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A Souk Inspired A-Frame in Portland, OR

by Allison Burt-Tilden

Normally, A-frame homes bring to mind remote, wooded locales that are more often than not nestled into  the side of a mountain. However, deep in SE Portland, OR there is a rare and charming A-frame that boutique owner, Anna Margaret, and artist, Srijon Chowdhury share with Anna’s two daughters, Ava and Lilith, and a host of adorable critters including Pomeranians, Oliver and Eli, and guinea pigs, Raven and Willa.

Built in 1961 by original owner Michael Miles, the home started out as just the A-frame portion and the current master bedroom. Michael added the upper wing and garage after he married and had children. Anna and Srijon’s abode is now a very large 3,600 square feet; entering the living room one stairway leads up to the master bedroom and bathroom, three more bedrooms, a half bath and a library while a second stairway leads down to the kitchen, dining room, a full bathroom, and a family room. Doors off the dining room lead to a half-acre yard that houses the family’s five chickens and an art studio where Srijon works on paintings and sculptures.

Having discovered the listing by chance on Facebook, Anna says, “I wasn’t even looking for a house at the time, but I knew it was my spirit house! Sri thought I was crazy at first, and honestly the real estate pictures were brighter and prettier than the cat-pee-smelling reality of the home. It was in really poor condition, but I could see her lovely bones beneath the damaged flooring and warped countertops.” After closing on the home, Anna and family got to work painting everything white (Behr’s Polar Bear, to be exact) to maximize light. The damaged and unsalvageable flooring was replaced with hardwood Acacia, Anna’s dream flooring, and the kitchen was remodeled with IKEA cabinets and open walnut shelves crafted by Srijon. They kept the original open layout with the only major change being a small extension of the island.

After the hard work was done, Anna began creating a space that felt special and unique to them. “Sri and I do much of our work at home and it’s important that our home feels peaceful, open and not too cluttered,” Anna shares. “While it’s full of sentimental family antiques, textiles from our travels and plenty of artwork, it maintains a soft, spacious vibe. I let the kids choose their bedroom wall colors and much of their decor — I want everyone to feel welcome and content in the space.” A collector of textiles since high school when she spent time volunteering at an orphanage in Guatemala, Anna has employed plush and cozy layers in just about every corner — and everywhere in between. Intimate seating areas are also abundant and dressed up with art, candles, and plants. The result is a warm and inviting home made for relaxing and enjoying family time. —Allison

Photography by Allison Burt-Tilden

Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
The living room sofa from West Elm is where coffee drinking, cuddling, and reading are most likely to happen. Textiles from Anna's boutique, Le Souk Le Souk, help create the cozy atmosphere which is completed by a coffee table from West Elm, side tables from Target (left) and (right) an antique yard sale find, and one of Srijon's paintings.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
The original fireplace anchors a full wall of windows, bringing in a view of the wooded yard and plenty of light to make Anna's many plants happy. "Plant babies are my weakness and vice!" she says.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
One of many peaceful seating areas in the home, chairs from CB2 and textiles from Anna's shop, Le Souk Le Souk, get the rustic treatment from a walnut stump table by Alan Johnson, otherwise known as Anna's dad.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
The living room as seen from the top floor -- including wicker chairs (right), which were a recent flea market find -- is Anna's favorite view of the house. She says, "I am so excited to see the sun pouring through this wall of windows each morning!"
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Anna and Srijon count themselves lucky to have many amazing artist friends, and with those friendships comes a large collection of art. Though the lack of flat walls in the home presents a challenge when trying to display the art, Anna and Srijon have come up with creative solutions like this bench display in the living room. From left to right: Bryan Ricci, Katy Cowan, Alec Egan.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
This colorful seating area off the kitchen is most often enjoyed while the family cooks meals. The textiles, rug and chairs are all from Le Souk Le Souk, and the lamp is a $20 vintage flea market find. Completing the tableau is art by Anna's daughter, Lilith, and ceramics by Fay Ray.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
The island seating in the kitchen is utilized each morning as Ava and Lilith enjoy their breakfasts, which usually include fresh eggs from the family's five backyard chickens. Anna scored the stools from Overstock.com.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Anna says of the dining room, "We love opening the doors and having friends over for dinner, unfortunately our chickens coming running in the second they hear them open!" The easy mix n' match style of the space includes a table from CB2, chairs from West Elm and Land of Nod, and of course, rugs from Le Souk Le Souk.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Anna and Srijon love to laze in bed on the weekends -- and who can blame them with a lush space like this? The textiles were sourced from the couple's travels as well as Anna's shop. The table is a vintage piece that came from Anna's great-grandmother's home in Hawaii.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Part form and all function, Anna's lovely collection of bathrobes, a mix of vintage and Ace & Jig, adorns a wall of the bedroom. Her morning mood, she says, determines which she wears when she gets up. The mirror is a find from Homegoods.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
This seating area in the master bedroom holds a lot of love for Anna: her pup Oliver sleeps on the rug each night and the table was made by her great-grandfather. The art and chairs are vintage finds while the rug is from Le Souk Le Souk.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Anna and Srijon love visitors and get excited to house friends and family in their guest room. Anna moved her vintage clothing in after her bedroom closet ran out of room, which only serves to add more color and texture to the already lively space. The West Elm headboard fits right in with textiles from Le Souk Le Souk, a needlepoint pillow made by her grandmother, and vintage suitcases.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
A peacock chair in the guest bedroom was a flea market find while the wall hanging is a treasure from a trip to Bangladesh, where Srijon was born and still has family. The textiles were also acquired while traveling and complement another gorgeous needlepoint pillow made by Anna's grandmother and a painting by artist Laurence Sisson.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
The library, which is located at the end of the upper floor, is the family's favorite place to curl up with tea and a good book (or sometimes the laptop, Anna admits). The vintage McGuire sofa, chair and table set belonged to Anna's grandmother and add warmth and color to the mix of rugs from IKEA and Le Souk Le Souk. The white nesting tables were a lucky find at Ross.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
A native Oregonian, Anna lived in New York and LA before settling down in Portland. One of the first things she found after moving back was this cheery yellow thrift store lamp. "It was sunny love at first sight!"
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
A family portrait wouldn't be complete without a few pets: Bernadette the Silkie chicken and Oliver the Pomeranian join, from left to right, Lilith, Srijon, Anna, and Ava in a sitting area just off the dining room. In the background is art by Srijon, Emma Cook, Anna Margaret, and Lilith.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Using greenery from the yard, Anna sweetly explains why she loves her home. No surprise, all her favorites make the list: textiles, plants, and pets.
Anna Margaret's A-frame home tour on Design*Sponge
Anna coined the apt hashtag #ourmagicaframe for sharing shots of her home on social media. Details like the bright green front door (Behr’s Paradise of Greenery) definitely add magic touches to the already unique house.

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