Crown Jewel of Orinda
Situated on an acre knoll in the heart of Orinda, this exclusive estate is on the market for the first time, and represents a rare opportunity to own a unique and secluded retreat with pastoral views of the surrounding hillsides. Designed by distinguished San Francisco architect David Williams, and imbued with the aesthetic sensibility of its original owner, noted interior designer Jan Gunn, the stunning custom residence was completed in 1994 to the exacting standards of master builder Peter Branagh, whose reputation is synonymous with quality. The home has over 4000 square feet and represents the essence of functional elegance. The floor plan caters to daily living, while the bespoke details provide sophistication and character. Oversize windows and airy interiors contribute to the sense of tranquility and the fluid blending of the natural surroundings with the interior. The gated driveway leads to a broad entry court with ample guest parking, under the shade of a magnificent landmark 250 year old heritage oak tree.
Truly a show-stopping space, the spectacular open living and dining rooms offer 180 degree views spanning from Mt. Diablo to Mt. Tamalpais, double French doors, and a concealed wet bar ideal for entertaining. Custom ambient lighting and high-end finishes, such as the hidden Soss hinged doors and subtle pyramid motif, contribute to the special appeal. Warm and inviting, the central kitchen features quality appliances including Subzero refrigerator, 5 burner gas cooktop, Bosch dishwasher, and double sink plus prep sink. The kitchen opens to both a casual dining area with glass door to the patio and the comfortable family room, with raised hearth fireplace and built-in television. Don’t miss the custom fireplace tools hand-wrought by one of the foremost metal artisans in the country, Aspen-based Francis Whittaker. Also on the main level, the office/guest bedroom has a door to the terrace and built-in bookshelves. An elegant bathroom with shower and 18 karat gold-plated sink completes this level. Upstairs, there are three light and spacious secondary bedrooms, including one that opens to a private balcony and has its own en suite bathroom. Additionally, the lovely primary bedroom is truly a romantic retreat, with a vaulted ceiling, fireplace, bay window with built-in seat and gorgeous view. The en suite spa bathroom features multiple skylights, tiling evocative of a beach resort, exquisite Birdseye maple cabinetry, jetted tub, and an exquisite marble tiled shower with dual shower heads that opens to the balcony for sunbathing. Conveniently located adjacent to the bedrooms, the spacious whimsical laundry room adds a touch of color with custom back splash. There is radiant heating throughout the home with nine separate zones controlled by individual thermostats. Additional features include owned solar, fire sprinklers, security alarm system, and an attached 700+ square foot three car garage with electric car charger and interior access.
Entertaining is a delight, with a broad terrace that wraps around the house, creating multiple outdoor “rooms” with stellar views. The expansive terrace is anchored by a 150 year old stone olive jug that has been wired to be used as a fountain. Beautifully landscaped, the gardens feature multiple mature rose bushes to perfume the air. Follow the path past the irrigated raised vegetable beds, and you arrive at a large relatively level open space that could potentially accommodate a pool, sport court, or ADU. Fruit trees abound throughout the property, including lemon, plum, orange, pear, avocado, persimmon, apricot, and fig.
This exceptional estate offers maximum seclusion, yet is only minutes from the amenities of charming Orinda shops and restaurants, as well as access to both Orinda and Lafayette BART. It is ideally situated on a delightful circular cul de sac–a hidden gem that gets no through traffic and lends itself to strolling and bicycle riding. Children attend top-rated Orinda schools. The home’s combination of masterful architectural detail with superlative views and warm natural light is a rare find. 134 Diablo View Drive is truly a property to be cherished for generations.