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Buying an "A Frame" (chalet) and just realized how challenging it will be to decorate!
Michell LaFond
November 17, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I am closing on my house soon and somehow *just* realized that it is going to be super challenging to decorate. Not to mention that my current bedroom set that I am totally in love with will not fit in any of the bedrooms in the new house. I am going to redo the kitchen cupboards and counters after building my savings back up. My real dilemma is how to decorate these rooms?? Bedroom one has 54" vertical before the slope, bedroom 2 has 52" vertical before the slope. Both have 39" to the window sill. The upstairs bedroom has 47" vertical before the slope and 36" to the window sill. The entire back wall of the house is glass. The kitchen, living and dining are open. Even painting is kind of hard to figure out. Dont know if I should just repaint their yellow walls and leave the rest alone. This is my first house and I love it because it is so unique. I just didnt realize how hard this is going to be to decorate!
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Michell LaFond
bedroom 1, 2, 3 from description above.
November 17, 2012 at 8:02PM   
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PRO
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Re photo 3, why don't you put the bed in front of the window and the dresser against the sloping wall???
November 17, 2012 at 8:07PM     
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Michell LaFond
These are the sellers pictures. I could post pics of my furniture that I know I can keep. I have an oak daybed with a trundle, a queen bed with frame, and my couch and chair for the living room are a seafoam color. My bedroom set is just too big. the headboard is 60" I am thinking I will just have to sell the whole set. I really like sage-y and seafoam as well as browns but just dont know how to pull the spaces together. My dining table is a glass topped pub table with cherry legs and black leather pub chairs. I think it would look so silly in this space.
November 17, 2012 at 8:21PM     
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Michelle Baker
Love the A-frame house. Too cute. Bedrooms: you can't put the furniture against the window wall due to the baseboard heater. Paint: You can repaint the walls a light color that goes with your decor . Neutral tones (cream, tan, beige) go well with seafoam. I like Ben Moore Historical colors.
November 17, 2012 at 10:25PM   
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greenthumb2
You can also buy stencil-style stickers for the wall. They have come a long way! I will try to post a link for you.
November 18, 2012 at 12:44AM   
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yvesun
Design Inc did a bedroom loft a-frame not long ago...check out Sarah Richardson's website.
November 18, 2012 at 12:46AM   
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greenthumb2

This one might not be "in your taste", but it does show an idea.
November 18, 2012 at 12:49AM     
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inkwitch
You've almost bought a Hobbit house! I admire your guts -- and your stamina. It will be challenging! I'd get whatever free consultations from local decorators that you can, and stare at the space a long time -- even months -- before making any decisions. The light, both day and night, will lead you to the colors. Also consider the "buff" colors which are great contrasts to make those colors pop.

Don't ditch your wonderful bedroom suite yet. You may be able to break it up to different bedrooms, and may even find a use for the headboard (Does it have legs? Can it be "shortened"?).

