When I was a kid I always admired the homes in Claremont Court. I imagined that these homes had extra large crystal chandeliers and wonderful food simmering in the kitchen. As an adult, I admire the manicured yards, the classic architecture and the close walk to College Avenue and UC Berkeley. What I love about 2729 Belrose Avenue in Claremont Court is the style that the owners boast. Check out the bold colors, the eclectic decor , so unexpected and wonderful! 2729 Belrose Avenue is currently listed with Ruth Frassetto with GrubbCo.
Yesterday after I held open 5740 Ayala Street in lower Rockridge, (a pristine craftsman home with impeccable natural wood trim, wainscoting and built-ins. and vintage details.) I headed over to view 492 58th Street, (in Oakland). The buzz around town is that this born in 1900 home in lower Rockridge (a bungalow turned mod pod) was the house to see. This home is a design buffs dream! The bathroom in the main house has hand applied stucco walls that are silky smooth and designed to withstand water and the steamy conditions of a hot shower. Every nook and cranny is engineered to efficiently store the items in your life. The washer and dryer are hidden in a wall of white cabinets and the there is big chunks of natural wood built-in benches and bookcases. Of course the yummy home furnishings and lush yet simple gardens enhanced my viewing experience. 492 58th Street in Oakland has a two bedroom, one bathroom main house and a one bedroom, one bathroom guest house. (Listed with Ron Kriss of Lawton and Associates for $750,000.) This pad is available now, but offers are due this Thursday. Click here to view this Oakland home on Dwell.com. (If you love high style and mid-century modern homes this is a must see.)
Two days left to visit The San Francisco Decorator Showcase House. 2830 Pacific Avenue open this Sunday and Memorial Day: 11:00 am - 4:00 p.m . I love seeing the carefully selected grand home decorated and cleaned to perfection. No legos, books, video games or dirty clothes on the floors; just luxe fabrics, custom made furniture, art, and THE best side tables! (I have attended the Showcase House every year for the past decade and my friend Diana always teases me as I admire the side tables.) I love to surround myself with beautiful things, color, fragrance, sculpture, blown glass and solid handsome furnishings, so for me this is a must see. The following pictures were sent to me by a friend of The Oakland Berkeley Journal. Cheers! (Read the Chronicle article/review of the Showcase House, click here.)
When I was 16 years old I worked at Emporium-Capwell's in Downtown Oakland. This department store was on Broadway in what is now Sears. As I was growing up I remember Oakland and its thriving retail business. We had I. Magnin's, Joseph Magnin's, Liberty House, Little Daisy and more.
These businesses are gone, but the beautiful buildings remain. I yearn for healthy downtown. I would love Oakland to model after Pasadena, California. Their shops, department stores and restaurants are on a main street, not in a mall.
Look at the buildings, you can't deny Oakland's beauty.
4145 Eastlake Avenue is my favorite house from Monday's Broker's Tour. (Broker's Tour is a scheduled tour of homes open to Realtors.) Eastlake Avenue located on the border of Laurel Heights and Redwood Heights is one of my favorite streets. This street features views, a cul de sac and is a tucked away street off of the beaten path. This house has random plank hardwood floors in the living room, views, rounded corners, (a feature seen in the 1930's and 1940's) an eat-in kitchen and a large downstairs which includes a living area, an extra bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. The master bedroom upstairs has a small balcony, a great place to catch a few rays of sun and glimpse Downtown Oakland and the Bay. This property shows pride of ownership, is super clean, appears to be well maintained and is move-in ready. Homes are rarely for sale on this street making this a property to see. This house is currently listed with Vicky Faulk of Coldwell Banker for $725,000, Thanks Vicky!
With World War II over, America was optimistic about a new beginning. When you view 1950's houses, (that have not been renovated) you will often see cheery colors such as pink bathrooms and yellow accents.
If you are looking to paint your rooms to mirror the 50's authentically, here is your inspiration. This aqua blue mid-century home in the Redwood Heights district of Oakland is now pending, (listed by Judith Cain of Grubb Co. there were two offers.) I like how the owner embraced this home's mid-century roots and painted the exterior in a tasteful color shade of turquoise, a nod to classic mid-century Americana.
