Curb Appeal: Japanese-inspired home near Shaver Lake has Fresno roots
The Reynolds home is not your typical rustic Shaver Lake log cabin with bears carved into tree stumps.
The house at 42373 Canyon Vista Lane, south of Bretz Mill Road, embraces all that is Japanese, from the three raised front decks with river rock and bamboo, to the fitted redwood handrails with no knots or screws, and to a wok station and teppanyaki grill indoors.
The view of Blue Canyon, at an elevation of almost 6,000 feet, is amazing, and the property is surrounded by all the woody freshness and the cool air that Fresnans have grown to love about the mountain area.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind themed home,” said Jim Huebner, broker and agent with Guarantee Real Estate’s Shaver Lake office, who is listing the house for sale at $1.29 million. “There was another (house) that was a castle theme, but this one is very unique and in a unique area.”
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Owners Mike and Sharon Reynolds of Fresno were renting homes in the Ockenden area for years when they learned that a developer was building on the mountain. They bought a lot in 2001 and built their home in 18 months. It was designed by Fresno architect Henry Kubo to bask in the sun.
“We didn’t want to go with a log cabin” because they are dark, Mike Reynolds said. “This is open and sunny … you get the morning sun and the afternoon shade.”
The Reynolds used the house to escape the Fresno heat, to enjoy time with family and friends, and to showcase the Chinese and Japanese art, furniture and other collectibles that Mike Reynolds’ mother procured over the years. But now it’s time to let the house go.
“A lot of our retirement is tied up in this,” said Mike Reynolds, who was a professional photographer and the man behind California’s “three strikes” law, which mandates tougher sentences for repeat offenders in California. He campaigned for the law after his daughter, Kimber, was shot and killed in a 1992 robbery in the Tower District.
The slim, glass front door of the 3,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bathroom home uses a Frank Lloyd Wright trick to narrow your vision and make you see taller ceilings and walls. Enter the house and your eyes center on high yellow walls in the entryway with hand-painted bamboo. A half bathroom and a coat closet are to the right but the doors are disguised by the bamboo painting.
Turn to the left and a panoramic view of the canyon through floor to ceiling windows hits you in the face. Nearby is a large stone fireplace shaped like a Japanese gateway. A Chinese table sits in the middle of the room, Japanese paintings hang on the wall and vases sit by the windows. The furniture and collectibles also are for sale.
But everyone knows the heart of the home is the kitchen, Mike Reynolds said. The gourmet kitchen is a chef’s dream, with stainless steel counters, separate sinks for meat and vegetables, a four-burner center island stove with indoor grill, a separate six-burner stove near the wall with wok station, and a commercial dishwasher that completes its cycle in 90 seconds.
The home was designed to be “easy to clean and easy to care for,” Mike Reynolds said.
Off the kitchen is the master bedroom with his and hers bathrooms. The difference? Her bathroom has a soaking tub with a large octagon-shaped window. All of the toilets in the house hang from the wall for easy cleaning underneath. Mike Reynolds points out that the two other bedrooms upstairs are equal in size to the master. It’s not about how big or grand a room is, he said, it’s about making your guests comfortable.
Toward the back of the house is the game room painted in red and decorated with white birch trees. A pool table in the center of the room is designed in a Japanese style. The windows are covered with Japanese shades. The teppanyaki grill is located in a corner of the room for Korean BBQ night or pancakes the next morning, Mike Reynolds said. The room also contains hidden cabinets and closets to hide dishes for 30 people, and tables and chairs for up to 25 people.
The entertaining doesn’t stop there. The mounds of snow kept us from exploring the backyard, but there is a covered patio with exposed redwood beams on the side of the house. And yes, more cooking can be done outside using a grill attached to a solid granite fireplace.
“We were able to put this together and experience it with family and friends,” Mike Reynolds said. “We’re at a point where we need to sell. I wish we could keep it.”
Address: 42373 Canyon Vista Lane, Shaver Lake
Size: 3,000 square feet
Details: Japanese-designed home with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen with wok station, panoramic view of Blue Canyon from living room windows, game room with teppanyaki grill, and outdoor patio. Batteries in the garage provide emergency power in case of power outage. More details are available at 42373 Canyon Vista Lane.