingerbread House “the most magnificent residence in all of New York City.” The $11 million dwelling was built using multicolored stonework in the style of an English cottage and is an exceptional example of early 20th-century Arts and Crafts architecture – a style that emphasizes natural materials and workmanship.