From Margaret Everton on November 11, 2010 in San Francisco
It was a chance encounter in a lumberyard followed by a conversation about mid-century homes that led Joanne Koch to encourage her friend, Pacific Union International agent Norah Brower, to check out 89 Southampton Ave. in Berkeley Hills. Strangely enough, that particular home was exactly what Browers clients, Jonathan Rubenstein and Karin Swann, were looking for. Coincidence? More like fate.
Designed by former Harvard architecture professor Gerald McCue, the 1959 gem has four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and killer views of the city. The home had exactly what the couple was looking for and the potential for greatnessafter they tackled a few renovations, of course. In an interesting turn of events, they ended up hiring Joanne Koch to handle the job.
Hoping to bring a touch of the outdoors inside, the couple redesigned the family room to include a massive skylight, and finished the master bedroom with new windows overlooking Mount Tam. They also added new landscaping to the front yard and a water feature to bring it all together.
Designer Shannon Torrey from Koch Architects lounges in the master bedroom
Today, the home looks more like a vacation retreat than a city dwellingand thats exactly how they like it.