Bay Area Architects Share the Hottest High-End Features from Their Custom Projects



Built this year, this nearly 11,000 square-foot residence in Los Altos Hills is on the market with the DeLeon Realty Team for $18 million.While natural light, views and space will always be the ultimate luxuries, cutting-edge building products and technologies can be just as impressive in the right hands. We spoke to leading Bay Area architects and developers about the hottest high-end features they are specifying for their custom projects.

To achieve maximum curb appeal, architects often design impressively scaled doors. Taking the grand entrance to the next level, they are now specifying offset pivot doors—oversized doors that pivot on an axis instead of hinges—to great dramatic effect. Victor Mezhvinsky, founder of MT Development, recently installed a state-of-the-art Oikos offset pivot door at a Glen Park residence. Swatt | Miers architects also recently designed a custom, ever-so-slightly translucent glass pivot door to grace the entrance of a Portola Valley Home. For even greater wow factor, Mezhvinsky has also installed several retractable glass roofs, including an enormous 16-by-10-foot skylight in a Cow Hollow home (And since skylights don’t count towards residential height limitations—they can sit two feet above the ceiling—they allow for more interior space).

Four-by-four-foot tiles were employed by architect Carrie Bernstein in a Berkeley home.While walls of sliding glass have become de rigueur in modern settings, there are innovative new options. To bring a sense of transparency to a house in Pacific Heights, Jensen Architects (the firm responsible for the design of new arts center Minnesota Street Project) turned to Swiss company Vitrocsa, who makes the most minimalist sliding doors in the industry. Notes principal Frank Merritt: “It’s amazing the size of glass you get with such little frame.”

Sophisticated surfaces are another opportunity to give a home polish. Developer Melvin Vaughn of Vaughn House recently installed a Mataverde Eurotec decking system at a new estate in the Los Altos Hills (listed for $18 million with DeLeon Realty). The ipe-wood boards attach to metal rails via hidden clips, so there are no screws to mar the deck surface.  New technology is also driving large-scale tile; architect Cary Bernstein is using large-format porcelain tile in a Berkeley home—she chose a four-by-four-foot tile with a subtle raised texture from the Dechirer line by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina.

Four-by-four-foot tiles were employed by architect Carrie Berstein in a Berkeley home.A less-glamorous­—but extremely significant—home feature is the heating and cooling system. “We’ve found that traditional HVAC systems are often incompatible with the clean, thin lines of modern architecture, and our clients are also concerned with the allergens that they distribute,” says architect Mark English. He is finishing up one of the first homes in the area where both heating and cooling are handled through a hydronic system. While hydronic heating systems that run hot water through pipes in the floor are common, the Atherton estate’s Daikin Altherma hydronic system also uses chilled water for cooling. It manages 10 separate zones in the home so that each area can have its own temperature setting—a luxury that can’t be seen but can certainly be appreciated.

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

Properties of Note

Edit Module
Custom built in 2008, no expense was spared to create this stunning 6-bedroom, 4-story mansion. Located in the heart of Ridgefield, it is just steps to world-class restaurants, quaint boutiques & cultural offerings. The epitome of superb Georgian architecture, the residence exhibits the finest detailing & amenities at every turn including a main level master suite with luxurious his & her baths, an executive theatre, walk-in 200+ bottle wine room, elevator & spectacular formal gardens.

Karla Murtaugh Homes

View more details of 82 High Ridge Ave, Ridgefield, CT
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Tucked away on a flag lot off prestigious Lumber Lane, this charming home sits amongst a tree lined driveway on nearly two acres. Three bedrooms, two and one half baths kitchen, open dining & living room with fireplace, upstairs sitting area, heated pool and detached two car garage. Move in now and enjoy or design your dream house to suit your needs. Outstanding opportunity to own a home that offers total privacy with mature landscaping close to Bridgehampton village shops, restaurants and ocean beaches.

Compass

View more details of 311 Lumber Lane, Bridgehampton, NY
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Nestled on over two professionally groomed and gated acres on a quiet cul-de-sac, this 6-bedroom 8-bath beauty offers over 7500 square feet of custom-built craftsmanship that is absolutely stunning. Amazing four finished floors with elevator access to all, au-pair/in-law suite, wine cellar, exercise rooms, indoor/outdoor entertaining space, and heated pool/spa/pool house. Even the most discerning buyer will be impressed with the attention to detail in this exceptional home.

April + Kelly

View more details of 35 Charter Oak Lane, New Canaan, CT
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Dream resort living in Connecticut 55 minutes from NYC
Indoor/outdoor living in this 6,000 SF turn-key yearlong or weekend residence with sophisticated landscaping designed for privacy, family time and fun. A free form pool, waterfall, elegant pool house and outdoor kitchen come alive at night with a dramatic ambience created by professional outdoor lighting and gas-lit torchieres. A Crestron automation system provides the ultimate in remote management, energy savings, home protection and convenience. Listed exclusively by Ileana Barns-Slavin, 203.246.7215.

Ileana Barns-Slavin Associates

View more details of 97 Silver Spring Rd, Wilton, CT
Edit ModuleShow Tags
This remarkable 6 bedroom 5.2 bath 1905 home will charm you with vintage details and countless original features throughout. Exquisite leaded glass windows, oak floors, 4 fireplaces, and a splendid Porte Cocheré promise a relaxed and luxurious lifestyle. Generous rooms join incredible craftsmanship and transition effortlessly to 21st Century living and entertaining. Enjoy the best of every season with spectacular views over the lush gardens, secluded outdoor seating, and stone pathways. 

Julia B Fee Sotheby's International Realty

View more details of 516 Fowler Ave, Pelham, NY
Edit ModuleShow Tags
A stunning oceanfront summer rental with all the modern amenities, this property on Further Lane represents the very best of East Hampton living. This classic 7-bedroom, 9.5-bath house sits on six acres of pristine land, from manicured gardens to sandy beaches. Renowned Hamptons architect Francis Fleetwood has captured a remarkable fluidity between indoor and outdoor spaces, conjuring a house with 2,400 square feet of covered porches and porticos that frame unparalleled views. This oceanfront property epitomizes the qualities of both home and grandeur. Upon walking in the front door, you're immediately struck by an unmistakable sensation of light and effortless luxury. Polished plank-wood flooring and coffered ceilings set the stage for breathtaking ocean views. An oversized living room and formal dining room offer ample space for entertaining. For a more intimate feel, take in the nearly 360-degree ocean views from the breakfast room.
$750,000 Memorial Day-Labor Day

Compass

View more details of Further Lane, East Hampton, NY
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags