Thursday, April 10, 2003
Photo: Homegrown Pride: Three generations of family members have given input to a brand-new development of Marina homes
Twelve-year-old Katerina Flores likes the fact that her parents named a small street in Marina after her. The fact that Katerina Lane is a family name is only fitting in a development that''s entirely a relative affair. Katerina''s parents, Stephanie and Joe, worked on designing and constructing the first of four intended homes in the new development, while Stephanie''s father, architect Bob McCaffrey, drew up the blueprints.
"It really is a family effect," Stephanie says, as her younger daughter Sabrina gallops through the empty house. "My mother-in-law picked out the ceramic floor tiles, and we''d put out samples of everything and take in everyone''s input."
The almost 2200-square-foot house feels open, light, and airy even before you enter the leaded glass front door. Outside, wood siding mixed with stone accents creates a Craftsman-style feeling. Inside, a bright, generously sized entry way leads into a large living room with dramatic two-story walls of windows.
But Stephanie''s favorite feature of the house is a kitchen that allows easy access to other family members relaxing in the rest of the downstairs.
"I''m one of those people who personally spends a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen-and my husband is Italian," Stephanie says. "I wanted a kitchen where you can stand around and have a glass of wine, see the family and talk. It''s really important to us."
The kitchen has a unique angular shape: a triangular island with a granite top centers the room. Honey maple kitchen cabinets contrast nicely with the grey granite work surfaces and the light ceramic tile floor. Double convection ovens and a built-in microwave maximize space and provide many cooking options.
The room off the kitchen features a long, elegant granite buffet bar with open shelves and more maple cabinetry above it. A wood burning fireplace with a gas starter centers the room. Sliding glass doors lead to the fenced back yard, planted with Italian Cypress trees.
"This could be a family room, a dining room, a media room-whatever you want," Stephanie says.
Tall windows stretch the house to appearing even larger than it is, while generously scaled utility rooms, such as the large laundry room, have attractive accents that continue a sense of elegance, like a marble sink with gleaming fixtures. An attractively designed powder room and a large storage area under the stairs finishes off the first floor.
A uniquely carved, custom-built banister, with a Craftsman design, leads up to the second story.
"My father is such a perfectionist about engineering," Stephanie says. "He created a set of brackets in this system so this thing is so secure you could bungee jump off it. Not that you should," she adds quickly.
Upstairs, a long open landing leads between two bedrooms and a bathroom on one end, and a master suite on the other. The master bathroom features a Whirlpool tub, double sinks, and a separate shower. The master bedroom has vaulted ceilings, a long window seat, and a large walk-in closet.
"Sabrina asked me if this was the baby''s room," Stephanie laughs, pointing out a huge linen closet.
On the way out, Stephanie points out the generous side yards and the two-car garage has a niche for a tool bench that the males in her family designed.
"My dad and Joe said they wanted a place for a workbench so it wouldn''t scratch the cars," Stephanie explains.
Next on the agenda: construction of the remaining three homes to be built.
"We''re going to start in about a month-and-a-half," Stephanie says as she flips through blueprints. "Lots of people we know who grew up in the area are moving to Marina-the prices are still reasonable enough."
Price: $599,500. 146 Katerina Lane, Marina. Contact: Bill Bluhm of Bill Bluhm & Associates at 375-8821.