When you walk into a house, which elements do you typically notice first? Perhaps it’s a dramatic entry foyer with custom inlay floors. Or walls decorated tastefully with contemporary art. But shift your eyes eight feet up, and you’re likely to be underwhelmed: a white, flat, featureless ceiling.
Too often, the ceiling is overlooked from a design perspective. After all, what’s going on above our heads remains too far from our normal sightlines to affect the ambiance of a room, or so our thinking goes. Ceilings, however, can have tremendous impact on a home’s ambiance — as much as its walls and floors. A beautiful ceiling design, whether it is in the living room or the dining area, the kitchen or the bedroom, can elevate the character of a space, leaving your guests and visitors with a lasting impression of your home.
There is a precedent for decorating the ceiling, as it was often the architect’s preferred place to hide floor or roof construction. We only need to look to Michelangelo’s painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, the beautiful fan-vaulted ceiling of the Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral in England or the scale-pattern design of the skylights in the great hall in the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., for historical references.
The ceilings in StoneGate, a private 2.68-acre English Manor tucked amongst historic cypress trees on Pebble Beach’s iconic 17 Mile Drive, are a prime example of artful ceiling design. The estate, sculpted at the hands of 122 craftsmen over two years and completed in 2002, reveals the stunning heights (literally) that some homeowners will go to in order to achieve architectural integrity, as well as enduring quality and beauty when building their dream homes.
For example, the living room ceiling has over 3,200 hand cut carved pieces, according to the home’s listing agent Kim DiBenedetto of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Pebble Beach. There are antique wood beams lining the ceiling in the kitchen, family room and dining room to give each room a sense of timelessness and rootedness — as if the rooms had been in existence for ages.
Coffered ceilings add instant dimension and character to the classic study.
Over the spiral staircase, there is a dramatic domed ceiling, accented in carved wood and anchored by a custom-made wooden lantern, which awes as an inspiring visual ode to the English Manor style. “This is one of several instances where the homeowner let the artists push themselves and their crafts,” DiBenedetto tells us.
The theater is graced by coffering ceilings and wood paneling, resulting in a feeling of intimacy and warmth.
One of five bedrooms was designed to look like the captain’s quarters of a ship, with gentle curves of wood and arched beams lining the ceiling.
In other rooms, cathedral ceilings offer height and a sense of space. The master bathroom, which reflects Westminster Abbey, brings in more intricate hand-carved craftsmanship and coffered ceilings.
Of course, the ceilings are just one of many special qualities emanating throughout StoneGate. A desirable location on 17 Mile Drive between The Lone Cypress and Cypress Point Club puts leisure and nature at the future homeowner’s doorstep. No doubt, this residence will elevate any affluent buyer’s lifestyle.
3191 17 Mile Drive is offered by Kim DiBenedetto of Coldwell Banker Pebble Beach.