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Grace and Good Feelings
Sometimes a house is so gracious and well-proportioned that all who visit feel good inside. Some call it Feng Shui, some call it Vastu Shastra, and some just compliment the great floor plan and light. This home exemplifies that rare ambiance where graceful living comes naturally.
This house has mastered good feelings. Good feelings are achieved through the perfect symphony of three factors; Architecture, Comfort, and Environment. The Architecture here is solid and richly adorned, creature Comforts are perfectly curated, and the Environment and views are enhanced and embraced.
Good Architecture is art married with function. A wide pathway leads to a sheltered side entry where a lovely portico greets you. A few steps down from the formal entry, the living room is given grandeur with flanking columns and display cases. This room feels good because, like every room here, it is grounded in architectural detail. Cathedral ceilings and rich moldings are augmented by elegant built-ins. The terrace is accessed from two sides of this room with a dramatic five-panel bay door as a focal point. Every wall is given architectural interest via French doors or display cases. This is continued throughout the house with its many built-ins, paneled walls, and multi-light windows. It's the expertly expressed architecture that makes you feel content here.
If you get Comfort right, it's called luxury. In this home, it means every bedroom is a private suite, and every suite has a view or balcony. There is a formal dressing room with original vanity and lots of closet space. The kitchen is equipped with the chef in mind, featuring custom wood cabinetry and a massive workhorse of a Thermadore range. The Sub-Zero refrigeration is augmented with a caterer’s freezer in the attached laundry area. Ever the entertainer, there is even a discrete wet bar in the dining room that features a pass-through to the kitchen. The gorgeous living room does double duty as a theater room with built-in speakers and a retractable projection screen. There is yard space for everything and even a designated dog run. This house caters to your every need and encourages your hobbies with abundant storage and a separate studio or dream space off the patio.
Environment is how the home interacts with place. Here we have a house that knows it is view-facing and makes sure both upper bedrooms take advantage of unobstructed Bay and Golden Gate Bridge views. We love our East Bay climate and access outside is important. There are french doors to a terrace, balcony, patio, or deck from nearly every room in the house. Lots of off-street parking and nearby walking paths encourage you to explore the neighborhood. Set in the coveted foothills, the house is high enough for great views but low enough to encourage transportation by car, bus, or foot. Nearby, Rock Face park is a lovely spot to meet your new neighbors.
Thanks to its proximity to the University of California, Berkeley campus, Kensington may boast the largest number of Nobel Prize winners of any community in the world. But one look at this neighborhood of large homes in the hilly streets above Berkeley, its commanding views of the Bay Area, and sunny terraced yards will explain why this community is one of the most sought after in the East Bay.
Famed architect Bernard Maybeck had a home on Purdue Street. The homes he designed here at the turn of last century have become an informal blueprint for the signature home in Berkeley. These well-proportioned homes are designed for family life and dinner parties. Shingle siding, rustic construction, and bright expansive vistas are the hallmark of the homes in Kensington.
Tilden Park provides the boundary to the east. Miles of biking and hiking trails, a miniature steam train, exhibition farm, merry go-round, and the naturally landscaped swimming hole at Lake Anza make Tilden a popular destination for families.
Transportation via Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is convenient. Heading on Colusa Avenue leads to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station and a short drive down Arlington Avenue takes you to North Berkeley BART and North Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood. There are two distinct shopping districts in Kensington.