Yesterday on Oakland's Broker Tour, I fell in love with 5785 Country Club Drive, (listed by Karen Starr of Grubb Co.) Claremont Pines, (a neighborhood in Upper Rockridge located between Broadway and Broadway Terrace) is a one of my favorite neighborhoods. Some of the properties in this area have City and Bay views, the neighborhood is very walkable, there is a neighborhood grocery store, Village Market and in about 20 minutes you can walk to your favorite shops and restaurants on College Avenue in Rockridge. 5785 Country Club, (offered at $1,525,000) was built in 1941 home and has been completely transformed into a sleek, yet relaxed abode that gives homage to mid-century modern design. The light is fantastic and the views of the City and Bay add to the charm.
Last Sunday I held 6251 Contra Costa Road open for my colleague Pat Leaper. This home has over 6000 square feet of living space and is truly a unique property. Designed by award winning architect Martin Borenstein as his personal residence, this dwelling gives a nod to mid-century modern. This flat roof house with floor to ceiling windows and radiant heated floors has stunning views and an observation deck that is a show stopper. The Borenstein home can easily shelter two large families as it is two houses rolled into one, two kitchens, two fireplaces, two entries, multiple decks and did I say views? This is a great piece of land and has endless possibilities! This home is now available for $1,995,000.
I don't just jump for every sleek granite kitchen that I see, I look for quality, layout and functionality. I fell for an ultra modern sleek kitchen in the Upper Rockridge District of Oakland yesterday. 5656 Buena Vista has a fantastic open kitchen with built-in Miele espresso machine, built-in eating counter, built-in window seats, high-end energy efficient appliances and a great view from the window above the sink. This kitchen opens up to the "family" room with plasma television and powder room.
I am a strong believer that renovations should incorporate new innovations and "green" choices, but also stay congruent with the period of the house. This house was built-in 1995 so this sexy style lends to the house. This house is currently listed with Pacific Union by Dee Knowland. Offered at $895,000 (This house over-looks highway 24. If this home was situated in a different location it would be over a million dollars.)
This kitchen was featured in the East Bay/ San Francisco edition of Kitchen Trend Magazine
I have had the great opportunity to work with many clients over the years and match them with houses that fit their personalities. Recently, my client Jorg came to me with a few items on his property wish list:
- A home walking distance to shops
- A property with a spectacular view
- An older home with character
- An Oakland home
Shortly into our home search we found the perfect house in the Upper Rockridge District of Oakland. Mr. and Mrs. Dondero purchased this piece of land in the early 1940's, but because of World War II they were unable to break ground for sometime. After 20 oak trees were removed from the lot, the Dondero's discovered that the house had a panoramic view. After discovering the breath taking San Francisco, Berkeley and downtown Oakland views, the house was designed to bring the view into almost every room. Being a prominent stone builder in San Francisco, Mr. Dondero integrated a variety of stone from various prestigious San Francisco buildings into his home. The walls are Venetian plaster, (Venetian plaster is a mixture of gypsum, sand and lime or mix of aged slaked lime, ground marble dust, and pigment. This mixture is usually tinted or colored before it is applied with a spatula or trowel.) Because the color is in the mixture, one can simply sand the walls when they are dirty or scuffed instead of painting them. After 59 years the walls are in fantastic condition.
This Oakland home has a distinct mid-century modern flare, on a level lot with courtyard and terraced backyard, immense rooms, floor to ceiling windows, stacked flagstone fireplace and more.
Well designed and constructed, most of the features and finishes are original and in pristine condition. Over the years there were a few enhancements, the stove that needed replacement was replaced with a Jenn-Air range complete with an oversized stainless steel hood, and the old absestos roof that saved this home from destruction during the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 was replaced with a composite tile roof, then topped with solar panels. At the close of escrow Jorg and I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Dondero as he gave us the guided tour of his masterpiece. Mr. Dondero remembered every nuance, every step and it was with pride and honor that he handed Jorg the keys.
Espaller is a horticultural technique of training trees, by pruning and grafting them to grow into this flat angular design. Popular in Europe fruit trees can grow in courtyards or against fences, yield fruit without taking up much space. I think this old world technique is stunning. Mr. Dondero says this lemon tree has been here for years.
The wooden cut-out panels that cover the windows that flank the front door have hinges and locks and open easily to clean the windows. The wooden angles remind me of a Greek key pattern.
Mr. Dondero is telling Jorg all of his secrets to maintaining the backyard and drains
Currently I am in search of the perfect home for my buyer clients who are relocating to Oakland. Although this home is not a good match for my clients needs; I was and am intrigued by this mystical home. This 1924 traditional home has an old world quality,that makes you wish you could see this home at its birth. The walls, casings,and vintage door knobs are in pristine condition. The grand staircase and turned wood railing lead to a large landing perfect for a library. The views of Downtown Oakland and San Francisco are fantastic and the since this home escaped the 1991 Oakland Hill Fire, the terraced backyard is studded with mature landscaping.
This four bedroom,2 bathroom home is available for the first time in 51 years,and it appears that the owner loved his home for many years.Listed for $999,000. This home is captivating, email me if you want a tour.
This home is listed with Tim Gullinksen, and the photos are courtesy of Tim.