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OUTDOOR RIDGETOP LIVING
Come home to your urban aerie perched between tall trees and commanding spectacular views of the Oakland Hills. The design exploits the ridgetop setting through generous outdoor living space - a secluded front patio with fire pit, multiple balconies, decks and terraces for kids, dogs, bunnies. The interior design brings in the outdoors: soaring ceilings, stunning sightlines, open floor plan, and many windows that capture the daylight and evening serenity!
Set downslope behind horizontal fencing and finished in stucco, concrete and steel, the home’s sleek silhouette and rooflines are the epitome of 21st C architectural engineering - High ceilings, open floor plan, spacious rooms, great separation of entertainment, family living and private space. Fine finishes, and fixtures and a striking but understated neutral palette dressed in beautiful honey-colored bamboo floors - the interior was completely redecorated in 2016 by Lisa Weyland Design with new art light fixtures, custom cabinets, and furnishings.
LIGHT-FILLED INTERIOR | MAIN FLOOR
Park in the level-in, double-wide garage and enter through the dramatic view turret past a dazzling glass ball chandelier to the main living level.
The foyer presents a knock-your-socks-off view past the central staircase and through the great room to the Hills beyond, opens to the spacious dining room and office, and includes a coat closet and powder room. The front office features double pendant art fixtures and its own balcony. Perfect for entertaining or expanded social gatherings, the dining room opens via sliding glass doors to the front patio.
The open, lofty family/living/great room features a bamboo-mantled granite gas fireplace flanked by storage cabinets and sliding glass doors to the sunrise deck with stupendous views of Glen Highlands/Montclair and the top of the Oakland Hills.
The huge open kitchen with soaring sloped ceilings is the heart of the home. The giant granite-topped island with wet-bar sink, is a magnet for family gatherings or evening cocktails - featuring brown mafic granite counters, ample cupboards, recessed s/s sinks with treehouse views, and top-notch stainless-steel appliances – awaiting your home chef.
BEDROOM AND LOWER FLOOR
A towering carpeted staircase is the ingenious backbone of the house. Light floods through the turret windows, while recessed spotlights and the art glass fixture create night-time comfort and glamour. Step down to the bedroom floor - carpeted throughout with a cozy alcove, an open hall provides great separation of the primary suite from other bedrooms. The primary suite has stunning hill views, a private treehouse balcony and a huge bathroom with double sink, sunken tub, separate glass shower, W/C, appointed with composite stone, tile and bronze glass trim… plus a giant walk-in closet with built-in storage and a direct exit to the side stairs.
Off the lower foyer is a large laundry room with sink, W/D, access to utilities and storage, outside the bath and a hall linen closet. A hall bath with shower over tub separates two spacious bedrooms - the front bedroom features bamboo bookshelves, walk-in closet, bunny wallpaper, feathered chandelier, and side exit to a mini-deck. A third bedroom captures hill and treehouse views.
Continue down the stairs past a deep understair storage closet to the lower level. This high-ceilinged, open suite with treehouse views could be an au pair, in-law, teen, or guest suite, or use it for family entertainment, home gym and/or second office perfect for a busy couple’s new work-from-home lifestyle. A direct exit leads to tiered decks, side stairs and the back terraces.
A fantastic location - with convenient access to Hwys 13, 24, and Rockridge BART, for easy commute across the Bay. Near local fire access trails for daily hikes, urban stairways to commercial district, many parks, and trails: Lake Temescal, Sibley, Huckleberry Botanic, Joaquin Miller, Redwood Regional, Frog Park, etc. Local shopping at Montclair Village, Rockridge/College, and local Farmer’s Markets. Excellent schools: Top-Rated Oakland Unified Hillcrest Elementary (K-8), Bentley, Head Royce, CPS and Redwood Day - 5234 Cochrane is a place to call home!
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD
When we moved to the East Bay in 2000, we fell in love with Rockridge. It is the perfect combination of so many great things. First, it is remarkably convenient. Commuting is easy with Rockridge BART and Highways 24 and 13 so close and convenient. There are two large groceries nearby, Trader Joe’s and Safeway. The Village Market is just down the street and surprisingly well-stocked. Market Hall is across from the Bart station on College Avenue and has amazing prepared foods, a fish shop, butcher, well-stocked wine store, gourmet groceries and incredible fresh produce.
There are several fantastic restaurants just a few minutes away on College Avenue, and a 10-minute drive takes you into Oakland’s Uptown, home of some of the Bay Area’s most innovative and exciting new restaurants.
Nearby schools are excellent. Hillcrest Elementary, a top-rated K-8 school, is only a short walk from our house. In 2019, Hillcrest ranked in the top 5% of all elementary schools in California. It also ranked first among 54 ranked elementary/middle schools in the Oakland Unified School District. Bentley, Head Royce, and Redwood Day, three of the best private schools in Northern California, are only a few minutes away.
