Home of the Week: Mill Valley retreat wrapped in leafy ambiance

Sequestered among the trees minutes above downtown Mill Valley, this serene private retreat is surrounded by green forest views and sweeping vistas of the canyon.

Set at 12 Manzanita Place in Middle Ridge, one of Mill Valley’s most sought-after neighborhoods, wrapped in a leafy, secluded ambiance. Its light-filled living spaces receive all-day sun in the area’s temperate, less foggy banana belt.

The celebration of nature continues in the entry, where a stunning floor-to-ceiling wall of stained glass trees competes with the real trees beyond the multi-paneled window nearby.

Both the living room space with its beamed cathedral ceiling and the family room area with its cozy stone fireplace are wrapped in multiple windows that frame the greenery outside.

The wall of windows stretches all the way to the adjoining open dining room and the airy eat-in kitchen, defined by a large prep island.

Upstairs, a Juliette balcony overlooks the living room. The master retreat is lit by a group of corner windows and a glowing fireplace. Its easy, elegant bath features dual sinks and a long, glass-enclosed spa-style shower with bench.

All three other suites enjoy natural light from windows that welcome the green views in. One suite – an ideal choice for a children’s room – has a charming dormer ceiling and skylight.

A broad deck along the rear of the home ends in a freeform rock-edged pool and spa set against a backdrop of forest views.

Hidden minutes above downtown Mill Valley, this green haven is listed by Katrina Kehl at $2,595,000.

A+D Recommended: Architectural Tours

The Compass Architectural Division serves the specific needs of buyers and sellers of architectural homes, defined as residences designed by living or deceased architects listed on the original building permit, or by noted architectural designers.

Through its recognized lecture and salon series, the division offers opportunities for agents and clients to strengthen relationships with up-and-coming architects and to stay informed of the ever-changing landscape of historic neighborhoods, regulations, and legislative issues.

Here are a few upcoming events L.A. architecture enthusiasts are sure to have on their calendars.


Twilight and Afternoon Tours of Neutra’s Lovell Health House on Sundays, August 4 and August 11. Twilight Tour: August 11, 7pm $75/person – book here. Afternoon Tour(s): $50/person: book 8/4 here + 8/11 here

The Lovell Health House, Richard Neutra’s icon of Modernist design, has been closed for many years and it has recently been opened. Never before opened to tours at night, the owners of the Lovell Health House have graciously arranged for a twilight tour of their home exclusively for us. We will enjoy a private docent led-tour highlighting the history of the house and its place within Modernist architecture while we enjoy the setting sun viewed from the windows of the house overlooking Los Angeles. 


You’ve never seen the Sheats-Goldstein House like this. Rarely open in the evening, we have a special opportunity to sip a glass of wine and enjoy some appetizers around the pool as dusk descends into evening and twilight sprinkles starlight into the living room. Includes a rare visit to James Turrell “Above Horizon” at the Sheats-Goldstein Residence (“The Skyspace”).  Two Evening Openings: Friday, August 2, 7pm to 9pm and Saturday, August 10, 6:45pm to 8:45pm. Please email: EleanorSchrader@roadrunner.com for reservation and payment information.


The Bullocks Wilshire tour is a 1.5 hour tour with docent and Goodwill Ambassador, Eric Evavold. His enthusiasm and extensive knowledge brings the past of Bullocks’ Wilshire to life like never before. One of the best tours I’ve ever been on!!! Eric has newly curated the display cases in the Perfume Hall with objects that have been in storage for many, many years. He will take us into a plethora of luxurious rooms that are not open on any other tour.

*Your $75 tour price includes a membership to the Friends of Bullocks Wilshire ($50), which will put you on their priority list for the upcoming events of Bullocks Wilshire’s 90th Anniversary occurring this year.


Eleanor Schrader will be continuing her art history lecture series at Santa Monica College on Saturday, November 2 and Saturday, November 9. She will discuss how art was affected by the dramatic social and political changes surrounding the two World Wars and how artistic movements simultaneously echoed and influenced those changes.

Home of the Week: Escape to Rustic Canyon

There are cabins in the woods. And then there’s this utterly romantic creekside retreat hidden among the trees at 689 Brooktree Road.

Set in the heart of Rustic Canyon, it’s moments from urban Santa Monica but a world away, lushly wooded with coast live oaks, California sycamores, Eucalyptus and ornamental trees.

