This custom adobe home, surrounded by mesas and ponderosa forest, is environmentally friendly with tile floors, enclosed shades, radiant under-floor heat, and a sauna. Two hours from Albuquerque and in an active, gregarious community.
Adobe, made from local soil
Tile floors throughout
Pristine well water
No agriculture or industry in the vicinity
Pure air quality
Passive solar (adobe as heat sink/insulation, solar gain through abundant windows)
Radiant hot water heat beneath floors (no air ducts)
Window blinds enclosed in two panes of glass
wet or dry sauna, made of unstained low resin wood
Low/no VOC paint
Our vision for this house was a home that is natural, healthy, environmentally friendly, and full of light.
The surrounding environment is pristine, with no air or water or land pollution sources in the area. The two lots comprise almost twelve acres of undisturbed meadows and woods, giving the house a feeling of natural expansive privacy.
An additional adjacent lot of a little over five acres, containing a low yield well and a stone labyrinth, is also available for purchase at $35,000. If the third lot is also purchased, the house is centered on about 17 acres.
The house itself is adobe, made from soil gathered a mile or two away. Adobe is an outstanding material for a house at an altitude of 7200 feet. The mass of the adobe acts as a heat sink, preserving the cool of the night into warmer days, and the warmth of the day into cool nights.
Heat is provided by hot water beneath the floor, with three thermostat zones. There is no drying, dust-laden air forced through dirty ducts. In the winter, the tile floors are just slightly warm.
The floors are all Saltillo tiles, except for a softer wood-like floor in the kitchen. Paints are low VOC, and all windows are Pella, with shades for light control contained between two panes of glass.
The soft curves of nature are everywhere--circular walls outside and in, a sinuous banco in front of the master bedroom fireplace, arched doorways along the curved hall, a curved stair-stepped adobe wall that surrounds the garden and patio.
The well contains an abundance of cold pure water.
The house drinks in the light, day or night. The tall windows in the curved walls sun-drench each room. There is a skylight with an electric shade over the bed, for sleeping beneath the stars. There are steps to the roof and seats there, for sunsets and star-gazing (the night sky at this altitude, with clean air and no light pollution, is spectacular).
The house is wonderfully laid out and convenient, so there is an easy flow throughout. As a consequence, one inhabits the whole house.
Terrazzo tile floors, except for the kitchen that has floors made of wood-like strips, for low breakage and ease of standing.
Picture rails at the top of the walls, so art can be hung without putting nails in the underlying adobe.
Custom built-in cabinets, bookshelves, wall nichos, closet shelves, and drawers.
Large Pella windows with shades enclosed between two panes of glass. This makes for easy and dust-free light control.
Radiant in-floor heat, except for the small office/sunroom, which has a radiant wall heater.
The garden, which wraps around the sides and back of the house, contains a large flagstone patio with a wide variety of colorful perennial flowerbeds. A seating area that accommodates several people is in dappled shade beneath mature locust trees. The soft splash of water from a small pond blends with the sound of birds. A circular fieldstone patio outside the door of the sunroom/office provides another sitting area, with an old wooden chair beneath the branches of a small tree.
Around the outside of the garden is an adobe wall with a wooden gate. Beyond the gate is a sunshade ramada, with a fieldstone floor. It is a lovely spot to share a morning cup of coffee, and watch the sun move across the large wooded area and pink and tan sandstone bluffs beyond.
A stairway along the side of the house leads to the flat roof, and a built-in sitting area for several people. Beneath the stairway is a small storage room. The roof provides panoramic views of the sandstone cliffs behind, the green valley and forested Zuni Mountains ahead, and the garden below. It is the place to watch sunsets and the brilliant night sky, especially during meteor showers.
This is a favorite gathering place. The stools around the central island are the perfect place to share an informal breakfast or lunch, or for an afternoon chat. There is a large skylight above the island, and custom wood cabinetry hides a commodious pantry, lazy Susan shelves, and plenty of cupboard space.
The kitchen contains a lovely piece of original art, created for this house by an Albuquerque artist. It is a large (3 feet by 8 and 1/2 feet) tile mural on the wall, depicting the hills and trees and skies of the area.
There are two stainless steel sinks, one double and one single; the dishwasher is three or four years old; the brushed aluminum refrigerator/freezer, with ice and water available through the door, is almost new; and the oven was replaced within the last few months.
