5524 Manila Is a Major Craftsman Charmer

Built in 1912, this Rockridge home maintains its original 1912 character but adds 2018 sensibilities.


Photo by Open Homes Photography

Clad in a fresh sheath of shingles, this Craftsman might well look like the new kid on the block, pristine and primed for its first dwellers to set foot through the door.

Oh, it’s pristine all right, but this place is no newbie. The two-story charmer at 5524 Manila Ave. was built in 1912, now reborn with 2018 sensibilities — completely remodeled, reconfigured, and rewired for modern modes.

“This is not just a house that’s been completely renovated,” said listing agent Regina Jacobs of The Grubb Co. in Oakland. “It’s been transformed for today’s young family, wi-fi connected throughout, fully wired and ready with all the bells and whistles for any device you can imagine. On top of that, it’s just stunning with high-end finishes throughout.”

Photo by Open Homes photography

It’s a gem indeed, but not in the rough. The four-bedroom, three-bath home is nestled in the leafy Rockridge neighborhood of cottages and bungalows, most built in the early part of the 20th century for those seeking quiet home life away from urban bustle. Rockridge has become one of Oakland’s most desirable neighborhoods, centered around College Avenue with its dozens of walkable chic shops, grocery stores, coffee houses, upscale restaurants, and a BART station nearby.

While honoring the home’s traditional Craftsman qualities, the owners “created the perfect alchemy of vintage and new,” Jacobs said. You get a sense of that transformation with one step into the entryway. Large front windows shine light into the already bright, airy living room. Traditional built-ins flank the mantel but are updated in a crisp white. The fireplace has a white-marble hearth and dove-gray tile in herringbone pattern. A modern drum chandelier gives a spark to the adjacent formal dining room, and widened doorways let space flow freely from room to room, right into the home’s centerpiece — a stunning chef’s kitchen.

From the dining room, out of the corner of your eye, you’ll catch a pop of slate blue that lures you in. Beyond a serving/staging area complete with wine chiller, the blue island with white stone top is massive, anchoring the space with color and counter seating. Pendant lights with Edison bulbs float above. The surrounding cabinets are light and bright with glass fronts. High-end fixtures and appliances seal the deal.

Family and friends always gather in the kitchen anyway, so why not give them the room to do so and make it dazzle in the process? Only problem — they may never leave.

photo by open Homes photography

“If I could convince the next buyer to let me live in the kitchen/family room combo, I would be in heaven,” Jacobs said.

The reconfigured floor plan opens the kitchen onto the spacious family room where there’s a built-in entertainment wall, mimicking the original fireplace built-ins but wired for tech. The family room in turn flows through accordion glass doors to the back deck and garden for indoor-outdoor living. The yard is not large but has a patch of lawn beneath a mature orange tree that provides scent and shade in the spring and summer. The shingled single-car garage has side access through stylish barn doors.

The home features one bedroom and full bath on the ground level, perfect for guests or office space. Upstairs are three more bedrooms, including the master retreat with a peaked, center-beam ceiling, walk-in closet, and elegant bathroom with white subway tiles and the same slate-blue cabinetry as the kitchen island.

So if you do decide to pry yourself free from the kitchen, this is definitely the place to go.

The Particulars


5524 Manila Ave., Oakland

4 Bedrooms

3 Bathrooms

Two stories, completely renovated, fireplace, rumpus/family room

Single-car garage

2,680 square feet

Agent: Regina Jacobs, The Grubb Co., Oakland


Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Big savings on local dining & more.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags