SLO brown­stone has a clean, clas­sic look — and rooftop deck

The Tribune (SLO) - - Home & Garden - BY RE­BECCA JURETIC

Robert and Sharon Klem­pen were en­gaged in Bos­ton and spent many a va­ca­tion ad­mir­ing the city’s his­toric brown­stones.

Long­ing for an ur­ban life­style af­ter sev­eral years of liv­ing on a ranch in Ar­royo Grande, they be­gan look­ing at brown­stones in the Bea­con Hill area.

“We never could find one that met all of our needs,” Robert Klem­pen said.

Imag­ine their sur­prise when they dis­cov­ered just what they were look­ing for in their own back­yard.

The Marsh Street Brown­stones in San Luis Obispo are mod­eled af­ter the ar­chi­tec­ture of clas­sic New York City brown­stones. The new de­vel­op­ment had their top re­quire­ments: brown­stone ar­chi­tec­ture, el­e­va­tor, garage and rooftop deck.

The seven cus­tom, sin­gle­fam­ily res­i­dences de­signed by RRM De­sign Group and built by Mangano Con­struc­tion also fea­ture se­cond-story bal­conies, high-end kitchens and a mod­ern, open floor plan.

The Klem­pens pur­chased the 3,300-square-foot, three-level brown­stone in March 2018 and spent four months fin­ish­ing the in­te­rior be­fore they moved in.

The cou­ple was able to cus­tomize por­tions of the floor­plan.

The third floor is a se­cluded and com­fort­ably-pro­por­tioned mas­ter suite that in­cludes a laun­dry room. The se­cond is the great room.

On the first floor, they gave up two clos­ets to cre­ate a large guest suite that in­cludes a kitch­enette, se­cond laun­dry, large bath­room and sit­ting area.

A pri­vate en­trance to the suite makes it ideal for vis­its from their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

The cou­ple used de­signer Lisa Smith to help them se­lect fin­ishes, fix­tures and some fur­ni­ture.

Sharon Klem­pen, who was su­per­in­ten­dent of the Or­cutt Union School District for nine years be­fore re­tir­ing, has a de­gree in in­te­rior de­sign.

She re­searched the style of Bos­ton brown­stones and adopted the clean yet clas­sic look of

brick against mostly white cab­i­netry, walls and trim.

Ceregh­ino Ma­sonry clad se­lect walls in dis­tressed brick ve­neer in a “Chicago-style” brown hue.

Beaded, recessed-pan­eled wain­scot­ing by Tra­di­tional Stair­works adds to the pe­riod look, as do white Shaker-style cab­i­nets, sub­way bath­room tile and an over­sized kitchen is­land topped with quartz that looks like Car­rara mar­ble.

Mod­ern-in­dus­trial el­e­ments cre­ate a dis­tinct coun­ter­point to these tra­di­tional fin­ishes. The cou­ple opted for stain­less steel ap­pli­ances, mod­ern light fix­tures and mostly con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture.

The kitchen/din­ing area has 17-foot ceil­ings and equally tall cab­i­netry. Thiessen De­sign in­stalled a rolling steel ladder that is func­tional and cre­ates a strik­ing vertical de­sign el­e­ment in the open great room.

One of the most ex­cit­ing fea­tures of the brown­stone for the Klem­pens was the rooftop deck.

They trans­formed this space into an open-air great room, ideal for en­ter­tain­ing.

A kitchen area has a bar­be­cue and re­frig­er­a­tor. The seat­ing area is fur­nished with indoor-wor­thy pieces in­clud­ing weath­er­re­sis­tant so­fas from Restora­tion Hard­ware, a firepit ta­ble and an out­door, non-glare tele­vi­sion.

A bar and eight-per­son din­ing ta­ble round out the space. The rooftop also has a half bath­room and home gym.

The Klem­pens are en­joy­ing their new brown­stone and the down­town life­style that comes with it.

“We get the city, the col­lege town feel, the beau­ti­ful places to hike — and great weather,” Robert Klem­pen said. “We feel like we got it all.”

In ad­di­tion to the Klem­pen home at 1150 Marsh Street in San Luis Obispo, there are three other homes on the AIACCC Home Tour:

Cloudlift, 146 Bluffs Drive, Shell Beach Bluffs

Ar­chi­tect: Fraser Seiple Ar­chi­tects, San Luis Obispo

The Ple­mons res­i­dence is a lo­cated on a steep, ocean-fac­ing lot in Shell Beach. The house, named Cloudlift, is built in the Crafts­man tra­di­tion, with a fo­cus on ar­ti­san hand­crafted fin­ishes.

7040 Lewis Lane, SLO Coun­try Club

Ar­chi­tect: Daryl Har­ris, RH As­so­ci­ates, Auburn

This home over­look­ing the Edna Val­ley and pri­vate vine­yard is an­chored by a large great room fea­tur­ing mas­sive roof timbers. Out­door spa­ces in­clude a cov­ered porch with fire­place, a tequila cave, and a barn for host­ing large fam­ily events. 1028 Ocean Blvd.,

Shell Beach

Ar­chi­tect: Bill Isaman, Isaman De­sign, SLO

Perched on a prom­i­nent cor­ner lot on the south end of Shell Beach, this res­i­dence has sweep­ing ocean views which can be en­joyed from its up­per­level mas­ter suite, or its many out­door liv­ing spa­ces in­clud­ing a sec­ond­story cor­ner deck and rooftop deck with fire pit, lounge area and out­door kitchen. AIACCC HOME TOUR

The 2019 Amer­i­can In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects’ Cen­tral Coast Chap­ter in Cal­i­for­nia (AIACCC) Home Tour is Sun­day, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Par­tic­i­pants can meet de­sign pro­fes­sion­als and builders at each of the four homes on the tour.

Tick­ets are $30 each, or $50 a pair, in ad­vance at aia­cen­tral­ On the day of the tour, tick­ets will be $40 each.

All pro­ceeds ben­e­fit lo­cal art and ar­chi­tec­ture ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams for stu­dents from kinder­garten to col­lege. This year’s tour is pre­sented by Allen Con­struc­tion and CRS.


The San Luis Obispo home of Robert and Sharon Klem­pen, which in­cludes a rooftop deck that serves as an open-air great room, is one of four homes fea­tured on the AIACCC Home Tour on May 19.


The home in­cludes Shaker-style cab­i­nets and an over­sized kitchen is­land.


The Klem­pens pur­chased the 3,300-square-foot, three-level brown­stone in March 2018.


Shaker-style cab­i­nets and sub­way tile are among the pe­riod touches in this bath­room at the San Luis Obispo home of Robert and Sharon Klem­pen.


Cloudlift, lo­cated at 146 Bluffs Drive in Shell Beach, is one of four homes fea­tured on the tour.

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