A traditional East Coast home on Grizzly Peak shines in its West Coast context.
Hidden in plain sight just below the summit of Grizzly Peak, the Colonial-inspired Hamptons-style mansion at 1530 Grizzly Peak Blvd. in Berkeley is an anomaly wrapped in an enigma. Nestled among ancient redwoods along the crest of the East Bay’s coastal range, this decidedly East Coast house evokes the Gatsby-esque era of leisure, affluence, and grandeur in an unexpected West Coast context.
With its unprecedented size—the double lot plus an additional parcel—comes in at just under one acre, inclusive of the main house, a fully equipped, one bedroom guest house, and a yard big enough for a soccer match. The owners hope to sell the property as a package to maintain the home’s sense of privacy and scale.
If the size and location of this home don’t pique your curiosity—coastal East Bay real estate of these proportions is rare in Berkeley—the home’s floor-to-ceiling clerestory windows with unobstructed blue-sky views will most certainly get your attention.
“It’s an amazing home for entertaining,” says Grubb Co.’s Rebecca Erdiakoff, broker and listing agent for the expansive, $2.9 million home. “The great room is flooded with light. Even during bad weather, the light is spectacular; never a dreary day.”
After owners’ Peter and Lan-Ling Fredell’s Swedish-based company went public, and his CEO responsibilities required a more immediate and permanent presence on the continent, what was envisioned as the family’s “forever” dream home became an inconvenient commute, resulting in a heartbreaking decision to sell.
The previous structure’s “remodel” began in 2006, with all but one wall demolished. “The neighbors tell us the change in architectural styles was like ‘heaven and earth’,” says Angela Wei Grubb. “There’s really nothing like it in the East Bay. It’s unique and very private.”
At just over 6,000 square feet, it’s also very livable.
“The home is comfortable and approachable, with an intuitive flow,” said Erdiakoff. “Big houses like this can sometimes feel like museums. The floor plan perfectly integrates the indoors and outdoors from almost every room, and there’s so much light. You feel like you’re outside wherever you are.”
“Much of the woodwork within the home is hand-hewn,” adds Grubb. “It feels good to be in this house.”
Entering the bright, shiplap-walled interiors, each sunny room flows effortlessly into the next, connected by gleaming hickory flooring. Of course, a custom home of this stature also includes the now de rigueur luxury features like a wine cellar and humidor, a spacious light-filled library, service kitchen, and sumptuous master suite with private balcony.
Vaulted ceilings, en suite bathrooms, and ubiquitous portals to the outdoors are part of the spacious personal quarters and provide a private sanctuary for occupants, while a fully appointed guest house provides additional private quarters and a fifth bedroom for visiting family and friends.
Blending traditional style with modern technology, the kitchen is truly the heart of this home. Outfitted with gleaming Viking appliances, a Carrera-marble topped island anchors the open floor plan, and provides ample space for cooking, casual countertop dining, or simply kibitzing with the cook.
A state-of-the art range from French manufacturer LaCanche, installed within the oversized island instead of against a wall, allows the cook to interact with family or guests when entertaining while enjoying the bay views. It is easy to take meals al fresco and entertain outdoors in the gourmet-equipped outdoor kitchen.
The home’s large lawn has been revived by the winter’s rain. This lush green carpet of grass transports you to a Cape Cod resort, where one can almost hear the seagulls and the smell of clam chowder wafting off the Atlantic seaboard.
1530 Grizzly Peak Blvd., Berkeley
Price: $2.988 million
Owners: Peter and Lan-Ling Fredell
Brokers/Agents: Rebecca Erdiakoff, Angela Wei Grubb
Bedrooms: 4 plus 1 in guesthouse
Bathrooms: 4 plus 1 in guesthouse
Square Feet: 6,000