A-frames are their own challenge. THere's bound to be some decorating publications out there. Visit a book store. Search Amazon for publications. Given the size of this investment, it's worth a long look.
November 18, 2012 at 3:54AM     
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flowerbill
Do Not shorten the headboard...My grandmother did that to her iron bed and now it's, well not the wonderful bed it would have been if she'd left it alone! If your bedroom furniture is well made it will last longer than you, and you will find a way to use it just live with it in the middle of the room for a while and watch lord of the rings again:) Love the house, you chose well.
November 18, 2012 at 5:13AM   
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Michell LaFond
Thanks for the help everyone! Here are pics of my bedroom furniture. I think they are too dark and would be overwhelming in the bedrooms there. There are legs but only about 4" so it still wouldnt fit beneathe the slope even if I shortened it. And I think it would look really funny if I did that because the headboard is so tall.
November 18, 2012 at 5:34AM   
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flowerbill
You've got a point, sell them and get something new or new to you, I've found really nice furniture I couldn't afford new.
November 18, 2012 at 5:54AM   
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greenthumb2
If you aren't too attached to your furniture -- you can find someone who would love it. Sometimes, it works well to run your bed along the slant wall if possible longways to maximize space. Not saying this would work in every circumstance, but it does work.
November 18, 2012 at 6:51AM     
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Michell LaFond
I really like this color palette for the living/dining kitchen combo but dont know how to do it with the angles. Switched up the green a little bit. Thanks for the sarah site ymcs!
November 18, 2012 at 7:05AM     
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Michell LaFond
I tried twice to put .bmps of the blue, green and neutral on here but apparently this site is only down with .jpgs
November 18, 2012 at 7:09AM   
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Michell LaFond
I dont think I said anywhere but the house is on a lake. So I think the lighter cottage-ish colors and furniture would be better than the dark finish wood that most of my stuff is lol.
November 18, 2012 at 7:15AM     
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sylvestercat
I have one of those beds I have been dragging it around with me across this big country twice. . . and if I had been smart I would have sold the thing on Craigs List and bought the right bed for the house I was living in. . . Try Craigs list, it is all there. . . sell it, get a new look for your so cute home............
November 18, 2012 at 7:19AM     
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flowerbill
That bed is not the bed for that house, sell it and start fresh in your beautiful new house, my goodness a fairy tale house and on the lake too...How much better does it get.
November 18, 2012 at 7:24AM     
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sylvestercat
Not better, but almost as wonderful, we are buying a chalet in the mountians in Oregon.. . not in as good a shape as yours,,,,,but excited too. Closes before Thanksgiving...... good luck on yours.
November 18, 2012 at 7:28AM     
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Michell LaFond
Thanks guys! I am very excited about the house but pretty stressed too! This is my first home and I seriously just realized that most of my stuff wont "go" with the new spaces. And that the new spaces are crazy angles and slopes and I dont know how to decorate it at all! sylvestercat--CONGRATS! I am supposed to close by Dec 12th. Need to be out of my rental and into the new place by 12.31. I am so attached to the bedroom set because it was my first big purchase after graduating college, and I think it looks pretty grand :) but grand doesnt match a cottage on a lake...I think I am going to be listing A LOT of stuff on craigs list.Thanks flowerbill, you are really helping me realize that I just need to let it go. And any suggestions for painting/decorating are veeery welcome!
November 18, 2012 at 8:07AM     
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flowerbill
As for the painting/decorating, I have just come out the other side of a kitchen renovation, today to be exact, still have paint on my hands..I read a quote in House Beautiful "Don't make too much trouble for yourself. Work with what you have and get on with it. Live life now, rather than after a torturous renovation".(helpful friends kept giving me magazines full of stuff I couldn't afford to do, but in hind sight were inspirational, so get reading) I cut that quote out and put it on the refrigerator! Live with your house for a while, it will tell you what it needs. I hope you have many happy years in your fairy tale on the lake.
November 18, 2012 at 9:51AM     
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partyb16
Hi, whilst the A frame is new to you, it has been around forever in Europe. Google A frame decorating ideas. Also, take a stroll through IKEA. They have many options that would do well in your house as the slanted roof syndrome is very common all over Europe. Use your straight walls as accent walls and paint the others in a more pale colour. You just need to "think outside the box" literally. Take your time and get things slowly.
November 18, 2012 at 10:28AM     
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greenthumb2
I just came off of the net looking into A-Frames.

Whatever color will help you ease into the new space, use it. Otherwise, plan all furniture pieces that have a small footprint so you have room for walking, and for storage units (inside the home) such as small bookcases and cabinets until you can afford to have something custom built.

I noticed some people with A-frames actually had sheetrock come straight off the angled slope to give them a more boxed shape in some rooms. While this may not appeal to you yet, at some point it might. If you do opt for this, I suggest looking into having a wall such as that work double-time and come with a pull out drawer or cabinet closet. after all, you are paying for all of the real estate...

Awesome Views. Find out how much sun you will have in summer before spending any money or effort decorating. If the sun is hot for any length of time -- it will take a toll on furnishings.

For super ideas: look at cabins on the lake in areas around you, and in other areas like yours. For example: same weather patterns, sun and heat patterns, wind patterns. People plan their homes for things such as this and you may as well learn from what others have discovered as well.
November 18, 2012 at 11:05AM     
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Michell LaFond
I have been googling a frame decorating, chalet, slanted walls, etc. Not finding too much. Which is why I was thrilled!! when I found this site. greenthumb, what do you mean sheetrock right off the agled slopes? It is rocked, but the angle is pretty severe with this house. the glass wall in the house is eastern exposure so it gets morning and midday sun and shade in the hot afternoon. AND!! I just sold my too big for the new place bedroom set. AND the too dark dining room set! plus a couple other things. Feel a little queasy lol like I just sold half my life. But it will come together. Do you have a link to something you saw that shows the sheetrock coming off the slant? PartyB, I am going to go down to IKEA in a couple weeks (if we dont get buckets of snow) that store has great space limited design. Its kind of ironic to me that I am buying a house now but will be back to the bed on the floor college times for awhile. Thanks for all the ideas guys! I really appreciate the help!
November 18, 2012 at 4:52PM     
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Michelle Baker
You could store the bed frame if you are attached to it. Then paint the other pieces so you can reuse them.
November 18, 2012 at 8:48PM   
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greenthumb2
Hi Michell, yes, I can post the links. Some are blogs, some are from magazines, some are from real estate on the market in mountain w/lake zones (where they also get snow) because esp in Tahoe Rim of Nevada and California A-Frames are common.

