Home Tour: Santa Fe elegance
October 2, 2012
Warm yet elegant describes this custom home on 60 rolling acres just outside of Nevada City.
The love and thought that have gone into the home are immediately evidenced by the hand-crafted double entry doors that are made from a single native California walnut tree, such that the grains on the two doors are perfectly matched — not surprising since the homeowner is an architect.
Having lived in Santa Fe, N.M., for several years, her love of the Southwest genre can be felt the moment you step into the large foyer. The textured buttery yellow walls are color-infused and will never need repainting. The 12- to 14-inch thick outside walls keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With four fireplaces, the home is kept cozy warm and aesthetically pleasing as well.
The use of exotic woods and stone enhances the mix of mountain living with the Southwest ambience. From the foyer, the eye is immediately drawn to a fabulous oak tree perfectly framed in the living room's arched wood-clad window. The owners fell in love with this tree and actually designed the home around it! Long, supporting, vigas-style roof beams were recycled from a deconstructed Oakland Army base.
Speaking of arched windows, there is not a square room in the home. Angles and soft curves blend beautifully. The kitchen flows off the foyer offering another living area. Having no upper cabinets, just windows, the beautiful Block Island cherry lower cabinets are more like fine furniture pieces. And the pine latillas ceiling is exceptional. Made from uniform-sized pine limbs, hand-stripped and set side by side, it is indeed a work of art.
The owner has defied the traditional "triangle" placement of kitchen appliances. Instead she opted for a very large butler's pantry for the refrigerator and additional storage. This makes the kitchen with its large lava stone island an inviting gathering place.
It's in the details
The few windows with coverings have custom blinds that roll up and disappear into the top sash of the window. Built-in nooks display native artifacts from all over the world. Light plays an important part in the home; not only are there numerous skylights, but windows have replaced mirrors above the bathroom basins. Every room, including the hallway to the bedroom wing, has a view to the landscaped gardens, and most have an exit door.
The epitome of indoor-outdoor living at its best: follow the pathways from the inviting lap pool to three Indian teepees, which double for guest rooms. However, guests are not exactly roughing it. The teepees are exquisitely furnished with handmade rugs and native furnishings. This is truly a must-see home on this year's home tour.
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