A PASSION FOR THE ECLECTIC — A MIXING AND MATCHING WITH EQUAL PARTS PURPOSE AND ADMIRATION — ALLOWS A PERSON TO SEEK QUALITY AND DURABILITY WHILE ENJOYING A SENSE OF PERSONAL TASTE. IN FACT, CRAFTSMANSHIP AND ARTISTRY REQUIRE SELF-ASSURANCE. ACCORDINGLY, THE FRENCH TOUCH INVITES BOLD SELF-EXPRESSION IN THE SELECTION AND PLACEMENT OF EVERY PARTICULAR PIECE. ONLY THROUGH THESE PERSONAL CHOICES DOES THE REINCARNATION OF THE ANTIQUE OR ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENT TRULY COME ALIVE AGAIN. SAVING THE OLD AND BEAUTIFUL TO SERVE ANEW IS BUSINESS FOR ME, YES; BUT MORE THAN THAT, IT IS A PERSONAL ETHIC, AND DEEPLY GRATIFYING.
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When we were still new to the area and looking for a house, I would drive around, getting to know the neighborhood s. There are plenty of wonderful neighborhood s in the Central Coast, some too rich for my wallet, but it is interesting to study the houses—how they are constructed and what people do with them. This kind of activity is called a “busman’s holiday,” I think, as you say in America.
One house I saw simply fascinated me. It is stunning, so French in its design and execution—from the slate roof, lucarnes (eyebrow dormer windows), zinc spires, deep eaves, shuttered window s and colombages (wood cross-structures) like Basque houses, to the movement of the roof-lines that remind me of the building we created for the Basque éco-musée. And the superb quality of the post-and-beam construction! It is a well-conceived, well-made and exceptionally inviting, homey residence. The more you study it, the more impressive its quality.