People ask me where my home article ideas come from. Sometimes, they’re right under my nose.
I might be visiting a friend for a cup of tea and a slice of pumpkin bread. The late-afternoon sun casts honey-warm light on the kitchen table, and I’m inspired to ask, “Could I feature your home?”
Such was the case with my friends Jim and Pat Coe. Many memorable events have taken place in their Cedar Ridge home — from celebrating new grandchildren to the “unveiling” of a specially commissioned painting.
However, this is one home that hits its stride at Christmas. Family visits span three generations of a close-knit family. Good cooking and lasting memories are plentiful.
Set on one and a half acres, the home measures 2,800 square feet with a 400-square-foot coach house behind. Since Pat is a Master Gardener, the grounds are contoured and inviting. Lots of landscaping was done in 2007.
Now there’s a maple tree near every window. Roses from Empire Mine grace the gardens with traditional beauty. Curved pathways, and arched windows, arbors and courtyard gates (designed by Jim and crafted by Dave’s Iron) add interest and character to the stone, European-style construction. Local stonemason Jason Eddy’s craftsmanship is evident in the stone walls that define the courtyard garden.
Meant to be — “almost magically”
The floor plan features three bedrooms and two and a half bathroooms. Built in 1995, the Coes have lived here since 2001, when they moved to this area from Walnut Creek.
“The home had instant appeal for us,” Pat recalled, “but we wondered if our vintage, family furniture would fit. Almost magically, when Jim measured floor and wall space, he confirmed that there was room for all the items we treasured. For example, our curved, soft-teal sofa, end tables and coffee table fit just perfectly. The wall behind the couch was the ideal place to showcase the dramatic Far East painting. We’ve had these items over 20 years, and, yes, they’re part of our lives. The Queen Anne dining room set from Jim’s family fit perfectly as well. There was even a special alcove, almost custom-made, for my piano.”
“We warmed to the variety of squares, arches and ceiling heights,” Jim added. “We also liked the open space and flow — with plenty of private areas. Since it’s all on one floor, we made a good choice for our future. Even its location was spot on. You feel secluded, yet you’re just minutes from town — and Empire Mine.” (Both Jim and Pat are docents there. In fact, Jim often portrays Mr. Bourn at historic Bourn Cottage.)
Even a “perfect house” needs its owners’ personal stamp. Hence, they decided to install crown moldings throughout. Custom cabinets and bookshelves in the great room have added attractive storage. (Kudos to local contractor Chuck Brasher for superb remodeling here and in other parts of the house.)
Pat’s preference was to be patient, and leave certain walls blank until they decided exactly what should go there. For example, the space above the fireplace remained an empty wall until they commissioned acclaimed artist Martin Bettin to paint their love of nature and their horses.
“It shows us trail riding through beautiful countryside, and is a stunning account of a lifestyle we cherish,” Pat explained.
The home also features dramatic prints and paintings by contemporary local artist, Leslie Anne Webb, and floral art by Jan Hedman. The foyer, great room, hallway and dining room are painted a soft mushroom color that offers a quiet backdrop to the dramatic art and furniture,
It also provides a subtle segue to the large kitchen/dining area. With lots of hunter greens and autumnal accent colors, this is a place to share great expectations of enticing, home cooked food.
The bedrooms are charming, and full of prized family furniture. The guestroom and en suite bathroom were recently painted relaxing shades of green. (Son, Barry, gets credit for a skillful paint job.) The other guestroom doubles as an office, where Pat sits and reads in the same chair her mother used.
The recently decorated master bedroom is dramatic. With harvest shades of reds and golds, a fireplace, an unusual elongated, octagonal raised ceiling, and an entertainment/reading area, it’s both stylish and private. The large master bath has a spa-like feel with a stunning garden view.
Since neither Pat nor Jim is comfortable with clutter, they had their large closet redesigned. Now it’s got ample, convenient places for shoes, clothing and accessories.
“It’s inspired us to cut back,” Pat said. “If we don’t wear what we’ve got, why keep it? It’s time to pass it on to someone who will use and enjoy it.”
Pat’s maiden name is Holladay, and since she and Jim enjoy long, relaxed family visits, their home has been dubbed the “Holladay Inn.” Snow time or sunshine, it’s easy to understand why this home is a warm, memorable place to gather.
Whether it’s a holiday or a family meal, it’s always good to be home.
Courtney Ferguson has written home-and-lifestyle articles for many years, both in Nevada County and in England. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.