Thursday, January 20, 2011

San Simeon: Casa Del Sol

San Simeon was built as a hilltop village, not as a single mansion. While the main house, Casa Grande (which I've been featuring), is surely one of the largest houses in California, 3 other main guest houses dot the hilltop compound.The main guest house with the most spectacular views (none of them are anything to scoff at) is the Casa Del Sol (or Cottage 'C'), so named because it faced the sunset. These cottages were constructed and finished first as the main house took years to near completion. Hearst and his family chose this guesthouse as their first hilltop residence. I love these metal screens at the front doors.
The details rival that of the main house. The design is Spanish Revival, concentrating on architecture in southern Spain from the Renaissance and baroque periods; It's a glorious mish-mash.
The plan of all of the cottages is a U shape with a courtyard entry so that the views are out towards the mountains and ocean. This ancient 'sculpture' (the polite word for it) lies between the 2 doors into the entryway. Similar statuary dots the estate. Some of the guest rooms had private entries. I love these fretwork doors!
The main sitting room is definitely grand, if not comfortable and filled with Spanish antiques.The tile floors were probably great on a hot day. Now the buildings all have air conditioning.The decorative and reclaimed ceilings continue from the main house in all of the rooms of the guest cottages; they really steal the show!Julia ingeniusly selected uplight chandliers to draw attention to the ceilings. I love the way the light reflects off the gilding.
The rooms are decorated as if inhabited by guests with suitcases and clothing.I thought the fabric curtaining behind the bed was a nice soft touch in these relatively cold rooms.The main guest bedroom deviates from the yellow color scheme and is much cosier. The brilliant views and windows make up for the dark color. I loved these recessed light fixtures, much prettier than a boring,typical can.
Of course, we can't forget that the emphasis here is really on the views. You can't beat them!
As with all of my San Simeon posts, written permission was kindly granted to post my interior photos of the estate on this blog only. Please respect that and do not copy. Thanks!


The Devoted Classicist said...

Sometimes one just cannot avoid a recessed light -- although I always try my hardest. But I was happy to see this example with a decorative rim.

robert webber said...

Seen lots of photos of the main house, tho yours were of course much appreciated.
I have never to my knowledge seen photos of the inside of the guest quarters,
So thanks.
Throughout for me the ceilings have been amazing.
Please keep going with the tour!

quintessence said...

How amazing! I actually prefer this house to the massive main residence. The ceilings are indeed incredible and I love how the rooms are decorated with a human presence. Why can't someone design lovely recessed lights like that for the commercial market?!

The Swan said...

I love the images you have captured, a thousand words in each...did you know that the FACE on the top of the Gilt Grill door is that of Mr. Trinkeller who made to doors...of course, this is a little secret known today, but long ago, it was an honor that Mr. Hearst admired his craftmanship.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

quintessence -i too prefered these 'cottages' - the size of large houses really!
I think the recessed light would be easy to replicated with a normal can and just an applique of some type -or skilled artist.
Swan - thanks for sharing that tidbit with us, I wondered who it was. It obviously wasn't Hearst!

Unknown said...

When I was around 10, I went with my family on a trip (from NY) to California. This was one of the many amazing sites I remember seeing...well, remembering it all the better now, thanks!

Unknown said...

One of the hotels we have here in our town is also considered as a tourist spot because of its antique designs that attract the tourists. Its gate was designed with architectural bronze and the window glasses were painted and the sculptures are made of porcelain which sum up a Spanish motif.