HOMEPAGE: A View With Room
Thursday, May 26, 2005
There are a few houses around the municipal golf course in Pacific Grove that seem to have it all. One such home, owned by Barbara Brawn and Dick Mattson, is special even among those standouts.
From the street, Brawn and Mattson’s home seems a proudly modernized Mediterranean. While passing by, one must look upward to see the softly colored stucco house with copper details, now turned as teal as the sea, and its tiered, mature plantings on three levels. From the sidewalk and the stairs to the all-glass, double-front doors, one turns left, right, and left before arriving at the welcome mat. That’s when one can see through the foyer that broad stairs lead to a large lower floor with matching glass doors that reveal the back courtyard beyond.
“I really wanted that flowing view from the front door to the courtyard,” Brawn says. “So we had the tiling on the lower floor continue outside throughout the courtyard.”
Seeing that wonderful view is when one realizes that instead of being a square footprint, the house is, in fact, a geometric U-shape.
Brawn explains they had a good start for such treasures when they bought the lot, one unique in the neighborhood for its significant rise of land, among other things.
“We bought the plans for the house with the land in ‘93,” she says. “But we wanted to reverse the floor plan, so instead of having the bedrooms upstairs, our main living areas would have the best views.” Such good thinking.
Views from their place take in Lovers Point at such close range that the design of boats at the dock and the shape of limbs on the Cypress trees require no binoculars to be enjoyed. The entire bay—all the way to the dunes of Sand City—provides the backdrop.
Jeanie Byrne, mayor of Pacific Grove at the time and architect for the original plans, happily redesigned to Brawn and Mattson’s wishes. Upstairs, the living room (with fireplace), dining room, and the kitchen with a huge wraparound terrace are separated from an office,full bath and family room with balcony by a generously wide floor-through. All these rooms have fantastic views of varying amplitude,some with 180 degrees, since many windows have seamless corners.
Downstairs, the master (with fireplace) and luxuriously appointed bath and enclosed, south-facing terrace are separated from two other bedrooms and bath by the room-sized common area there. As a result, the house actually has vistas of itself inside, with satisfying effect.
Privacy is everywhere; it would be a great place to play hide and seek. At the same time, the light and the views are unimpeded and the upstairs rooms are open to one other.
A series of six skylights set three facing three into the peaked roof above the upstairs floor-through provide beaming light clear down into the foyer below. The design also allows for an elevator to someday be installed within the curve of the staircase between the two levels.
“It’s hard to realize at first that the house faces east,” says Brawn. “We get great morning sun and at night, all the beautiful city lights. From the balcony off the family room, we’ve got front row seats for the Fourth of July fireworks in Monterey and the Festival of Lanterns at Lovers Point. This has been a really happy house for us. We hope the next owners have the same experience.”
Price: $2,500,000. 875 Del Monte Blvd., Pacific Grove. Contact: Peggy Jones, The Jones Group Realty, 917-4534.