Becky Fricke had fantasized that one day she would have a fireplace in her dining room. “I thought it was a pipe dream,” she said.
But destiny seemed set.
The couple were taking a walk through their Willow Glen neighborhood when they noticed the For Sale sign in front of a charming Spanish bungalow with a red tile roof and a brick-walled courtyard in the front. The house was empty.
She peeked in, and there it was. The curved plaster fireplace with green tile trim was nestled in the corner of the room. And an alcove next to it looked like the perfect size for their large credenza. They moved from window to window, looking into the large living room and master bedroom in the back.
“We knew it when we saw it,” she said. “It has Old World charm. The floor plan is great. We have three young kids. We just knew when we saw it it would work out for us.”
The couple has maintained the original floor plan, but added a counter-height breakfast bar in the nook. They replaced a modern jacuzzi tub with an old-fashioned clawfoot tub and finished the small basement, converting it into a cozy wine cellar/tasting room.
Just off the master bedroom at the back of the house is another stunning fireplace — this one in the backyard. The couple completely re-landscaped the small space, removing grass and building a patio, fireplace and fountains. A trellis behind the fireplace gives the yard total privacy.
The house is not quite 1,900 square feet, but works just fine for this young family. The living room doubles as the family and TV room. With a flat screen TV from The Art of TV (www.theartoftv.com), based in San Jose, the screen appears as a beautifully-framed mirror when not in use.
(photographs by Desiree Northend)
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