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Style Magazine

Legendary Living

Jan 31, 2009 04:00PM ● By Super Admin

Atop a hill in the Highland Village of El Dorado Hills shines the palatial estate of Edward and Deana Starrs. With that last name and their opulent address, one might think these homeowners are celebrities of some sort, but think again, there’s no pretension to be found at the Starrs’ sanctuary they call home. Realtor Robert Milward describes Ed Starrs – whom was born and raised in El Dorado Hills – as “the nicest, most down-to-earth guy, his wife too, you’ll ever meet, and you’d never know they had a nickel.” 

But it certainly took more than a few nickels to make this legendary home what it is today. The extensive estate and home were originally developed and built in 1987 by the first owner. In 1999, the second owner purchased the home and at that time, it was the first home to reach the one million dollar threshold. A few years later the second homeowners decided to do a little renovation to the property before selling to Ed and Deana. Hold on, back up a few steps, “little” might not be the appropriate adjective. Taking approximately 18 months, and nearly 900,000 dollars later, “magnificent” would be the most appropriate word to describe the Starrs residence. Breaking another record, the purchase post renovation by the Starrs goes down in the books as the single most expensive home ever sold in El Dorado Hills.
Don’t let the dollar signs fool you though, the simplistic, yet high quality comfort that this 10,500 square-foot home offers is something you can’t put a price tag on. And, comfort and livability was definitely a key component for the Starrs and their design style. With seven bedrooms, six full bathrooms (two half-bathrooms), three living areas, kitchen and formal dining area, office, “maid quarters,” workout room, poker room, full-bar, 23 car garage, 3 outdoor kitchen/entertainment structures, diving pool, 80-foot water garden with fountains, a nature preserve with 20 indigenous oak trees, and 30-plus visible miles of the Folsom Lake shore line – one might ask if the Starrs ever leave home? By the way, they do, but I would certainly have a hard time getting out of the driveway. And, what a driveway it is…in all of its stamped and colored concrete greatness!

Other interesting features to be found at this residence include custom ironwork, from railings to balconies, in both the front and back of the home, as well as garage doors – these in particular called “carriage house doors” – made from solid stained cedar that was textured and distressed for style. The front entrance of the home, staying in sync with the natural wood elements found throughout the interior and exterior of the home, welcomes visitors with an oversized custom door, made from hand-carved and hand-hewned imported hardwood. Also, visible from the front of the home, one can notice what appears to be a balcony with iron railing, however, it is an aesthetically appealing trick for the eyes, it’s actually a faux balcony – so while there will be no standing on this one, it sure looks cool!
Inside the home, some of the most amazing aspects are the windows themselves (many from floor to ceiling); they offer openness and plenty of opportunities for amazing-sunset-watching. In fact, owner Ed Starrs says that the living area looking out to lake views is one of his favorite rooms in the house. Another unique element that you don’t often see is the carpet in the piano room – it’s actually inset into the home’s original marble.

The kitchen, the ever-popular gathering place and heart of this home, boasts all-Viking, stainless steel professional appliances, as well as custom cabinetry, faux painted and antiqued by California Concepts Painting. Many people may not spend much thought on the cabinet aspect of their kitchen, rather spend more time and money on countertops and work stations, but when done right, the cabinets can kick any kitchen up a notch, or two in this case.

Interior designer Becky Senna of Interior Motives lead the helm in orchestrating the lush and livable décor from start to finish, taking just over a year to complete. Working with California Paint Concepts and Larry Gameson, they added visually interesting color throughout the home (both interior and exterior), taking advantage of the unusual architectural elements which includes art niches, arches, an oversized fish aquarium separating the kitchen and large family room. Within the arches and art niches, Gameson used Ralph Lauren “sueded” paint to uniquely contrast colored walls.

Senna says that for the interior design concept she wanted to warm up all of the rooms where a stark and sterile feeling previously existed. Another goal for the design was to take advantage of the fantastic views available across the entire backside of the home, as well as make each of the rooms functional so that when you walk into a room you instantly know its purpose. Some examples of these functional rooms include: a parlour room where the lady (or man for that matter) of the house can entertain smaller groups, a workout room, a library/office, and a poker room.

Continuing to add drama to this dramatically large home, Senna added an Italian Tuscan wall mural over top of the vibrantly colored wall in the dining room. Since this is one of the few rooms with no real window views, she felt it was necessary to provide a nice visual to the dining guests. Senna framed the arched windows with sheer side panels for elegance and a touch of romance. Senna says, “I always like to add some playful concepts as an element of surprise,” which she accomplished in the Starrs’ home by adding oversized art features or “spectacles” in the open balcony area above the living room areas. Senna also kept continuity throughout the home with the furnishings, fabrics and wall decor – which she says is an important key in home design – by utilizing rich colors and varying textures to complement the wall colors and offer visual impact.

One of Senna’s favorite aspects, as well as the homeowners, is the outdoor dining pavilion (one of three) closest to the home – it’s complete with a chandelier and outdoor carpet, making for cozy and romantic sunset dinners looking over the lake. For the homeowners, Ed and Deana, it is certain that they are living in a true masterpiece, which not only capitalizes on the natural beauty surrounding the home, but also makes for a nice place to hang your hat at the end of the day.


Robert Milward, Realtor
Milward & Associates Realtors

Becky Senna, Designer
Interior Motives

Larry Gameson
California Concepts Painting