In The News

Curbed spotlights 8 Pacific Union listings in 25 of the Bay Area’s most beautiful homes of 2017

Bay Area’s most beautiful homes of 2017

These abodes made us gasp, swoon, and sigh

This year proved an excellent time for sellers; not so much for buyers, who faced catapulting prices with not nearly enough vertical growth options. The annual income needed to buy in SF soared $10,000 in six months alone, climbing from $161,000 in May to $171,000 in November. Ouch.

But on the bright side, hey, at least the Bay Area is still home to some of the best architecture in the country.

This list, inspired by our sister site Curbed Philly, runs the gamut from Queen Anne Victorians and midcentury-modern designs (going above and beyond the Eichler-sphere) to a red Spanish-Med and a Sunset stunner.

Alas, only two—two!—contemporary constructions made the list. One in Woodside, the other in Carmel. (Be bolder next year, San Francisco!) No matter. This was a tough list to narrow down, and it’s hard to top many of the classic homes that landed on the market over the last 12 months.

And now, in no particular order, here are the 25 homes that made us stop and say, “Whoa.”

Photos courtesy of Nina Hatavny, Pacific Union

1. Bernard Maybeck gem in Presidio Heights

The Roos House, designed by Bernard Maybeck (Palace of Fine Arts), wowed us when it landed on the market for a cool $16.5 million in July. Built in 1909 for clothing magnate Leon Roos, the half-timbered design featured redwood battens and moldings, as well as Gothic touches, which can still be seen in the wall coverings, light fixtures, and even the crest of the owner’s initials ornamenting the entrance door. A sale is currently pending.

Photo by Jacob Elliott, courtesy of Marin County Real Estate

2. Daniel Liebermann midcentury in Mill Valley

The iconoclastic architect, educated under the tutelage of Frank Lloyd Wright, built this home in 1962. The specimen set itself apart from other midcentury designs via bold use of brick arches, which flow continuously in and out of the house. Other highlights included the use of glass and old-growth redwood trees, which make up structure’s exposed beams and wood work. Asking $2.7 million, it sold in April for $2.8 million.

Photo by Open Home Photography

5. Potrero Hill dream revamped by ’80s designer

We only daydreamed about what lurked inside this elegant yet eerie Vic in Potrero Hill, but we never imaged we’d find this: a onetime dairy farmer’s home turned into a party pad in the 1980s. Italian designer Larry Masnada (decorator to such star wattage as Mel Brooks, Diane Sawyer and Frank Sinatra) took over the house in 1985 and transformed it into the gem we see today. It remains on the market for $3,495,000.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Union

10. Polished modernism in Cole Valley

Peering out among the hordes of Victorians and Edwardians in Cole Valley, this dark modern beauty shot us right in the heart. Originally built in 1924, the entire house was reconceived from the floor up in 1969 by architect/owner Paul A Wilson. Highlights included a boxy wood exterior hiding a bright white interior with an open-floor plan (predating the current bumper crop of antiseptic homes with similar layouts). Offering $2.75 million in April, it sold for a gasp-inducing $4,000,000 in less than a month.

Photo courtesy of Laura and Kristin, Pacific Union International

16. But of course, another Queen Anne, this one in San Rafael

Ah yes, another Queen Anne to break our hearts, this time using the siren song of spindlework and incised ornament. While a few readers ballyhooed the contemporary interiors, the exteriors kept us swooning. But the main focal point—the veranda with a rounded moon gate—is what really had us crushing hard. It’s asking $4.2 million.

A cubist, flat midcentury home on a hillside with glass walls and a balcony suspended off the back with wires. Photo courtesy of Patti Cohn, Pacific Union

19. Retro-futuristic dreamboat in Tiburon

We came for the faux suspension bridge look on the elevated walkway. We stayed for the banks of glass walls that open up a good portion of the facade. Featuring three-bed and two-and-a-half-bath, this 1961 North Bay abode landed on the market for $3.58 million. It sold over asking for $4,000,000.

Exterior of midcentury home Photo by Open Homes Photography

20. John Hans Ostwald-designed midcentury

Simple and clean, this understated Piedmont property wowed us with signature tall glass walls, skylights, wraparound deck, and vaulted ceilings. Best of all, it showed how a midcentury renovation can be done, and done right. Asking is $1,895,000.

Photo courtesy of Tracy McLaughlin at Pacific Union

23. Clarence Mayhew midcentury in Ross

It’s hard to ignore how many midcentury homes landed on our 2017 list. And this Clarence Mayhew specimen, built in 1949, helped kick off the midcentury-modern trend by being one of the look’s first examples. And what an example it is! Of special note: the dining room’s engraved bas relief created by Ed Quigley. Asking $4.9 million in June, it sold over asking for $5,777,777. Lucky, indeed.

Read on Curbed