Never Ordinary: A Playful Green Family Retreat that brings a Love of the Ocean into View
“Our dream was to live in a house that was fun!” the homeowners said as we stood on the deck of their energy independent home. Floor to ceiling windows reflected a broad ocean view above the blue expanse of Monterey Bay. “After traveling in an off-shore sailboat for thirteen years, we had learned that the adventure of independent living opened up a world of exciting advantages along with efficiencies and comforts that made anywhere in the world a potential home.”
The architect/owners had completed a 40,000-mile leisurely sailboat voyage around the world and then, trading the blue wilderness of the world’s oceans for the green wilderness of the Santa Cruz mountains, they brought the energy efficient technologies and green thinking of a self-sufficient sailboat to a sunny ridge above Aptos. The result is a sustainable home engineered to include the direct functional design and, here and there, hardware of an off-shore sailboat, all in a playful and efficient variation of mountain-cabin vernacular that typifies Santa Cruz.
“The simple technologies that save energy in a free-traveling boat are easily transferable to a land-bound home,” the owners explained. “Everything on board has a function. Services like electricity, water, cooling, heating, communication, emergency mitigation are a few of the needs that all need to be sustainable and efficient. Happily, the solutions are readily available, and they are fun!”
Like a sailboat, design decisions looked to materials to withstand the elements and contribute to the near-net-zero carbon footprint of sustainable living. A galvalume roof engineered for solar, protective corrosion-free and heat-reflective siding, strategically placed doors and windows that capture Monterey Bay breezes, eave overhangs dimensioned to shade windows in summer and generate passive solar warmth in winter, Bonelli commercial doors and windows for decades of structural protection and freedom from leaking and corrosion, hands-free foot valves to eliminate water waste and, with a whimsical nod to sailing hardware, simple block and tackle yacht hoists for lifting a loft ladder, a stainless swimming ladder for deck egress, and a sea green spiral stairway leading up to a “crows nest” guest room - these are a few of the ingenious strategies cleverly transferred by this architect-couple from their ocean based sailing home to their playful mountain top home in Santa Cruz.
Living in this super-cool modern home is a green adventure that delightfully opens the door to the future and delivers endless sustainable comfort and pleasure. Let us show it to you! Call Celeste to see 831-239-4646
THE ULTIMATE LUXURY FAMILY COMPOUND ON 3.8 ACRES WITH PANORAMIC OCEAN VIEWS! Superbly built (2010) Corralitos custom home with sweeping ridge-top views from Santa Cruz to Big Sur, to the San Andreas mountains. Above the sunny necklace of beaches that foreground Monterey Bay, the main building has cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, radiant heat, automatic fire sprinkler system, two full baths, and an open kitchen with 6-burner Wolf range, Fisher-Paykel fridge, hands-free faucets, and Miele dishwasher. This green-designed home features a primary bedroom with sunrise and moonrise views through a full-wall window, contemporary open living space, plus a sleeping loft/office. A luminous expanse of French doors open to the large redwood deck and to the drama of the site, melding indoor and outdoor spaces.
AND THERE’S ROOM FOR EVERYONE HERE: three additional multi-use structures with decks - bedrooms, office, studio, caretaker unit, potential income, or…? Plus there is a large separate workshop with integrated container storage. Passive and active solar, secure and grid-free: no utility bills, no blackouts. This is living green in style. And super fast internet is ideal for working remotely.
A PRIVATE SANCTUARY, EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO SANTA CRUZ AND TO THE BAY AREA. Peaceful, secure, a truly idyllic property of natural beauty, that offers both close proximity to urban conveniences and the privacy of a park-like haven. There’s easy access to Santa Cruz and to Los Gatos/Silicon Valley. Located in the friendly community of Corralitos, California (known for its vineyards, horse farms, apple orchards and the Corralitos Market & Sausage Company), it is only 14 minutes to Corralitos Market, 28 minutes to Santa Cruz, 23 minutes to Watsonville, 45 minutes to Los Gatos via Summit, 50 miles to San Jose, 84 miles to San Francisco, and just 5 minutes to to the hiking and bike trails in Niseme Marks State Park, above Aptos.
