Janin Way, Solvang, California

Perhaps it's no surprise that the guy who designed this storybook Danish Provincial cottage and its adorable matching mailbox also built this --

a working windmill beside his 1940's home he named Møllebakken, or "Mill Hill." 

The blades on the mill work, but instead of pumping water and grinding grain, they cool a garage with an apartment above it.

Ferdinand Sorensen (1900-1987) (his name is often misspelled as Sorenson) was partially inspired by his neighbor J.C. Wulff who had built his own working windmill in Solvang's (or "sunny field's") sunny fields in 1922.

He was further inspired by his Danish heritage to build four more windmills in town. He also added many of Solvang's rooftop carved storks and distinct architectural details.

Sorensen was on a definite roll by the time he designed the cottage for his niece in 1963.

There aren't any listing photos of the foyer, but it leads down a short hallway to this pretty living room:

The carved beams are typical of Sorensen's attention to detail.

The striking light fixtures are by Steven Handelman Studios in Santa Barbara, and the fireplace is made of local schist stone.

The kitchen has been recently updated and suits the architecture nicely.

The main bedroom is on the first floor, and extends the length of the house.

If it were mine, I'd turn up the Danish charm with statement-making antiques, like this:

Similarly, the newly re-done bathroom looks a little out of place in this old-fashioned cottage...

but that's nothing some sunny field inspired wallpaper couldn't fix, not to mention a copper painted bathtub. It would be even better if it was solid copper. It just seems to belong in this house.

There are four more bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. The house has 3,227 square feet.

I suppose you'd sleep well in the bedroom above, since it's not very exciting. I'd rather lie awake and admire the design, if it looked like this:

Hopefully it would inspire a little refresh in this bedroom as well:

There's a nice surprise just down the hall -- an airy sitting room with its own full kitchen:

Like Sorensen's windmills, this house is full of large surprises, including this spacious back deck:

Another surprise is that although the house is located just a block away from Solvang's main street, Mission Drive (Highway 246), the property is on a one acre lot.

That gives it a wonderful view of those sunny fields and the Santa Ynez Mountains in the distance.

That's the view looking south, but if you stand on the porch and crane your neck to the west, I bet your view looks something like this:

The listing is here.


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