IF THE SIGHT OF THIS INVITING lakefront home stirs thoughts of campfires, canoeing, and s'mores, it's no accident. The woodsy aesthetic was partly inspired by the boys' camp of which the property once was a part. Architect John Cole captured the vision of his nature-loving clients in a residence that respects its environment and feels like a natural outgrowth of the forest. Not a single tree was taken from the site during construction.

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Inside, recycled wood was used for framing, flooring, and wainscoting, although the three-bedroom home is far from rustic. Comfort and convenience are ensured by pre-wiring for Internet access and radiant heating. Porches, decks, bay windows, and alcoves make the most of spectacular views.

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One of the design objectives, Cole says, was to create small spaces throughout the house—such as a stairway landing large enough for a rocking chair—that allow the owners to have cozy, sunny places to read and relax.

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Category: Custom, one-of-a-kind, less than 3,500 square feet (tie); Entrant/Architect/Interior designer: John Cole Architect, Arlington, Mass.; Builder: Damon Builders, Mechanic Falls, Maine