Wow. It's been a year since I told you anything about the A-Frame, which is especially sad given the fact that I started this blog in order to chronicle the life and development of said A-Frame. Geez. Sometimes I think you live in my head and know everything about everything; it helps me to avoid having to type anything if you live in my head. But you don't. So here are some scenes from the A-Frame, captured last summer and this May while we were on our honeymoon. It continues to be a source of great calm, belonging, and contentment.
Remember when I wondered if my dad is a superhero? Well, he is. I know it for sure now.
I went up to NH briefly two weeks ago to visit him and my step-mom and to just check in on the A-Frame. Over the spring he had put a new roof on the porch, re-sided the front of the addition section, and stretched new screen into the front porch frames, so I wanted to see all that and get a sense of what kind of work I'm looking at this summer.
We had already decided to tackle the kitchen as the major project for the year, so my dad and I discussed the options (Ikea, furniture, cobble something together) and left it at that.
You know what's coming right?
I mean, WHA?!
He built everything I said I wanted (super simple frame, clad in pine that I will paint white, open front that I will hang curtains from, counter over-hang for stool sitting) and he just knew that I would love the live edge cherry counter tops (he just happened to have that wood laying around).
You can imagine how much squealing I did.
So now I'm off to Maine for the holiday and to visit our friends of the pink blanket fame and then we go to the A-Frame for a full week of work and book-reading and puzzle-doing and deer-fly avoiding and pond swimming and birthday partying and writing and painting and soaking up the quiet.
Happy 4th everyone!
You guys! I just finished my first year of grad school! Wha?
It feels supremely weird to be on a school schedule at the age of 37, but I am not complaining. I am taking full advantage of it and heading back to New England: to my dear friends, to my family, my son, and the A-Frame. I will meet one of my best friend's yet-to-be-born baby (his timing is perfect), jump out of an airplane with Zane and some friends, be with my grandmother as she turns 96, eat lots and lots of soft serve ice cream, and watch lots and lots of Red Sox baseball. Matthew is joining me for a month and we've got plans for the Cape, Maine, New York, and tons of New Hampshire, where I will turn 38.
I am insanely excited to get back to the A-Frame. If you know me you know that I will stay up all night painting, carry couches up stairs alone, and teach myself minor carpentry in the middle of the night in order to finish an interior project. When I get going it's incredibly hard for me to stop. The A-Frame doesn't allow for that kind of obsessive work; our rhythm with it is fits and starts, seasonal, and severely financially restrained. Having to wait all winter to begin work is a kind of bizarrely pleasureable form of torture for a person like me. I am as excited to work on the A-Frame as I am to see my friends - does that make me a terrible person?
This summer's big project is the kitchen. I've got to raise the sink somehow, paint it, and hook up the gravity fed bucket of water in the loft to the faucets. Then we'll tackle the space by the stove. I'm wondering if I should just get some Ikea cabinets or if I should get all crafty with my dad and put something together made out of what's around. I'll let you know either way!
I'm not super into high contrast in my own designs. Instead of a white and black checkered floor I'd probably do a light gray and a dark gray. Instead of painting two different colors for my chevron wall I choose two shades and sheens of the same color. Bold, colorful, dynamic design just isn't what I want to live in on a daily basis. But neither is monochromatic design, which is hard to do well and interestingly - mostly it turns into a boring blob of neutral sadness.
So I was surprised this weekend to see how the A-Frame dining room is turning out. Super monochromatic, right?
But here is why I think it works:
The table is a chevron design as well as being an old door, adding a twist to what you'd expect from a dining room table. The woods vary in color, making it warm and friendly but not like you're drowning in wood. The curve in those chairbacks balances with the straightness of the bench across from them and is echoed by the jar on the table. The chevron on the wall panels adds a subtle visual surprise and contrast and speaks to the table. The woven elements on the table add texture. The jar on the table adds a sense of history, a tiny bit of color, and adds to the earthiness of the whole picture. The candle holders keep the room from feeling too spare and the candle color brings the outside foliage in. The beach rocks embedded in the window add just the right amount of "Huh?", which is always good to do with a monochromatic scheme. You need some "Huh?" so it doesn't become "Zzzzzz."