This canyon is known for its unique geography, one that creates a significantly cooler and moister microclimate compared to most areas of LA.

Inside the shingled home, high ceilings, wide plank floors, an abundance of natural light and endless sylvan views create a magical ambience.

At every turn, the inviting floor plan opens to a large deck that blends seamlessly into the trees and nearby creek. French doors in the flowing living and dining areas open to this fragrant, leafy setting, while high walls of tall windows frame the treetops above.

Double doors in the living room lead to the heated natural stone pool just outside. The updated open plan kitchen features a planked and beamed ceiling, Viking appliances, butcher block countertops, a long granite island and open shelving.

On the upper floor, the large master suite features a walk-in closet and tranquil bathroom with soaking tub and separate shower.

On the same level, a large, skylit loft is flanked on both sides by large windows that showcase the green views. In the lower level bedroom suite, floored in Jerusalem stone, sliding barn doors open to the front of the home. Moments away from Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, Pacific Palisades, the beach and Santa Monica, this is a secluded escape to delight in and share. It’s listed by Melanie Sommers at $3,699,000.

Home of the Week: Richly detailed Spanish estate in South Pasadena

Built in 1934, this warm and sumptuous residence at 250 Hillside Road has been sensitively updated and enhanced to preserve its historic style and wealth of original details.

At the end of a sweeping brick drive, a gated courtyard with fountain awaits. A tile-framed wrought iron entry door opens to a regal living room with 20-foot beamed wood ceilings, custom iron chandeliers, and a jewel-like 19th Century round stained glass window.

Nearby, a 32-paned window bathes the room in soft, natural light. Through an arched doorway lies an office with skylit beamed ceiling, double French doors, and a colorful tiled stairway leading to a secluded upper level bedroom suite.

The spacious eat-in kitchen, floored in gleaming hardwood, has been fully redone with custom cabinetry, marble countertops, farmhouse sink and large center island.

A butler’s pantry connects it to a large dining room with a wide, arched window framing the luxuriant yard. A tall, tapered fireplace completes this inviting setting.

The nearby family room has a beamed ceiling, another large fireplace and a windowed library area. French doors both here and the kitchen open to a covered patio with multiple entertaining areas, a barbecue kitchen and a fire pit.

This entertainer’s dream overlooks a shimmering pool and spa and a large, grassy yard. In addition to the bedroom suite above the family room, four more bedrooms are set in another wing. In the master retreat, sequestered behind an arched stained glass door, a gently vaulted bedroom ceiling creates a sense of airiness and volume.

French doors open to a Juliet balcony overlooking the pool and grounds. A dazzlingly elegant master bath with tub, separate spa-style shower and vanity adjoins a large, luxurious walk-in closet.

Set in a highly sought-after area, surrounded by trees, steeped in a magnificent architectural heritage and served by award-winning schools, this is a singular home to treasure and share. Listed by Ted Clark and Heather Lillard at $3,900,000.

Home of the Week: View-swept Sausalito townhome

An exhilarating panorama of the ever-changing San Francisco Bay defines this spacious and luxurious modern townhome at 331 Sausalito Boulevard.

The drama begins in the expansive living/dining space, where soaring ceilings and picture windows frame breathtaking views over Old Town Sausalito and across the Bay from Angel Island to the East Bay.

This light, refined setting is enhanced by new wider-plank white oak floors, designer lighting and a glowing gas fireplace. Up a short flight of stairs, a bright, open room looks out across the living room to the vista, making it ideal for a den/family retreat or more formal dining room.

French doors open to a large private deck with extraordinary views. The bright kitchen with breakfast area is home to quality stainless appliances including a Sub Zero refrigerator and a new Bertazzoni 36″ gourmet gas-burning stovetop.

Two large downstairs bedroom suites are highlighted by a master retreat with views from both bedroom and bath.

There are three closets, an additional storage space and a separate vanity area. The second suite has an exterior entry plus sliding doors that open to a private view deck.

An elevator accesses the street and both levels of the home, which is situated in a great private location at the end of an enclave of just four townhomes. There are two covered parking spaces plus additional guest parking.

Close to Bridgeway Avenue, Old Town Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge, this Bay view beauty is listed by Susan Van Liere at $1,695,000.