Dwelling: Horse Country


You’re in the city, 10 minutes or so from downtown. But by the time you get to Scott and Michele Cable’s kitchen at the back of the house and see their horses running free in the paddock, you’ve forgotten that. A few hours later, you’re still reminding yourself you’re not in Loomis or Lincoln, but in Sierra Oaks Vista off Fair Oaks Boulevard. Michele and Scott caught their first glimpse of the place they now call home on a walk through the neighborhood. “We looked through a fence and saw there were horses back there,” Michele remembers. “So we thought, ‘Gee, if that property ever became available. . . .’

I had always dreamed about owning a horse property.” The vision of the 1.6-acre lot with its quirky 1940s farmhouse stayed with them. For nine years. Patience is a virtue. They bought it in 2006 and spent about two years grading the land, building a detached garage with mother-in-law quarters, putting up a new barn and gutting the house. Only the exterior walls and two interior walls remain from the original concrete-block and brick structure that was likely the first house anywhere around.

The Cables didn’t have to look for a homebuilder capable of the massive overhaul. They knew it would be Bob Tellesen of Vogue Homes Inc. in Sacramento. “Scott had seen some of Bob’s work and told me there was a builder who was doing some incredible things,” Michele remembers. “So we went out, looked at some of his houses under construction and just said, ‘Wow.’ ”

An Organic Process
Scott and Tellesen collaborated on the design, with Scott doing the layouts. “Scott’s a very hands-on, creative guy,” Tellesen says. “We had to try on the ideas, think them through and develop them into what we have now. It was an organic process, if you will.” Architect Kevin Patrick O’Brien of Roseville was asked to weigh in when they got stuck.

This past summer, the Cables hosted the annual neighborhood barbecue and heard longtime residents say they were so happy a huge mansion hadn’t replaced the old farmhouse. “People seemed to appreciate this because it captures the flavor of the neighborhood from the history standpoint,” Scott says. In the end, Michele says, “They were excited to see it and really liked what we did.”