Ranch & Coast Magazine

July 2023

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M ORNING CLOUDS ALONG the Del Mar coast clear just in time for our interview and photo shoot at the hilltop home of John and Marci Cavanaugh, a local power couple known for philanthropy and entrepreneurship. After days of June gloom and drizzle, the sun finally bursts out, casting a golden glow on the Cavanaughs' backyard dotted with olive and cherry trees and a bonsai Torrey pine. e cliffside property overlooks a canyon across from the San Dieguito Lagoon, now being restored, and in the distance, a glimmer of shoreline at Torrey Pines State Reserve. e Cavanaughs moved to Del Mar from Minnesota more than three decades ago. "I like to joke that John followed me out to San Diego, as he never cared much for the cold weather," says Marci. e couple bought an empty lot and worked with an architect to design and build the home in what has become a close-knit community. "My background was interior design," notes Marci. "John and I worked together to create a home that would be informal and relaxed, where we could raise a family and entertain." Married for 34 years, the Cavanaughs' children, Ava and Cole, are now all grown up with successful careers of their own. Marci, a longtime board member and officer of e Country Friends, a Rancho Santa Fe-based nonprofit, and John, a passionate car collector and entrepreneur, renovated the backyard and pool two years ago. ey worked with landscape architect Brian Stone of Stone + Grove Landscape Architects in Solana Beach "to create an open and airy space that extends beyond the walls of our home, allowing us to fully embrace the beauty of the California sunshine," says Marci. ey also converted the original pool and spa into one with an infinity edge to take advantage of the coastal views, with the help of Michael Medulla of San Dieguito Pool Construction Inc. e new pool includes a shallow Baja shelf for relaxing and two chaises planted in the pool offering the "best seats in the house." e poolside deck includes a stone fountain and outdoor shower. e Cavanaughs added a 500-square-foot covered cabana, complete with a comfortable sofa and lounge chairs centered with a stainless steel Napoleon fireplace and concrete hearth for warmth on chilly nights. e LED LG TV offers entertainment year-round. e space includes an outdoor kitchen with a refrigerator and a versatile, easy-to-clean EVO grill from Pirch in the Cedros Design District. Marci sizzles eggs and sausage for breakfast; John grills steak for dinner. A long wooden table, bought years ago in Mexico and now topped with a slab of granite, can seat a crowd. Another seating area surrounds a fire table just off the family room, now with sliding glass doors so the Cavanaughs can easily let the outdoors in. Marci especially likes swaying in the hammock on lazy summer afternoons. She also loves to cook in the kitchen, remodeled several years ago while the couple "camped out" in the garage for the summer until the appliances were hooked up. e renovation, both functional and open to indoor/outdoor spaces, includes handsome cabinetry, quartz counters, and limestone floors. Appliances include a Wolf range and cooktop, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and Marci's favorite, a built- in Miele coffeemaker that brews a cup — or a carafe — in no time. John's "newest obsession," according to Marci, is the dining room, with an expansive custom table, credenza, and "Almont" chairs by Dragonette Limited on Palm Desert's El Paseo. e chairs are upholstered in green velvet by Jab Anstoetz, with custom embroidery by Embroidery Palace in Los Angeles. His passion for cars was ignited when, as a boy, he watched races with his father, who worked for a tire company. "At just ten years old, I began saving my paper route money to purchase mini-bikes and go-karts," John recalls. Eventually, he owned several exotic cars, including a '90s-era GT1 race car. "I've had the pleasure of running this car at the historic event in Monterey, California, and attending the car week in Pebble Beach for more than 25 years." >> The dining room features furniture from Dragonette Limited in Palm Desert including custom velvet chairs. @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE JULY 2023 75

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