Thursday, October 4, 2007
“A waterfront view is not a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that.” So reads a wooden plaque that Paul Porch, Laura Vonier and Paul’s dad, Steve, have on their tremendous (1500 square feet: as wide as a one-lane road) wrap-around redwood deck (in a beautiful chevron pattern) that faces approximately 180-degrees of open ocean and kinetic sky. From a deck chair all of this can be seen through tandem thick glass panels framed below the railing, recalling Frank Lloyd Wright’s precept that in a home, vast nature must be viewed on a human scale. In this home, only closets, bathrooms and the entry hall are without that view.
From everywhere else it’s mesmerizing: from the great room (with its handcrafted cedar cathedral ceilings inset with rare ridgeline skylights and original big fireplace with poetically- and simply-placed stone), from the master suite complete with home office, and from the living room (with teak floor gleaming under the light of the cathedral ceilings). The smallest innermost section of the kitchen (entirely teak parquet floors) near the entry has no access to the views, but the entire party end of it misses nothing.
Porch, Vonier and Steve appreciate the house for its ease of entertaining. They tell stories of their many parties with lots of food and friends and wine and people enjoying themselves throughout the house and deck. While guaranteeing full throttle fun for the many guests, friends, friends’ children and happy dogs and cats (two and one respectively in residence; guest animals often), they built in total privacy to all three bedrooms and seclusion for quiet times, too.
Porch says, “Steve insisted on this house years ago but I lost it by one bid. Then he’d drive by it periodically and eight months later saw it was up again and I bought it.” Porch is a retired software salesman but, as Vonier says, “He’s a very good and experienced owner, builder, designer, craftsman, plumber, carpenter, painting contractor… ” whose degree of personal perfectionism would shame a brain surgeon. He and his dad remodeled the house in ways that hardly seemed possible until they did it. Vonier’s ideas were valued but with a fulltime career, she ducked the heavy labor.
Porch says, “We didn’t change the footprint but we redesigned rooms and added several including the living room (cathedral ceiling, teak floor) that had always been the garage. We built guest quarters and the game room/wine cellar and a new garage on the garden level.” The garden level is the area from the foundation out over the near acre property. “We moved a lot of earth and formed some topography then laid a sweeping driveway, put a double carport under one end of the deck and all the garden level rooms under the other,” he says. They incorporated uncluttered European sensibilities (Steve is Hungarian born) with clean design both in the house and the garden landscape.
Steve chose the fully-appointed guest quarters for himself. These are accessed either by an enclosed staircase from the great room or from the wide stone terrace (with pizza oven) at his front door. The old-world-feeling flowering gardens and stonewalls are his creations and he says he loves to take armfuls of spring flowers to many neighbors.
The family has maintained each aspect of the house to Porch’s standard of perfection. They and their guests enjoy the crème de la crème of indoor/outdoor living and daily celebration of a waterfront view.
Price: $2,350,000 32694 Coast Ridge Rd., Carmel Highlands • Contact owner Paul Porch 622-7299, or Laura and Kent Ciucci, Sotheby’s International Real Estate, 236-8571 and 236-8572.