The utility room adjoins the kitchen, and has a washer and dryer that are three or four years old. It also has little treasures: a built-in wine rack, a wall hat rack made of deer antlers, and cabinets for storage. There is even a cabinet that hides a drop-down ironing board.
Overhead on the back wall of the well-lit two-car garage is a long row of large cupboards, and below is a wall of peg-board. Along one side is a long sturdy built-in workbench with a shelf above and beneath. Adjacent is a small room containing the two once-through heaters (one for domestic water and the other for the radiant heat system below the floor), and room for more storage.
Because it is two steps down from the dining room and hallway, the living room has a higher ceiling than the rest of the house. The ceiling is crossed by vigas and rounded between them and, like all the ceilings in the house, rounded to the walls.
There is a large carved front door made from seasoned Mexican pine, a kiva fireplace flanked by a stair-stepped banco, and a stained glass window made just for the house that can be lit at night.
The room is filled by sunshine through a curved bank of six floor-to-ceiling windows, that look out toward the Zuni Mountains.
Although the dining room occupies the same general space as the living room, it is elevated two steps and separated by a curved, stair-stepped banco. This gives it an expansive view down into the living room and out the large windows.
This large rounded room has a kiva fireplace flanked by a long sinuous banco. There is a large skylight with an electric shade over the bed, for sleeping beneath the stars. It’s wonderful to awake in the night and see constellations, and an occasional shooting star.
There is a curved bank of four floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto the garden. Another window by the bed frames the pond and gate to the ramada.
A large walk-in closet offers a wall of built-in shelves and two matching built-in chests of drawers.
The bath has a colorful tile counter around the sink, and a circular tiled shower with a small round window, that looks out on the garden. It also contains a glassed-in wet or dry sauna, made of healthy low resin wood that is not painted or stained.
This pie-shaped room has doors to the master bedroom and the dining room which are mostly glass with shades for privacy, and which have top and bottom seals to block sound.
The curved outside wall is mostly glass, with two large windows and a glass door that leads to a small sitting area beneath the branches of a New Mexico Privet. Being in the room is almost like sitting in the garden.
Two walls in this large room are mostly built-in bookcases.
A fireproof lockable room with a metal door and built-in shelves offers safe and secure storage of valuables and supplies.
There is a small pass-through to the kitchen and two large windows look out into a stand of ponderosa pines and out to a distant forested ridge.
Its curved bank of windows and direction makes this the most sundrenched room in this sunlit house. The curved bank of four floor-to-ceiling windows, and the fifth window by the bed, flood the room with expansive views and natural light.
The bath contains a built-in tub/shower, a bright blue tiled counter around the sink, and a second door to the hallway for access by guests.
The home is in Timberlake Ranch, where lots are 5 acres or more. It is the only area in the region with property value protection through CC and R’s. Included in common property is a ranch house community center and Ramah Lake, surrounded by forest and mesas. Adjacent to the ranch is national forest, and state forest is very near. The larger region includes the town of Ramah, the Zuni and Navajo Reservations, and other small developments scattered about.
Regular stores and medical facilities are available in Gallup (45 minutes, pop. 22,000) and Grants (one hour, pop. 9000). The small town of Ramah is 5 miles away. Local gardeners bring produce to the farmer’s market and to a small area store. Highway 53, the highway through the area, passes through two national monuments, a national conservation area, a national forest and two Indian reservations. It is a portion of both the Ancient Way Arts Trail and the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway.
Ramah, New Mexico.
The community is the best aspect of living here. It is diverse and gregarious, with festivals, celebrations, performances, art exhibits, and classes throughout the year. Perhaps because of the natural beauty, there are many artists and writers and performers (we have some of the best musicians anywhere). Gathering places include the Timberlake ranch house, Inscription Rock Trading Post, the Old School Gallery, El Morro Monument, and especially the homes of friends and neighbors.
|Agriculture in Area||No|
|Industry in Area||No|
|Air Pollution in Area||No|
|Cleaned with Green Products||Yes|
Hydronic Floor Heat (radiant)
|Whole House Filtration||
|Whole House Vacuum||No|
Gypsum Board - Sheet Rock
Metal Dual Glazed
|Garage / Carport||Yes|
|Number of Cars||2|
|Garage Area||420 sqft|
HC 61 Box 300
Ramah , NM 87321 US
Listing ID: 19762