San Diego It’s apparent this home in Solana Beach is not your standard issue Spanish Colonial from the moment you pull into the driveway. The carved wooden panels on the garage door are framed by an inset stucco arch adorned with more than five dozen eclectic Spanish tiles.
The red-tile stairway with custom ironwork hand rails leads to the elaborately carved wooden front door with artistic interpretations of the sun, moon and stars. It too is inset in a stucco arch that is lined with more original tiles and compels an admiring pause.
The home is set back on its lot that rises gently up from street level, so the main living quarters are on the second story to take advantage of the 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean.
Pete Cavanagh, a luxury property specialist and realtor with the Del Mar office of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, has the listing on the approximately 3,614-square-foot home at 354 Glenmont Drive in Solana Beach with four bedrooms, plus den and four full baths. The asking price is $3.85 million and an offer is pending.
Cavanagh, who has been a real estate broker and appraiser for 17 years, said the woman who originally built the home in 2010 had traveled in Mexico and South America as a child with her parents and fell in love with the art and architecture.
“She knew what she wanted almost down to every detail before the architect ever got involved in it,” Cavanagh said.
The architect was Brian Church, an award-winning, commercial and residential architect well known for his diverse style. Church’s styles range from mid-century modern to 21st century original concepts.
The contractor was George Boyd Design + Construction in Solana Beach and the landscape designer was Krista Percival Landscape Design in Del Mar.
“The exterior of the home is a traditional Spanish-look stucco with the red mission tile,” Cavanagh said. “There are a lot of decorative iron-forged light fixtures, copper roof gutters, scalloped stucco coves, hand-painted tiles, mosaics and three chimneys that are almost like their own little house at the top with decorative caps and their own windows.”
When the front door swings open into a soaring foyer with a barrel-vaulted ceiling, light floods in from light wells and “borrowed-light” openings, which is a way of bringing light into a room where it’s otherwise impractical.
At the end of the foyer, arched doorways lead to the living and kitchen area on the right and bedrooms on the left.
The kitchen/living room is one great room on the second story with vaulted open beam ceilings and a 23-foot span of windows and sliding doors that lead out to an expansive patio with a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.
“Some of the non-Spanish things that make the home spectacular are the steel framing in the west-facing walls to support that 23-foot expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows,” Cavanagh said.
The master bedroom is on the south side of the great room accessed through a charming stucco cove.
The kitchen is a work of art. The centerpiece is a dramatic 16-foot long Parota wood island with a hammered copper sink. Parota wood is a sustainable tree found in Mexico and Central America and is prized for its unique heartwoods streaked with honey-colored, reddish and dark brown swirls alongside its pale yellow sapwood.
The working side of the kitchen has a long counter of red-dyed glazed concrete, copper fixtures, dual Viking ovens and a commercial grade Sub Zero refrigerator. The six-burner range is surrounded by another creative display of one-of-a-kind tiles and mosaics. The floor under the kitchen workspace is tile set in a diamond pattern with an accent, but the rest of the great room flooring is wide plank mesquite wood with a natural semi-gloss shine.
Every room is another display of carefully crafted tile work. Each bathroom has its own style and personality. All of the hand-painted tiles were commissioned by the original owner in Mexico, who directed each and every placement of every tile, inside and out.
In the back, an outdoor kitchen and mosaic tile spa is surrounded by inviting pathways leading through lush gardens of indigenous plantings.
“The home has 1,500 square feet of patios and decks,” Cavanagh said.
The lower level of the home has a den, laundry room, bath and a 600-square-foot storage room off of the 620-square-foot garage.
Cavanagh, who has lived in Solana Beach for 30 years, said the expansive front yard was originally designed for a pool, but the family had toddlers at the time, so the landscape designer installed a green wall of vegetation for privacy.
“Solana Beach would prefer that homeowners not wall in their front yards,” Cavanagh said. “So we trimmed the green wall back to open up views.”
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