Situated on one of the most coveted streets in El Cerrito, this house sits at 8636 Don Carol Drive. This home was originally designed and built in 1958 for a Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their family of four children. As you tour this home, you will see the family’s choices and desires for home life, the midcentury design ideas of the 1950s, and even some aspects of post-war American society reflected in the architecture.
You are welcomed into the home via a spacious entrance with slate floors and original wood paneled walls. Right away, you will notice that the master suite is separated from the children’s rooms by the grand living room and a spacious family room. The wonderful separation of space provides a quiet refuge from the bustle of the children’s wing, along with a view of the San Francisco Bay.
In the grand living room is a soaring ceiling and the “wall of glass” that extends along the entire southwestern exposure connecting the living room, wet bar, and formal dining room. The “wall of glass” begins again in the kitchen, wrapping around the central courtyard to the family room. This classic midcentury element brings the outside into the home and creates a seamless connection to nature.
The Family room connects to the large eat-in kitchen and is the gateway to the children’s part of the house. As typical for homes of this era, this side of the house was designed for the more informal living. The family room connects directly onto a large second bedroom on-suite that was originally built for the Smith’s two daughters. Off the hall are another two smaller bedrooms with a shared bathroom for their other two children.
The downstairs was originally planned as a spacious rumpus room but it was never finished. It served as a basement storage area until 2005, when it was remodeled into the 1 bedroom in-law apartment you find there today.