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Here comes a FUN ONE!
When a designer/builder decides to develop his own residence, the results can be sublime. Craig Reece of Indian Rock Design/Build and his wife Anne Bush, have nurtured this home for 30 years and lived in and improved every inch of it. Enter this mindfully designed home and immediately notice the drama, quality, efficient flow, and innovative use of wood, glass and steel. The variety comes together in a magical series of spaces offering privacy in cozy corners as well as open, warm design allowing family to gather comfortably in an organic, perfect understanding of ‘open concept’.
The contemporary design is immediately apparent as you walk down the side walkway toward the front door. A vaulted ceiling carport with structural beams and a galvanized roof with crawling potato vines provides ample off-street parking as well level private space for outdoor gym activities, games or RV parking.
Entering the main house is a pleasure both modern and warm. Custom cabinets, plentiful windows, open living/dining/kitchen and a breathtaking wall of custom designed sliding doors/windows which open out onto the beautifully private lush rear lawn, garden and patio. This innovative door detail won a design award from Sunset magazine and the American Society of Interior Design. The kitchen features a most efficient layout, custom cabinetry, a 2nd sink in the island, plentiful work surfaces and pullout pantry.
On the main floor, just a few steps up from a level-in entry, an office with a private exterior entrance as well as interior access, can also serve as a main level bedroom. A half bath, accessible to both the office and the primary public rooms, and generous storage closets complete this level.
Upstairs is the primary bedroom with a spacious double sink en-suite bathroom and generous walk-in closet. This primary bedroom opens onto a gigantic adjacent outdoor covered porch. Like a special extra room (216 sq. ft.) it overlooks the lush garden below and is open to the northern sky light. Also on this level are two more bedrooms, another full bath, and a laundry room. The central hallway features two skylights and there’s another large storage closet designed to house a sauna. 220 volt wiring is ready for this add-on. A second balcony (166 sq. ft.) offers even more outdoor private space and has a securely mounted vertical ladder to the roof where the builder/designer envisioned another dramatic deck. Measured at 832 sq ft. he’s placed one panel of stanchions and glass panel to show how it might be someday further enclosed for a safe private deck.
And this from Anne, who curated the garden with the same intention as Craig’s home design:
"In the early years of owning Channing Way we had a vegetable garden. However, I soon wanted to try something more exciting, nurturing and visually stimulating.
Loving the desert as well as a tropical look, I spent several years researching palms, agaves, aloes and more. In 2003 I hired Sherry Merciari. She specializes in tropical bold designs and we worked together to plan the area. I found several palms myself in different Bay Area locations and Sherry and her installers did all the rest.
My favorites are the Livistona Chinensis, a slow growing fan palm, and a Chamaerops Humilus palm on the left side of the garden. Aloes, Dudleyas and Agaves are intermingled with Chamedorea, on the right. With very few flowers elsewhere in the garden, I selected a bold flower and chose a white Datura. Winds in general annoy me, so early on I planted two Melaleucas, their growth more upright than horizontal. An existing non-fruit bearing plum tree has provided a shade canopy above the seating area. All of the plants are now well established and a majority are drought tolerant. Watering is done infrequently, but deeply. While we have an irrigation system installed, I have tended to mostly hand water. A small manageable patch of green lawn completed the nurturing symphony."
A charming quality designed 1-bedroom apartment is in the front portion of the building with its own fenced garden. A professional, responsible tenant resides there, paying $1,886/mo. on a month-to-month lease. Beautifully soundproofed walls coupled with excellent design provides privacy for residents of both units. The owner’s unit is perfectly separated from this front apartment and enjoys the quiet privacy of the rear position on the lot. Photos are available through the listing agent and the floor plan for this unit are available online. It’s quite lovely, too!
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West of San Pablo Avenue and east of the San Francisco Bay sits West Berkeley. Previously known as Ocean View, West Berkeley sits at an average elevation of just 23 feet. Historically an industrial area, West Berkeley now has plenty of commerce, anchored by the 4th Street district. Visitors to this part of the neighborhood will find dozens of shops, cafes, and restaurants, including Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, a designated city landmark. A number of businesses and eateries also line the Gilman Street corridor, including a Whole Foods Market and Pyramid Alehouse Brewery & Restaurant. West Berkeley is home to the Berkeley Marina, McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, and horse-racing facility Golden Gate Fields -- all great places to enjoy a sunny afternoon. Interstate 80 offers a direct drive into San Francisco, and two local Alameda-Contra Costa Transit buses offer transbay service. The Delaware Street Historic District has many quaint houses and several city landmarks.