CORRALITOS, CALIFORNIA: Settled at the foot of the mountain ridge behind Aptos, the town of Corralitos forms a unique rural village bridging Santa Cruz’s passion for the art of living and the county’s fringing wilderness. It nurtures an established community of internationally known writers, fine artists, and musicians. It has become a revered venue for mountain sports like bicycling and hiking. Its famous Market & Sausage Company and adjacent Cultural Center anchors the community’s social life with an Open Mic Friday, Art Shows, Dances, Yoga, Sunday Farmer’s Market, and community library. And the social and fund-raising annual “Lumberjack Breakfast” welcomes thousands each May. The gems in Corralitos’ crown are its exceptional family-run wineries and collection of local craft breweries and publicly accessible organic farms. Though intentionally small, Corralitos’ local shops make it easy to buy local whether for groceries, for dining out, for pizza or cappuccinos - and all offer a warm Corralitos welcome. Corralitos: a unique mixture of community and peaceful rural beauty.
SANTA CRUZ is a Pacific Coast jewel, known for its natural beauty, superb weather, and beaches. Santa Cruz is considered one of the best surf towns in the world with over 60 breaks along its pristine coastline. The city has a lively urban center, wonderful restaurants and outdoor cafes, museums and art galleries, superb bookshops, and numerous music and theatre venues. The popular Crow’s Nest restaurant overlooks the yacht harbor and offers a bird’s eye view of Wednesday night sailboat races and the nearby Santa Cruz Boardwalk has been a family draw for over 60 years.The University of California at Santa Cruz is among the top 100 US universities, and is one of the top employers in the county. Although Santa Cruz is not known as a corporate hub, its tech scene is growing as people realize it is such a great place to live.
Call 831-239-4646 For A Private Viewing
See this recent blog post about Thoughtful Preventative Construction with Climate Change in mind!
A HOME FOR THE 21st CENTURY: HOW A LUXURY FAMILY RETREAT IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS MEETS THE CHALLENGES OF A CHANGING CLIMATE.
One of the underlying values of a home lies in construction foresight. This luxury family retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains, on a ridge top above Corralitos, is a home for the 21st century. With spectacular ocean views from Santa Cruz to Big Sur to the San Andreas mountains, the home is stunning: cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, contemporary open floor plan, radiant heat, and luminous views from French doors leading to a large deck. Three outbuildings provide guest bedrooms and a workshop. The site and its remote beauty provide an unspoiled sanctuary and yet has easy access to Santa Cruz and to Silicon Valley.
The home inspector summarized the property thusly: “The best way to describe these structures is yacht quality. One would be hard pressed to find another property built to this standard.”
Lofty praise indeed! But a home buyer in California would want to know how a home and its site addresses technological and ecological considerations and the challenges of a changing climate. The owners built their custom home with foresight and a view of incorporating 21st century construction in the timeless beauty of its rural setting.
Construction aimed for exceptional green energy efficiency and safety using state of the art engineering and materials. Engineered to exceed fire and earthquake mitigation standards, the house has metal “Galvalume” siding and roofing over a double wall exterior and interior sheetrock-sheathed shell. Importantly, as a majority of homes in wildfires burn from the inside first by sucking in burning embers through soffit vents, the owners purposely designed an unventilated sealed roof - a building practice that has now become a UWIC building preference. An automatic fire sprinkler system, 10,000 gallon water storage and a private hydrant provide structural protection as do defensible space around structures and established fire-resistant drought tolerant landscaping. Working with the land management of neighboring timbered land, undergrowth has been contained, and trees limbed above the forest floor.
A significant part of its green construction is its independent solar energy. Not only does this mean there are no utility bills, but it’s independent power for the super fast internet and electricity is immune to PG&E power outages.
Living the California dream has always meant being in touch with nature, whether earthquakes or fire or pandemics. As the State faces the challenges of climate change, this family retreat built for the 21st century makes perfect sense.
- City Lights Views
- Hardwood Floors
- Heated Floors
- High Ceilings
- Large Lot
- Oversized Windows
- Open Floor Plan
- Ocean Views
- Mountain Views
- Quiet and Private
- Stainless Steel Appliances