California Homes Article


California Homes Article
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by Marilou Vaughan
Photography bv Mark Lohman
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he homeowners and the
site had everything to do
with determining the
appearafice and defining features
a large residence
in a well-watered
canyon above Temecula in
Southern California. The home was
designed by Richard H Dodd g
Associate, one of the oldest architecture firms in Newport Beach.
For 3f years, residences created
from San Diego to San Luis Obispo
and inland to Palm Desert have
reflected the firm's professionalism.
"\7e take pride in the fact that our
buildings meet the homeowners'
requirements and are site sensitive," said Richard Dodd, AIA.
People can't look at one and say,
'that's a Dick Dodd building."'
The homeowners and Dodd,
close friends, looked for two years
for the right piece ofproperty.
"The minute she saw this 350acre ranch, she fell
Dodd. "It is
in love," said
a wonderful spot
hidden valley, with springs and
coastal live oaks."
The first project completed on
the property was the creation of a
five-acre lake in a low-lying area.
The beauriful fearure has a practical side: it supplies water for irrigation and in case of fire. Not long
ago, helicopters were able to pick
up water from the lake to quench
a nearby brush fire.
"Once the lake was completed, the site for the
4,600-square-foot home and 1,700-square-foot guest
wing and garage was pretty much self-evident: they
had to overlook the lake," recalled Dodd. "Again, we
made certain design decisions because we were concerned about fire in this remote spot that lacks the
support available in an urban setting. \7e used stucco and Mission tile, put special venting in the actic
and installed sprinklers throughout the interior."
But many of the aesthetic choices for the home
came directly from the homeowners. "He loves
Mexico, and we developed the Mission-style architecture from that," Dodd said. In keeping with the
Mexican influence, the clients and the architect
found many of the materials there, and trucked them
from Mexico to the site. For example, the stone for
the colonnades, walls, benches and chimney caps was
quarried in Mexico. "The columns were carved there,
then cut in pieces and numbered," explained Dodd.
"tJ/hen they arrived here, we used a plan to reassemble them by the numbers." Other distinctive marerials include mesquite, fashioned into flooring and cabinetry
in the kitchen. "It is one of the toughest woods on earrh,
and the cabinetmakers just kept breaking saw blade after
saw blade. But the knobs and gnarls give it its special
character," said the designer.
A1l of this attention to detail took an astonishingly
short time: only nine months, Dodd said, thanks to out-
standing teamwork. "I have never worked with a general
,, .',,r:::l,r, contractor as organized as Lamon Bishop
.ri: i.i' ,,r,: of Cornerstone Builders in Temecula," he
:'::''r'r. .', asserted. Bishop, Dodd and Gary
i: r
Korkola who headed the project for
tbe *tatter htt/1"{La$t, thc exuber-
anl, harrf-can'ed l:eadhriard aut/ tbe
reffrtl/v3: utere lsr;th wadL in hlexico. Fabric:
tt?'e /t! Lalne (hed couiri and FiaCler &
Findler {pi/lau,s).
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artique i\tr exicat doors"
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Dodd's firm, all worked together with the client and the
interior designer, Christine Hallen-Berg, ASID.
Hallen-Berg, a talented Laguna Beach designer, shaped
the interiors. Drawing on more than 15 years of experience
in designing and importing, she was able to solve the
primary challenge given to her by the homeowners. "They
wanted an authentic Mexican hacienda-or as alrthentic
as possible," she explained.
She and her knowledgeable clients traveled to
Guadalajara several times in search of inspiration and
antiques. "tWe found lanterns for outside, and doors that
we made into gates, and an entry-area bench also constructed from antique doors. It is not unusual in Mexico
for wood from old houses and fr-rrniture to be remade into
new furnitr-rre."
In addition to the distinctive objects imported from
Mexico to Southern California, many of the most significant
elements of the interior design were custom
made there for the residence. "Throughout
the house you will see pieces of richly carved
wooden furniture," said Hallen-B erg, "a
headboard and secretary in the master bedroom and various tables in the living room,
especially a wonderful sofa table that combines a top made from an anrique door with
a stretcher made from a cow yoke." \Wrought
iron and wood were fashioned into chandeliers, and tin into lamps for both interior
and exterior locations. Tin was also used for
some loveiy embossed mirrors, such as the
one in the dining room. And no one who
has ever been to Mexico
will fail to
the distinctive pigskin and wood tub chairs
and sofas.
The rustic beauty of such objects is dis-
played against a neutral background of
natural, woven materials enlivened with
splashes of color such as rapesrry pillows in
the living room, prinr upholstery on dining
room chairs, and brilliant floral bed covering. And because the clients close up the
house for certain times of the year, the designers made drawable
draperies to prorecr the interiors, said Hallen-Berg.
Outside it may be as hot as a chili pepper, but thick walls,
protective overhangs and those drapes guarantee that inside it's
as cool as a glass of iced /intanada.
Abaue: Tbe kitcben is rnade clistinctiue by tbe generzus //se of wesquite u)lad in flortring anc/ cabinetrl.
lron bardzuare is fro*t Jacqueline I\icolas, Coyona
hlar; tiles fronz Eurobatb, Costa hlesa; gatet
are frow Arte de Mexicrt.
Beltutt Tal/ u'indaulr in tbe dining room frante a
uiew of tlce entrlt court donti-
natu/ by an a)?tiqlte rarriagr.
M exican influences ahound,
,r: /e.tthr, th,tirr fram
Guadalajara aud a tnirror af
abatte tbe beaal/y
uraed s ideboard. Armcbairs
by Waldo are upboltterecl in
fabric; crewel
draperies are frott Lu Jofa.
Dried flouers are by Grtrden
Gate" Lagana Beach.
Oppo:ite page: Jut off tbe
lit,h,n and liuiu3 raorr ir
irt gathering spt,t.
A cn//r;tion uf ltratt6'/i11g lyent
attuther fauor
decorates the fireplace aJ plaster
and cart'ed Cantera .rtone, Tbe
pigskin sofas ancl cbairs and
tbe reed-topped tables tuere
ntade in Mexica. as .n-as the
charrning, headed akalele: fab-
ric on cusbions is b1 Sunbrella"
.l rre