Avenida Chamnez Show House, Part II: The Estate

Yesterday D'Scoop took you on a tour of the Smart kitchen of McMillin Homes' Villa Chamnez in La Jolla.  With its bevy of connected Dacor appliances and elegant finishes by San Diego architecture firm Marengo Morton Architects, Inc., the gourmet kitchen of this multi-million dollar beachside residence is, quite simply, the home everyone wishes to call home.

Today, as promised, D'Scoop is giving you a glimpse into the rest of the estate.

Unlike most traditional homes, entering Villa Chamnez does not leave you standing in a soulless foyer, a small barren room that acts like the sausage attachment on a Kitchen-Aid mixer, forcing you to grab at your collar and beeline for the nearest wetbar.  Instead, the lack of foyer in this home ensures that the moment you enter, you're already part of the party, the visitor stepping from door step to the large fireplace laden living and dining room.  Furnished by Terry Strandemo of Strandemo & Associates, the space is easily large enough for the casual cocktail party celebrating your recent promotion to the corner office, "Sex and the City-esque" baby shower (no storks!) or the "I just sold my start up" soiree. 

Off to the South, the gourmet kitchen and it's adjoining wetbar featuring Dacor's WineStation and plenty of room for glassware.  You'll need the space considering the number of friends that will certainly "surprise" show up at your door bearing gifts of wine, cheese, and first-born.

The North offers respite from the party, a quick space where the lady of the house might disappear to freshen her nose by way of a fully fitted master suite.  Though the bedroom itself with it's Spanish influenced fireplace mantle is, disappointingly, understated (give me another set of fold away doors, a bit of cabinetry, or more proportionate windows, please!), the bathroom makes up for the lack of drama. Featuring a full scale free standing bathtub from Kohler, a double vanity with it's own recessed make-up counter, and a walk-in shower just rightly sized for two individuals (Save water where you can, I say), the bath certainly does the home justice.  My personal favorite?  The walk-in closet with its built in cabinetry and decorative lighting highlighting the taller-than-normal space.

Downstairs via the iron balustraded staircase one is again confronted with a large scale space, perfect for entertaining the family.  Its fireplace and dramatic beach view furthered by direct access to the exterior terrace the perfect size not only for entertainment (the whole family can watch movies in convertible Mini-Coopers if they so desired) but also for the chest beating pool table and even a corner reading area sized adequately for an intimate game of Scrabble. 

Children's bedrooms have been, wonderfully, located on this level with four bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms and featuring direct access to the exterior, ensuring that the party can continue upstairs without waking the baby. 

Personally, there were three design features that certainly made my evening.  The first, the integrated HVAC screens.  In all of my years of construction and renovation, I've found it rare that any designer or architect pays close attention to HVAC.  Often times it's left up to the mechanical engineer and what's left is whatever the draftsperson-come-intern decided was appropriate.  At Villa Chamnez, however, HVAC is treated like a work of art itself, a Moorish screen embedded into the wall and painted as if it were just a part of the wall itself. Genius. 

Attention to finishes is the second of my favorite design features.  Cosentino slab was featured throughout the entire property.  As was Emtek hardware and beautiful grey-finished millwork.  Even the laundry and utility rooms were given a sense of decorum with stylized tile and the same well crafted millwork featured through the rest of the house.

Thirdly, the view. When paying 7 figures for a home with a view one expects to see the view as often as possible.  The team behind Villa Chamnez ensured that the view was seen not just from the principal rooms but from nearly every room in the house.  Even guests to the home get their full share of ocean view.

All in all, the home certainly embodies the spirit and casual nature of the California lifestyle.


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