The architect William Raymond (W.R.) Yelland may have worked primarily in the East Bay, but his time in and fascination with France—from his service there during World War I to holidays in Marseilles—influenced his work so heavily that one can still find moments of his storybook architecture throughout Oakland and Berkeley that feel more reminiscent of the French countryside than of modern-day California.
Yelland's old European rural architectural style can still be enjoyed in Thornburg/Normandy Village and at Tupper and Reed, the romantic Shattuck Avenue cocktail bar that was built in 1925 for a former music store of the same name. And, if you're in the market, at home in this Kensington house that's almost too-quaint-to-be-true, with vaulted ceilings, matchbook hardwood floors, and a klinker brick fireplace.
Inside, the home has been updated but maintains its original character with all the custom details intact. In the living room, light filters through leaded glass windows that still swing outward, and a built-in nook makes a lovely space to display books and art.
The remodeled kitchen still feels homey thanks to original brick floors and concrete countertops with a farm-style sink. A built-in office area steps out to the backyard.
You can also pop out to the sunny courtyard through French doors in the master suite, a cozy sanctuary with a sizable walk-in closet and updated bathroom.
The back of the property is a lush oasis with a deck, patio, and garden leading up to a detached studio perched at the top. There are even partial views of the bay from this little lookout, which makes for the perfect home office.
Size: 1,454 sq. ft.
Asking price: $1,495,000
// 45 Lenox Rd (Kensington); for more information, visit 45lenox.com.