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Elmwood House

Built in 1925 as a single family home in the Elmwood neighborhood of Berkeley, California the historic Cairns House was designed by noted Architect Walter Ratcliffe Jr.  The stately home saw many owners through the years and underwent several transformations including use as a boarding house in the 1950s into the 1990s.  Though many aspects of the house were well maintained and in remarkably good condition, the home lacked many modern conveniences.  The challenge for maa designs was to create an updated, comfortable home perfect for gracious entertaining in this historic setting. 


The eighteen rooms, including the new Kitchen, Butler’s Pantry and six bathrooms were carefully considered and designed to contribute to the historic character of the house which includes original, ornate redwood panelling, window trim and baseboards.  Materials such as Calacatta Oro, Port Laurent marbles and handmade tile were carefully selected to compliment the home’s character.  Warm brass plumbing fixtures and handles match the existing door and window hardware.  The original floor plan largely remains unchanged but with the use of bold wallpaper and modern furniture, the home graciously meets the twenty first century. 

Building systems upgrades include a new ducted heating, air conditioning and air filtration system, state of the art wifi system, roof top solar panels and Tesla Powerwall batteries, and motorized smart shades throughout the home. 

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