Fall­ing for An A Frame

Atomic Ranch - - Contents - By Jessie Yount Pho­tog­ra­phy by Ben Rahn from The Mod­ern A-frame, reprinted by per­mis­sion of Gibbs Smith.

A for­mer city dweller dis­cov­ers a whole new life in a woodsy New Hamp­shire town, thanks to her cozy, clas­sic A-frame from the 1950s.

A min­i­mal­ist trades her apart­ment in the big city for an A-frame in woodsy New Hamp­shire.

THE POP­U­LAR­ITY OF THE A-FRAME

house peaked in the 1950s, fol­low­ing World War II. The de­sire for a mod­ern va­ca­tion home—at an af­ford­able price—was on the rise, and the A-frame de­liv­ered on both de­mands. Known for its steeply-an­gled roofline and open rafters within, the de­sign be­came a clas­sic choice for the mid­cen­tury lover.

The Mod­ern A-frame, by Ben Rahn, ex­plores th­ese unique, petite-sized de­signs with gor­geous im­ages and anec­do­tal com­men­tary. Dubbed “Po­lar Star,” one such A-frame is where for­mer city-dweller Ju­lia chose to make her first home.

EARTHY AM­BI­ENCE

Lo­cated in the small town of Beth­le­hem in north­ern New Hamp­shire, Po­lar Star fos­ters a se­cluded and peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment. The home sits next to a 700-acre land trust that will never be de­vel­oped, promis­ing a quiet and calm place to gather, cel­e­brate and live. The tall glass win­dows, hard­wood floors and wooden frame project mod­ern and nat­u­ral ap­peal.

Ac­cord­ing to Ju­lia, the home’s charm and cus­tomiza­tion fits ev­ery sea­son. “The home is cozy in win­ter with the fire­place stoked up and snow fall­ing all around; the out­doors be­come a sec­ond liv­ing space in the sum­mer, as land­scap­ing and gar­den­ing projects are taken up and out­door meals on the pa­tio be­come a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence.” Sit­u­ated in a rich and lus­cious for­est, the min­i­mal­ist home is per­fect for hav­ing guests over—in­side and out.

CHER­ISHED CRE­ATIV­ITY

Mov­ing from one small space to an­other, it wasn’t dif­fi­cult for Ju­lia to place her mid­cen­tury dé­cor and fur­nish­ings, and take on a few ren­o­va­tion projects in the 950-square-foot A-frame. The home was well cared for and pre­served by the pre­vi­ous home­owner, Nel­lie, who only used the home for va­ca­tion­ing.

“Nel­lie had built-in shelv­ing added to the in­te­ri­ors, along with quite a few other unique stor­age el­e­ments—a small me­tal cab­i­net in­set into the kitchen walls for things like foil and plas­tic wrap, and stor­age un­der the stairs for fire­wood.” Th­ese spe­cific stor­age so­lu­tions up the con­ve­nience and func­tion­al­ity of the mod­ernist marvel. In ad­di­tion, Ju­lia tack­led a few projects her­self, such as pour­ing the in­te­grated con­crete for the sink in the bath­room, to up­date the home for util­ity.

DESIRING DE­TAILS

The home’s struc­ture, in­te­rior de­sign and fur­nish­ings cel­e­brate mod­ernist ap­peal. In the kitchen, the glass-tile back­splash, Kraft­maid cab­i­netry and Formica coun­ter­tops are low-main­te­nance and con­tribute to the cozy am­biance, while the brick fire­place adds tex­ture and warm, rich color.

Ju­lia in­fused her home with per­sonal, col­lected and dis­cov­ered dé­cor pieces and fur­ni­ture. She re­vived one mid­cen­tury chair, which she found bro­ken on a street in Brook­lyn. A turquoise leather chair, for­merly from the Mt. Wash­ing­ton Ho­tel in New Hamp­shire, and a 1960s wire-framed chair found at a vin­tage shop also sit in her home. Many of Ju­lia's smaller dé­cor pieces come from her trav­els abroad, bring­ing unique cul­ture and cap­ti­vat­ing finds to her A-frame.

RIGHT: THE SEC­OND BED­ROOM DOU­BLES AS AN OF­FICE AND GUEST BED­ROOM. JU­LIA USED SOFT WHITE CUR­TAINS TO BRIGHTEN THE ROOM, WHILE STILL MAIN­TAIN­ING PRI­VACY.

LEFT: “PO­LAR STAR” WAS NAMED IN THE 1960S BY A PRE­VI­OUS HOME­OWNER. UPON MOV­ING IN, JU­LIA DE­CIDED TO KEEP THE NAME, BUT ADDED THE HOUSE NUM­BERS TO PER­SON­AL­IZE HER NEW AD­DRESS.

SOME CON­TEM­PO­RARY EL­E­MENTS WERE ADDED DUR­ING THE HOME’S REN­O­VA­TION, LIKE THE GLASS-TILE BACK­SPLASH IN THE KITCHEN. JU­LIA MADE USE OF BRIGHTLY COL­ORED FUR­NI­TURE AND VIN­TAGE SHOP TREA­SURES TO IN­FUSE HER HOME WITH CHEER­FUL FLAIR.

RIGHT: THE HOME BRINGS THE OUT­DOORS IN­SIDE WITH ITS FLOOR-TO-CEIL­ING WIN­DOWS. IN THE MAS­TER BED­ROOM, NAT­U­RAL SUN­LIGHT IN­VITES A PEACE­FUL AND EARTHY AM­BI­ENCE.

BOT­TOM: THE SMALL BATH­ROOM BOASTS MID­CEN­TURY AP­PEAL WITH BLUE AND OR­ANGE ANN SACKS GLASS TILES AND CON­CRETE SUR­FACES.

THEMODERNA-FRAME BY BEN RAHN, PUB­LISHED BY GIBBS SMITH, © 2018; GIBBS-SMITH.COM.

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