By Home Girl:
Fresh on the block is a substantial contemporary home at 5881 Snake Avenue Road in Montclair, which stands out for being a mix of old school and state-of the-art techie.
It’s worth making a detour to see this one, because it’s certainly not run of the mill. It doesn’t fit into any of the easy categories we assign to East Bay homes, such as Craftsman, brown-shingle, or post-fire new build.
Completed this month — literally — it’s 4,000 ft of house with lots of crafty touches as well as all the latest in modern gizmos. Architect Tomm Smail of TSI Architects evidently decided he wanted a house with personality. So there are dozens of stained glass windows (by Vicki Combs at Volcano Stained Glass) and acres of custom tile (by Michelle Griffoul Studios).
Then there’s the high-tech part: a whizzbang automations system which allows you to control everything — security, music, lighting and TV — with your cell phone. (Assuming you’ve mastered TV remotes at this point.)
The advantage of building character into a new home is that you can’t criticize it of being bland. The risk is that nobody will share your taste. Personally, while some of the decor would not be my choice, I could live with it in order to enjoy that all the square footage and the gourmet kitchen. I’m less enamored with the living room configuration: it’s very open-plan and leads straight off the front doorway. I like my fireplace lounging areas to be a little cozier.
But I think the price is fair for the market — it would have been nudging $2m a couple of years back — it’s in a convenient spot for Montclair Village, and there’s always the inherent appeal of a one-off.
Per sq ft: $424
Walk Score: 80/100 — Very walkable.
Related: Another newly listed, new home nearby also offers “character” (check out the pink up-lighting in the kitchen), less space, a higher price ($1,800,000) and is more car-dependent.
In brief: Will suit those who like ’em new and original.