SD Home/Garden: Rancho Santa Fe’s International Beauty
The horses in the paddock at the bottom of the hill on a sprawling Rancho Santa Fe property are within snorting distance of the tiered pool’s beach. But because they are horses, they have no desire to bask there in the sun, even though the silky white sand was flown in from the Bahamas.
The soft sand illustrates the type of distinct detailing and grandeur that went into the more-than-two-year transformation that took a quaint, Carmel-style cottage down to the studs and turned it into a lavish, Spanish Revival estate.
“Artisans were employed to ensure that traditional, time-honored methods were used on this masterpiece of a home,” designer Jessica Tompane of J Hill Interiors says. “Coppersmith Hans Liebscher handforged many of the copperwork details. Muralist Edita Semiginovska painstakingly faux-painted walls and interior and exterior doors to give them Old World style. And woodcarver Francisco Arceo was on-site every day for eight months carving each detail in framing, lintels, beams cabinets, doors and gates.”
The first such gate — a hefty, double, wooden one with ornamental iron hinges and a carved, painted-floral motif — brings to mind a medieval castle entrance sans the moat. Thick, plaster columns — topped by arched openings that imitate Spanish miradors — flank the gate.