Spacious home floats high above sunny Carmel Valley.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Given the views from this house located on the sunny side high above Carmel Valley, and its contemporary architecture, one can be forgiven for believing it’s floating on miraculously solid air. Or as owner John Wittenberger says, “When you stand in the living room, it’s like being on the bow of a ship.”
A towering ship, that is, one with 270-degree stupendous views of mountains, valley and the village below the wraparound deck and floor-to-ceiling windows. “You don’t feel like you even have neighbors here,” Wittenberger says.
There are other houses nearby, but thanks to the one-acre property, living in this 1,836-square-foot home is a profoundly private experience. For all that’s seen looking out the windows, only the sky looks in.
The driveway curves upward to what at first seems the façade of a new house (it was built in 1968) with a vaulted roof, walls of windows, a view deck with hot tub and a double carport. The main attraction is still the view. As if not sufficiently impressive in reality, it’s reflected in the glass– cobalt and cerulean blues, muted greens, golden-hair surprises plus shapes of mountains, window mirrors as murals.
Stepping through sliders at the entrance, visitors are greeted by a wide, long, sunken great room, the vaulted ceiling peaking at about 25 feet. To the right, the huge windows face the 270 degrees of wonder. To the immediate left, a large wood-burning stove stands on thick hearth bricks. At center left: two wide steps reach a fully open intersection. Here, the landed staircase with foyer-esque space, the back door to a porch and path to the attached double carport, a short hall to the kitchen and another hall to two rooms (one is currently a view office, the other a small, enclosed bedroom) meet.
The stairs are fully complicit in the concept of a house floating above the valley. Strong metal dowels– reaching from the bottom level to the second floor, continuing past an open walkway to the ceiling– support them. Once the lower half of the stairs reaches the landing, the remaining ones each offer peeks of the expanse below through small cutouts.
The second floor is dedicated to the master bedroom and full bath at opposite ends of the walkway. Underneath the slant of the roof in back, the master is blessed with big barn door-shaped windows looking west above the driveway over trees. Plus, there’s a standard window over the carport and contiguous hillside.
From the kitchen (oodles of cabinets but needs updating), sliders open to a big deck and side yard where a eucalyptus tree stands lustrous creamy white, smooth bark multi-trunks, a Twyla Tharp choreography.
There are a few potential improvement areas for the home’s new owners. The house boasts a dearth of closets, but poorly conceived lower bedrooms. It’s remarkable for its age, but hasn’t been updated except for what Wittenberger, a former contractor, has done himself.
“I got all the low-hanging fruit,” he says. “There’s new roofing because I put one-and-a-half inches of foam insulation under it– makes a big difference. And once I figured out that the drip line had to go over the roof to get everything– even the hanging baskets– it has been great.” Wittenberger also extended the eaves, providing a wonderful awning effect over the deck while still celebrating the east, south and west sunshine. Whether inside, out in the yard or relaxing in the hot tub, this graceful property seems to float in place.
Price: $975,000 185 El Caminito Road, Carmel Valley. Contact Kent and Laura Ciucci, 236-8572