HOMEPAGE: Valley Delight
Thursday, August 25, 2005
There’s a great drive from the Carmel Valley Village to Sky Ranch that lasts just minutes, but those minutes are filled with graceful curves, abundant nature and stunning vistas. Even so, nothing prepares one for the awaiting estate created there by three lasting friends, Richard Newcom, Paul Kampos and Jim Pederson. Their 10 acres, appealing in a multitude of ways, are the background for stories of conception and construction fit for chapters instead of a page.
The property is called “Ridgrest.” “That’s without the middle ‘e,’” says Pederson. “The name comes from that 60-foot beam of Douglas fir,” he says pointing up 25 feet to a massive slab. “That’s the ridge everything else rests upon because most of the house is cantilevered from it.”
The property is undeniably restful. The home that Pederson, Kampos and Newcom built is a handmade, handsome estate of various woods both silky and recycled.
“We actually over-built,” Pederson says.
Smiling, Kampos adds, “For 31 years, I was the Monterey County building inspector. We certainly built to code.”
They designed the Cape Cod with traditional brown shingles and crisp white trim. After that, pure tradition stops and ideal eclecticism reigns. During the summer, life is lived on the 60-foot veranda with 25-foot screening constructed so nothing blocks the view across vineyard country. Other features of the house display similar solutions for practical purposes born of creative vision. Only a few of the many such examples are the front-door knocker, harvested from an old ship, the 18-foot-high, eight-foot-wide mirror over the living room fireplace, the bathroom sinks (copper whisking bowls from France) and the wooden handrail on the gracious staircase to the second floor, which has a don’t-miss wraparound at the top.
To cool the house, they made a tiny meditation space (next to the living room) with angled skylights, a tall waterfall and glass walls to look through or to open wide. Substantially cool temperatures are achieved when hot air hits moisture. The open doors then pull the resulting breezes steadily through.
To warm the house, there are three fireplaces plus individual thermostats in all four bedrooms, each of the three and a half baths, and every other room in this two-story house, a reflection of its fascinating rhythm of grand spaces and truly intimate ones.
A small library beyond the formal dining room has heavy leather furniture around the fireplace, a wall of books, and walls painted with warm, deep color. It’s very private.
“This is where we winter,” says Pederson, who one almost expects to stoop under the standard ceiling height.
Kampos made macramé drapes for the 25-foot French doors between the living room and veranda—he says it took him 20 years to complete. The curtains themselves are the color of natural cotton, interspersed with short copper cylinders that act as weights within the design. Over those, a toffee-colored waterfall valance, shaped somewhat like a royal shawl, allows a veiled see-through effect to the all-white veranda and mesmerizing views beyond.
The estate is now for sale, including its exquisite contents: the high-end European antiques, the gorgeous furnishings, the baby grand piano, the drawers of silver flatware, the oriental rugs, the professional kitchen, etc. It invokes the best use of ‘Run, don’t walk’ imaginable. Visitors find the idea of leaving an unwelcome abstraction. But the loving devotion present everywhere in the house will never leave; it’s the real thing.
Price: $1,745,000. 35182 Sky Ranch, Carmel Valley. Contact Heidi Park, Prudential California Realty, 622-4960.