This A-Frame in the West Marin Woods Is a Modern-Boho Paradise
A Bay Area designer strips back an A-frame to create a moody hideaway tucked among the evergreens.
On a Sunday afternoon in 2016, interior designer Blythe Friedmann was at the tail end of an hourlong drive up to Point Reyes Station, near the start of her favorite hike to Bear Valley Visitor Center, from her San Francisco apartment. But when she and her hiking companion noticed an open-house sign pointing up a winding road into the West Marin woods, they couldn’t resist a quick detour.
There, amid a dense patch of Douglas fir, oak, and bay trees, stood a candy-apple red A-frame. The property was dotted with rose bushes and fuchsia, and a circular gravel driveway lead to a sprawling chocolate brown deck with Parisian-style lampposts. Friedmann, who grew up in New York City, had never set foot in one of these iconic California cabins but coincidentally had recently designed one for a project in a 3-D rendering course through University of California, Berkeley’s extension program. As she chatted up the selling agent, her friend noted the striking similarities between the A-frame they were standing in and the one Friedmann produced for the assignment.
Friedmann’s plan unfolded in her mind in real time during the hike: She would strip the beams, swap the laminate floors for wide-plank white oak, and brighten up the walls with white paint. “I felt a pull,” she recalls. “It just felt like a sign.”
A year after the fateful hike, Friedmann had simplified the overly embellished A-frame, including, as she puts it, “wilding up” the landscape with hundreds of native plants. Now it’s in high demand on Airbnb thanks to its stylish black exterior and carefully edited, organic interiors. Her escape among the woods boasts open spaces, natural surfaces, and textures in a calming palette dominated by white, black, and soft gray. “I had absolutely no idea I would love sharing the A-frame so much with guests,” she says. “I love giving people a space to commune with nature.”