The sheetrock option was used in a home with wood slat ceiling and walls. The remodel incorporated attaching sheetrock to the angled wall and bringing it straight down to the floor to create more of a wall to work with for homeowner. My only issue in doing this is if it is done, it should incorporate storage cabinets with pull outs for easy access. If your floor space is super limited and you don't need this kind of thing - ignore my idea. :=)
November 18, 2012 at 11:21PM     
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greenthumb2
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/34624/a-frame-cabinets

So this is just one site that offers ideas for using those angles to advantage. The article states the owner had doors installed. Obviously, you would probably want yours an accent color, unless they were made out of something really pretty like tiger maple. But, wow pricey. Better cost is: built with something strong and then ask the carpenter to place skins on them. Veneer sheet are so fun to look at beesto. At some point in the future, go to a great lumber company in the area. Call fist and ask them if they have veneer skins, get prices, see which ones you like.

Skins (unfinished sheets of thin wood) can also be used as drum shades for pendant lamps or accent lamps. This a very mid century look but fresh. If you like the drum shade idea, let me know, I will give you the article date, etc since it was in a magazine I clipped years ago...
November 18, 2012 at 11:33PM     
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greenthumb2
http://makelyhome.com/project-gallery/
ideas from a lady who does her own thing because I think she likes a project.
her drum lamp is NOT the same thing I talk about above. Mine is all about using natural wood sheets that are flexible and bend into shapes....but, her drum lamp IS interesting because she shows how you can make your own. Be careful with electrical. If you aren't comfortable doing that part - have it done after you choose which lamp you want to install :=) enjoy your new home.
November 18, 2012 at 11:43PM   
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Jess Dixon
Hi Michell....

First of all, and MOST IMPORTANT, how would you describe your own style? I think part of the reason the interior pictures of the house look awkward is because the previous homeowner's furniture, draperies and decorating choices really do NOT suit it. For example, the little valances they put above the windows are just weird....I'm presuming you're going to immediately remove (if they didn't take it with them) the one that bisects that wall of windows at the back of the house? It really doesn't go and is a visual distraction. What type of style/furniture/colours do you like? For example, if it were my house I'd be going with big comfy white or neutral couches downstairs (say Ikea Ektorp couch style), but coupled with old red-based Persian area rugs, wood flooring, brightly coloured accent pillows and lamps, a chandelier, etc.

Second, what kind of budget are you working with? I think down the line it would be AMAZING if you replaced the flooring, especially downstairs. I think the break in flooring styles between the kitchen and the rest of the room is very choppy - personally I don't think you can ever go wrong with a hardwood (and failing that, a good quality "mock hardwood" wood laminate. Wood flooring will warm the place up as well as "ground" the space - the fact that you currently have white walls and a white-ish floor makes the downstairs area too cold and sterile. Wood floors with big cosy area rugs under the kitchen table and in the living area would be SUCH a huge improvement. Going along with the bigger budget ideas, do you want more storage downstairs? If so, I might suggest doing white built in bookshelves along the length of the short walls downstairs.

Third, do you have a TV and if so where do you plan on putting it? For many people there is no point in trying to hide the TV if you keep it in your main living space. If you do have one and intend to have it in the downstairs living area, I would do a flatscreen installed above the fireplace. Also, what is that weird nook to the far side of the fireplace, with the little door? Is that actually just a nook and doesn't lead anywhere? If it doesn't lead anywhere, but hides something necessary to the house behind that little door, I would actually use drywall to close in that ENTIRE area, all the way to the height of the ceiling. I'd then paint it the same colour as the rest of the walls.

Paint: downstairs, I would paint out all the previous owner's "yellow bits" the same white as the rest of the walls/ceiling. I'm not usually a fan of all-white rooms but in this case the house is so complicated that I really think you should live in it for a period of time before deciding if you want a specific colour down there, or any accent walls. Note though....I would FRESHLY repaint the downstairs white, if the previous owners left the walls scuffed or dirty. I think if you replace the flooring downstairs with something wood the white walls will not look cold. Then bring warmth and colour in with area rugs and accessories. I would be a little wary of the blue/green colour scheme, given the potential for a "cold" house. Like I said, if it were me I would go with wood floors, two BIG comfy area rugs under the kitchen table and the couch area (frankly I don't think you can go wrong with a big old red-based Persian....you can get lesser quality but still beautiful ones on Ebay for cheap).

