By KRISTINA HACKER
The Hortons’ East Sonora home is a bit deceiving at first glance. The house appears to be a traditional country-style home, with a welcoming oversized porch. Once inside the door, however, there is nothing ordinary about the foothills home.
“I took a two-story floorplan and we wanted a ranch-style house, so that’s why the ceilings go up about 35 feet high — in essence, you would have a second level up there,” said Gayle Horton.
The reimagined ranch home designed by the Hortons, and its vaulted ceilings, larger windows and numerous transoms, create an airy feel in the space, bring in more natural light and draw attention to the beautiful views of the surrounding foothills, including the three-acre pond in the back yard.
Gayle wanted a “country kitchen” when they built the house 18 years ago, so she went with a blue design. She had to convince the Selby Cabinet Shoppe in Twain Harte to paint the wood cabinets, as they only do natural staining, but the blue cabinetry is now a signature feature of the kitchen.
The floor of the kitchen is covered with antique heart of pine revenants out of an old bank in North Carolina.
The kitchen was recently updated by Tricia Thompson Design, with a hand-tiled sink backsplash made out of tumbled travertine and slate and quartz countertops.
The his and her ensuite bathrooms in the master bedroom give each of the Hortons ample space while also bringing in the country home’s beautiful views — even while enjoying a spa bath.
Air flow was very important to the Hortons and so Geoffrey Horton designed the home with numerous transoms — detailed windows over a door or atop another window — and in this case, all open to allow for efficient circulation in winter or summer.
Although the home doesn’t have a true open floorplan, nothing is closed in or confined, allowing for that airy feel.