The sunny yellow kitchen below is a Montclair, (Oakland, CA.) mid-century home. (Currently listed with Glass-Sabine with Grubb Co.) Compare this current photo of a mid-century kitchen with the vintage photo at the bottom, and you can see all of the in-tact 50's details. Classic chrome cabinet pulls, Formica with aluminum edging countertops, vibrant colors and linoleum floors.
I am loving the color orange, not necessarily the traditional autumn pumpkin color, but the vibrant Gerbera Daisy shade. In one of my previous blog posts, I took a few snapshots of an orange and lavender house, and honestly I was not crazy about it, but the right orange paired with neutral shades are quite appealing! Orange can be called the social color, it can create the feng shui energy to promote lively conversations and good times in your home.
Try a small accent of orange to add life to your taupe exterior.
Orange flowers create drama and look great with the color purple and various shades of green.
Above and below are two Oakland homes that are bold, orange and work.
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
Okay, I get it! Times are tough, water is scarce, and gardens are evaporating. As I walk my neighborhood I am seeing the relics of landscaped front yards. If you are thinking of digging up the dead sod, here is some inspiration. EBMUD has a few rebates, click here to view. Additionally more and more Oakland and Berkeley homeowners are choosing shrubs and foliage other than grass.
This home is in the Redwood Heights District of Oakland. I love the texture that is created by the variety of colors and foliage. This front yard was designed to thrive with little water.
Photo from the Multiple Listings of the Cliff May home in Oakland
Photo of Sunset Magazines Headquarters, found online @www.terragalleria.com/pictures
Cliff May was known as the father of the California Ranch Home. In the 1930's he began building furniture and homes without any formal training. May wanted his homes to be about informal living with a great deal sunshine. His homes were typically U or L shaped had to be accessible to private outdoors spaces. May modernized the California ranch house by using low-cost materials that would appeal to the masses. Building over 1000 residential and commerical properties, May was known for designing celebrity homes. He created Sunset Magazine's headquarters in Menlo Park and the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley. Last year one of Cliff May's home sold in Oakland, on Jordan Road! (The Redwood Heights District of Oakland.) May's plans were used in construction of more than 18,000 houses world-wide, including Switzerland, Australia and Ireland. Cliff May said, "If you can't walk out of the living room or bedroom or kitchen onto the ground, if you have to go down steps, you're not living like a real Californian lives."
Give me something refreshing and new; give me color! Here are some Oakland Homes with bold colors that work.
The view from the balcony at the S.F. Decorator's Showcase 2008
Every year I visit the San Francisco Decorator's Showcase with my dear friend, Diana. We like to see the new trends and the magnfiscient historic home that has been transformed by the country's best designer's work. This year I was taken by a room that had ombre walls. (Definition: use ombre shadow, shade; darkness, obscurity.) The walls of this particular room were dark blue at the top where the wall meets the ceiling and it shaded down gradually until the bottom of the walls were white. I've seen ombre dresses and shoes, but I have never seen ombre walls. There was a "women's suite" that had a color palette of camel, sky blue and fuchsia, the combination was fantastic. Here at the Showcase House you see side tables, art and light fixtures up close that you see in magazines such as Metropolitan Home, Elle Decor and more.
For most of us, we do not have the budget to hire a designer for our Oakland or Berkeley homes, but go to the Showcase House to get ideas and implement one or two into your house. The showcase house runs through 5/26/08.
For more information about the San Francisco Decorator's Showcase House, click here.
Photo Sketch of the Showcase House is courtesy of their website.
Every Monday and Thursday I go out and preview homes for sale in Berkeley and Oakland. I often see homes that I like that are nice and clean along with homes that have been hastily prepared, ready for a lengthy stay on the market. I have to admit I am picky about houses. I can tell when homes have been hurriedly painted without care. I appreciate when the painter has removed the light fixture and door knobs as to avoid leaving paint on the vintage hardware. Basically I can tell when love and care is invested into a home. Last Thursday I went to 6221 Cabot in Oakland, a home listed by GrubbCo. and I was euphoric from the feeling the house evoked. The house had beautifully restored wood work and built-ins, luxe, yet clean finishes such as carrera marble, commercial grade appliances, wood windows with new solid hardware and more. Nestled on a beautiful tree lined street as if in a story book this home is situated blocks from Rockridge shops and restaurants. In no way am I trying to sell this home, I am merely writing because I have house envy.