I have to get going but I'll pop in with some more ideas. I've attached a few pictures to show ideas for upstairs/downstairs storage with low walls, as well as an example of how a Persian rug can warm up a white space =)

Other thoughts: Don't try to hang any artwork on the short walls - it only makes them look shorter. Also, don't use any tall standing lamps...if you look at the pic you included of the previous owner's lighting choices in the living room area, you can see how the height of the lamp visually underscores (in a bad way) the LACK of height in the walls).
November 19, 2012 at 5:59AM     
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flowerbill
Valspar craft white for the walls and wood floors.
November 19, 2012 at 6:15AM   
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ellielederle
I love the thoughts here. And don't really have much to add. I agree with the previous comments, neutralise the yellow parts, and then live with it, cream or white until as suggested the house tells you what it wants/needs. (its true it works!)
I love the style of the house and the outside pics have fired my imagination. I am currently in Norway, where although not an A frame house, we have sloping walls upstairs on the outside walls (max height on those is 43"). Fortunately all the rooms have at least one side of the room with full height wall. Essential I think for bed placement. In terms of Feng shui, sleeping with your head under sloping ceilings is a bit of a no-no. Obviously not an easy one to get around.
To add to that, we recently stayed in a boutique hotel recently where the bed was in the centre of the room, no reason other than being an unusual feature, I shall check I think I took a picture. It worked well in what was a small room. With a "high" head board there is no losing the pillows. In terms of bed types, I have invested in an Ottoman bed like this http://www.bedroomworld.co.uk/c/Ottoman_Beds.htm?affiliate=adwords&gclid=CN7e096h27MCFUZ2cAodBzEA-w
which has hidden my extras, with easy access, less dusting, and good organising. I love it!
November 19, 2012 at 6:50AM   
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flowerbill
The bed could go on the wall opposite the window , if not too close to the door?
November 19, 2012 at 7:01AM   
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nomadkath
I'm with Jess on the wood floor with cozy rugs on it. I personally think white will be too cool and would choose a slightly warmer neutral shade. Your blue/greencolors would still be nice with some warmer, natural background base like the wood tones, dry grass, warm stone instead of the white......the white walls, fireplace, rug seems too sterile....good luck - it's a sweet place!
November 19, 2012 at 7:21AM     
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November 19, 2012 at 7:31AM     
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sylvestercat
Took these pics on a tour through the house we are closing this week. A frame, as you can see at the top of the wall. The entire house has these drawers cabinets . . . I am thrilled, just think of how many legs to vaccumn under that have been eliminated. . . . A pedistal bed and presto, no dust bunnies anywhere......by the way, quality old wood flooring under that carpet.....more pics and fun ahead.
November 19, 2012 at 7:32AM     
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PRO
SKP Design
In the bedrooms I would consider keeping most of the paint light in color, with an accent at the end wall. The light colors will keep the rooms feeling more spacious. Very cute house!
November 19, 2012 at 7:39AM     
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sylvestercat
Where is the A frame on a lake.??? California is one thing, Michigan something else again. . How cold does it get?
November 19, 2012 at 8:00AM   
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greenthumb2
6-8 ft of snow drop some years at Lake Tahoe California and this depends on weather patterns. Michigan is colder, longer, I would suspect...
November 19, 2012 at 8:24AM   
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sylvestercat
I am so jellous I don't even want to talk to you any more....:) Are you planning to live there year around? We are in Bend Oregon, 15 miles from Mt. Bachelor.... maybe three feet of snow at our house. Learning about the steep roof, and snow sliding off in big sections. Going to be moving in snow conditions next week......yikes
November 19, 2012 at 8:32AM   
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Jess Dixon
Hey Michell, back with some thoughts about your bedrooms.

I think the biggest thorn in your side up there is the baseboard heaters. With low ceilings like yours the ideal window treatment to increase the sense of spaciousness would be to hang a curtain "high and wide". Basically, you make the window look extra tall by installing the curtain rod right up at the ceiling, using a mock roman blind to cover the slice of wall between the ceiling and the top of the window, and extending the curtain rod about a foot on either side. Then you get simple curtains that hang on either side, sweeping the floor. It does WONDERS for height, and I'll attach a picture so you get the idea.

Unfortunately...you have baseboard heaters, and it's a really bad idea to have curtains that cover the baseboard heater - major fire hazard. That said, it would also be really terrible if you did what the current homeowners have done and have so-called "high water" curtains, i.e. those that are only the length of the window. High water curtains like the ones in the photo just make the room (and the window) look smaller and more squat. So please - no high water curtains!

