The Fisher home in Nipomo is tailored to a 'T'

Stan and Perky Fisher found a home in Nipomo that’s a perfect fit for their lifestyle

rajuretic@sbcglobal.netJune 6, 2012 

  • Design tips from the Fishers

    REPURPOSE AND REUSE When you move or redecorate, creatively repurposing pieces you already own saves your budget and your memories. The Fishers reinvented several items including an old storage headboard that no longer worked for them. They had a woodworker alter it so that they could use it as a TV cabinet.

    RETHINK YOUR ROOMS Use each space in a way that suits your lifestyle, no matter what it was designed for. Who says you can’t use your formal dining room as a game room or your bedroom closet as an office?

    FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE In a studio, workshop or craft room, furniture specialized for your craft can be more functional and ergonomic than generic cabinets, tables and chairs. Perky Fisher purchased furniture designed for sewing from Koala and Horn, including a table with a motorized sewing machine lift.

Stan and Perky Fisher live in a house that seems custom-made for them — except that it wasn’t.

In 2009, the Bay Area residents were looking at new homes in the Nipomo Trilogy development when they found one that had been sitting on the market for some time.

Typically, homeowners have the opportunity to select finishes and upgrades before construction. The Fishers had no such choices because their home was already completed. But this was not an issue.

“It was perfect for us,” said Perky. “If I had chosen everything myself, I couldn’t have done better.”

There were upgraded materials in the 3,695-square-foot home, including the distressed wood floors. The Fishers adored the soft gold color chosen for the upstairs carpeting and the walls. The great room with its built-in buffet and wine cooler suited their casual style of entertaining. The granite on the kitchen counters matched a console table they had owned for 20 years. They also liked the layout.

“Everything is where it should be,” said Perky. “Other homes we’ve had to remodel to change things around.”

The Fishers were pleased with the sustainable features of the house, including a solar electric system and eco-friendly insulation, paint and flooring.

What sold them, however, was the large, open upstairs area comprised of a den and small bedroom. Perky, who is a fiber artist, had always yearned for a large studio.

“In our last house, I had one tiny bedroom and it was just bursting at the seams,” she said.

Once the couple moved in, Perky began tailoring the 1,300- square-foot space to suit her craft. She uses the bedroom to store her machinery and had shelves built into the closet to organize supplies. She had windows in both rooms covered with UV blocking film and blinds to avoid sun damage to fabric and equipment. Bookcases store bolts of fabric in the larger space. Three large tables, specially designed for fabric arts, allow her to work more efficiently.

The Fishers found other ways to tailor the space to their lifestyle. They converted a small room off of the master closet, designed to be an exercise area, into Stan’s office. It proved to be the perfect spot to work away from the commotion of the couple’s three dogs.

Stan is a former CEO of Health Services Benefit Administrators. After suffering a heart attack, he scaled back his career, now working remotely to oversee the company. His health motivated the couple to sell their 25-acre ranch and let go of about 100 llamas that they were raising.

“The ranch was a lot of work,” said Perky. “We had to find an easier way of life.”

Living in a more densely populated neighborhood has been an adjustment for the couple. To make leaving their rural existence a bit easier, they began gardening and now spend time tending their vegetable plot. Their front courtyard with its locking door allows them an extra sense of privacy. They also enjoy their expansive golf course view.

To further ease their transition, they kept most of their furniture and memorabilia, which fit well in the new house. Over the years, the couple has acquired pieces that present a global, eclectic look that they refer to as a “Hemingway style.”

Their home combines traditional furniture, bamboo and rattan accents, masculine leathers, animal prints, and African art. Their collection of African-inspired pieces began after a trip to Africa. They’ve purchased pieces all over, including a zebra print from North Carolina that adds a graphic punch to their living room wall.

The couple has held on to family heirlooms and many items from early in their marriage. Perky’s favorite is a Henredon coffee table purchased 30 years ago. They also have a grandfather clock bought around 50 years ago when their children where small. Perky displays a mirror that belonged to her mother in the master bedroom, and her collection of antique sewing machines in her studio.

Despite the dramatic lifestyle change, the couple has settled in well.

“I’ve lived in 20 places,” said Perky, “and this is my favorite.”

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