The Arroyo Grande home of David and Peggy Coon may seem solidly traditional with its welcoming Victorian-influenced architecture and mix of antique and traditional furniture. But a closer look reveals surprises: elements of a beach retreat, and even a Mexican sanctuary.
The Coons, who are retirees and Los Angeles natives, moved to the area in 2008.
After having lived the freeway lifestyle, we were looking for a pedestrian lifestyle where you can walk to neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants and just enjoy seeing our neighbors, said Peggy.
The Coons purchased the very first house they toured a 2,100-square-foot, late 1990s-built home near the Village of Arroyo Grande.
Many houses are just big and vacant and look like they would take forever to make them feel like a home, remarked Peggy. I felt like this house had a heart and soul. It made us both feel comfortable immediately.
The home was a perfect fit for the couple except for one thing. The kitchen had an awkward layout for two people who love to cook and entertain.
After waiting three years to formulate their plans, they worked with San Luis Kitchen Company to remodel the kitchen in a style consistent with the homes architecture. They avoided any contemporary or stainless steel elements and had appliances clad in paneling. The built-in vintage-style hutch was made to look like a freestanding piece of furniture. A marble backsplash completes the Victorian-inspired look.
They replaced the U-shaped peninsula counter with a kitchen island that allows for better traffic flow. An island prep sink allows them to work in tandem without getting in each others way. They oriented the island so that the cook can face the great room when entertaining guests.
Before we added the sink, it was just a big wasted space it was where we threw the mail, noted Peggy.
They wanted the kitchen to be functional, ergonomic and low-maintenance. They chose a double oven arrangement (the top is an oven/microwave combo), situated above storage drawers, to eliminate stooping or crouching. The cabinets have pullout racks for easy access. The countertops, formerly white tile, were remade in granite to eliminate the need to clean grout.
The rest of the house suited the Coons needs well. Even the existing wall colors worked with the furniture and accessories they brought from their previous home.
We were starting over, but by bringing our things with us, it wasnt like we were wiping the slate clean, said Peggy.
Peggy acquired a love for antiques from her father, who frequently took her on antiquing expeditions. From him, she inherited many pieces, including a rare antique English teapot, or footed tea caddy, which she displays in the master bedroom. She also collects antique English cookie jars, which she dis plays in the great room.
In contrast to public spaces, the guest bedroom and master bath have nautical accents and art. Some items were crafted by Peggy, including pieces embellished with sand dollars she collected from Pismo Beach.
The couple saved their biggest surprise for the back patio and garden. Peggy has traveled extensively in Mexico to study Spanish and always admired the cheerful, tropical feel of enclosed Mexican sanctuary gardens. So the Coons outfitted their back patio with brightly colored Mexican Talavera pottery and hanging baskets. They painted their wood patio furniture in bold hues pulled from the pottery, and created an intimate seating area with comfortable couches and a travertine coffee table.
The garden has a tiered fountain and flagstone path. It is filled with tropical plants and succulents. Peggy brought with her a collection of shade-loving Clivia, which are commonly found in Mexico.
The house and the pedestrian lifestyle are a good fit for the Coons. Peggy offers this advice to others considering a home for retirement: It doesnt have to look just like the house you raised your family in. It should represent what the future holds for you and the fun direction of your new life.