My suggestions given the limitations of the baseboard heaters would be 1) install roman blinds that also start at ceiling height, giving the illusion of a higher window, 2) install simple WHITE wide slat wooden California/plantation shutters or 3) do both, if you really need privacy or light blocking. I'll attach pictures of all the suggestions.

Other thoughts for the bedrooms...I've attached a picture of a bedroom with ceilings like yours where they actually installed beadboard on the slanted walls and the ceiling. Personally, I think it looks GORGEOUS - it lends so much character to the room while simultaneously solving the eternal problem of slanted ceilings, i.e. hmmm, what is ceiling and what is wall? In your case it would also cover up what appear to be textured ceilings, which can be a bit of a pain to paint and also kind of dated looking. I think it would also increase the sort of Scandinavian cosy appeal of your cute little house.

In terms of wall colour, I think that depends on what you do with the ceilings. If you were to go with a beadboard effect, I think you can go bolder with colour as what is "wall" is much more clearly defined. If you didn't use a beadboard effect, I personally would stick to soft neutrals, otherwise it might feel a bit like the walls are closing in on you (the way it looks right now with the charming mustard paint of the previous owners). Are any of the rooms north facing or particularly dark? If so, then I'm a big fan of going dark in dark rooms. As long as you have crisp white trim & doors then dark paint in a dark room will actually make the space feel more alive and yet more comforting.

Finally - big projects with bigger budgets! Storage in these types of rooms is always a challenge as it feels like you have no where to put furniture. I will attach a picture of some beautiful built in that you could do. As I understand it, you could get a contractor to move your baseboard heater away from the wall and integrate it into the base of your built ins.

If I run out of room to post pics I'll post some below =)
November 19, 2012 at 9:07AM   
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flowerbill
Who cares about cold winters if the rest of the year is livable. I live in Tx and most of the year is hot and full of mosquitoes.
November 19, 2012 at 9:09AM     
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Jess Dixon
More pictures of ceilings/built ins etc. The last picture (with the bed in front of the window) I included as an example of a soft neutral working with the slanted walls and small ceiling space.

Oh, and flooring...once again - in my opinion you can NEVER go wrong with a hardwood! Failing that, I'd redo your upstairs floors in a soft cream Berber wool carpet. I've had it in houses before - it's very durable, very soothing on the feet and it also looks great if you throw an area rug or a small bedside rug over top of it.
November 19, 2012 at 9:12AM     
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andyseibt
NICE!! if u can, iopen up the upstairs triangle with a larger triangular picture window, or even a balcony.
it will make the top space open up bigger!
November 19, 2012 at 9:18AM   
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Jess Dixon
P.S. I think the whole wood floors/beadboard/more relaxed yet modern cottage feel would go GREAT with the view out your back window!!
November 19, 2012 at 3:55PM     
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Michell LaFond
Thanks greenthumb, I am checking out those links!
Jess, my style has always been pretty contemporary but I don’t really see that jiving with the new place. I am willing to switch it up and see what happens The window treatments are pretty crazy in the home now. They are leaving them too lol. I do like the sage-y greens and seafoam a lot. My couch and chair are seafoam. I have to remember to ask them if there are wood floors under the carpet. I have wood now and I really like it. I was toying with the idea of putting the tv in the basement family room and just having the upstairs living space be focused on the fireplace and some short bookshelves along the vertical. But if I did go with a tv upstairs mounting above the fireplace makes the most sense. The nook is just a little storage spot. They are tucked all over the house to take advantage of the otherwise dead space. The all white walls for awhile is pretty intriguing. I really think I want to try the cottage style but am a little leery as I have always preferred the chic over the shabby. I thought the art work on the short walls would be quite odd/off.
Thanks for the link ellie! I am going to check that bed out since I don’t have one anymore lol.
There is a closet on the same wall as the door in every room. I don’t have a budget for a remodel up front. I will have to paint and accessorize it pretty for awhile to build my savings back up before I can do any reno. Which brings up a question…a lady at work told me they make paint for formica. Have any of you heard of that or how it actually wears?
Thanks Nomad! I will try to post some palettes on here that I have been looking at. I have seen some pretty cool stuff in the cottage searches that I have been doing like a turquoise side table in a white bedroom.
Sylvester--you are getting off awesomely with the slant on your walls. Those builtins are sweet too.
It gets pretty cold here in MI. The house is on Sanford Lake, in the middle of the lower peninsula. I am going to live there year round, at least until I meet the man of my dreams and its family time lol. It’s a pretty small space for more than a couple. There will probably be quite a bit of snow when I close too, hoping it waits till after the move but I doubt it. Good luck to you and keep sharing those pics!
With the baseboards, does it matter that they are actually radiators? I thought that you could put stuff in front of them?? I need to do some research on that! Don’t worry, I wont have the kitchen curtains in the bedroom. I have been looking at beadboard and was actually thinking of putting it on the short wall in the dining room but Im not sure how that will work with the brick. The texture definitely needs to go one way or another. I am grateful that its not glitter popcorn that I saw in a couple of the place I looked at on the lake I have three north facing windows in the house, one in each bathroom and then the kitchen one but that’s open to the east wall of windows because of the open design. I am not a big fan of the vertical blinds on the wall of glass either and would like to look into some other options there. That may be a save for it project too though.
I really like those builtins and the beadboard ceiling with the blue looks super pretty! And a cottage-y look that I like!! Thanks for the posts and pics Jess!

