Thursday, December 13, 2007
Anyone looking at this house from the outside will be amazed to discover the trove of revelations inside. The view of the house from the street isn’t the best: the facade is flat, straight up and down (attached double garage) and painted white, a color rarely at one with Carmel’s flora. Looking past that, though, it is a likable, distinctive house well worth looking into. It would be a mistake to dismiss it based on curb-impression alone.
Oliver Road is not a through street, and with the address near the far end, traffic is nil. In the backyard, however, there can be some noise from Rio Road (25 mph limit).
The configuration of the house enjoys undisputed privacy and profound quiet in any room because of dual-pane windows. The property itself is fully fenced with a large, appealing backyard that has myriad options for everything from fabulous gardens, an agility course or a complete playground for little children, not one inch of which is visible from the street yet can be seen in total from inside the house.
Good northern light in front arrives via a series of large square panes stacked first as a single sidelight then continued above the foyer of the split-level format. If those windows remain bare, a glimpse of the oak staircase to the second floor is seen while the whole foyer, upper landing and stairs down to the main level are beautifully illuminated. If the windows are fully dressed, as now, the only thing seen is the good taste of the dresser and thus privacy inside reigns supreme.
Also from the foyer, beautiful spaces on the main level are showcased that seem unimaginable until observed. The L-shaped great room, formal dining room and the freestanding fireplace between them are set upon handsome original, refinished oak floors and room-length windows, including French doors to the back terrace (under a wisteria-ready arbor) all guarantee bright days no matter the weather. There’s an unusually satisfying feeling of privacy and light sans glare maintained throughout this house.
Downstairs, views from the foyer to the second level inspire investigative intrigue. The large master bedroom and full bath enjoy the left side of the house. Across the landing, a smaller bedroom enjoys the same idea. The original oak floors are great, though not refinished, and appear to have once been carpeted.
Downstairs, the white plaster fireplace, domed in the manner of an igloo with a simple white cylindrical chimney, is beautiful on the honey oak floors. Because it sits between the great room and the full dining room, there’s open access visually and actually from all areas into the kitchen. Such an interior design portends an easy party house and renders one able to keep an eye on children and pets. At one time, the kitchen was redone and remains fully acceptable with a garden window, bleached oak cabinets and like-new tile counters. It’s roomy, bright and fully incorporated into the life of the house. Remodeling may be an option, however, to bring it into 2007 and beyond.
That also may be the case for both full baths, the upstairs master and one downstairs adjoining a third bedroom/ office/ studio/ family area around the corner from the dining room. They are good-looking and well-maintained with original fixtures, faucets and small-tile black-and-white European-style floors. They’re first-rate genre, just not the current one.
At first glance, the house seems just an ugly duckling until the lovely swan inside is fully revealed.