Falling for An A Frame
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.
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.
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.
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.