I want you to imagine the most quaint cottage you can. Smoke coming from the chimney, a chestnut aroma wafting into the air, even some warm candlelight peeking through the frosted windows. It is completely silent in the world of this cottage, all except for the soft breeze of snowflakes as they fall to the ground…

Scratch that! Take away the unbearable temperature, add some Southern California mountains, rework, revamp, and modernize that quaint little cottage into something extraordinary, and voila: You’ve got an A-frame cabin that is absolutely booming with personality! 

A back view of the A-frame cabin, showcasing its sliding glass doors, black exterior, chestnut-colored roof and deck.

Of course, wonderful mid century architecture does not come about simply in one night. It takes months of steady sketching, planning, contracting, and renovating before something truly phenomenal can be considered MCM-worthy. 

Not to mention, the minds behind these structures are what truly diversify and add contemporary tweaks to the original design style. By incorporating individual tastes and diverse design elements, mid century modern has the ability to be transformed into an even more animated architecture genre.

This is specifically resonant for KUD Properties, and how their team renovated a Southern California cabin into an A-frame paradise. “We wanted a cabin that was stylistically set apart from the usual mountain vibe” states Troy Kudlac, the company’s president. “[Something that] would be in demand in all seasons” and could host a wide variety of people.

An outer view of the A-frame cabin showcasing the extended deck and paneled window facade.

When scouting homes to leave their signature MCM stamp on, KUD decided upon a simple dwelling in the mountains of Big Bear, California. The layout had the perfect scheme to experiment with, and when approaching the redesign process, KUD focused on how they could further diversify the classic mountain cabin. 

In the early stages of planning, they thought of incorporating a more refined 70’s chalet-style into the structure. And while this idea was an interesting way of reworking the cabin, there was something bolder on the horizon for KUD Properties. This would be the iconic A-frame that lines the exterior of the home, truly drawing the eye inward and creating a more unique silhouette.

The black exterior of the renovated A-frame cabin, featuring its protruding balcony.

So, what was their inspiration for this feature? Swiss modernism is a style that heavily re-popularized the A-frame and influenced the designers at KUD. But while this A-frame cabin was not up to current design standards and lacked proper maintenance, sticking to this modern style was crucial for success. As Ludlac puts it “Switzer-Mod not only has style, but is completely updated, as well as clean and timeless,” truly bringing their bold vision to life.

The Renovation Process

Along with the black A-frame, there were two predominant features of this contemporary transformation, the first being the extension of the deck.

During this portion of the project, the designers were looking for ways to increase curb appeal, capturing the gaze of those interested in the cabin. To do this, they extended the feature, coordinating its minimalist geometry with the exterior’s alluring color scheme.

An outer view of the A-frame cabin showcasing the extended deck and paneled window facade.

The second aspect they were most excited to tackle, would be converting two small sliders into a large observatory one. “It was the most thrilling feature to bring to life” and dramatically “changed how the cabin felt, both inside and out.” By raising these windows and expanding them into a singular stroke, more light is brought into the space, intertwining its interior with the rustic mountain scenery surrounding the house.

The interior of the inside of the A-Frame cabin showcasing the single slider transformation.

Now, in terms of internal renovations, KUD took a comprehensive approach, remodeling the kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, and more. They wanted these structures to provide guests with a place “to gather, that was both clean and modern.” By infusing contemporary appliances with vintage decor, the designers strived to create a space that was truly timeless.

A vintage canister set, placed on the counter of the A-frame cabin kitchen.
A vintage canister set from Denmark balanced with the modern decor of the kitchen.
The A-frame cabin living room, showcasing a vintage cuckoo clock.
KUD blends modern and antique with the vintage cuckoo clock on the wall.

However, they did keep some original structures that actually helped enhance the new ones added. The loft area came with the cabin and encapsulated the harshness of the A-frame shape. So by adding a large George Nelson pendant light, they were able to add some extra spunk to an already intriguing area.

The loft area of the A-frame cabin, focusing specifically on the architecture and modern arrangements.

Lucky for you, this cabin is available to rent on Airbnb. A beautiful location coupled with a contemporary design would make any mid-century enthusiast swoon.

So take a vacation, and visit this iconic California cabin. We give it “A’s” across the board!


What’s cozier than a cabin and a fireplace? Check out our picks for the perfect fireplace renovations right here!

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