Amazing flow, minimalism, and seismic retrofitting make a cliffside dwelling something to marvel at.
By Ramona d'Viola
Reprinted from Oakland Magazine
Photo: Liz Rusby
Nestled among the Redwoods along the spine of the Oakland hills, 6285 Skyline Blvd. is a marvel of modern-day structural engineering and tasteful reimaginings. From the road, all that’s visible of this Montclair Hills home is its rooftop parking space and an updated address marker. The abode itself lies below the street, surrounded by centuries old conifers. The structure is anchored into the slope with a bit of 21st-century ingenuity.
The seller, interior design enthusiasts, were looking for a project home to remodel and resell when their friend and broker, Grubb Co.’s Heather Webster, found them the somewhat neglected property. “My clients saw the potential for this home, especially with its views,” Webster said. “They spent a lot of time on seismic retrofitting and all the interior details.”
After purchasing the home for $555,000 in March 2015, the sellers immediately set upon updating and remodeling their investment property. The structure’s precipitous location necessitated employing a structural engineer to ensure the home met all codes and seismic requirements for the earthquake-prone region.
The entryway, accessed down one flight of stairs, mirrors the sleek, horizontal lines of the street level address marker. Naturally stained hardwood siding and au courant revival lighting belie the home’s minimalist, mid-century roots and set the mood for what’s behind the bright red door.
Step into a light-filled, open floor plan with beamed and sweeping, vaulted ceilings. The great room, anchored in sublime natural oak flooring, opens to an expansive deck featuring tree-framed vistas of San Francisco.
“The folding glass-wall system is the real ‘wow’ factor,” added Webster. “It opens the home to the outdoors. The flow is amazing.”
Taking full advantage of the Bay Area’s near-perfect year-round weather and the lot’s near-vertical footprint, the owners added two outdoor decks to provide the ultimate in indoor/outdoor life. The revision afforded the lucky new owners with plenty of entertainment options in lieu of a lawn.
Handsome and timeless, the thoughtfully remodeled galley-style kitchen features white subway tile offset in dark cabinetry, equipped with stainless steel appliances. Dual sinks allow multiple chefs to work on their own without stepping on the other’s toes. A large island defines the kitchen space and provides space for casual countertop coffee and the morning paper or formal dining just steps beyond.
Carrying another outdoor element in, the living quarters are accessed via a sleek, geometric metal staircase that matches the home’s exterior. A spacious master bedroom with en suite bathroom shares access to a partially covered deck with a second bedroom. “It’s like waking up in a treehouse,” added Webster.
The use of ceramic tiles—from the gas fireplace in the great room, the subway tiling in the kitchen, or the whimsical texturing in the master suite—plays a unifying theme throughout the house.
“This is the perfect house for one to three people, maybe a family with older children, or empty nesters looking to downsize,” said Webster. “Or anyone looking for peace and quiet from the hectic pace of urban life.
“It was a labor of love. They touched everything during the remodel to make this home modern and efficient,” Webster said. “You’re practically getting a new home.”
6285 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
Price: $1.25 million
Broker: Heather Webster, Grubb Co.
Lot: 10,154 square feet
Structure: 1,784 square feet
Award winning journalist and photographer, I write about design, architecture, real estate, and all the other good stuff in life.