Thursday, December 22, 2005
The homes that sit next to each other on Mission Avenue behind Carmel’s Sunset Center are priced the same, are about the same size, were just completed by the same builder, and share many of the same features. But they are fraternal twins, not identical.
The home to the south is described by Realtor Pam Pantzis as “more Old World,” while the home to the north she characterizes as “more traditional.” Both were built by husband-and-wife collaborators Chris and Denise Dinner, working with local home designer Claudio Ortiz.
The 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath homes replace a barren double lot that had three decaying cabins on it.
“They wanted the new homes to have Carmel style, but be different enough from each other to have their own character,” Pantzis says. “It’s fun when people come through at open houses to hear which one they prefer.”
The home to the south has a Spanish influence, with an imported Italian tile roof and a richly hued plaster exterior, done by the respected local plasterer Jack Aiello.
“The color is mixed into the plaster,” Pantzis explains. “It gives it a depth you can’t get with faux finishes.”
Custom wrought iron detailing on railings complement oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and the thick dark-wood Dutch door, with a built-in panel that swings open to talk to visitors, known as a speakeasy. The open space next to the southern home is city land, which affords permanent privacy. Both homes have views of Carmel Valley hills, and are surprisingly quiet for such a central location.
The home to the north has darker hardwood floors and lighter walls, and is finished in Carmel stone. It has a large slate balcony off of the dining area for entertaining (the southern home has a smaller one). The kitchen countertops are limestone, like the home to the south, but have finished edges, rather than the rough edges on the southern home.
Both homes have reverse floorplans and share upscale features like hand-scraped hardwood floors (maple to the south and cherry in the northern house), attractive fixtures, stainless steel Viking kitchen appliances, niches for flat screen TVs, travertine stone sinks, zoned radiant heating in the floors, and thick wood windows.
“Denise was very particular,” Pantzis says. “She looked at every detail. She wanted all the appliances to be by the same manufacturer so all of the handles would match.”
Both homes share careful detailing on often neglected areas as well—the underside of both upper decks are completely finished, as are the garages, and even the space underneath the stairs.
“Ortiz wanted the very best quality materials he could possibly use for the outside and the interior,” Pantzis says. “He didn’t scrimp on anything. And Chris and Denise were here all the time, overseeing the work.”
The homes have repeated patterns, like arched passageways, doors, and even arched glass shower doors.
On the lower level of both homes, French doors from the bedrooms lead to stone patios in gardens filled with understated professional landscaping.
They are the kind of homes that are so pretty on their own that they don’t need a lot of decorating to make them feel right. The homes not only complement each other, but the design of the recently remodeled Sunset Center as well.
“Chris and Denise put their heart into this,” Joe Tanzi says. “It wasn’t just a project to them.”
Price: $2,095,000 for each home. Mission at 9th, Carmel. Contact Pam Pantzis or Joe Tanzi, Shankle Real Estate, 917-4898 or 594-0778.