Our newfound relationship with a-frames was purely coincidental. Although what could be considered now a full-blown love affair, it began as a humble search for a quaint cabin in the woods. We had been fixated on a location known as the Northeast Kingdom (Vt) for quite some time, but never managed to find that perfect spot. I was formerly a professional mountain bike racer, so I’ve been coming to the Northeast Kingdom to ride the Kingdom Trails – the mecca in New England for riding – for over 15 years. We just keep searching. Fast-forward one year…
I was on a ferry from New York to Connecticut for work when I got the call from our realtor. Our offer was accepted! We had put an offer in only 20 minutes prior on an A-frame nestled on 3.8acres of forested land in West Burke, VT. Thinking we’d have to wait until at least the next day to hear back, I immediately called Kevin, the co-owner of the Kingdom A-frame, and told him we were the proud new owners of a little blue 1968 a-frame. 7lbs 8oz. 21 inches long. Just kidding, it’s really 982 square feet of slanted love. We hadn’t actually seen the house in person before we bought it. Crazy, I know. But as the saying goes, when you know, you know. It was an absolute dream that we found our a-frame in the perfect area, and with it discovered the wonderful and long-standing community of a-frame enthusiasts on social media and beyond. We have entered a world of a-frame inspiration, camaraderie, passion, and pride both from owners and admirers alike. We’ve learned so much about the history of a-frames, their original design purpose, benefits, and said drawbacks – although we aren’t quite sure we’ve found anything not to love. I would dare venture to call what we have more of a (healthy) obsession with them now.
Our a-frame is a bit “non-traditional”. From the front of the house it looks like the typical, characteristic A, but when you walk around the back, you can see its rather unique features (i.e. additional space). It has two small bump-outs on either the side of the main A, as well as a basement built into the hillside below. The bump-outs and basement build-out were both original to the 1968 structure. We joke that we fell in love with a mullet a-frame: business in the front, party in the back. We’ve kept in touch with the previous owner, as we’ve loved hearing stories about how it’s evolved over the years. She owned it from 1996 until 2019 (when we purchased it) and put a significant amount of sweat equity and even more love into it. She not only built the loft we so adore and installed the spiral staircase leading up to it, but renovated almost every square inch of both the inside and the outside of the property. The reclaimed wood accented throughout the a-frame came from the basement of her original home, linking the two homes together and giving it some history. We have had the privilege of seeing pictures of the a-frame throughout its many renovations. We really felt like she passed the baton to us and now it was our turn and responsibility to continue to infuse it with love. A-frames really do bring people together. We soaked up a lot of inspiration from the community as we set about furnishing and nourishing its inherent charm. So far, we have done a few small projects to the house – installing a steel pipe banister, adding doors for more privacy, and building a wood and cable railing for the loft. However, most of our time since purchasing the property went into furnishing the a-frame. We chose to use vintage stores and Facebook Marketplace for a unique décor and to decrease our environmental footprint. Some of our favorite FB purchases were playmobil figures from 1974 that line the bathroom, a 1970’s Fisher Price A-frame which highlights our hoosier, a vintage gemstone globe next to the fireplace, a vintage metal rhino head tucked into the main floor bedroom, and vintage snowshoes which accent the top of the A. Decorating the a-frame this way took much longer than expected, but we have no regrets. Every room is curated with vintage /up-cycled treasures- even the records are mine from my childhood.
Our goal for the a-frame was to create a space where one could come and feel totally removed from any stresses of the world; a place where a sigh of relief gets exhaled when you walk through the door; a home in which you wish there were more minutes in the day. With this in mind, we love hearing about other people’s experiences and feelings while being in our home. We love that strangers, who become friends, create memories here too. We appreciate every single angle of the a-frame. We love the slanted walls that help create that distinctive cozy feeling. We love the spiral staircase that adds to its aesthetic (our dogs have even mastered them!) We love the feeling of driving up the road to our home, taking the last right curve into the driveway, and getting treated to its memorable structure- as she definitely stands out from the rest.
If The Kingdom A-Frame had some favorites, this is what they would be: — favorite musicians: Neil Young, Cat Stevens, Talking Heads, John Prine, Willy Nelson — favorite meal: Lentil stew paired with an Old Fashioned — favorite games: Rummikub and Old School Nintendo — favorite haircut: the mullet, of course! — favorite animals: dogs and our neighborhood cows — favorite activities: mountain biking, skiing, hiking, sitting in front of the fire playing games, cuddling with dogs
Who we are:
Alexis – Boston, MA (originally from DC). Sales Rep for TOMS
Kevin – Boston, MA (originally from Paris, FR). Finance Guru
Skeeter – Boston, MA (originally from Texas). Life-saving ICU nurse in Boston