Architect William Raymond (WR) Yelland may have worked primarily in the East Bay, but his stay and fascination with France – from his service there in World War I to vacations in Marseilles – influenced so much his work that one can still find moments of his storybook architecture across Oakland and Berkeley that are more reminiscent of the French countryside than modern California.
Yelland’s old rural European architectural style can still be enjoyed at Thornburg/Normandy Village and Tupper and Reed, the romantic Shattuck Avenue cocktail bar which was built in 1925 for a former music store of the same name. And, if you’re in the market, call home in this Kensington home that’s almost too quaint to be true, with vaulted ceilings, matching hardwood floors and a klinker brick fireplace.
Inside, the home has been updated but retains its original character with all the custom details intact. In the living room, light filters through leaded glass windows that always open outwards, and a built-in nook provides a lovely space for displaying books and artwork.
The remodeled kitchen is still welcoming thanks to the original brick floors and concrete counter tops with a farmhouse style sink. A built-in office area opens onto the backyard.
You can also step out into the sunny courtyard through the master suite’s French doors, a cozy sanctuary with a large walk-in closet and updated bathroom.
The rear of the property is a lush oasis with a terrace, patio and garden leading to a self contained studio perched atop. There are even partial bay views from this little gazebo, making it the perfect home office.
Area: 1,454 square feet
Asking price: $1,495,000
// 45 Lenox Road (Kensington); For more information, visit 45lenox.com.