French Country Condo 11/27/2002
Photo: The French Paradox: Small but spacious is the word on this provincial-themed condominium.
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Patti Ryder appreciates the finer things in life, and designed her Pacific Grove condominium to reflect that. "I knew what I wanted," she says. "And I thought I would die here. So I went a bit overboard in luxury."
The condo, which is approached through a gated entrance in a quiet neighborhood off David Avenue in Pacific Grove, is clean and charming from the outside. There''s tennis courts and a private lake where residents can walk and feed the ducks. Downtown is only a few miles away and Spanish Bay is in walking distance.
But it''s the inside that has knock-your-socks- off impact.
"I didn''t want that ''little old lady feeling,''" Ryder smiles.
Ryder succeeded in eradicating any type of staid decor. She also managed to remodel so luxuriously that the stereotypical idea of a cookie-cutter condo vanishes. The limestone floors and thick pine crown moldings, soffits, and custom cabinets evoke a Provincial estate--on a miniature scale.
The living room boasts a fireplace with a beautifully carved polished pine mantel and a gray granite face. The walls are sponged in a golden faux finish that glows off the walls.
"It stays very bright at night," says Ryder. "And I added extra lights to compensate for the fog."
Ryder, who dabbled in interior design, drew sketches of everything she envisioned for the design of the home--from the stone patterns on the floor to the carved-wood, glass-fronted kitchen cabinets.
A pine ceiling with thick beams, a Venetian chandelier, and Pierre Deux wallpaper create a cozy nook in the eating area off the kitchen.
Windows look out over a long patio under the piney hills behind the end-unit. Ryder created separate seating areas on the patio and filled the space with container plantings and carefully pruned trees.
The kitchen reflects Ryder''s love of gourmet cooking. Doors with carved pine faces pop open to reveal a slide-out pastry table, a pull-up mixing station, and shelves and pantries that also pull out for easy access. Quality is continued in the Dacor gas range, granite countertops and built-in refrigerator.
Even the smallest details in the home are upscale. A small powder room under the limestone staircase has burnished gold-plated fixtures and a custom painted floral sink. A twisting iron banister leads up to the two bedrooms.
Large closets and built-ins hide clutter and add to the feeling of spaciousness. "I mirrored the closets for light and bigness," Ryder says.
The rear bedroom is generously sized and leads into a large bathroom with a deep Jacuzzi tub nestled in a bay of windows that seem to look into a little forest.
But Ryder''s private sanctuary is the master bedroom suite.
"This is the room I love," she says, leading into the master bath. An oversized shower with hand-painted tiles sits next to several large closets, a vanity, and built-in drawers.
In the master suite is Ryder''s other favorite spot--a large bedroom with a peek of the ocean and an attached reading room. Three walls of custom pine bookshelves and cabinetry create a graceful nook for Ryder to snuggle with her small Silky Terrier, Sally, and read.
"It may sound strange, but the emotional support from living in this house is very strong," she says. "The interior is very conducive to happy thoughts and being warm and comfortable with yourself."
Ryder, who is returning to family in Fresno for support with a broken ankle, is sad to leave her little jewel box.
"I came here because this is heaven to me, and I didn''t think I''d make it to the other one," Ryder laughs.
Price: $595,000. Homeowner''s Association Dues: $240/month. 71 Glen Lake Drive, Pacific Grove. Contact Barbara Simmons of Fouratt-Simmons Real Estate at 624-3829.