Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
Near the end of 2005, the construction of the Circle Stone Ranch was in its final stages but it would take a little over one year before the house was ready to be moved into and decorated. The first thing that had to be addressed was the floors. A three zone radiant heat system with a dedicated boiler was put down first to circulate heated water through the in floor tubing which heats the entire house. The boiler is run on propane as are a few of the other appliances in the house and a large propane tank is situated on the property for these purposes. After the radiant heating system was laid, it was time to focus on the adobe floors.
First, 55 tons of shaker fines were ordered to make the base of the adobe mixture. A dry mixture of shaker fines, lime and straw was stirred together in a wheelbarrow then brought into the house. Once in the house, water was added to the mix and the adobe was hand trowelled onto the floors. This was a very long and tedious process as the area of the house is almost 4,500 feet. After the adobe was laid, it was covered in four coats of linseed oil and then a special adobe sealer. In the bar area, Karen decided to inlay authentic horse shoes and install a 6 foot Saguaro cactus skeleton to add to the Old West atmosphere of the room. Most of the house is just plain adobe floors but in some areas there is also tile or even flagstone. The guest bathroom is covered in flagstone and the master bathroom has an enormous walk in, tile floored double shower. The shower is over 8 feet by 5 feet with semi enclosed rock walls and a large window offering gorgeous views of the mountainside.
After the floors were completed, the custom built kitchen and bathroom cabinets were installed and then the counter tops were placed. Some of the counter tops have tiling detail, others are flagstone and one is a custom piece of beautifully finished mesquite. The main bathroom and master bathroom sinks are hand painted Mexican Talavera pottery sinks and the guest bathroom has a custom hammered copper sink. Karen shopped all over the country and even into Mexico for the unique fixtures and accessories for the house. There are two Rumford fireplaces in the house that Karen added her personal touch to by painting one with Calla Lilies and covering the other with geodes.
Finally, in October of 2006 the house was finished. But was it? There is always more to do when you build your own house and Karen and Sheryl have since added on 3,800 square feet of outdoor living space by laying a spacious flagstone patio. Of that, there is 1,100 square feet of covered space. They have also built a pump house for the well pump, carved a wine cellar out of the mountainside and made a “mini” Circle Stone Studio out of a 100 year old water tank. Also, it should be mentioned that Karen and Sheryl were well into their 50’s when construction began which makes the Circle Stone Ranch the ultimate representation of girl power.
This amazingly unique and beautiful eco-friendly property is for sale. For more pictures and detailed information please visit www.circlestoneranch.com