Thursday, December 8, 2005
Joanne and Roger Shiffman are described by their former next-door neighbors as “some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” Somehow, their 2,500-square-foot former home on Carmel Hill reflects that positive energy.
Roger, a doctor, and Joanne, a nurse, have moved closer to their Ryan Ranch offices, but they say the house they left behind still holds happy memories. The Shiffmans remodeled about four years ago to incorporate more welcoming sunlight and open spaces in the house.
“When I walked in and first saw this house, I thought, this house needs to be loved,” Joanne remembers. “I always called it the Alfred Hitchcock house. Not because it was scary at all—it’s warm and comforting—but because of the angles. I thought of Hitchcock and his love of angles and geometry and how he used that in his art.”
The Shiffmans added skylights (“The day we moved in, so the house could breathe,” Joanne says) and knocked down walls.
“There used to be a wall and a little creepy window in the kitchen, and I thought, ‘Oh no, we can’t eat in this little thing,’” Joanne says. “It was almost like a cabin up in the mountains. We couldn’t wait to open up the kitchen. We put in beautiful granite that came out of the mountains of Brazil.” Now the kitchen has glass cabinets that show off crystal and allow light to pass through, a Thermador range and double ovens, and a stainless steel GE Monogram refrigerator.
The home is floored in carpeting and tile, which Joanne says was chosen to make for low-maintenance surfaces.
“I didn’t put in stone floors,” she says. “I put down tile which makes it easy care for grandkids. Every home I’ve had has been child-friendly. I’m not one to say, ‘Don’t come in with shoes or red wine.’ Our grandkids come in with toys and bikes and skates. That’s how my kids grew up—in a situation where I just didn’t worry about anything.”
The Shiffmans are big on entertaining kids and adults alike.
“For my husband’s 50th birthday, we probably had 100 people over,” Joanne says. “For us it’s just kind of fun to have people spill out onto the deck and mingle.”
The three-bedroom, three-bathroom home is on three levels, which makes it feel bigger than it is. A large upstairs bonus room with a kitchenette and a private outside entrance can be accessed just past the kitchen, and allows for visiting family to bunk in privacy.
“When our adult children were teenagers they used that room,” Joanne says. “Later we turned it into a bonus room. We had a king bed and a queen bed and a sofa up there, and we had four couples—all cousins—up there one weekend. They were separate from us in a little retreat.”
Outside areas of the house include a new redwood deck with a hot tub, and a front garden that is hidden from the street.
“I used to garden a lot in my wild garden in front,” Joanne says. “In springtime the lilac bushes bloom and there are roses that create a wild look. We liked to sit out front and have coffee and read the paper.”
And when it was time to get outside the home, Joanne and Roger took their German shepherd and golden retriever for walks to town down Carmel Hill.
“It was a workout up and down the hill,” Joanne says, “but we loved it. There’s nothing better that going on foot, and it’s a wonderful community to be a part of.”
Price: $1,699,995. 24653 Upper Trail, Carmel. Contact Angelica Blatt, Keller Williams Realty, 206-8070.