Cape Cod Vacation Rentals: Swedish-Style Barn

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

Cape Cod homes in New England are usually one-story buildings (without a second floor) and tend to be low and broad. Featuring a very conservative style, Cape Cod homes include a large central chimney and a moderately steep gabled roof. The Cape Cod home-style had early beginnings in the United States around the seventeenth century. This style combines symmetrical design using natural materials to ensure they can hold up to New England’s harsh winters.

A traditional Cape Cod-style home also has a central front door that is surrounded by multi-paned windows. This home-style has been around for some time. While they are not all the same, ranging from more simple and practical to more sleek and modern, they share similarities.

If that’s not enough, there are many Cape Cod vacation rentals with special online pricing including some from The Cape Cod Modern House Trust.  The perfect vacation rental can be found all over Cape Cod Bay and in places like Harwich Port, Martha’s Vineyard, Buzzards Bay, Mayflower Beach.  We found one that looks like a cozy cottage and is designed like a Swedish Barn!  Cottage rentals are a big thing here!  There’s a strong maritime history and many lighthouses like the Nobska Lighthouse to enjoy!  Other rental services include and Kinlin Grover Vacation Rentals.

Cape Cod has a hidden history. Early American bohemian architects from wealthy family backgrounds turned the area into an experimental lab for mid-century modern architecture. During the same period, European emigres from Germany, including Bauhaus’ founder and his students, started coming to the area to enjoy summers and apply their trade, incorporating Bauhaus design styles with Cape Cod features.

Cape Cod also seems to have a lot of open houses. It is a hotbed for art, history, and culture. The beaches are great too. If you end up traveling, enjoy some of the beautiful interior spaces but before you go, check out some Sotheby’s listings for a house number and inspiration. n the buying mode? Cape Cod National Seashore properties are available from a variety of realtors like 3Harbors Realty on their website or social media accounts.

Table of Contents

  1. Unique Swedish-Style Luxury Barn Rental for Four in Cape Cod, Massachusetts
      1. What We Like
      2. Five-Star Features
      3. Shocker Feature
      4. Full Gallery
      5. Things to Do
        1. Harwich Port
        2. Martha’s Vineyard
        3. Mayflower Beach
        4. Buzzards Bay
    1. Learn More: History Of Cape Cod Style Houses
      1. World War II
    2. Learn More: The Exterior Of Cape Cod Houses
      1. 1: The Half Cape
      2. 2: Three-Quarter Cape
      3. 3: Double Cape
    3. Learn More: The Interior Of Cape Cod Homes
    4. Summing All Up
      1. Symmetry
      2. Steep Roofs
      3. Large Central Chimney
      4. Wood Frame
      5. Shingle Siding
      6. Simple Exterior Decoration
      7. Small Interiors
    5. Conclusion

Unique Swedish-Style Luxury Barn Rental for Four in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

We simply love this one.  If you’re into luxury-style camping, why not consider ‘glamping’?  This Swedish-style luxury barn is located in Sandwich, Massachusetts on the southwest corner of Cape Cod Bay.  

Never stayed in a farmhouse-style barn?  You’re in for a real treat! Now’s your chance with vacation homes like this one as it could be the ultimate Cape Cod vacation you’ll be telling friends for a while.  Many of these are near pristine beaches, a sandy beach, and as a beach rental, it’s a charming retreat in a beautiful natural setting. 

What We Like

This barn can hold up to four people but it comes with the luxury you’d expect from “traditional” accommodations – the hotel. Who would want to stay at a hotel when you compare this Cape Cod’s natural surroundings?  It’s an entire cottage experience. 

Five-Star Features

Accommodations include guest popular amenities:

  • Two Queen-sized beds located on the second floor of the barn
  • Entrance and Bathroom located on the first floor
  • Fully equipped kitchen, dining room, with spacious living area upstairs that offer maximum natural lighting with many windows and high ceilings
  • Enjoy the hammock for those quiet afternoon naps and or the fire pit for story-telling, drinks and games at night. 
  • A nearby creek nearby for nature frolick available too! 
  • If that’s too much, well, enjoy the deck and outdoor furniture.
  • Linen, towels, and washing machine ensure everyone is clean.
  • Wi-Fi, internet and television access ensure you’re not completely disconnected.
  • Yes, satellite/cable too. 😉
  • Basics:  Iron, Hairdryer,  Shower, Toilet, Sink, Cooking Basics, Fridge, Microwave, Stove, Towels, Parking
  • Essentials: Water, HOT water, firewood and cell service, first aid kit and smoke detector
  • Extra: Amazing but there’s wheelchair accessibility, an elevator and a wheelchair accessible bathroom!

Shocker Feature

How about a complimentary sauna – yes! – a sauna, that is available for any visitor from November through April.  If you’re arriving May through October, there is some room to negotiate with the host too!

