Well, mostly. We’ve been living in our new home since the last week of August while the final touches were applied and the landscaping was completed. Now that we’re finally at a point where the landscaping is almost completely done, and the sun is once again shining, we can close out this blog with a short virtual tour.

Let’s start with what you see when you drive up.

We love the way Dave Crabbe’s craftsman design, outfitted in the colors Sabrina Alfin picked for us, came together so beautifully under Rich Silvestri’s hands, with an able assist from Chris Marshall on the landscaping! I’ve always been a big fan of color — probably inherited from my dad, who loved color so much he would wear plaid pants and shirts…which didn’t match 🙂 — and I find our home’s palette makes it a real standout — in a good way — on our block. Your basic two tone exterior — siding and trim — is nice, but when you work with someone who knows what she’s doing (i.e., Sabrina) you can do some wonderful things if you’re willing to get a little more adventurous.

The next stop on our outside tour is this guy:

Why? Because he represents a first for me. Like many people, I’ve spent years removing rocks and boulders from property I’ve owned. They always seem to be in the wrong place! Well, this dude we purchased with malice aforethought! He was originally intended to be our fountain rock in the backyard. But the folks at Lyngso warned us he probably wouldn’t survive being drilled, so we opted to use him as a decorative feature instead. Just one of the nice touches Chris suggested we pursue.

Moving on, the south side of our house is a nice, big, well-drained vegetable garden.

Did you know that you can grow lots of nifty vegetables in California in the winter? Of course you did. And so did I. But I never thought to plant any of my own because, being from the northeast, “winters are for snow”. We’re excited about working our garden hard year-round! And given the way Chris built the beds, we could probably weed them sitting down :).

When you step around the corner into the backyard this is what you see:

We really love our view of San Carlos’ hills! In fact, we love it more than the beautiful view of the Bay we used to have at 76 Bayview. Water and vista are nice, but hills, trees and the signs of habitation have a warmer and cozier impact.

Oh, yes: sometimes you’ll find these characters lurking around in our backyard.

Keep an eye on the guy who seems enamored of our apricot tree (I love fresh apricots!). We understand he’s also partial to figs, lemons and plums, too, which may explain why we have those trees in our yard. We can hardly wait for next spring and summer, to see all the color Chris built into the landscape plantings!

Now let’s move inside.

Without a doubt the most striking part of 286 Chestnut is the great room. From the kitchen on the north to the window wall on the south — complete with stained glass! — we really enjoy hanging out here! The western and southern exposures make it very light, and the large amount of glass gives it an airy feel.

We also like our salt water aquarium being in the dining room. We’ve noticed, as have all of our dinner guests, that watching the fish swimming around is very soothing. Of course, their feeding frenzies are pretty cool, too :).

Moving towards the front of the house from the great room we pass through the entry way, also known as Diego’s Den.

One downside from having clear sidelights on the front door is that it lets our Loyal Canine Companion exercise his guardian rights over the street in front of our house. Many people walk in our neighborhood — it’s not only relatively flat but also close to downtown — and many of them take their dogs with them. Being mostly a Pomeranian, Diego feels compelled to let each and every one of them know that he sees them.

Here is the Male and Formerly Male Cave, also known as the office:

Diego and I spend a lot of time hanging out here. I love having a library, and working in it.

The office/library is larger than normal because Dave designed it as a potential second master bedroom, in case we live here long enough to no longer want to go up and down the stairs to the current master suite. Going along with that theme, the first floor powder room is actually a full bathroom:

Speaking of climbing stairs, Rich suggested we enhance the stairway, and it ended up looking fabulous!

The first thing you see when you get upstairs is Barbara’s Office Nook. She gets a smaller space, but one with a wonderful view of the Bay:

Caroline’s and Arthur’s rooms, as well as the second floor bathroom, open up off of the hallway/landing. Of course, Arthur lives in Bellingham, Washington while Caroline is overseas studying at the University of Glasgow. But given economic realities these days you never know how long your offspring may be living with you. So this way they each have a room if and when they need one, and in the meantime we have two guest rooms.

I also snuck a picture of the master bathroom into this slideshow. We really like the grotto effect Sabrina designed!

That’s it for now. I’ll post the final final pictures the next time the master suite is neat and organized. Probably early in the 2100s :).

We hope you enjoyed the tour!

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