OMG, I Want to Rent This House spotlights the most spectacular and unique homes that you can actually stay in. From open-air villas to an adult treehouse, we explore all the places that you should book for an unforgettable getaway.
The Shearer House, Jaffrey, NH on Vrbo: We respect bears, though normally we try to keep our distance. But with winter descending, we find ourselves wanting to get a little more up close and personal with their way of life. Hibernating through the cold, spending our days eating and drinking and lolling around (hey, we don’t actually want to sleep the months away)— what could be better?
But there’s one thing those four-legged smelly wonders got wrong. There’s no way we’re spending our Netflix and hibernate days in a cramped, dirty den. We would prefer to decamp to this mid-century mountain mansion in the New Hampshire hills. The Shearer house was originally built in the 1950s and was one of the pinnacle creations of architect Henry Hoover. (If you don’t believe us, just look at the cover of Breaking Ground: Henry B. Hoover, New England Modern Architect—the Shearer House is a star!)
The home was renovated in 2002, but all the classic Hoover moves were preserved: the modularization of space (have something you need to do? there's a room for that); the love of right angles (hello, boxy lady); and the focus on the gorgeous surroundings (as the listing says, “glass. So much glass.”). As the original owner Constance Shearer once said, “You can’t compete with nature. The pictures outside our windows change every season.”
The Shearer House may be a spacious 6,000 square feet, but it will still feel warm and cozy during your winter lie-in. The three fireplaces, Douglas fir-paneled walls, and hot tub add to the ambience, though if you decide to fill each of the six bedrooms with members of your clan, things may start to feel a little—er—cave-like.
There is no doubt that Hoover did some of his best work on this 160-acre plot. But even the finest design can’t compete with the real draw of a stay at Shearer House: the great outdoors. We know, we know, this goes against everything a bear believes in come winter. But situated on the state park lands of Mount Monadnock, everything on this estate is oriented around the famous mountain and the fun that can be had in nature. There are lakes to swim in, hiking paths to wander, and so much visual inspiration to soak up. While the property isn't ski in/ski out, there are five separate ski areas within a two hour drive.
Mount Monadnock has a long history of inspiring the greats. Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau all made pilgrimages to this area. So why not use your winter respite to try your hand at entering the pantheon of Great American Authors. Not only do you have New Hampshire’s most beloved peak to help fuel the fire for what will undoubtedly be the next big book of American essays, but your hibernation palace itself can do its part. As the authors of Breaking Ground note, “Of the more than one hundred residential designs spanning a half-century, the Shearer House is Hoover’s most dramatic achievement.” Get ready to one-up Hoover in the drama department…that is if you ever get your lazy winter butt off the couch.
Book Your Stay: The Shearer House in Jaffrey, NH: $1400/night via Vrbo