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Named for two noble varieties of trees that share its idyllic setting, Bay Oaks is a singular estate on nearly 13 acres in Sonoma’s lush Valley of the Moon. Designed by architects Julie Dowling and Lorissa Kimm in conjunction with the current owners—lovers of art and one an artist himself—the home is a composition of its own, carefully created with an emphasis on the calming nature of axial symmetry and attention to proportion. Spaces and lighting were designed to showcase both Western European and Asian art with nods to Greco-Roman and modern architectural traditions, Bay Oaks becomes a place where the art of the past and the pleasures of the present unite in harmony.
The home’s idyllic location, enveloped by the greenery of Sonoma, allows it to be gradually discovered through the gravel drive and a lighted path approach. The interiors maintain a sense of serenity and well-being despite their generous scale. At the center of the home the library is at once comfortable and enriching and currently houses an extensive collection of rare and reference books. Its ceiling soars to a height of 15 feet and is topped by a six-foot-square skylight that illuminates every inch with filtered natural light. The ambience is one of Old World meditation, furthered by four walls of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and an exquisitely carved late-18th-century Adam-style doorway. Spaces are versatile: the library could be easily adapted to serve as a home theater or billiards room, while the artist’s impressive studio could function as a gym, a meditation room, or a family room.
Many rooms are part of a soothing flow or enfilade, where an object of art, a window, or a vista pulls the eye forward. A riveting view, naturally obstructed outdoors, reveals itself dramatically indoors, in the main living and dining area. From the western end of the library the eye travels through the hall and the living area toward the breathtaking vista which includes the home’s alluring 50-foot swimming pool. In the tranquil master suite two oculus windows and a window seat encourage a close relationship with the enveloping landscape and gardens. 12-foot ceilings conjure a feeling of airiness and ease.
The subtly sophisticated interiors hold an array of surprises and visual drama with elements of grandeur occasionally appearing. Carefully chosen walls and floors are inlaid with antique marble, jade, amethyst, and lapis. Door surrounds—the owner’s adaptation of 16th-century elements the Villa Medici in Rome—were carved from fossilized French bluestone by a skilled local stonemason. Above the secluded soaking tub in the master bath is a Roman-Syrian mosaic in subdued hues.
The property sits roughly 1,450 feet above the valley floor on the southeastern slope of Sonoma Mountain. One of the largest and oldest bay trees in the Valley of the Moon grows at the land’s northern end. Behind 10-foot fencing are two thriving raised-bed vegetable gardens. The view is vast, stretching from this wine country valley to Mt. Diablo and the tip of the San Francisco Bay.
Additional Information on the Additional 3 Parcels that Convey:
4625 Belmont Ct - Approx. 1.69 acres - Apn #: 064-020-002
4626 Belmont Ct - Approx. 2.15 acres - Apn #: 064-0200-0003
4550 Grove St - Approx. 2.2 acres - Apn #: 064-090-004