Video Tour


One-of-a-Kind Rockridge Victorian

From the vibrant front steps to the serene backyard -- and everything in between -- this captivating 4-plus bedroom, 2.5 bath Victorian beckons those who appreciate functional luxury, historic significance, and an artist’s flair. Situated on a large corner lot in quaint Rockridge, this landmark residence offers exceptional living in proximity to the entire San Francisco Bay area.

See how this magnificent 3,506-square-foot (measured) upgraded home with an additional 1489 square feet (measured) of basement space naturally suits any lifestyle, welcoming you to make it your own.

A Renowned Home

Even before stepping up and into the stately entrance, you realize 5380 Shafter Avenue is a special place. With curb appeal that has drawn both local and national attention, the home sits proudly on a large, meticulously landscaped lot with artfully pruned trees and shrubs. Entering the grand foyer, you’re welcomed into light and spacious living areas showcasing the current owners’ zest for design, art, and beauty, translated in the home’s modernization and upgrades.

Built in the early 1890s -- likely one of the first homes in Rockridge even before the town became annexed to Oakland -- the residence was in major need of renovation and repairs upon its last sale in 1999. Working with the renowned architect Douglas Burnham (envelope a+d) and designer Roy McMakin, the current owners have transformed this historic, hard-to-find Victorian into a comfortable, highly functional home with formal touches throughout.

With Extraordinary Design

Initial upgrades included a completely new foundation that accommodates a full-size basement (with separate entrance) that may be furnished into an in-law unit, studio, or other functional space. Just above, on the main level, the primary living space consists of two large parlors, both featuring high ceilings and walls that showcase the owner’s love of art (~180 unique pieces!). The front parlor is graced with beautiful bay windows, natural wood trim, and a large center light fixture, while the back parlor boasts a fireplace surrounded by an astounding Victorian woodwork mantel.

The adjacent formal dining room, separated by pocket doors, is naturally lit with ample windows and includes a second fireplace “mirroring” the one in the parlor, offering an ideal gathering space for both casual dining and formal parties. The large eat-in kitchen blends form and function with high-end appliances, open shelving, a butler’s pantry (with lots of storage), and a breakfast nook.

Just off the kitchen is perhaps the home’s signature living space: an amazing sunroom with artfully framed wood windows, wall-to-wall sisal flooring, and double doors leading to a small deck. Two dramatic staircases -- in the front and back of the home, respectively -- complement the home’s easy, functional flow for daily living and entertaining alike. A half bathroom also accommodates residents and guests on the main floor.

And Comfortable Living Space

Upstairs, the four bedrooms and one “flex” room offers functional space for all family members, connected by soft wood hallways adding warmth and character. The front bedroom spans the width of the home and features built-in cabinetry with wood trim, as well as a nook with day bed that can serve as a study or even separate bedroom.

The gorgeous master bedroom is centrally situated, with three spacious closets and a bathroom that once served as a porch. Hence, the owners retained its original form with wrap-around wainscoting and large windows with bay views. (Be sure to check out the medicine cabinet -- behind the genius sliding mirror!) A shower with cool frosted glass doors and antique clawfoot tub maintain the home’s vintage nature, complemented by Heath tile, high-quality fixtures, and custom lighting.

A second full bathroom holds similar character and charm with another clawfoot and original hexagon tile floor. Rounding out the upstairs space, what appeared to once be a kitchen and sun porch is now a fourth small bedroom and a reading room, the latter with expansive windows and accessible from the fourth and  third bedroom, which is located across from the master bedroom.

The home is classified as a tri-plex, offering great flexibility of function for those wishing to live with extended family or friends

On a Large, Beautiful Lot

You won’t find another property like this in Rockridge. The 11,000-square-foot (public record) corner lot consists of two parcels and provides an ideal setting for the home, which sits back from the street amidst lush trees and shrubs. This creates a serene residence gracefully integrated into the highly coveted neighborhood.

The property’s entire landscaping was redesigned at once, transforming the yards with great continuity and beauty. Inspired by The Hempel Hotel in London, meticulous decomposed granite pathways meander through an ornamental fruit orchard, 12 aesthetically shaped trees that bloom sequeentially throughout the spring , and other artful plants -- all leading to the attention-grabbing front steps. The front yard is further accentuated by a 110-year old black walnut tree reminding you of nature’s strength and majesty. A custom bronze gate, hand forged by prominent local blacksmith Angelo Garro, opens into a massive yet tranquil side Zen garden with antique Gladding-McBean planting pots and fountain.

In addition to the small deck off the home’s sunroom, the backyard consists of a Bluestone patio for leisurely sitting and outdoor gatherings alike, overlooking a large grass area for friends, family, and pets to roam and play. Lemon trees and rosemary bushes, among other carefully chosen vegetation, fill the yard with color and fragrance. Three brick-border planting beds offer a dedicated space to grow and garden. The backyard is fully bordered by large redwood hedges offering a sense of privacy.   

An etched concrete driveway designed to integrate into the current landscaping offers convenient space for vehicles, complemented by ample easy neighborhood parking. What’s more, the lot is 100% flat, offering limitless opportunities to evolve the outdoor space into the paradise of your dreams.

The large lot may also lend itself to the addition of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), offering the option to build additional living space for visiting friends or extended family.

In a Premier Bay Area Location

This distinguished property is located in the quaint, vibrant district of Rockridge, in the city of Oakland. Although the home was built long before much of the current infrastructure and buildings existed, it blends in nicely with the neighborhood’s character, charm, and amenities. Residents can take advantage of the many restaurants, cafes, and upscale retail stores along College Avenue, including the famed Market Hall -- all within an easy stroll. Not to mention the region’s abundant outdoor, recreational, sporting, and cultural activities.

Located nearby the world-class city of San Francisco, 50 miles from the technology hotbed of Silicon Valley, and a few hours from the astounding year-round resort of Lake Tahoe, Rockridge is in proximity to countless business, recreation, sporting, and cultural opportunities. Rockridge is serviced by the Rockridge BART station -- just blocks from 5380 Shafter Avenue -- as well as multiple regional and international airports, keeping you highly connected from your wonderful home retreat.



“Cross Alcatraz Avenue, which divides Oakland and Berkeley, and you’ll find yourself in Rockridge, one of Oakland’s most desirable, charming, and convenient neighborhoods. Housing in Rockridge is a combination of charming bungalows, cottages, classic Arts and Crafts dwellings, and large brown-shingle houses. Its leafy streets are mainly residential. 

Rockridge offers an easy commute into San Francisco via the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, as well as access to the University of California, Berkeley Campus. Food-and-drink purveyors in Rockridge provide the best from around the world and local farms. Rockridge Market Hall, which takes its cue from the French Marché, offers numerous individual food and flower shops open to the sidewalk. Dozens of restaurants, cafes, and boutiques line bustling College Avenue, Rockridge’s main drag.”



Showings by Appointment Only:
Contact Carla Buffington & Maria Cavallo-Merrion
510.919.8841 mobile
510.735.6605 direct
[email protected]
[email protected]


Maria Cavallo-Merrion

Realtor® AssociateCompassDRE# 01493849510.919.8841 mobile510.845.2402

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