If you haven’t fallen in love yet, why not go to to set up an account and book this Swedish-style barn for your next Cape Cod getaway.  There are many other vacation rental homes available on this delish travel booking service which can let you rent out an entire cottage. 

Things to Do

Each of these spots is a short drive from your vacation experience.  Some are popular beaches.

Harwich Port

Harwich Port, about 33 minutes from your stay, is a popular vacation spot on Cape Cod.  It is also a popular vacation spot and you will find Wychmere Beach Club and the Allen Harbor Yacht Club here.  Its “Three Harbors, One Port” motto also includes Saquatucket Harbor.

If you’re into art and antiques, you can visit these sports for starters:

  • Nines Art Gallery
  • Cross Rip Gallery
  • The Art GAllery of the Guild of Harwich Artists
  • Windsong Antiques
  • Wychmere Harbor

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard is not far either.   You’re looking at 1 1/2 hours from Sandwich.  But there’s a small catch.  It’s only accessible by air or boat, making it uber-exclusive.  Not bad at all if you want a chance to literally sit on the Atlantic Ocean just south of Cape Cod.

Vineyard Haven (east end) has a ferry port and is a commercial center.  Without bridges or tunnels, you must rely on the ferry ride.  But don’t worry, the southern shores have calm waters.

There is no other way to describe it.  Martha’s Vineyard is New England’s “summer colony”, drowning in harbor towns, sandy beaches, lighthouses, and farmland.   In Oak Bluffs, you’ll find some amazing Carpenter Gothic cottages and an iconic carousel.  It’s a beach & town but is filled with beach activities.

If you’re looking for some popular beaches, South Beach is a natural beauty and the area has a rich history that is simply unavoidable.  Enjoy Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, the Flying Houses Carousel, and the Edgartown Lighthouse for starters!

Mayflower Beach

Mayflower Beach, 30 minutes away, is a gorgeous beach.  The photos speak volumes!  If you want to fall in love with life, bring your loved one and watch for the sunset.  You’ll be alive.  The sand is very soft, the water is crisp.  The tidal flats and warm tidal pools are a favorite for young kids before they dip into the actual ocean for a swim.  Worried about big waves?  With kids?  Don’t worry, as they don’t exist.  If you’re a surfer, this is not the place to be.  The tidal flats speak volumes as this is a great beach to relax, swimming, and skimboard.

Buzzards Bay

Buzzards Bay, a 14-minute drive and on the southern shores, is worth a short trip if you’re a history buff.  Here, you will find the George I. Briggs House.  Added in 1981 to the National Register of Historic Places, it is a historical house museum run by the Bourne Historical Society. 

The home was built around 1802 by Josephus Keene but renovated and expanded by George Briggs around the 1830s, in the Greek Revival style.  The house also has a ceiling mural painted in 1890 by a local artist called Charles Raleigh.  Buzzards Bay also has some options for good eats too!

Learn More: History Of Cape Cod Style Houses

Puritan carpenters from England brought this beautiful architectural style to our amazing country. Due to the harsh climate of New England, Puritan carpenters needed to make sure these houses were able to last. This is why they usually used different kinds of wood like pine and oak they could find in the nearby areas. They used these materials to cover clapboard and cedar shingles. 

To ensure there was always a good temperature inside, they included a large central chimney indoors and low ceilings. In addition, they also decided to include shutters to protect windows.  

Over time, Cape Cod houses underwent slight changes. While in the beginning, most of them were just plain square structures, they have evolved into larger abodes with more square feet and even a guest room. One of the things that many of them include are wings not only on the back but also on the sides. This is just normal since more and more people are looking for larger dining areas, garages, and other amenities. In some Cap Code homes, you can also find an attic bedroom, one of the favorite features of our team. So, some have decided to add more dormers to have more space and light. Porches are also common. No matter if they are located at the front or back of the home, this adds a bit more to outdoor spaces and provides easier access.

World War II

After World War II, the demand for housing led to one of the largest building booms in the country. New materials and design ideas for middle-class housing lead to the expansion of the suburbs. William Levitt built over 140,000 homes based on small lots and winding streets.

Pre-war designs had smaller houses on larger lots because of the high cost of building supplies and low cost of land. During the Great Depression, new building development was slow and there were material shortages during the war. The construction of 11 to 12 million units was necessary at the end of World War II. Most were built on the outskirts of cities and towns.

The Cape Cod design was designed to fit in with the needs of the middle class and was made with modern materials and a simple form. Ranch houses and Cape Code were favored during the late 40s and 50s. Both were single-story buildings with a long modest façade facing the street with a low, broad roofline. The patio at the rear of the house replaced the small front porches.

The Cape Cod-style, which is popular on the east coast, has a higher ridge line than the ranch style and has double-hung sash windows with shutters and clapboarding. The ranch house tended to favor the plain, horizontal, sometimes unsymmetrical influences of the Prairie style over traditional materials or designs.

