You don't have to scale the Rockies for an authentic Western-style lodge experience. You can simply travel to the mountain valley town of Dorset, VT, where a secluded 12-acre estate -- complete with a nearly 9,000-square-foot compound of five barns -- can be yours for just a tad less than $2 million.
The main barn, which has the most living space, has updated interiors and is distressed just enough to feel cozy without sacrificing contemporary amenities. Its lofted wood beam ceiling is original, but everything else was carefully updated and meticulously curated. For example, the wood details were handcrafted by local artists and the enormous wood entry doors were sourced from Mexico.
"The entrance really struck me when I first went in the house," says listing agent Lisa Sullivan. Also astounding is the driveway, which leads to a sunken stone courtyard and flower gardens. Though the foyer -- with its brick floor, textured white walls, and original wooden beams -- "looks unassuming," says Sullivan, it's truly grand and serves as the centerpiece of the home.
Doors lead off every which way: To the right, go up or down the stairs to the two cozy guest suites, perfect for in-laws or overnight visitors. Or step forward through the Mexican doors to the kitchen -- a work of art in its own right.
Not content to settle for a traditional chef's setup, this barn-style kitchen features open plaster shelving flanking the stainless-steel stove. A vintage store counter with deep drawers is repurposed as an island and display space for lovely copper-clad cookware.
Although the home might seem oversized on paper, Sullivan insists there are "no huge, massive rooms you might not ever use." Each room feels purposeful -- from the library to the great room with its antler chandelier and stone fireplace.
The woods surrounding the five-bedroom home are visible from nearly every room, as well as the window-lined and brick-paved hallway leading to the master suite.
Outside, a brook runs through the 12-acre property and is visible from the screened-in porch and stone patio.
"One of the most wonderful features is its privacy and seclusion," Sullivan says. The home is just minutes from Manchester and Dorset, but being in it makes it "feel like you're really out in the wilderness." You and your guests can even traverse the private hiking trail, which ends in a little gazebo set back against the brook -- or feel free to cut your own once winter passes.