Our 2012 Home Of The Year is a cutting-edge, eco-friendly Old World retreat located in Poway. Designed by Steve Murcko of Steve Murcko & Associates Inc., the sprawling estate has 2.5 floors and offers every high-end amenity imaginable — a chef’s kitchen, walk-in wine cellar, outdoor cigar patio, theatre, game room, covered exterior patio, fire/water features, top-of-the-line appliances, RV garage/man cave complete with a machine shop-quality work area and three large-screen TVs, outdoor kitchen and bar, professional horseshoe pit with custom reclaimed wood backstops, vanishing-edge pool, swim up bar, “Baja beach,” waterfall, grotto, Jacuzzi with a lazy river, the list goes on.
Murcko worked alongside the homeowners to ensure that the aesthetic and function of the home is complemented by the selection and integration of its Old World feel and technological sophistication. For seamless indoor/outdoor living, five lift-and-slide doors tuck into recessed frames and provide panoramic rustic mountainside vistas and access to the resort-like backyard. The retreat boasts cutting-edge technology and is controlled by a Crestron home automation system; 27 televisions can be centrally manned from the main computer distribution room, which stores a digital library of 5,000 movies. The heating/air conditioning, pool, lighting, music, and security system are all controlled via iPads, iPhones, and wall-mounted color touch panels. Heritage Solar installed a 50-kilowatt photovoltaic system that produces enough energy to run the home. Monitored 24/7, its real-time energy production can be viewed by the owners or service technicians on a Web site that provides minute-by-minute status reports and analysis of the information for the day, month, and year.
Further adding to the eco-friendly nature of the property, a 5,000-gallon storage tank buried onsite irrigates the five-acre parcel of land. Beams and timbers were all reclaimed from a Pacific Northwest cannery. Fieldstone was hand-selected from the Montana hillsides and each piece has been exposed to the elements, which has brought out the red iron colors from the metals. Some are growing mold and lichen, which will continue to mature. The stucco was created through a custom combination of red stucco and black dye hand-rubbed into the plaster as it dried. Every inch of the exterior has been hand-trowelled with this artistically crafted process. Antique, aged bricks adorn the arches, openings, stairs, and patios.
Handcrafted finishes throughout create a feeling that the home has been lived in for many centuries, giving an instant warmth and creating an inviting environment. Gus Klammer from GK Landscaping was also instrumental, artfully maneuvering trees and boulders with large cranes. Klammer’s exotic landscape lighting also provides constant reflection and a romantic mood. Sure, you could leave for the summer, but why would you want to? (www.stevemurcko.com)
Photography by Martin Mann