Once a run-down rental, this classic Tahoe A-frame now makes the grade
1 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
An A-frame upgrade
"Bob's house of beds." That was how the neighbors referred to the shabby 1970s A-frame on Serene Lakes, a Mayberryish resort community near Lake Tahoe. "Bob's" because a guy named Bob owned it, and "House of Beds"...well, what else do you call a 2,500-square-foot rental that slept at least 12?
"It was the kind of place you'd find neon beer signs and Levitz furniture," says the cabin's current owner, Jeremy Kidson, a San Francisco retailer who doesn't even like A-frames. Still, he was looking for a house in the area, and when he saw how the cabin sits right on the lakefront, he gave in. "You can fix any ugliness in a structure, but you could never replicate this setting," he says.
2 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
Cabin great room
The rafters and beams were all stained black, Jeremy says. "Anything that didn't move, I sandblasted." He also tore out a disco-era fireplace that blocked the view; the new hearth is made of Sierra white granite. (Those candlesticks are actually old industrial bobbins.)
3 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
The original kitchen had been a mess: painted-over particle-board cabinets and drawers that would jam halfway closed. The cabin itself was, as Jeremy puts it, "Band-Aid colored." This is a timeless community, Jeremy says, and I wanted everything in the cabin to feel timeless too.
4 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
Details that lighten
Uplights on the kitchen beams, open shelves, and white paneling make the space feel light–especially important in winter, when the cabin can be buried in snow. (Here, the drifts outside are 9 to 10 feet deep.)
5 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
From the Berkely store Wooden Duck, the table and benches in the dining room are reclaimed Douglas fir. Serving as a cushion is a blanket from Jeremy's collections: "They're great on sofas, on beds, and wrapped around you when you're cold. I like stacks of them everywhere."
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Cozy cabin retreat
In the bedroom, flannel sheets and a Pendleton blanket lend a bunkhouse vibe to the Pottery Barn headboard and bureau.
7 of 7Photo by Thomas J. Story
On the deck, Jeremy added a redwood hot tub facing the lake. "The fiberglass ones are more efficient," he admits, "but I really wanted it to have a certain feel."