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Craftsman in the Sand

I've made no secret about my distaste for out-of-scale homes, the faux Craftsman and Tudor mcmansions sprouting up like weeds in the little green space we have left on the peripheries of our cities. But I also have to be honest about my own covetousness - my eyes are greedy. Especially when I see something as beautiful/grotesque as this Southwestern Mission Revival / Craftsman custom home. It is big - at 3850 square feet, it's almost triple the size of my 3-bedroom, 1300 sq ft Mission Revival bungalow here in Sacramento. But the builder doesn't just pay lip service to the Arts & Crafts Movement; all the cabinetry was hand-built onsite by skilled cabinetmakers, and no corners were cut in terms of materials, fixtures or framing. It is a very well-built and well-designed home, with the kind of open, non-compartmentalized floorplan favored today.

As the author of a recent article in Custom Builder magazine noted, a blend of two related but distinct styles doesn't always work. Here, though, the designer expertly mixes the obviously southwestern with various benchmarks of the Craftsman style, and the result both fits into a historical niche as well as the surrounding physical landscape - a success by almost any measure I can imagine.

Interestingly, the builder used E-Crete (now known as Trustone) structurally and decoratively to a rather unique effect.