Perfection in Happy Valley
This Happy Valley masterpiece, on a traffic-free cul-de-sac removed from Happy Valley Road, was built as the personal residence of its noted designer, Leila Douglah. Her firm, Douglah Designs, is a preeminent design-build firm, and this home was built six years ago to her exacting specifications.
Outside, an outdoor dining area surveys the magnificent terraced garden and adjoins a waterfall feature and firepit. A hot tub provides a comfortable retreat in any season, and the owner readily could add a swimming pool. A path upward from the garden leads to the incomparable hiking and views in Briones Regional Park.
Inside, the 5,145-square-foot home features a chef’s kitchen with custom cabinetry, marble and granite counters, top appliances, a breakfast bar, and garden views; two fireplaces with stone mantles generating warmth throughout; custom window treatments and light fixtures; the SONOS sound system inside and out; hand-scraped oak flooring; elevated wood-beam ceilings; thick walls and double-paned windows; two offices with built-in fixtures; top bathroom fixtures and tiles; a Great Room adjoining a granite and tile wet bar; distinctive custom railings; two Moritz tankless water heaters that provide instant hot water; garages (accessible through a gate for security) accommodating four cars; and ample cabinet and storage space.
That’s the summary. Here are the details:
- The magazine-worthy chef’s kitchen features a beautiful open floor plan with spectacular garden views. The kitchen showcases custom Bentwood cabinetry with an expansive kitchen island, soft-close drawers and cabinets, a custom light fixture, a copper and limestone hood above the Wolf stove, a Sub-Zero refrigerator (plus a smaller, under-the-counter additional refrigerator), and a Miele combination microwave/oven, steam oven, and dishwasher.
- The butler’s pantry boasts a top-of-the-line built-in Miele coffee maker and Sub-Zero wine refrigerator.
- A distinctive custom stone mantle surrounds the fireplaces in the family room and Great Room. The family room fireplace is rated at 32,000 BTUs, enough to heat the main level, while the Great Room fireplace is rated at 28,000 BTUs, plenty to heat the entire second level.
- Custom window treatments and light fixtures abound, illuminating the home everywhere.
- The SONOS sound system includes speakers throughout the home as well as the patio and carriage house. Four televisions are included, three of which are “smart” TVs attached to the SONOS system.
- The home features exceptional construction quality both inside and out, including wide-planked, hand-scraped oak flooring, solid-wood doors throughout, custom Bentwood cabinetry and built-ins, seven-inch baseboards with toe-kicks, crown molding, hand-crafted wood beams, and custom low-voltage lighting.
- Extra-thick walls help keep the heat out during summer months and heat in during cooler weather, assisted by top-grade Marvin double-paned insulated windows.
- The bathrooms feature custom tile work and insets by Douglah Designs. In particular, they feature luxurious Rohl brass fixtures, Toto Carlyle one-piece and washlet toilets, and brass knobs and hinges. The primary bath features a marble-and-tile shower, plus a steam shower. A large soaking tub provides a peaceful retreat while enjoying the lovely garden views just outside. A distinctive mirror is included.
- The home foundation is composed of a combination concrete/steel reinforced piers down to bedrock. A concrete (with steel reinforcing) wall foundation includes a four-inch concrete pad covering 100% of the interior foundation’s walls.
- The upstairs Great Room is a perfect location for entertaining, with a one-of-a-kind bar with granite countertop and tiled surrounds and plenty of room for parties, games, sports-watching, and other activities. The Great Room includes remote-controlled Velux skylights with electric shades.
- The gardens have been meticulously planned by Enchanted Planting of Orinda for optimum peace and serenity. The grounds include three separate gathering areas, a waterfall feature to enhance ambience, a firepit for cool winter evenings, and a spa.
- Custom-designed and cast-metal handles adorn the entry gates and the metal vine-wrapped railings along the wide stairs meandering from the lower gate to the house, and from the back yard to the upper-level seating area. Noted metal artist Randy Augsberger, owner of Templeton Ornamental Metal Work, designed these custom features.
- The garden is fully fenced, with a gate accessing a private hiking trail up to the entrance of Briones Regional Park.
- The epoxied carriage house garage floors are ideal for an exercise area/gym, and offers exceptional storage space. It also features a work bench and sink.
- Stone-stacked walls and the extensive drainage system throughout the property to avoid water/slide issues.
- Extra matching paint and stain, and a chart of colors by room, are in the carriage house for possible future use.
Happy Valley is regarded as the best neighborhood in Lafayette, and few if any Happy Valley homes match the perfect construction and touches of this one.