The San Luis Obispo home seemed custom-made for Bambi and Christopher Banys – even though it wasn’t.
The Spanish Hacienda-style estate had been built by a previous owner, who tailored each detail – from drawer pulls to the precise positioning of windows – to suit his tastes.
For the Banys family, it was a perfect fit. “The second I walked in, I knew we were going to buy it,” Bambi Banys said.
The house, one of four featured in the 2018 Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo Homes of Distinction Tour, had all the amenities the family was looking for. With 4,600 square feet of space and nearly 11 acres of land, it offered ample room for the active couple, their two children and the family’s pit bull mix, Kodiak.
The residence was close to the San Luis Obispo Airport — a bonus for Christopher Banys, who is a pilot.
Aesthetics were also a match.
Bambi Banys and her husband were impressed with the craftsmanship and attention to detail, she said. “It is uncommon to find newer homes built with this level of quality: everything custom selected and mostly hand made.”
Although built in 2004, the home has a feeling of antiquity thanks to the previous owner’s use of salvaged materials.
The entryway ceiling is lined with grapevine stakes from a local winery and accented with a disc from an old farm rototiller.
Barn-style closet and pantry doors made from actual barn wood roll on recycled hinges and tracks, and the handmade drawer pulls started out life as old railroad tiles.
The Saltillo floor tiles throughout the house are antique, imported from Spain.
In the kitchen sits an 1880s wood-burning cook stove that came from the previous owner’s family farm in the Midwest.
Even new materials have the look of age and authenticity.
Wanting to avoid slick, mass-produced hardware, the previous owner procured hand-forged door handles and hand-carved decorative pillars from Mexico. Ceiling beams were burnt, beaten and scraped by the home builders, creating a distressed appearance.
The cabinetry is custom built from rustic alder. Spanish-style tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms have a vintage look and is all handmade.
Even furniture was custom-built for the home. There are massive, rustic cabinets designed to fit snugly into niches, and a dining set that seats eight. The Banys family negotiated to keep these pieces because they suit the home so well.
The few furnishings they added are simple and clean-lined; they include several pieces from San Luis Obispo’s Luna Rustica.
All of the home’s details give it a big personality. What keeps it from being overwhelming is consistency, Banys said.
Every cabinet has the same design and materials. All sinks, though differing in shape, are hand-hammered copper — even in the laundry room.
Lighting fixtures also have a coordinated look.
“Unlike some homes where every room feels like it could be in a completely different house, this one flows from room to room feeling integrated and authentic,” Banys said.
The Banys family only made minor changes to the house — expanding the rec room bar and adding a tap tower for their home brew and carbonated water.
The family originally purchased the residence as a vacation home in 2016, but “no one ever wanted to leave to go home,” Banys said.
Eight months later, it became their full-time residence. “It’s a unique combination of beautiful yet comfortable and functional,” she said.
Rotary Homes of Distinction Tour
Four San Luis Obispo homes are featured on the 2018 Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo Homes of Distinction Tour. The self-guided tour takes place Sunday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.
Proceeds benefit Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo charities.
For more information, including tickets, home address and a map, call 805-235-5296, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit slorotary.org. Tickets are also available at the San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande and Grover Beach chambers of commerce.
Here is a preview of the other homes on the tour. (A fifth home may be added; see slorotary.org for information.)
Lewis Home: This classic East Coast American-style home is located in the Marsh Street Brownstones area. It has four levels, including a rooftop deck with an outdoor kitchen. Contemporary furnishings complement the modern, open design of the home.
Barbieri Home: This 1924-built Craftsman-style home sits in the historic Mission Gardens area of San Luis Obispo. The home was expanded and modernized in 1998, but retains the interior woodwork that is integral to Craftsman design.
Palmer Home: Two homes sit on this lot. A 1928 Craftsman home is 1,535 square feet in size and is decorated in a transitional style, marrying contemporary, traditional and rustic elements. Behind the house is a “tiny home,” a 500-square-foot bungalow designed by local architect Jim Dummit.