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English Country by the ocean

In La Jolla's Barber Tract, the Old World look of this 20-year-old house stands out.

November 01, 2009|Scott Marshutz

Looking back, the challenges San Diego architect David Lorimer faced when designing this English Country home in La Jolla's renowned Barber Tract 20 years ago were numerous: getting all the roof lines to intersect properly, adding dormer windows on the second floor, having the garage doors face the street and making new construction look Old World.

"It came out very authentic, and I like how it's so intimate," says Lorimer, whose work spans more than 40 years.

The steep, 45-degree roof pitches and the use of brick and dark wood make the house stand out in a neighborhood of ocean-close storybook homes, whose owners have included actors, producers and politicians dating to when the tract was developed by Phillip Barber in the 1920s.

The design also incorporates outdoor living. Three side-by-side French doors in the living room open to a wide, tumbled oxblood brick terrace, which steps down to a gray-bottom rectangular pool. The spa is capped in New York bluestone.

A lightweight, low-arched pipe trellis system supports wisteria over the patio.

Inside, a study with custom wood cabinetry has its own private patio and sitting area. Multiple archways provide sightlines through the home.

The large basement has a full bathroom, a temperature-controlled wine room (with racks that can hold 2,000 bottles) and built-in cabinets. The space can easily double as a recreation and home theater area.

A Palladian window allows natural light to pour onto the grand stairway. The bull-nose custom wood stair rail is another example of how the owners paid close attention to interior details.

In the master bedroom (and a second bedroom), the walls are quilted, creating a warm effect. French doors open to a balcony and an ocean view. The spacious master bathroom has windows on two walls.


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Architect's challenge

Location: 7254 Olivetas Ave.,

La Jolla, CA 92037

Asking price: $4,985,000

Previously sold for: $2,986,000 in 2004

Size: Five bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths in 4,435 square feet

Lot size: 5,776 square feet

Additional features: Custom cabinetry, built-in refrigerator-

freezer, wood-topped island, limestone flooring, three fireplaces, walk-in closets, outdoor shower, custom sound system

Around the neighborhood: Through September, 179 single-family homes sold this year in the 92037 ZIP Code, according to MDA DataQuick, at a median price of $1.4 million. That was an 8.8% price drop from the first half of 2008. There were 288 homes listed for sale last week in 92037 at priced from $449,000 to $28.55 million.

Listing agent: Linda Marrone, Coldwell Banker, La Jolla, (858) 456-3224

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