An enchanting property in the El Toyonal hillside neighborhood features cutting edge architectural details and exceptional craftsmanship.
Designed and built in 1979 by renowned architect Dieter Scholz, the home at 222 El Toyonal is warmly embraced by its .86 acre of private, hillside property that affords stunning views of Briones Reservoir, the Orinda Country Club and Golf Course, distant mountains including Mt. Diablo and the verdant Orinda hillsides.
The three-story private residence and guest house connected by a meandering cobblestone pathway were one of the first residences to be constructed with the innovative and groundbreaking pier and grade beam foundation under the guidance and supervision of the engineering department at UC Berkeley. This innovative technology mitigates soil movements and house shifting on its foundation. The result is a home free of cracks and door jams due to uneven settling.
A decorative hand-carved wooden gate is the inviting entrance into the courtyard and part of the about 2,000 square feet of decking that wraps around the back of the home on two levels. All the planters on the deck rest on silicon bronze boat fasteners to prevent damage to the redwood. The planters have drains and galvanized copper frames.
There are three bedrooms, bonus/music room, huge gym, and two bathrooms in the main house. The guest house, featured in Sunset Magazine in April 1996, has its own kitchen, bathroom and expansive living room/studio with Murphy bed, built-in work station, fireplace and bright natural light pouring in through large picture window and wrap around transom windows.
Gleaming reclaimed cedar wood from the Del Monte Factory and Warehouse, vaulted ceilings with peak skylights, etched glass and stained glass windows, hardwood floors and stunning Italian fresco plaster walls create a warm and cozy interior. Superbly blended are age-old antiques such as a quarter sawn oak fireplace mantle and surround from a San Francisco Victorian flanked by built-in cabinetry with custom lighting designed by Jonathan Staub and a three-story handmade spiral staircase.
At the top of the staircase is the master bedroom suite. Etched, leaded glass, views, vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet with built-ins and spacious private sitting room/office are featured. Gorgeous porcelain tile covers the master bathroom, the dual sink vanity and spacious shower and floor.
The bedroom suite has a custom door fashioned after the gentle curved side of a wine barrel. The craftsmanship on the panels and custom hardware is exceptional.
The living room and adjacent dining room have access to the deck and views through French doors and large windows with wood casings. Also on the main floor are two bedrooms with Jack and Jill bathroom and kitchen.
Mexican tiles cover the floor in the kitchen which also features custom cabinetry by Mueller & Nichols, Sub Zero refrigerator, Dynasty cooktop with wok insert, Dacor double ovens and built-in window seat for casual dining area with access to the deck.
The lower level is an expansive and bright room ideal for a media/bonus room. This room opens onto the lower deck and access to the home gym/private office which has a private entry.
A saltwater hot tub and grotto-style sauna are surrounded by a walkway made from rustic cobblestone that came from Belgium on board ships en route to San Francisco, The cobblestone walkway with custom designed copper posts and handrails leads to the guest house and meanders through the mandala garden.
The El Toyonal neighborhood is in the northwest part of Orinda just off Camino Pablo and bordering Tilden Park. There is easy access to Highway 24, BART, and the Caldecott tunnel to San Francisco as well as top performing schools.
What: Private, hillside home with exceptional craftsmanship and stunning design.
Size: Approximately 3,960 square feet including the guesthouse on approximately .86 acre.
Features: Three-story handmade spiral staircase, hand-carved front gate, floor safe in every closet, 100-year roof, peak skylights, copper gutters, stained glass and etched glass windows, cobblestones, salt-water hot tub, sauna, peak skylights, fresco walls, custom cabinetry, porcelain tile, imported front door from Great Britain flanked by etched glass.