Flowerbill, I moved here from Florida and must say that I prefer the north where you can put on more clothes and still enjoy the outdoors when its cold. In FL I didn’t want to go outside for 3 months and I LOVE the outside!!
Andy, the upstairs does have a balcony that overlooks the 1st floor living area I will see if I included that pic.
November 19, 2012 at 4:22PM   
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andyseibt
yes, it would b gr8 with an open bigger view! those built ins are very nice:)
November 19, 2012 at 4:37PM   
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andyseibt
b careful not to go to contemporary....
November 19, 2012 at 4:38PM   
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Michell LaFond
that will be my challenge. It where I gravitate to naturally so I really want to plan plan plan this space. modern cottage sounds good, just gotta figure it out :)
November 19, 2012 at 4:43PM   
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Michell LaFond
I added you guys to my ideabooks :) I couldnt figure out how to just share the pics I wanted to on here without downloading them first.
November 19, 2012 at 4:55PM   
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Michell LaFond
Here is a question for you guys. I really love to travel and have picked up some art/carving/painting in every country that I've been to. How the heck can you (or even does it) fit into a modern cottage style? painting from italy, carvings from africa, weavings from peru, etc. maybe the family room in the basement can be the world? lol do you think that it would throw off the whole flow of the house if the finished part of the basement was world/travel??
November 19, 2012 at 7:27PM   
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andyseibt
yes, we did that. world travels in basement, u can be eclectic in basement
November 19, 2012 at 8:31PM   
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nasmijati
Be very careful mounting a flat screen television above a fireplace. The heat from the fireplace can damage the screen. Then there is the viewing angle - the screen should be at eye level when you are sitting down. A tilt-arm mounting bracket will take care of this issue. Then there is the question of the cables and accessories in plain sight.

I think your idea of putting the television in the basement area is a good one.

Maintain the fireplace as a glorious focal point in the main room!
November 19, 2012 at 8:55PM   
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nasmijati
I have one room in my home that is my "international" room, with a door that can be closed. The computer and library are in that room, so guests do not usually go in there without an invitation. It has decor from China, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, India, Africa, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Peru. It works because everything has special memories for us.

The rest of the house has a specific regional architectural style and interior design.
November 19, 2012 at 9:03PM     
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flowerbill
My take on the TV is that the area above the fireplace is for art and makes for awkward viewing. As for world travel and art work, I am from England and live in Houston, my house is full of English and Mexican artwork,not as weird as it sounds as Talavera started with the Spanish and has a medieval/Mediterranean look to it. Another thing I found by reading House Beautiful is that interior designer/ decoraters live in houses chock full of everything from all over the world. The difference between looking like a junk shop and a well planned eclectic look is editing. Put your stuff out It's who you are , just don't put it all out at once, rotate it.
November 20, 2012 at 5:18AM     
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flowerbill
Do you plan on spending most of your spare time in the basement? Because if that's where you put the TV you will be. TVs are a big part of our lives and It's silly to try and hide it. Get a nice piece of furniture to put it on, that's the main thing. A lot of people put an expensive TV on a cheap particleboard box and wonder why It's an eyesore, done it myself, in fact I'm still looking for the perfect fit for my living room. Anyway It's probably a moot point anyway because the TV goes where the outlet is:)
November 20, 2012 at 5:56AM     
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nomadkath
personally, I really enjoy those international touches to be visible -its one of my favorite parts of visiting others' homes - it makes them feel less like a magazine picture and more individual. That said, its worth thinking about how to display. Maybe you could try grouping them in some cohesive way....by country/style, or from different countries by color, or, say, all pottery displayed together on a shelf. Pick your favorite for living area. I use my bathrooms too, for unusual or too colorful....make them focal in the much smaller, and usually boring space.
November 20, 2012 at 5:56AM     
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ellielederle
We have a very strange household and it works well! We have our Wedding Gifts of medieval swords, a helmet and shield with groovy wooden wine rack (with wine in it) and a smilar mirror hanging in the stairwell... There is always a place for anything, as long as you want it on display. Again the stairwell stayed blank for two years after redecorating until out wedding! I love the idea of an international basement... We are planning a football bar for the room downstairs once the funds are supportive again! As they say the world is your oyster and a new house should be your blank canvas!

