Take a Look Inside Ursula K. Le Guin’s Dreamy Berkeley Home for Sale

published Sep 10, 2020
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When it comes to real estate fantasies, author Ursula K. Le Guin has us hooked. Now, the former Berkeley home of the novelist, known for her “Earthsea” fantasy series, has hit the market for $4.1 million. Once glance at the five-bed, three-and-a-half bath estate, and it’s no wonder that the interwebs exploded with commentary upon discovery of this historic property.

Designed in 1907 by Bernard Maybeck, one of the stars of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the Swiss Chalet-style home was originally named Semper Virens, but is also known as both The Albert Schneider House and The Kroeber House. Tucked away from the street for the utmost privacy, the 3,686-square-foot estate appears cloaked in lush trees and wisteria, perfectly blending the home within its natural environment. 

Step inside to the living and dining room, overflowing with natural light. Don’t miss the gas fireplace and rebuilt chimney, as well as extensive built-in bookcases and cabinetry. An updated, galley-style kitchen features two farmhouse-style sinks, concrete counters, dual convection ovens, and top-of-the-line appliances, as well as a cozy breakfast nook. On the lower level, there’s a media room or guest suite, which could also function as an art studio. Open the double doors to step from the unique concrete flooring outside to the ground-level outdoor covered patio, or continue on throughout the home, where refinished redwood interiors illuminate the space.

Upstairs, the common room is illuminated by a light-filled glass ceiling, while an adjoining sunporch has glass windows that will give you full treehouse vibes. The primary bedroom is a masterpiece of its own, with a balcony that has stunning views of the city, as well as an en-suite bath with intricate blue tiling. Don’t miss the exquisite writing nook, with a built-in desk and expansive windows overlooking the leafy outdoors.

The wrap-around front balcony overlooks the peaceful outdoor areas, where lush landscaping beautiful gardens truly gives the resident a feeling of living amidst the trees. In fact, the original landscaping was designed by John McLaren, who developed and supervised the creation of Golden Gate Par,k so it’s quite fitting that there’s outstanding views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Clearly, Le Guin saw the space as one of the most influential in her life. 

“If I recall my childhood, I recall that house,” Le Guin once wrote, according to LitHub. “Writing this, I wonder if much of my understanding of what a novel ought to be was taught to me, ultimately, by living in that house. If so, perhaps all my life I have been trying to rebuild it around me out of words.”

Though the property was just listed on August 31, the sale is already pending, according to the Redfin listing. But one look at that redwood-drenched writing nook, and it’s no wonder why.