Learn More: The Exterior Of Cape Cod Houses

As we mentioned above, Cape Cod houses are not all the same. Traditional Cape Cod homes can be classified into three category styles. They include:

1: The Half Cape

This type of home features a front door on one side of the home and two multi-paned windows on the other side. This is actually the original Cape Cod format and style. As families grew, more additions would be made to the house and floor plan, leading to a new look and style. Some amazing homes look like modern farmhouses. They also tend to be small homes. Additions could include an upper level or second floor with windows for effective circulation and light.

2: Three-Quarter Cape

The three-quarter Cape was the most popular style in the 18th and early-19th centuries. This style includes a front door and two multi-paned windows on one side of the home and one multi-paned window on the other.

3: Double Cape

Also known as Full Cape, it is a style that is actually more common today. However, it was quite rare among settlers since it was reserved for the wealthiest. This style features a central door and two multi-paned windows placed symmetrically on either side. In addition, it also includes a massive chimney and a steep roof. While there are different categories, a Cape code house plan remains very similar in layout. 

As we already mentioned above, all Cape Cod homes feature shutters to avoid damage from high winds. These could be opened or closed depending on the weather conditions. However, nowadays, most shutters are just decorative, and include new windows, as is typical with a Cape Cod cottage.

When you think about a Cape Cod home, you immediately think about a white picket fence. No matter if you live in a town or the country, or on the main street, a white picket fence is perfect to create a defined border of your property. Obviously, a small garden with minimal grass is also a must-have. You may want to add a field of wildflowers to your front yard or you may prefer roses which are a more classic touch. 

Learn More: The Interior Of Cape Cod Homes

Just like the exterior of these homes tend to be very similar, the same could be said for the interior. However, you can always make some changes and add a couple of modern amenities. 

As soon as you enter one of these houses, you usually see the staircase that leads you to the small upper floor. This usually only holds two bedrooms for children. On the lower floor, you can usually find all the other rooms including the master bedroom. 

One common element that you can find in traditional Cape Cod homes is wood. While we already mentioned that wood was used for the exterior, it is also a material that you can find inside these homes; especially for the flooring and ceiling. 

Since most Cape Cod homes tend to be rather small, they usually feature white walls. However, it is also common to see pastel color palettes that turn rooms a bit bigger. Besides, you must take advantage of the small inner space. This is why you can find such a wide variety of bookshelves and china cabinets. These don’t only deliver a unique look and feel as they are also practical. 

While the exterior of Cape Cod houses is symmetric, this trend can continue in the interior. In fact, you can easily find bead-board or board and batten somewhere in an old Cape Cod. After all, this was something that made a home unique and required little money and time. One of the rooms that tend to include bead-boards are kitchens. Between the ceiling, cabinet backs, and cabinet fronts, there are many options. 

The reality is that even if you love traditional Cape Cod homes, this doesn’t mean that you have to remain with a traditional interior as well. In fact, one of the most recent trends in the creation of an open layout. 

Summing All Up

Cape Cod design is incredibly popular and it is easily identifiable. While you can find some more elaborate Cape Cod homes, the truth is that they all share similarities.


Symmetry is always present in Cape Cod homes. A rectangular-shaped home combined with other geometrical features. The central door is multi-paned and the windows are always positioned at a similar distance from the door. Shutters are also a must. 

Steep Roofs

Steep roofs are another common element to all Cape Cod homes. Used to prevent snow and ice from building up, these were a need and ended up being one of the most characteristic elements of this style. 

Large Central Chimney

The original New England homes needed to include features that allowed people to remain comfortable during the harsh winters. So, these tended to include a large chimney in the center that featured some fireplaces. Since this style spread, some of the Cape Cod-style homes built in the South had the chimney placed on the outer wall. The goal was to allow heat to dissipate. 

However, with the introduction of stoves and furnaces, these big chimneys ended up losing their main purpose. So, they started becoming smaller and located in just one end of the home. 

Wood Frame

Traditional Cape Cod homes were made using wood, mainly pine and oak. This trend continues since wood remains a cheap building material.

Shingle Siding

Another common element of this style is the inclusion of cedar shake shingles or clapboard that cover the sides and roof of Cape Cod houses. They were designed mainly to protect people from the harsh climatic conditions of New England winter.

Simple Exterior Decoration

In regards to the exterior decoration of this style, we can say that it’s pretty simple or even modest. Grass and a small yard with roses and maybe a porch, all surrounded by a white picket fence. 

Small Interiors

Cape Cod houses used quite small inside. However, this also made them cozier. Originally made because they were cheap, it is frequent to find these homes with additions and expansions. In most cases, the houses are about one or 1.5 stories that feature low ceilings.

The lower floor usually includes the dining room, living room, kitchen, master room, and bathroom. Besides, the floor plans are square or rectangle in shape with French doors that lead to the patio area. While the walls tend to include pastel colors, they are now usually white. 


While Cape Cod homes have changed a bit ever since they were first built, they still maintain their main characteristics and they are still very popular in New England.

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