Zen simplicity in Carmel combines best of the modern and the historical.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The first visual information from the house is that it cannot be seen. Despite being enviably located on Ribera Road, the neighborhood’s best-known thoroughfare, cornered by a diminutive street ending with a line of trees pretending they harbor no secrets at the end of the property. The whole deciduous enclave conclusively obscures a private path along the Carmel Lagoon to Monastery Beach and the State Beach.
The house was built in the middle of the last century, but because it looks so modern only the paperwork would show it. The decade of origin isn’t indicated anywhere, but the approximate time of a remodel is discernable in the kitchen, where the ‘80s could perhaps be conjured. Signature hints like the sinks and appliances need upgrades and the classic linoleum floor can be retired. The counters are good conversation starters, surfaced with what could pass as reclaimed cobblestones rounded above heavy grout.
Elsewhere in the house, various accoutrements like metal folding closet doors (oh so many closets) and aluminum window/slider frames may find their way to architectural retro outlets. The condition of the house overall is nevertheless indicative of long term, clockwork-like attention to maintenance, inside and out.
Such a possibility is borne out in the expansive front yard, designed for ease of care with Zen simplicity. It’s laid out with large tangent areas delineated by two-brick-high mini-walls gently curving from point to point enclosing variously shaped “ponds’’ of pebbles. Several evergreen topiaries tightly pruned are interspersed in the yard, the shortest ones beginning near the curb, the tallest (about 12 feet) in a phalanx that further the near-invisibility of the house by their position surrounding the circular patio by the front door.
The house has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths within approximately 2,640 square feet on two floors, a full residence on each. The main level is larger, with airy rooms and a private master/bath. The room has sliders to a 324 square foot courtyard that could hardly be more secluded. In the living room, the high, wide fireplace has a rounded hearth, the one below equally large, with a rectangular form terraced handsomely near a window. That residence is accessed by an interior staircase connecting the two floors and via a private entrance from the double driveway (attached double garage) on the side of the house to the back garden gate and through sliders on the deck.
The views above and below in the back of the house are unimaginable, considering the disguise of innocuousness in front. In back everything comes to life indoors, through the windows, in the garden and on the decks. The property sits next to and faces directly onto the vast spread of the Carmel Lagoon and Bird Sanctuary, on up to the top of Carmel Hill and along the magnificent El Corona Ranch. Each level has its unique vantage point. These special sights require windows and sliders in every room and decks set like outposts over a world of kinetic art spun across the landscape with changing light and whims of the weather.
Perhaps saving best for last, the views seen from the back garden, deck and through the glass and sliders on lower level are framed like none other. Tall cypress tress in a long perimeter-row bordering the sanctuary have been being pruned perfectly for decades to form one sublime topiary of archways curving one into the next, each tall, elegant trunk a column support. It defines splendor.
Price $1,295,000. 2955 Ribera Road, Carmel. Contact Bob Wahl, Broker Associate 595-3320. Shankle Real Estate.