Huge and Cozy
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Ken and Connie Ward are moving to San Diego after five years at their Pasadera home, a seemingly effortless blend of geometry, artistry and physics, as comfortable to enter as reverie.
The 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath house is completely hidden down a long private lane that curves into the property (contiguous with greens 17 and 11). It’s of a particularly handsome Mediterranean-style, reminiscent of northern Morocco or Moorish Spain of past centuries, uncomplicated and elegant. At the bottom of the lane, one can park in a large area, or drive through a wide archway to an enclosed courtyard, and continue while deciding which of the five garages on the other side best suits the moment.
One of the many doors in and out of the house faces the courtyard, this one going into the hotel-sized kitchen with unexpected warmth. To paraphrase the description provided by the architect (Shuerer Architects, Newport Beach), it possesses “an estate character created within a casual functionality rendered with craftsman quality.” It produces this serene whole with no one element demanding all the attention.
The exterior entrance is a considerable L-shaped archway beginning the gentle rhythms and easy wendings of a most unostentatiously grand house, incandescently light and flowing and belied by a front door so thick it needs four incalculably strong (though only pinky-finger thick) eight-inch-long hinges to secure it. Behind it, with a ceiling close to 30-feet tall, the foyer is something to behold.
A huge perfect circle of off-white marble with an earth tone mosaic medallion provides each wide entry to the formal living room, library, dining room and broad hallway to the family room and kitchen with the door to the courtyard. Those rooms have banks of windows and French doors illuminating the foyer.
The curved marble staircase, with its hand-wrought-iron railing, is the foyer’s partner in beauty. The coved ceiling, round in concert with the foyer 30 feet below, encircles a smaller one from which hangs the 12-foor chandelier, formed from richly brown wrought iron.
At the top of the stairs, a generous, fully windowed landing curves to the guest rooms and the superlative master, with built-ins, his-and-hers closets to get lost in, a large fireplace and a beautifully designed marble bath. There’s an alcoved, all-options Jacuzzi, big three-sprayer shower, his-and-her sinks on either side of the room and a closed-door commode and bidet. Centered French doors access a king-sized terrace with fireplace and an amazingly outfitted, roofed alfresco kitchen with Miele Combiset stove/grill. Back stairs lead to the courtyard and kitchen door.
The stunning, huge yet super comfy and equipped kitchen has a double-oven, six-burner-and-griddle Thermador, a third oven across the room near the Fisher-Paykel dishwasher, and double sinks. The Sub-Zero fridge matches the astonishing number of cherry cabinets. The kitchen has a 15-foot ceiling, as do all the main floor rooms, all with hand-hewn beams widely spaced across them.
At the far end of the kitchen, with a big arched window, the casual dining room actually seems private. This incredibly friendly kitchen is likely the heartbeat of the house.
Across from it, the big family room has a large fireplace and French doors to its own courtyard with a big built-in grill facing the 17th green and the sweeping oaks that surround it.
This is a delightfully indoor/outdoor, friendly house, never mind its impressive scale, surrounding and abundance.
Price: $4,995,000. 413 Estrella D’Oro, Pasadera, Monterey. Contact Sharon Swallow, Keller Williams Real Estate, 241-8208.