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Live in a Modern-Day Tree House in Northern California

Hidden among swaying wisteria, this home will take you on a Zen-filled journey—Buddha included.

Designed as a personal refuge by the late San Francisco–based architect Robert Overstreet, 238 Summit Drive is a redwood-clad fortress located in Marin County in Northern California. Set at the end of a long private driveway along the slope of Mount Tamalpais, Overstreet’s striking hideaway is hidden amongst towering ferns and wisteria. The wooded landscape blends well with the home’s geometric design, which boasts solariums and expansive decks with striking lookout points.

With a footprint of 4,000 square feet and four bedrooms (including a one-bedroom guesthouse), the estate is ready to accommodate family gatherings or host a handful of lucky guests. The home was recently refurbished by the current owners to elevate the furnishings and finishes, which can be seen in the pressure-treated framing on the rich brown decks and walkways, the powder-coated handrails, the double-paned thermal glass doors, and the indoor/outdoor LED lighting. Wide decks surround the exterior of the home, while custom stained-glass doors lead inside to the rustic yet contemporary interiors.

238 Summit Drive, Corte Madera

238-Summit-Dr-living-space  Photo: Courtesy

The state-of-the-art kitchen—featuring Miele and Jenn-Air appliances—showcases flawlessly integrated vertical-grain fir cabinetry. Black granite covers the countertops, which is a wonderful complement to the artistic marble backsplash lit by the slender skylight above. The common area, illuminated by light pouring from a large ceiling aperture, is lined with exposed beams and custom wood carvings. Sweeping views of the valley and the bay beyond can be seen from almost every room, bringing the lush landscape into sight. In the master bedroom, an expansive box skylight is centered above the bed, which is surrounded by thick wood posts and faces glass doors that open to a private deck. The remaining en suite bedrooms feature white marble and custom oak vanities all beaming with modern lighting.

Pronounced details, like hand-carved wood partitions and railroad ties on the hood of the fireplace, add a nice textural play against the dominant redwood, while some details are more subtle, like the bronze Buddha statue reclining in a light-filled alcove. A rooftop deck can be used for sunbathing or as a yoga pavilion, and a flora-filled arbor and koi pond—complete with a newly added filtration and aeration system—assimilate nature into everyday life at the estate. When they want to stretch their legs, residents can walk the perimeter of the mountainside property via stone pathways, where flowing plant life abounds.

The contemporary tree house is listed for $4.2 million by Tamara Goldman at Pacific Union.

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