Great views and warmth in the Carmel Highlands.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Maureen Signorella may be a familiar name to Peninsula locals. For 23 years, she owned the famous, highly regarded Pasta Mia Trattoria in Pacific Grove.
She closed her restaurant in 1999 – only to reopen it in 2005 – then shuttered it for the last time in 2007 having decided to sell the whole (beautiful) building.
Signorella brings passion and an energetic flood of creative ideas to everything she’s involved with.
Her home of 27 years is another good example.
Along with her ex-husband (and continued favorite person), Jack Signorella, she says, “We bought the house in 1982, just a little place on this big hill with a huge view.”
Until remodeling in 1992, the only thing they added was the fireplace in the living room, which takes up the whole wall. She spreads her arms along it, adding “we brought all these rounded and smooth rocks up from the river ourselves and designed the shape [of the fireplace.]”
It was still a tiny little place but now it had a huge fireplace to go with the view. Seven years ago when they remodeled the house, which now measures over 2,400 square feet, the fireplace was all that was kept.
When the Signorellas first bought the home, the Carmel Highlands was much less built up, and had more forest and meadows.
“It’s quiet here, a real peaceful silence,’’ says Signorella, who has an unending love of nature. “We still have our hawks and the whales have been amazing this year.”
She would know. All but a couple of the dual-pane windows and two sets of the many French doors in the house face what seems like the entire world of ocean and sky below the 1-acre-plus hill of property.
The Signorellas remodeled with designer/builder Michael Bolton [no relation to the musician].
“Jack wanted a hacienda feeling and I wanted something a little more Italian, so we compromised – it’s a hacienda style with a Mediterranean atmosphere,” she says. The exterior is pale russet stucco with a matching perimeter wall down at the foot of the property where a wide electric gate gives the feeling of protecting a private compound.
Mature oaks frame the house from different levels of stone terracing. Reflections in the glass French doors throughout the house are like tableaux of nature on smooth water.
The entry seems vast, encompassing the open dining room, fireplace and living room in an L-shape with each other. Ceilings are wood beamed with recessed skylights, except in the living room where the ceiling is vaulted. Floors are pegged hardwood throughout and there are ultra-tall French doors in every room. It’s a warm, open and sheltering home with a monastic quiet.
Signorella’s kitchen is set into its own space, centered behind the dining room. There’s a fireplace in one corner. It isn’t sized for an expert chef but is equipped for one: Gaggenau three-section cook top, Sub Zero fridge and too-many-to-count whitewashed oak cabinets.
“After the restaurant, all I wanted was a normal kitchen,” Signorella says.
The home has three bedrooms, two French doors for guests at one end of the house and the private master wing on the other with the bed facing the ocean, a cedar walk-in, bath with stone shower and slate-floored, large sitting room/studio/office with French doors to the back third of the property. In every case, the bedrooms have the same incredible view as the main house.
Signorella now wants a smaller house, one that, as she puts it, will be “something better for one person but [have] all this nature, too.”
Price $1,950,000. 210 San Remo Road, Carmel Highlands. Contact: Maureen Signorella, John Saar Properties, 402-4211.