20 A-Frame Homes We Love
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20 A-Frame Homes We Love

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By Lucy Wang
A-frame homes have an iconic appearance that has stood the test of time—and they continue to capture the imagination today.

Durable, economical, and easy to build, the simple A-frame was once the must-have midcentury vacation home. Today, the classic retreat has been propelled back to popularity, thanks largely to photo-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Read on for 20 charming A-frame homes that caught our eye!

What is an A-Frame House?

Built from trusses or rafters, the A-frame is a building with a triangular shape—similar to the capital letter "A"—marked by a distinctive peak and a steeply sloped roof that stretches all the way to the foundation or ground.

Thanks to its self-supporting design that eliminates the need for interior posts, the A-frame house features an open floor plan with soaring ceilings and triangular end walls typically punctuated with large expanses of glazing. A half-floor is usually inserted to created a lofted space for sleeping or storage.

While modified A-frame homes (such as the flat top A-frame, or the A-frame with wings) have been introduced over the years to add more usable space to the interior, it is the pure, equilateral A-frame with 60-degree sides that’s the most beloved.

When Did A-Frame Houses Become Popular?

The A-frame structural system has been used for utilitarian buildings since ancient times. The simple shape, easy construction, and ability to shrug off snow and rain has made the sharply pitched building typology popular around the world—from Japan's Gassho-zukuri "prayer-hands construction" farmhouses to the feast houses of Micronesia.

Yet, it was in America during the prosperous 1950s that A-frames became popular as vacation homes. Architect John Campbell’s "Leisure House," built in 1951 for the San Francisco Arts Festival, is famously credited for helping to kick off the demand for A-frames.

The expanding middle class of the time was eager to flaunt their wealth with a second home, and they saw the trendy A-frame houses as an affordable and easy-to-build escape from city living. Architecture firms sold working plans with complete material lists, while department stores like Macy’s even got involved with selling prefabricated home kits.

In its purest form, the A-frame is a visual delight—yet it's often thought of as impractical due to its constrained floor plan and awkwardly sloped interior walls. The vaulted ceilings can also translate to higher heating costs. Still, the building makes for an excellent vacation home even today, and—with a few modifications and space-saving tricks—it can be enjoyed as a full-time abode as well.

1. A Cozy Renovated A-Frame in New Jersey

This classic 1960s A-frame cabin in New Jersey now serves as a stylish Scandinavian-inspired vacation retreat that’s available for rent.

This classic 1960s A-frame cabin in New Jersey now serves as a stylish Scandinavian-inspired vacation retreat that’s available for rent.

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Perched high in the mountains of Big Bear, California, this 1973 A-frame was renovated by Courtney Poulos into a handsome getaway from Los Angeles.

Perched high in the mountains of Big Bear, California, this 1973 A-frame was renovated by Courtney Poulos into a handsome getaway from Los Angeles.

Kara Van Dyke breathed new life into an A-frame built 30 years ago by her grandfather. The family home now features rustic modern decor inspired by Kara’s Scandinavian roots.

Kara Van Dyke breathed new life into an A-frame built 30 years ago by her grandfather. The family home now features rustic modern decor inspired by Kara’s Scandinavian roots.

Designed by Helsinki–based designer Robin Falck for energy company Neste’s Journey to Zero campaign, the Nolla Cabin champions zero-waste and simple living with its minimalist, eco-friendly build.

Designed by Helsinki–based designer Robin Falck for energy company Neste’s Journey to Zero campaign, the Nolla Cabin champions zero-waste and simple living with its minimalist, eco-friendly build.

Constructed from locally sourced materials, this recently built home by Scott & Scott Architects mimics the classic A-frame.

Constructed from locally sourced materials, this recently built home by Scott & Scott Architects mimics the classic A-frame.

A luxurious rural retreat that doesn’t skimp on comfort, JR’s Hut is an off-grid glamping destination with spectacular views of the 7,000-acre Kimo Estate in Australia.

