Many windows give gracious style to Carmel Highlands home.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Counting and recounting could be a charming game for children in this house of windows. The foyer alone has six, all two-stories high, and there are about 40 windows all told within 2,875 square feet on three floors, including a double garage. The 250-square-foot room on the third floor sits atop the house, a proud sentry, and has a large balcony that offers filtered views of the ocean and white water. It’s the only balcony with such views, but every room in the house has glass French or single doors to a balcony, terrace or patio. In fact, there are at least five of those doors (all with heavy wood frames). The glass is sized for the design of each particular space and many are unique. For example, there are at least two large port windows, a narrow window in the master bath, very high verticals and standard verticals elsewhere (also wood-framed).
What allows all the glass to grace the house instead of ridding it of wall space is the pleasingly and very wide open-floor plan. The foyer alone is 9 feet by 11 feet, and there’s even an open space around and behind the broad staircase (with oversized landing) appropriate for indoor trees or other showcase plants that surely would thrive beside those two-story windows.
This house has an inverted floor plan; the stairs arrive from the foyer at that great room/possible dining room or extended living room which in turn opens to a family room/formal dining room cornering into the kitchen (wants for remodeling). Spiral stairs in the dining room lead to the privacy of the third floor room (wet bar included).
All of the main rooms are pleasingly and graciously wide with hardwood floors (need refinishing). There’s a fireplace at the end of the great room, one of three in the house. The others are in the possible formal dining room and the third-floor master suite.
The ground floor presents the garage (interior door into foyer), three bedrooms and two full baths (master with jet tub, shower, double sinks, commode out of sight). At the far end of the foyer, one cannot help but immediately notice a wide, floor-to-ceiling, single-pane mirror that reflects everything in the foyer, including those entering through the front door. The purpose of locating that huge mirror there is to open an otherwise dark, horizontal hallway seen from the entrance.
As wonderful as the openness of this home is, some issues must be addressed. With the exception of the balcony/windows in the formal dining room and window in the half-bath nearby that show the private back of the property, most on the north side are privy to that neighbor’s entire property. It sits below this house and is truly on full display. On the south side of the house, although there is a row of tall bushes, the top of a very old home is seen. Clearly what’s on view from these windows renders this house quite exposed. That’s the case, as well, in the front, where the foyer and great room are on view from the driveway and guest parking, and from Cypress Way. All bedrooms are protected downstairs because of shrubbery.
That said, this is a stunning stopper of a house from the street, designed by much-respected John Matthams, international AIA in Pacific Grove.