House Tour: 1969 California A-Frame Updated for Today

As a fully trained and credentialed architect, Curtis Popp could have easily gut-renovated the 1969 A-frame where he and his family spend vacations. But he didn't. Admiring the original despite—or precisely because of—its eccentricities, Popp intervened only where necessary to make the place comfortable. The result? A thoughtful remodel at home in the casual rusticity of Lake Tahoe, California.

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  1. Light Touch

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    Upon purchasing a decades-old A-frame near Lake Tahoe, CA, architect Curtis Popp set about renovating the home, not aggressively, but thoughtfully, in a way that respected the original building. He explains, "We wanted to eliminate the things that weren’t working and exploit the things that were."


    Related: 10 A-Frame Homes That Deserve A+

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  2. Funky Modernism

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    Without losing the funky modernism that’d attracted him initially, Popp aimed to bring the place into the 21st century, so he and his wife and their two children would be comfortable in all seasons. Where there were aging aluminum windows, Popp put in higher-performing replacements whose wood frames complement the wall (and ceiling) paneling.

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  3. Black and Tan

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    Dubbed Homewood, the A-frame now boasts a cohesive color palette, a combination of matte black trim and the "pecky" cedar that's so prevalent throughout. The black-and-tan theme continues even to the furniture, many pieces of which are mid-century classics Popp inherited from his mother.

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  4. A Sense of Humor

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    Popp reserves a sense of humor about the project, for as much as A-frames are practical in design, they also possess an uncommon degree of personality. As Popp quips, “They keep the snow off the roof, but they make people smile, too.”

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  5. Micro-Size Kitchen

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    The bathrooms and kitchen were the only rooms that Popp truly re-did. Fearing that full-size appliances would leave the kitchen out of scale with the other rooms, he installed European-made "micro" appliances. The Bertazonni range, 28 inches wide, is the only appliance visible; the rest are built into the cabinetry to save room for countertops.

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