By Wendy Bowman | Variety
Back in the 1960s, after she became disenchanted with fame and its drawbacks, “Vertigo” star Kim Novak packed her bags, loaded up a van and left the bright glare of Hollywood at the apex of her career. She first settled in a blufftop oceanfront refuge in the affluent enclave of Carmel Highlands, and though she’s long since decamped Carmel in favor of Oregon, where the accomplished artist is now whiling away her days painting, Novak’s former coastal compound on exclusive Spindrift Lane is now on the market with a $12.5 million price tag, complete with one-of-a-kind vistas of the enchanting scenic coastline.
“Obviously, the property is right on the ocean; you can’t get any closer,” says listing agent Jonathan Spencer of Compass. “It’s built directly into a granite shelf, and the drama there is unbelievable. You can see whales migrating and pelicans soaring around the bend, and I’ve seen humpback whales breaching from the windows in the master bedroom. It’s really just the majesty of being so close you can almost touch it; this is your own front-row view into the Pacific.”
Perched atop a cliffside promontory — between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur, near Yankee Point Beach and about 8 miles from Pebble Beach — the picturesque property is straight out of a Hitchcock film, resting on a 2-acre parcel of land accessed via a security gate and private road. Affectionately referred to by Novak as the “Gull House,” the estate where she resided for 11 years, from 1961-73, currently features a little over 2,000 square feet of living space spread across a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath main house built in 1957, along with a one-bedroom, one-bath guesthouse Novak herself had constructed in 1967.
Included in the sale: approved plans that call for razing the guesthouse and garage, and replacing the structures with a brand-new 4,300-square-foot, three-bedroom abode hosting a trio of bathrooms. The house would be situated in the upper portion of the lot, above where the guesthouse now sits, and be built in the same architectural design
In its current configuration, the ocean-front guesthouse is front and center, with a spacious motor court and detached one-car garage. Here, a stained-glass front door, opens to immediately reveal a cozy ocean-view bedroom sporting a beamed ceiling, tile flooring, stained redwood walls, a wood-burning stove and sliding glass doors that lead out to a deck. There’s also a kitchenette and full bath with shower. (Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)From the guesthouse, there are two ways to access the main house: via an arched entry gate from the driveway, which leads to a patio overlooking the ocean and then to a stone walking path that traverses to the main house, or by a secondary path that connects from the guesthouse balcony.(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)Once you’ve reached the stone-clad and turreted structure, a wrought-iron door opens to a windowed reading nook on the left, which sits beside a small bedroom with a porthole that’s currently being used as an office. A powder room to the right is adorned with artichoke-style light fixtures made by Novak, plus a soaring ceiling thanks to its location in one of the house’s turrets.(Jonathan Spencer Properties)From here, you can either go up or down. On the entire lower level, you’ll find the master suite, including a bedroom featuring picture windows, plus a walk-in closet, and a bath outfitted with dual vanities, a sunken tub and separate shower (again with a soaring ceiling due to its locale in the home’s other turret). Outside this level is a large railed stone patio overlooking a cove below, which offers some of the best views in the house.(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)Going up from the entry level, you’ll be taken to the main living area, which features a great room with a stone wood-burning fireplace, slate floors, walls of glass and a majestic open-beamed ceiling with skylight. There’s also a dining area, and a small yet stylish kitchen that was remodeled in the 2000s with granite countertops and high-end appliances — all with breathtaking ocean views.(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)(Jonathan Spencer Properties)“This home speaks to the inner artist in all of us, just the drama of the scene out there is something you have to see in person to appreciate,” says Spencer. “The drama, the privacy and just the ability to be in your own coastal world, yet still close to Carmel-by-the-Sea, but yet a world away for those seeking a refuge by the sea.”(Jonathan Spencer Properties)
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