Now and zen: Contemporary Wildwood home is full of eastern promise |

Now and zen: Contemporary Wildwood home is full of eastern promise

Courtney Ferguson
Special to The Union

As many times as I've visited Stan and Gerry Cosby's home – be it to enjoy a meal or play music – I'm always refreshed by its tranquil simplicity.

Built in 1988 and remodeled in 2001, this 1,752-square-foot, three-bedroom, two bathroom home sits quietly on a knoll above the lake. Although located in the heart of Wildwood, you experience an uplifting sense of privacy and peace.

Stan and Gerry were enchanted the moment they walked in.

Gerry recalled, "We were adamant about finding a turn-key home.

After almost 50 years of marriage, we'd had enough of remodeling, painting and decorating our Bay Area family homes. Simple and straightforward were welcome words. Our first visit resulted in instant agreement. We'd found our sanctuary, so we bought it."

A legendary move

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That was in 2002. In fact, they moved in March 19 – St. Joseph's Day. Since St. Joseph was a carpenter, he is the patron saint of those buying and selling homes.

Many purchase St. Joseph statues, and bury them on their property upside down.

Nestled on one-third of an acre, the home and the extensive rock garden live in perfect harmony.

The fenced front deck features many potted plants that provide fresh-cut flowers for Gerry to arrange and display inside.

The large, glass front door with its California quail motif offers a bird's-eye view of the magnificent garden behind the house.

The large-rock formations, the little waterfall, and the numerous rhododendrons, mature Manzanita, oaks and rosemary suggest that civilization is far, far away.

Stan is an artistic gardener – and both he and Gerry enjoy sharing their space with wildlife.

"Last year we had a den of foxes, with a mother and four extremely playful kits," Stan said.

Numerous birdfeeders and hanging flower baskets add to the color and the animation. A special camera in one of the birdhouses records the nesting activity, and can be watched on TV.

The home's interior is equally intriguing. Soft, tonal colors are used throughout, creating a covert flow, and providing a tasteful, unobtrusive background for the cinnabar poppy image in the foyer, for the bright peonies in the vase, and for the many colorful, far eastern artifacts and furniture that are part of the décor.

"Many are antiques that were given to us by Stan's aunt who visited China numerous times."

Two framed tapestries, over a century old, feature what is now called "the forbidden stitch." Since they were made by small children, the stitches are minute. Thankfully, this practice is no longer permitted.

I particularly like the clean lines of the wood-burning fireplace. It's modern, stylish and practical – and it's a lifesaver during power outages.

A round table from Gump's has bamboo legs, and an antique lawyer's cabinet doubles as a china closet, fitting neatly in the dining area.The kitchen is square and compact, with ample wood cabinets, a Corian-topped peninsula unit and two bright-red, modern stools that visiting grandchildren like to spin.

Recently, Stan and Gerry had their master bathroom remodeled, and the contrast between the large floor tiles, and the multi-colored small, mosaic shower tiles is subtle, yet dramatic. Again, simple, clean lines and plenty of light reflect their preference for uncluttered beauty.

Speaking of uncluttered

"We did our downsizing before we moved here," Gerry said. "Since our new home could not accommodate all the things we'd accumulated and inherited over the years, we had a family discussion. It was a good time to decide who wanted what. Our three daughters and their families got to choose furniture, antiques, china, books, mementoes — and whatever they wanted. Now Stan and I get to visit, not only our family, but many memorable items that continue to have special meaning in our life — in their homes; not ours. We do the same thing with items we collect on our travels, so our girls and their families can enjoy them now. It's a good way to declutter on regular basis."

Does an uncluttered, low-maintenance home open the door to personal freedom?

The Cosbys' passion for pickleball, golf and travel makes me answer "yes."

In letting go of parts of a precious past, they've created a new life that includes discovering Jamaica, Virginia, the British Isles, Greece, Australia and Alaska. While their travels are full of adventures and experiences, they can't wait to come home.

"We love it here," Stan said enthusiastically. "As we put our suitcases down and look around, we're both aware of how good it feels to be home."

Nodding in full agreement, Gerry reflected, "We're also reminded that, for us and for our lifestyle, we made the perfect choice."

Courtney Ferguson has written home-and-lifestyle articles for many years, both in Nevada County and in England. Contact her at

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