North Berkeley: Tip-Top Craftsman

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It’s a real bugger getting into and out of the driveway to this 4-bed/3.5 bath Craftsman in north Berkeley. The house is on a blind bend in the road and the short driveway is very steep. I wouldn’t like to be making this maneuver every day.

But that’s about the only negative thing I can think to say about this really special home. To be honest, it’s ravishing.

Built in the year of the “Big One” on a huge, 11,316 sq ft lot, it has been completely remodeled in a way that is utterly sensitive to the home’s original style.

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There is lovely woodwork throughout and hardwood flooring, a gourmet kitchen, elegant dining room, olive-mosaic tiled bathrooms with terracotta flagstone floors, a stunning double-height ceilinged library (above), burl wood fittings in another bathroom and, perched at the top, a light-filled study (below).

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The whole is topped off with to-die-for views.

The layout is unconventional on the two upper levels, but, as another visitor and I agreed, it wouldn’t take more than a couple of days to get used to.

The gardens have been lovingly landscaped – luscious planting, a water feature and hot tub as well as terraced paths on the back. There’s even a cute playhouse (below).

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Much thought has been given to light – sometimes an issue with wood-paneled Craftsmen – and there are lots of huge windows, skylights and even what appears to be a glass ceiling in one bathroom.

The asking price is $1.9 million. I’ve seen a lot worse for that in Berkeley. I think, here, it’s a case of you get what you pay for.

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