Room With A View
● By Kerri Regan
THE VANDERKNYFF'S REDDING HOME
Story: Kerri Regan Photos: James Mazzotta
As in most American households, a few comfortable chairs are situated in front of a big-screen television in Jack and Jan VanderKnyff ’s home.
Behind those chairs, however, a six-piece sectional sofa is prime real estate for those wish to take in something truly memorable – a picture-perfect view of the North State’s natural hallmarks.
Despite the countless hours of careful contemplation that went into creating the VanderKnyffs’ 4,000-square-foot Redding home, one of its most appealing characteristics is what was there before they ever dug a shovel of dirt.
The semi-retired couple began looking for property in the North State a few years ago after their daughter moved to Redding. “She presented us with a grandchild, (and we discovered that) Redding is a wonderful place to be,” Jack says.
As luck would have it, they happened upon a west Redding lot with panoramic views. He used an architecture computer program to create a floor plan, which he presented to local architect Les Melburg. “He took our plan and improved on it,” Jan says. Adds her husband: “He did a phenomenal job with it.” Ground was broken in late 2005 and they got their keys in February 2007.
The VanderKnyffs knew they wanted a California Tuscan style home, and the exterior employs a liberal application of earth-toned, stacked rectangular stones that evoke that feel from first glance. But of primary importance to the VanderKnyffs was taking fulladvantage of the scenery. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room showcase northerly views of Mt. Shasta, easterly views of Mt. Lassen, and the Sacramento River below.
“The key for us was the site,” Jack says. “The lot was so unique – we wanted maximum views.”
A courtyard in the front, complete with fireplace, is a sentimental reminder of a favorite travel destination. “We spent time in Italy and that was one of the things we wanted to take with us,” Jack says.
It also reminds him of his childhood.
“I grew up in Indonesia and courtyards are common over there,” Jack says. “It ended up looking Italian, but it’s something that’s been with me since I left Indonesia.”
The floor plan is a perfect fit for their lifestyle, they say. They chose to center the three-bedroom home around a roomy and elegant great room, where a fireplace is accented with the same stone that is featured on the home’s exterior.
Adjacent to the great room is a small wine room, accessible by a decorative arched iron gate. Maple hardwood flooring stretches from the great room into the formal dining room and kitchen, where the warm, natural feel is echoed in clear alder cabinets capped with granite countertops. The doors are a knotty alder.
Their informal dining table sits in a half-circle pop-out, further capitalizing on the view (and adding dimension to the home’s exterior). Arches and circles are echoed throughout the home, from the doorways to the ceiling coffers.
Upstairs, a “rumpus room” sits above the garage. The “not quite third level” is Ryan’s Tower, named for their grandson. Inside, a circular staircase leads to a balcony with a bird’s-eye view of heaven and beyond. “It’s the place to be for fireworks,” Jack says. The balcony reaches some 25 feet above the ground floor.
The patio on the north side of the house is another ideal spot to take in the North State’s natural beauty, Jack says. A built-in barbecue, kitchen and multiple seating areas create an inviting outdoor living space.
The VanderKnyffs had envisioned a smaller home since they are empty nesters, but – as tends to happen when building a home – “it grew,” Jack says.
Jan says it’s impossible to pinpoint her favorite spot.
“I’ll sit in the great room and think, ‘It can’t get any better.’ Then I’ll be in the bedroom, which has a little different view. Then I’ll go upstairs and think, ‘This is wonderful.’”
Though they’ve significantly remodeled homes in the past, this is the first time they’ve built a house from the ground up. They were delighted with the top notch service delivered by Melburg, general contractor, Steve Coleman of Gold Ribbon, Inc. and all of the subcontractors, they say. “It turned out absolutely wonderful. We thought in a smaller town, there would be a variation in quality, but it was all first class,” Jack says.
And although they’ve enjoyed ocean views in previous locales, they’re enchanted by the setting of their Redding home. “The mountain views are much more expansive,” Jan says.