By Cindy Valdez
Exeter Woman’s Club
EXETER – To see this home you will need to drive east on Rocky Hill Drive past Spruce and up the hill. When you come to the top and begin traveling down you will immediately notice the incredible picturesque view of green grassy fields and the rugged rock embedded slopes of Rocky Hill. The one story ranch designed home is on the right as you continue down the hill. Drive until you come to the gated driveway that leads to the home. Parking is alongside the road to the house.
Arriving, off to the left, you will see a pole barn which houses a seatrain saddle storage and tack building. Notice the outside twig designed table and chairs and handmade railroad tie porch leading into the storage area. There are approximately ten olive trees around and near the home which were all tree starts by Linda. When these trees matured, they were transplanted to where they are today. The home is entirely solar powered without any connection to utilities.
Walking now towards the house you will see rectangular shaped natural granite stones which were found in a nearby quarry that was operational in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These stones were then transported to the residence to line walkways, a fire pit, create benches and for decorative uses throughout the outside areas of the home.
The tour of the home now begins with the front wooden gate. Just inside, beside the walkway to the front door, there is a natural granite bench along with a row of white rosebushes and an old cattle water trough with a succulent garden in pots. The water trough was brought in by a hoist crane as were many other decorative pieces. Beyond the fenced area to the east there is a grand view of wild mustard seed fields. The entire house is surrounded by immense, beautiful scenery of natural rocks, trees and hills.
Upon entry into the home there is an old turquoise and brown chest with a pony express art sculpture and a cowhide on the entry floor. Linda said when selecting her color schemes her idea was to “bring the outside inside” and she wanted to build a “modern ranch” style home. The entryway leads to an open floor plan which includes the living, dining and kitchen areas. Notice the intriguing light fixtures with antique Edison style bulbs which create warm lighting to the home. The light over the dining table is a double longhorn design found in Arizona and was made sometime in the 1920s to the 1940s. The barn style doors lead to the guest bedroom, bath and then the laundry.
The tour now takes you into the kitchen with its bright white cabinetry and lighting. The lighting fixture over the counter was made from a wooden beam and features five old fashion drop light bulbs in cages. The counters are made from quartzite and feature a rustic raw edge. The living area has a magnificent stone fireplace with a wooden mantle. Above the mantle there is a very interesting framed 18 by 40-inch mixed media collage of original hand pulled monotypes and collographs made in 2011 by Patricia Freeman-Martin. The fragments of this picture are stitched together to create a narrative of ghostly cowboys and cowgirls watching a wild horse race from over a fence. There are other scenes depicted in this piece of art work which create the feeling as if this could be an old quilt or artifact. It is truly a beautiful piece of art.
Also in the living room on the west wall is another great piece of art. It is a print on canvas depicting a large group of horses grazing in a field of dried grasses. A friend of Linda’s took the picture of these elusive wild horses while they were on a trip together this year in Oregon.
You will now enter the master bedroom and bathroom of the home. Entering these rooms you will immediately notice the awesome views of the mountains from the sliding glass doors and windows. You can just imagine what the sunrises look like from here! The bedroom includes several items from Linda’s travels. On a table there is a vase from Egypt along with the family branding iron. On a wall there are framed European antique lace fans which were handmade.
The home tour now takes you outside onto a patio where there is an enclosed outside shower and bathroom. Around to the west side there is a “summer patio” decorated with new flowers and plants. Past the patio there are large natural rock formations and a granite lined fire pit with granite benches. There are several sitting and dining areas on the patio. You can’t miss the incredible large hand designed cement cattle water trough in the middle of the yard with a fire feature and water fountain! Behind a barn door be sure to see the outside stainless steel kitchen with everything needed for a fantastic outside party!
You can see Linda’s home, along with three other homes on the Spring Home Tour presented by the Exeter Woman’s Club, Saturday, March 21 from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets will be available at Exeter Chamber of Commerce, By the Water Tower Antiques, and at E.t.c. in Exeter. For more information, call 559-799-3641 or www.exeterwomansclub.com.