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Bledsoe home featured in Pagosa Springs Arts Council tour
Friday, November 12, 2010

The Bledsoe home sits on three fenced acres, overlooking a protected meadow, with big views of the north and east San Juan Mountain ranges.

The meadow is a private park owned by the Ranch Community Property Owners Association.  Surrounded by trees and sitting on a small hill, the house gracefully meets the meadow.  Large boulders visually anchor and connect the house to the surrounding landscape, creating a Zen-like feeling.  The placement of the structure as well as the interior layout incorporates many Feng Shui principles.

A fringe of grass surrounds the house, along with planted berms. Longleaf cottonwood, a few aspen, ponderosa pines and fir trees provide shade and shelter for the birds. On one side of the home there is a labyrinth built of stones 38 feet across and circled by ponderosa pines.

 The front entry welcomes friends with a colorful perennial garden.  Annuals are tucked in here and there.  Large barrels and container plants are spotted along the three decks that face east and west.  The covered entry patio and decks are hung with bright hanging baskets watered by a neatly installed drip system.  Two fountains with bronze bird sculptures continue the peaceful connection with nature.  The main decks and covered patio offer spaces for outdoor dining and lounging, with big ,comfy wicker chairs, and assorted furniture, including Turkish rugs.

The Bledsoe home is handcrafted It was completed in 1998 and built by its former owners, the Alexanders.  The house was designed with environmental concerns, energy efficiency and sturdy construction in mind, using structural insulated panels. Large overhangs protect the walkways along with the steep roof.

The Interior is organized around a great room, featuring a dramatic 28-foot ceiling.  The lofty feel remains intimate, however, allowing the owners to read, listen to music, or cook meals without losing each other. There is a handmade dining room set from Fredricksburg, Texas, made of wood from England. The tradition of passing down furniture is signalled by the initials and dates carved in the table.

 In the living area, new, laminated beams join 28x1 Douglas fir columns recycled from a demolished military warehouse in northern California. The most notable recycled elements, however, are the old-growth redwood slats milled from 75-year old wine casks that define the kitchen work area. The vaulted ceiling is tongue-and-groove aspen, while the specialty trim is cherry-stained poplar.

The whole house is a delightful juxtaposition of texture, shapes and space.  The exterior stucco, plaster and brick materials evoke the Territorial style of Colorado and New Mexico.  The flooring is artificially-aged, unmortered brick, held in place by sand swept into the joints. Under the floor, a radiant heat system keeps the space comfortable in winter. The hand-troweled, creamy plaster walls, with their wavy suede-like quality, almost glow in the light from the windows above the monitor. Many of the walls are hung with special pieces of original art as well as a couple of bronzes, alabaster and wood carvings and a basket woven in Africa

The Bledsoes are actively involved in Pagosa Springs and Marti is a wonderfully talented artist (look for her pieces in a variety of mediums). Also, be sure and walk the labyrinth which their family designed and revealed to mother on her birthday, with a dedication to “long lives.”

The tour is July 12 from 1-4 p.m., with locations of the four homes printed on the tickets.

Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce, Higher Grounds and the PSAC Gallery at Town Park.

Please join us.