A luxurious rural retreat that doesn’t skimp on comfort, JR’s Hut is an off-grid glamping destination with spectacular views of the 7,000-acre Kimo Estate in Australia.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) collaborated with prefab firm Klein to create A45, a tiny house prototype that rotates the classic A-frame structure by 45 degrees to maximize usable floor space.

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) collaborated with prefab firm Klein to create A45, a tiny house prototype that rotates the classic A-frame structure by 45 degrees to maximize usable floor space.

The former home of interior designer and renowned blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel, this 1961 A-frame in Palm Springs received a thorough renovation and a new lease on life.  

The former home of interior designer and renowned blogger Sarah Sherman Samuel, this 1961 A-frame in Palm Springs received a thorough renovation and a new lease on life.  

The Light House is a vacation home in Denmark designed by Søren Sarup of Danish firm Puras Architecture. It consists of a low-lying Douglas fir–clad volume topped with a slate-covered A-frame.

The Light House is a vacation home in Denmark designed by Søren Sarup of Danish firm Puras Architecture. It consists of a low-lying Douglas fir–clad volume topped with a slate-covered A-frame.

In the tiny town of Auvilliers, France, architect Jean-Baptiste Barache designed an elegant cedar-shingled home with an A-frame construction.

In the tiny town of Auvilliers, France, architect Jean-Baptiste Barache designed an elegant cedar-shingled home with an A-frame construction.

Originally built in 1974 as a kit home, this A-frame cabin was saved from ruins by an ambitious couple who temporarily turned it into a home for five. 

Originally built in 1974 as a kit home, this A-frame cabin was saved from ruins by an ambitious couple who temporarily turned it into a home for five. 

Diana Vincent of High Camp Home renovated a 2,700-square-foot A-frame and enlarged the rooms to create more usable space.  

Diana Vincent of High Camp Home renovated a 2,700-square-foot A-frame and enlarged the rooms to create more usable space.  

Architecture firm Bromley Caldari transformed a cramped beach house into a spacious vacation getaway filled with natural light and views.

Architecture firm Bromley Caldari transformed a cramped beach house into a spacious vacation getaway filled with natural light and views.

Inspired by a primitive tent, this A-frame cabin is a simple one-bedroom retreat nestled in the New Zealand rain forest.  

Inspired by a primitive tent, this A-frame cabin is a simple one-bedroom retreat nestled in the New Zealand rain forest.  

With soaring vaulted ceilings perfect for taking in the San Gabriel Mountains, this modified A-frame in Eagle Rock was recently on the market with a starting price of $699,000.

With soaring vaulted ceilings perfect for taking in the San Gabriel Mountains, this modified A-frame in Eagle Rock was recently on the market with a starting price of $699,000.

Designed by Espen Surnevik, the PAN Treetop Cabins consist of two A-frame structures elevated into the treetops of a Norwegian forest.  

Designed by Espen Surnevik, the PAN Treetop Cabins consist of two A-frame structures elevated into the treetops of a Norwegian forest.  

A glazed extension to Rini van Beek’s home just outside Antwerp, Belgium makes an old holiday A-frame home more suitable for permanent living.

A glazed extension to Rini van Beek’s home just outside Antwerp, Belgium makes an old holiday A-frame home more suitable for permanent living.

Cadaval & Solà-Morales stacked an A-frame atop a historic gray stone house to create a contemporary cabin in the Pyrenees. 

Cadaval & Solà-Morales stacked an A-frame atop a historic gray stone house to create a contemporary cabin in the Pyrenees. 

Tucked away in California’s Sierra National Forest, this remote and rentable vacation home has a cozy interior that embraces outdoor views.

Tucked away in California’s Sierra National Forest, this remote and rentable vacation home has a cozy interior that embraces outdoor views.

The result of a year-long renovation, this modified A-frame overlooks the fantastic hills of Okanagan’s wine country.

The result of a year-long renovation, this modified A-frame overlooks the fantastic hills of Okanagan’s wine country.

Related Reading: 101 Best Modern Cabins