Around the corner from the house (off Florence) is a beautiful fire access trail with mature trees and a wide walking path. Dogs are permitted off leash. Lake Temescal is a beautiful park and a short walk from the house. It has nice hiking trails, picnic, and BBQ areas, and even swimming in the summer. For the more adventurous hikers, Sibley and Redwood are only a few minutes’ drive up the hill. And, Frog Park in lower Rockridge, is a great spot for kids to play, dogs to roam (in the enclosed dog park), and parents to catch up.
Upper Rockridge also has large wide streets and sidewalks making it great for walking with kids and pets. This contrasts with the winding, narrow streets common in most of the East Bay hills. The area has fantastic views of both the Oakland Hills and the San Francisco Bay. Cochrane Avenue also has a great mix of neighbors. There are many younger families who are relatively new to the area, as well as a few families who have lived on that street for decades. It is a small street of genuinely nice, caring people.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THE HOUSE
We love how our home is modern and elegant and at the same time casual and livable. The dramatic high ceilings, bamboo floors and unique, curving central wall give the main floor an elegant flow. The oversized windows also flood the house with warm light, especially when the late afternoon sun hits the Montclair hills. The builder paid a lot of attention to detail with the home’s finishes, fixtures, and appliances – which are all high-end and beautiful. The home also came with network cabling hardwired throughout the house, which made working from home easy for both of us.
The house has also been great for our family. It has so much room and has been designed to really maximize the space of the lot. Our kids learned to walk along the long hallways and up and down the split, carpeted staircases. The huge kitchen is the heart of the home. We love starting and ending our days there, sharing laughter and meals around the large central island and in the warm breakfast nook.
We threw some great parties at the house, too. One of our best was a baby “shower” when Shanti was pregnant with our daughter, Sammy. It was not a traditional shower and instead turned out to be a great celebration that also helped a great cause when our friends joined us in making a collective donation to UNICEF in Sammy’s name. Everyone mingled on the main floor, front patio, and back deck. Even though we had 60+ people at the party, it never felt full or crowded. The house is an ideal space for entertaining.
The bedroom floor is also well designed. The kids’ bedrooms are close, but not too close, to our bedroom. Having bedrooms on lower floors keeps them pleasantly cool, even in the hot summer months. The outside door in the master closet was designed as an emergency exit but we found it equally useful for letting our dogs out to the backyard. And the laundry room is tucked quietly into the back of the house.
The third floor is such a great addition too and nearly triples the living space. Despite being the lowest floor, it has large light-filled rooms. We used the main room as a second family room/work out area. The adjacent bedroom and seating area were perfect for our nanny who lived with us when our kids were young. It would be a perfect spot for an au-pair or visiting in-laws and relatives.
Working from home is also a pleasure. When our live-in nanny moved out, we converted the seating area into Doug’s home office. That room has excellent light through large windows, but it is also quiet and secluded. For her office, Shanti used the large room at the back of the house on the main floor. She worked in it full-time for more than a decade and loved how private yet connected she felt there.
The house enjoys incredible views throughout all three floors. Privacy has always been very important to us, and we really appreciated the care with which the house was designed to preserve sight lines and ensure maximum privacy from almost every room. Additionally, the house was always beautifully quiet. We rarely heard freeway noise – only mildly if sitting out on the back patio. Noise from neighbors was basically nonexistent.
Unlike many homes in the Oakland hills, the house also has a lot of usable outdoor space. The front patio is spacious for hanging out and BBQing and is completely private from the street. In fact, the sidewalk ends in front of the house, so we have almost no foot traffic passing the front gate. We also invested in terracing the backyard to create usable flat levels, which was great for our dogs and kids. It is very spacious considering the grade of the hill that the house was built on -- so we enjoyed the best of both worlds with incredible views and usable outdoor living areas.
Cross Alcatraz Avenue, which divides Oakland and Berkeley, and you’ll find yourself in Rockridge, one of Oakland's most desirable, charming, and convenient neighborhoods. Housing in Rockridge is a combination of charming bungalows, cottages, classic Arts and Crafts dwellings, and large brown-shingle houses. Its leafy streets are mainly residential. Rockridge offers an easy commute into San Francisco via the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, as well as access to the University of California, Berkeley Campus. The 100-year-old, four-acre campus of the California College of Art and Crafts is nearby. Food-and-drink purveyors in Rockridge provide the best from around the world and local farms. Rockridge Market Hall, which takes its cue from the French Marché, offers numerous individual food and flower shops open to the sidewalk. Dozens of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques line bustling College Avenue, Rockridge's main drag.