The View from Carmel
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Carmel Views homes often have cultivated frontages within the neighborhood’s miles of native flora. Scrub sage and Monterey pines, despite their noble lineage, lightheartedly follow the hills wherever they go. The only indicators of civilization are the few homes seen at Canada Way and Carmel Valley Road.
John and Jane Ardell recently completed a masterpiece of design in Carmel Views by remodeling a house they bought for that exact purpose. Jane Ardell says, “We didn’t anticipate this much time—if you see the before-and-after-pictures—to get to the ‘after’ part.”
Those photographs show lots of walls segregating small dark rooms in an overall dreariness.
“We saw the potential,” Ardell says. “We wanted to live here. We loved it.”
The Ardells settled in Carmel after living in Connecticut, but also after a long series of round-robin arrivals and departures. First Jane fell in love with the Peninsula, then John arrived but hated it, so they went back east, then Jane returned and round and round they went. Finally they were both happily here searching for the house they finally found, the project they’d hoped for. “John was a contractor in Connecticut,” Ardell says. “We lived on three acres in an old Cape-style farmhouse that we remodeled into a contemporary farmhouse.”
Buying the house here launched them once again into a frenzy of work. The “before” pictures are poignant. “The filthiest wall-to-wall carpeting made everything awful. Luckily, ugly carpets come out easily,” she laughs. Except for the bedrooms, all floors are now hardwood.
The front of the house is made like the prow of a ship with lots of windows, wonderful to see and to look out of at the valleys and mountains, as well as the old Fish Ranch and the bay. The roofline peaks at approximately 20 feet, then sails evenly down and outward. It’s gorgeous. Photographs don’t quite do it justice.
Tall double doors enter into the great room that encompasses a big foyer, multi-windowed family room (with fireplace) and the friendliest über-kitchen around. Counters are handsomely beveled granite with a color implying sweetness. The magnificent granite slab on the center-island could be mistaken for a magnificent center-continent. It’s delightfully expansive within a gracefully irregular shape. Although not a triangle of any denomination, it has three diverging sides of three different lengths, blunted at each nexus by varying lengths attentive to the design. The concept is brilliant and practical, mimicking the spirit of the floor plan and adding to the kitchen’s magnetism.
The formal living room is home to the prow of windows seen from the front. Ethereal light fills the room, from the vaulted beamed ceiling to the floor far below. Beyond it, the personal rooms in the home come into focus; two bedrooms, the master suite and two spa-worthy marble baths are beautifully appointed. The master bedroom has opposing sliders, each opening to a deck, both private.
The master bath is a tale of transformation. Once marginally repaired after a consuming fire, the bathroom became a trophy when the Ardells rebuilt it with a center-island jet Jacuzzi set into wide granite rims, marble shower, double sinks set in granite and beautiful detailing on everything. It’s the quintessential example of a picture’s specific worth.
“I like the feeling of living on a bluff here, with seclusion and comfort,” Ardell says.
Price: $1,875,000. 24880 Outlook Dr., Carmel Views. Contact Herma Smith Curtis, Herma Smith Curtis Real Estate, 624-9043.