The Paso Robles home of Doug and Nancy Beckett sits atop a hill more than 1,000 feet in elevation, with 60 acres of wine grapes spread out like an apron in front of it.
A glance out the window reminds them of what they’ve built their lives around. The couple established Peachy Canyon winery in 1988. In 1999, the winery outgrew its original site on Peachy Canyon Road, so the Becketts moved it two miles outside the city limits off Nacimiento Lake Drive.
At the time, they were still living on Peachy Canyon Road, but they found the hilltop site too spectacular to resist. From it, they can take in views that stretch from the Santa Lucia Mountains to Parkfield. Even better, it gives them a birds-eye perspective of their vineyard and production winery, along with “much of the Paso Robles AVA,” said Doug Beckett.
The Becketts were owner-builders for their 6,000-square-foot custom home. Their architect was Michael Peachey of San Luis Obispo (the name was purely coincidental).
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Although they wanted a structure that blended well with its rural Paso Robles environment, the inspiration for it came from another place — or two, rather — both Polynesian and Australian architecture.
The home’s Aussie elements include its metal roof and wraparound porch. Its Polynesian features were picked up during the couple’s adventures in Kona. Mostly, they admired the handsome woodwork of Hawaiian homes.
So in their own home, they incorporated teak floors, a curved staircase with an intricately carved mahogany newel post, pine ceilings, columns and hefty wood doors. Entering the house feels a bit like stepping into a Hawaiian resort, with its grand porte cochere — a portico-like feature designed to shelter those entering and exiting vehicles.
The foyer continues the resort feel with a scene-stealing piece: a massive glass chandelier depicting an eruption of tropical fruits and flowers that the couple commissioned from artist Newt Grover of Scottsdale, Arizona. From there, the eye travels to the expansive great room. Its vertically rotating ceiling fans are also resort-inspired. The room’s 23 foot-high ceiling was specifically designed to accommodate the fans, which keep air circulating on warm, summer days.
With an ever-flowing tide of friends, winery guests and family coming through the house, the Becketts wanted it to be both functional and approachable, a place “where you can touch everything,” said Doug Beckett.
Polynesian elements work well in this laid-back atmosphere. Walls in sunny hues, some clad in textured grass cloth, set the tone. The couple isn’t wed to Hawaiian décor, however. Most of their furniture has a traditional bent, though Nancy Beckett considers her look eclectic. Clean-lined upholstered pieces mingle with antiques and furniture with classic shapes.
The couple prefers to acquire pieces that are meaningful — and hold onto them. When they built their new home, 90 percent of their furniture came along with them. Their antique pool table once belonged to a friend. Their dining room set was inherited from her grandparents. A guest bedroom set was picked up many years ago at an antique store, though Nancy Beckett isn’t concerned with its value or provenance. “We just find pieces we like,” she said, “and it all flows together and makes for a happy house.”
Their philosophy extends to art and accessories. They like to have some personal connection with every piece. They have gotten to know most of the artists whose work is displayed in their home.
This includes many local artists such as Tracy Taylor, Shirley Kirkes Mar and Anne Laddon. A contemporary painting hangs in the hall — a piece acquired on a recent trip to Cuba, after the couple had a nice long chat with the painter. A large metal sculpture of a dung beetle by local artist Dale Evers adds whimsy to the back lawn. And in the dining room is a chandelier that recently struck their fancy, because its curving arms reminded them of wine barrel staves.
The couple has hosted intimate family gatherings, as well as community events where guests number around 100. To easily accommodate crowds of all sizes, the large great room flows easily to the kitchen, as well as to the dining room and game room/bar area. Guests can also spill out onto their wraparound porch, or the expansive back patio and swimming pool. The space promotes interaction and ensures that nobody is left out — not even the hosts, said Doug Beckett.
The kitchen needed to function well. Its amenities include a warming drawer, beverage refrigerator, oversized Sub-Zero refrigerator, Dacor range, four drawer-style dishwashers and a large walk-in pantry.
Of course, they also have a sizable wine room, large enough to store 3,000 bottles. It’s also large enough to host a tasting, or just sit and sip with friends, which is something the couple does frequently — in the cellar, in the den, on the front or back porch. And though their Paso Polynesian estate doesn’t come with an ocean view, the couple wouldn’t ever trade theirs. Not for all of the pineapples in paradise.
ISLAND STYLE: For a breezy Polynesian vibe, you don’t have to go with rattan and tropical prints. Rich woodwork, textural elements such as sisal and grass cloth, and hues that evoke sun and sand all create that island feel.
BRING ON THE BUBBLY: The Becketts chose “champagne” — a subtle golden hue — for the walls of their great room because it amplifies light, but is warmer and friendlier than stark white. It also allows woodwork and art to pop.
KEEP IT WARM: A warming drawer isn’t just an appliance for entertaining. It can be helpful for busy families, keeping dinner warm when family members eat at different times. It keeps those extra pieces of pizza or extra pancakes toasty. And, of course, it makes it easy to prepare dishes in advance when entertaining.