Things will fall into place for you when you are settled, "listen" to the ideas, but be yourself! And enjoy it!
November 20, 2012 at 8:52AM     
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andyseibt
gr8 advice!!
November 20, 2012 at 9:10AM   
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Michell LaFond
Thanks guys!
November 20, 2012 at 7:54PM   
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Michell LaFond
The bank told me Wednesday that we should get the clear to close next week!! Thanks for all your advice guys! I'm sure I will have more questions as I get into the thick of it!
November 24, 2012 at 6:43PM   
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flowerbill
Good Luck and don't forget to breath. Please keep posting with pictures when you move in.
November 25, 2012 at 4:56AM   
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Michell LaFond
Closing tomorrow!!!
December 9, 2012 at 8:10PM   
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flowerbill
Good Luck and May the Force be with you:)
December 10, 2012 at 3:43AM   
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nomadkath
congratulations on your new home :) !!
December 10, 2012 at 10:15AM   
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andyseibt
good 4 u, this is a kool place!
December 10, 2012 at 11:45AM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Love A-frames but you have to be really selective about the furniture and what is on display for it to work.

Take a look at this! http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/mount-washington-aframe-woodsy-91851




Note how most of the furniture floats in the middle of the room or is low-slung to fit.

Perhaps you can keep the bed and get rid of the headboard. Beds are so expensive these days.
December 10, 2012 at 12:25PM     
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ioplkmn
What about a look like this??
December 14, 2012 at 3:42PM   
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victorianbungalowranch
Saw these pics and thought of your house. Can you open the bedroom ceilings? Might be a good idea anyway to spray foam under the roof for some insulation, and could be neat to expose beams.

Reclaimed wood can be an interesting look, but you need to scrape and wax or poly to make sure it is safe. Or distress your own--paint and/or leave outside for awhile!
December 18, 2012 at 8:35AM     
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Michell LaFond
Been in the house 3 weeks today :) have made some changes. Others are coming slower. I will post some pics soon!
January 6, 2013 at 4:27PM     
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PRO
Second Nature Rustics
I just love your A-frame, especially the stone front! We bought one in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, overlooking the sound. I wanted something apart from the standard beach boxes, something unique with charm and character. Then I saw our A-frame and fell in love. We have yet to finish remodeling it, as we live in NJ and only get down there a few times a year. But like you, I'm finding that it is a challenge to fit with furniture and storage. I'm getting alot of ideas, which I'm pinning on pinterest. Thanks for sharing your house. I'll be following to see what new ideas you come up with!
January 7, 2013 at 6:39AM     
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pds290
I've lived in an A-frame all my life, but when it became my grown up home, I had to face some of the same design dilemmas you have. My advice would be to live with it for a bit to figure out what you need, then keep it simple and don't try to make ready-made cabinets,etc., fit. I'll attach. Some pictures of cabinets I've had made to make the most of the triangular shape.

Here are drawers that get increasingly deep as they near the floor. The other is a photo of the bed. I got rid of the bed frame that made it too high for the window and the ceiling. The bedside tables wrap around and become a headboard, which is open at the back to provide access to outlets and heat.
January 7, 2013 at 7:08PM     
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pds290
In the kitchen I made use of the odd triangular shapes and had cabinets to make use of every inch.
January 7, 2013 at 7:10PM     
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pds290
Bookshelves and glasses can also be made to fit the space.

