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The Butterfly House Spreads Its Wings

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ October 5, 2010

I was delighted to read that Carmel, California's famous Butterfly House was recently opened to the public. The photos can't tell it all, but you can get an idea why the Butterfly House has been a destination for architects, contractors, interior designers, and plain-old rubbernecking tourists since it was completed half a century ago.

So why would I mention it here? If you're just now reviewing design ideas for a new home, why not look at unique or contemporary house designs to see if there are elements you'd like to use. Even if you're not building a new home, during the downturn in the economy, remodeling contractors may be hungry to help you with renovations and additions. The best ideas come free of charge.

Inside the Butterfly

One of only five houses allowed by law to sit directly on the Pacific Ocean, the Butterfly House is perched on a bluff, surrounded by surf, crevices, and tide pools. The entire home is scarcely 3,000 square feet--small by Carmel community standards. Directly offshore, the sea is home to a deep kelp forest, attracting scuba divers from all over the globe. And the home can be yours for only $22 million! It's up for sale by Sotheby's International Realty.

According to Sotheby's: "Carmel's legendary Butterfly House, one of only 5 true ocean front properties in Carmel, has emerged from a stunning renovation and now awaits its next fortunate owner. Anchored directly into the rocky shoreline with panoramic views from Point Lobos to Pebble Beach, the 3 bedroom, 4.5 bath home is a short stroll to town and has been exquisitely restored and improved using the finest materials. An interior courtyard shelters a swimming pool while offering spectacular views of the ocean through walls of glass. The open floor plan provides entertaining spaces that flow seamlessly from interior to exterior."

History-Making Architecture

The Butterfly House was built in 1951 by designer Frank Wynkoop and remained in the family for four years, then was sold to the Kahn family, remaining their home for 50 years until the current sale. Wynkoop's son, Las Vegas architect Thor Wynkoop, restored the home, adding radiant heating, energy efficient water and insulation systems, and computerized window shades.

Read more about the Butterfly and other landmark Carmel homes at the Peninsula Daily News.

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