Monday, April 26, 2010

Curtis Park Home Tour....A Well Traveled Life

1912 Craftsman Living Room houses a high canopied bed from the island of Madura.
Last weekend, Tim and I got the bikes out of mothballs from the winter season and rode through our neighborhood visiting our neighbors' homes which were open for the Annual Curtis Park Home and Garden Tour held by the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association. Curtis Park was developed from 1910 through the 30's and 40's. Homes here range from Craftsman Bungalows to French Tudors, Mediterranean and Monterey to Bauhaus International style. The diversity is what gives this unique neighborhood it's quintessential charm.

I wanted to show you a house that took my breath away. I have passed this house a million times. It is one block away from ours. I never knew what was hiding inside.

The Living Room is furnished with art and artifacts from all over the world

The house is a beautiful example of Craftsman architecture with it's natural shingle exterior. This particular home has been meticulously restored down to the beautiful arched doorways trimmed in Eucalyptus. And one might expect the predictable Craftsman style furniture to complete the picture. But upon entering, I was completely taken away. I was charmed at first sight. It was clear that the owners of this house were travelers and had many stories to tell.

Dining Room with Teak table set with pottery made by a friend with Thai Stainless Steel. Plein Air Art.

It was hard to tear myself away from one room, there was so much to see. There was a life here. Many lives really. The owners have lived in many countries including Afghanistan, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Peru. The Living Room held a canopied bed where one could dream away the hours thinking about Bengal Tigers and soft scented nights under the stars.

The Dining Room was a place where I could imagine Baroness Karen von Blixen spinning stories of adventure while guests feasted on wild pheasant and exotic fruits, drinking Bombay gin.
Kitchen Nook
The kitchen was vintage and cozy with it's reading nook. There were cages of canaries singing away in the window next to this happy yellow rocking chair. A case of well loved books and collected crockery compose a very cheerful corner.

The Library
The library was full of artifacts such as the painted screen most likely from Indonesia. Books were housed in the original Craftsman bookcases like those under the window. Do you think you would find a volume of Rudyard Kipling's work here?
The Owners' Art Studio
It became very clear why this house has such character and complexity. Both of the owners are artists. Mary Czechan Coldren is a painter and printmaker. You can see her work above the cabinet in her art studio above. Husband Lee Coldren is a silversmith. I was reminded of artists Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keeffe as I walked through this space with it's collections of horns, skulls, shells, seed pods and stones.

Back Foyer leading me out.
I was led through the house, room by room until I was to leave through a side foyer. It was the room that held the staircase leading up to even more wondrous rooms. But it was not to be. The upstairs was off limits on this tour. However....the foyer proved to be full to bursting with collections and furniture to keep me least until I can meet the owners formally and be invited to see more!
Cane and Walking Stick Collection
I am one who collects. I love things with a past and a story. So you can imagine how much I loved this rack full of walking sticks and canes. Where have they all been?! And who was holding them when they were carried along those many paths? And then there were the hats. On the walls on on the hat rack. There were chests and baskets....what did they hold? Shells from faraway beaches and decorated boxes.....and a curious jar of peanuts. Perhaps to feed the blue jays outside?
More of the Back Foyer
I was not allowed to climb the stair, but was very tempted to see if another world could be found in the back of the wardrobe.
Carved Wardrobe against a bright pink wall.
It was time to say goodbye to this worldly house and ride our bikes through our own little part of the world. I will bring you more of the tour later this week!
To find out more about our Curtis Park Community, click on over HERE.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a fabulous place!!
I speaks so clearly of the creativity and marvelous individuality of the owners! I adore it.

Nikki said...

Its confirmed. I need a bell jar to disply my ye ol' curiosities.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Stunning! I'm afraid if you HAD opened the wardrobe you may be lost i a whole 'nuther world for a long long time!

Beautiful home...full of adventure.

Mary Kay Andrews said...

Katie, it takes an artful eye to behold all that you did in this home and see all the beauty inherent in its collections and clutter. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What, pray, is a "French Tudor"???

mary said...

Oh, I would love to meet the owners and learn of their adventures and the tales those wondrous collections had to tell. Definitely a fairy tale house. Definitely a keeper house.

Karena said...

You will have to let us know what else you find out after meeting the owners. Many lives led here!! Treasures abound!

Art by Karena

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Mona Thompson said...

Really beautiful. So warm and inviting. You can tell that very interesting people live here. Memories of their travels through all the collected objects are just fascinating. Looking forward to more of this.

HOBAC said...

I could be friends with this person.

Karoli said...

I just discovered this post as I was looking for something else. Lee & Mary Coldren are my aunt and uncle, and yes, there are many stories to tell. Every piece has a story. I love that you saw that in their home.

Thank you for your lovely comments. I'm so happy to have stumbled across your post!