I hope this is helpful!
January 7, 2013 at 7:12PM     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
These homes can be a challenge but also a lot of fun. I grew up in lake country (MN.) I was practically surrounded by A frames. There is at least one on every lake if not many more. You have a great many ideas above and will find many more on this site. Good luck in your new home.
January 7, 2013 at 7:25PM   
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PRO
Second Nature Rustics
pds20 your pictures and suggestions were tremendously helpful. The advantage we have is that my husband is a master carpenter. He will be custom making all the cabinetry and storage areas, including the kitchen. I love the chest of drawers in the bedroom. Did you have them made? Where did you put a refrigerator in the kitchen? And what kind of fridge is that, it's nice.
January 8, 2013 at 7:29AM     
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PRO
Second Nature Rustics
Also, how did you run the electric? That's a huge challenge. My husband just wants to use nice exposed conduit. Right now the electric to the ceiling fans and lights runs along the beams and stapled in place.
January 8, 2013 at 7:33AM   
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Second Nature Rustics
BTW, my favorite ideas are from the people on these sights. It's very hard to find ideas for a true A-frame in any books. All the pictures in this discussion are great!
January 8, 2013 at 7:35AM   
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Marilyn Wilkie
Just found your thread Michelle and wanted to say I love your cottage, especially the stone front, the fact that it is on a lake and in my state...Michigan! I love the colors that you posted in a picture way up there...light and airy and clean....Please share what you are doing as you do it. I know others would love to see it also. BTW, we have bid on a small house in the Manistee Forest near Wellston. It's a short sale with a long wait to actually close and take possession....lol It will be a 2nd house for a year or so until my husband can retire.
January 8, 2013 at 7:49AM     
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PRO
Scott's Creative Home
There is no doubt its tough. See my A-Frame Lake home project. While mine is done in Western Motif there is a challenge with light and wall space. One thing that really changed the way mine felt was by wallpapering. A texture wallpaper will add warmth and depth to slanted walls where artwork is not possible. Use a grasscloth or commercial wallpaper.
January 8, 2013 at 7:51AM     
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PRO
Second Nature Rustics
Scott's Creative Home - That is sweet! Can we peek inside?
January 8, 2013 at 7:59AM   
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PRO
Scott's Creative Home
Yes Click on my page and its the first project, "A Perfect Setting for Scotts Lake Home"
January 8, 2013 at 1:15PM   
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Marilyn Wilkie
Beautiful job Scott. I love your sense of humor and the warmth that you put into it. Very cool.
January 8, 2013 at 1:37PM   
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Michell LaFond
Thanks so much for the info guys! pds290, I was thinking of doing that exact pull out skinny can shelf before I moved in. Then I got here and realized there is NO room for that in the kitchen. lol. I am getting things put away. I went with blue accent in the kitchen area and a warm caramel in the halls. Havent tackled too much more of the yellow yet, been busy unpacking and having the holidays. Gloria, I am going to check out your boards on pinterest as well as Scott's book on the lake house. Thanks again guys! Also, Sylvester--I am praying for you! Marilyn, thank you! Wellston is a gorgeous area-I go there every summer for a music festivcal!
January 13, 2013 at 6:34PM   
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Michell LaFond
Scott, your lake house is great!! Also--I am originally from Newton. How crazy!!
January 13, 2013 at 6:41PM   
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pds290
The refrigerator is a Liebherr, which was the best fit in the space (it came in just an inch below the beam above). The refrigerator is located along an interior wall, just enough in from the wall to avoid the slant of the wall/ceiling (welcome to the world of the A-frame). I could have had a wider refrigerator, but would have had to eliminate the pull out pantry shelf, and didn't want to make that trade.

I had the cabinets built by a local carpenter. How convenient to have a master carpenter in the family! That will certainly make renovations easier!
January 13, 2013 at 7:34PM   
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pds290
The electrical in my house is either stapled into a groove cut in the beams, much as your husband suggests, or through a baseboard that is built out slightly from the A-Frame wall.
January 13, 2013 at 7:39PM   
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gzh35l
We loved our A frame the key was to remembers they have few wall so you need to keep the same theme. Used lots of natural wood and stone and earth tones.
January 15, 2013 at 5:53PM   
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Marilyn Wilkie
Michell, you must mean the Hoxeyville Festival! We've never been but we will be going now. Still waiting on news of our offer..:(
gzh351, I love your fresh green walls. Perfectly natural with the wood. Great nature vibe!!!
January 16, 2013 at 6:15AM   
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Michell LaFond
here is what I've done with the kitchen so far. I was afraid of how blue the blue is but its grown on me :) Hopefully I can do the counters next month! I spent every night after work last week painting the upstairs bedroom. Painting trim is awful! I dont understand why the last owners painted everything from floor to ceiling the same yellow color! trim, door & window frames, back of door I mean everything (except the closet doors) was painted. I went with a stone gray and white trim. I am putting together furniture now but will post after pics of that soon too.
March 3, 2013 at 7:22AM     
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Michell LaFond
living room
March 3, 2013 at 7:24AM     
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flowerbill
Loving the blue, a big improvement, looks great against the brick.
March 3, 2013 at 4:22PM     
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Michell LaFond
These are afters of "bedroom 1" in my initial post. I still need to get some nightstands and a dresser in there but it isnt yellow!!
March 16, 2013 at 8:19PM     
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PRO
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Great ideas above with the turquoise. This house is adorable!
March 16, 2013 at 8:35PM     
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