Love Letter to a Small Midcentury Find in the Berkeley Hills

Love Letter to a Small Midcentury Find in the Berkeley Hills

(relaxing music) – Well, when I came in here with my agent it took me about two minutes, such a small place, it
took me about two minutes to make a decision, I’d like to buy it. (relaxing music) I was attracted by the
fireplace immediately it’s just such a beautiful volume it’s so, got such a
vertical linear feel to it. Although it’s covered in gold leaf it’s a pretty bold statement. Ya know, it does not seem over the top at all, just seems to work really well. The beams were painted violet, I thought it was kinda odd, I didn’t care for it at first, but, uh, to my surprise I grew to love it really quickly. Part of the remodel I had the house pretty much rewired, the lighting really needed an upgrade,
it was really the weak spot. And, the overall design, very 1950 the kitchen is pretty much original, because we got the cork floor, original formica counters,
I refinished the cabinets, they had kind of a stain on them. In fact, I actually color matched the original olive stain, but of course, it doesn’t look like it because it’s a different product. I’d seen several examples in architectural magazines and on Houzz, like they would have one wall that was really red ya know, like mountainous places, I thought that worked really beautifully ya know, just have some real color in there, I removed the book shelves which were like 12 feet long, and fit built-in right
underneath the windows, enabled me to bring in
a Danish dining table with leaves that could be pulled out. It can seat 10 people easily,
that works really well. And it kinda goes in roughly the same area where the bookshelves were. When Houzz did the article originally I got like 120 comments, and uh, quite a few people were upset about removing the bookshelves, and I hadn’t thought it would be such a big deal, I actually didn’t research I just, ya know, came
up with a window idea. I had seen something similar on one or two houses in the Oakland Hills. I talked to a writer who specializes in mid-century modern,
and he came up for a look, and uh, and sized up the windows and said, “Well, if Henry Hill,
the original architect had done it, he would
have just the single pane of glass up at the top.” And I thought, ya know,
he’s probably right but uh, I’m not trying to do something ya know, slavishly necessarily like it was done in the mid 50’s. It’s like, I’m here and
now, and the important thing is to really try and strip it down to essentials, ya know. Just get rid of the clutter and uh, I think I’ve been pretty
successful with that. (relaxing music) But the bathroom is really a nice space. When I bought the home, there was uh, a sliding glass window,
the seal had dried out, so I did a major restoration. I removed the glass and replaced it with a double glass window. I can enjoy the view of
the whole garden now. The best view on the property is actually from the very back of the garden. The Golden Gate Bridge is straight ahead. The Marin Headlands, it’s
just really exquisite. This is my favorite spot, just hang out, and ya know, enjoy the embracement of God, (relaxing music) Surely the lady I bought the house from who I unfortunately never met, uh, she did not have a car, I just park on the street, originally I might have found a house, I don’t like carrying shopping up here. Now, I never even think about it it’s just not a problem at all. As I get older, I mean, ya know, looking down the road, it might not be as easy to get up the hill, but ya know, I’m planning
to stay in great shape. So, I don’t anticipate
any real issues there. I really put a great deal of myself and my labor and my
creativity into the house. For me, the great thing about it is it’s really made me feel integrated into nature, the house
has such a beautiful indoor/outdoor flow. Ya know, the volumes of glass, the views, ya know, being able to dine and work outdoors, so that’s cool. (relaxing music)

12 thoughts on “Love Letter to a Small Midcentury Find in the Berkeley Hills

  1. beautiful property and i love that view! i live in a Fremont bungalow built in 1953 that is a semi flat top and i am trying to make little changes here and there in a mid century style on the inside. I love the clean, simple lines of mid century modern style.


  3. Beautiful view. I took a trip out there and walked, jogged across the bridge. Saw a whale inside the Bay or Channel heading under the bridge and out to sea. Was amazing. I wish I had seen this video before I had gone and I could have looked over to try and see this house. Incredible video tour. Thanks for sharing your home and amazing view.

  4. I’ve seen a longer video a while back featuring this gentleman and home. It’s amazing. Can’t beat the views!

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