As I was walking from room to room, I wanted to sit down and stay awhile. I kept saying to my colleague and friend Nicole that I could live here and I wouldn't change a thing.
I appreciate the love, attention to detail and style that the homeowners brought to this home. When I write about Oakland style or tasteful remodels, this home exemplifies all that I believe in. Now I don't want you to think that I only believe in luxe re-do's, but my hat is off to homeowners who enhanced their home thoughtfully without stripping its core.
What is "in" and "out" for 2008? Well I can tell you this, I consistently hear from my Bay Area home buyers that they hate generic remodels. Home buyers in the Oakland and Berkeley area love original details, solid construction and tasteful updates.
The San Francisco Chronicle had a great article about home trends for 2008. Personally, I think it is unwise to decorate your home with trends, but rather with function, personal taste, and within the era of your house. What is sexier than a clutter-free home with a place for everything? I love an eclectic mix of treasures from your travels, sleek energy efficient appliances and warm colors.
Designers say that 2008 will be a busy year for interior design, as homeowners want to enhance their properties since they are staying in their homes longer.
According to the article "green" remodels are in, and sleek poured concrete kitchens and bathrooms are out.
Click here to read entire article regarding design trends for the Bay Area.
Photo from sfgate.com
Do you have a mid century or modern home? ... or maybe you want to add a few cutting edge pieces to your traditional furniture. Design Within Reach is having a Sample Sale next weekend!
*If you click on the postcard it will enlarge to read easier.
Are you thinking of painting? Yellow is said to create joy, bring concentration and heal digestive ailments.
Every so often I see a glimpse of yellow that strikes me. Yellow is cheery and retro but, not a color that I would consider for my 1951 Oakland Ranch home. When I imagine yellow, I think of the Cleaver family and a kitchen with yellow walls and a red laminate kitchen table with chrome edging... Today I picked up my Design Within Reach catalog and saw this photograph of a room painted yellow. It changed my mind of yellow. This mustardy shade is warm and modern.
Do you want interior design advice? As a design buff and an Oakland Realtor I have a great deal of advice to give. (For free!)
If you have browsed through my blog, you will see various interior colors and the effects that colors have on the majority of the population.
So what do you think about green?
Touring homes for sale in Oakland and Berkeley, I think sage green is the number one color right now. I love green with lavender and red, and I even love this lime green, pictured here.
Green creates security and it has also been known to heal the heart.
By the way, this photo is from the 2006 Decorators Showcase House in San Francisco. I absolutely love this bathroom sink, as it is fabricated out of Corian. That means no rotten wood vanities in the bathroom, no grout or mildew, and it comes in five colors. The sink was designed by Steven Miller Design Studio.
One more thing!! The green walls are covered in glass, so you can Windex,(or vinegar and water) your walls clean.
When my daughter, Nia was little her favorite color was pink, actually it still is. She wanted her room painted pink, but I didn't have the stomach for it at the time. I, like many Bay Area residents were gravitating toward earth tones or white for our walls. I decided to go with a very soothing color of lavender that I loved and talked her into. Five years later, I am seeing brilliant colors of pink that I adore that are wonderful with greens, browns and white. I think it is time for me to rethink pink.
Pink builds affection and increases sensitivity, two great reasons to run out today and buy a couple of gallons of pink for my adolescent daughter!
I love the color brown, it is rich, smooth and blends with almost any color. As I am touring homes in the Berkeley and Oakland area I am seeing shades of brown in many interiors. It goes well with blues, pinks, purples, greens and my favorite is chocolate brown with crisp white trim.
The color brown embodies determination and financial awareness. I should probably paint every room in my home brown, so I will be constantly determined and aware of my finances!
*Picture from Benjamin Moore