610 El Camino Del Mar: Living Room
When we first featured the Albert Farr designed 610 El Camino Del Mar there weren’t any photos of the interior online (other than of the pool). But having been inside, “barbco” did quite pique our interest with the following comment:

I saw the interior of this home and it is an amazing piece of true Spanish Med, not the knock off stuff you see everywhere. Floor tiles imported from Cuba, Mission and conquistador hand painted tiles on the walls, chunky beams imported from Spain. The home is not “grand” with low ceilings and a 70’s kitchen. The pool is probably the best indoor residential pool in the City. It is a “work of art” but you have to live and breathe Spanish Med to the tenth power in every room.

And now that we (and you) can peek inside, we’d have to agree. We’re fans (especially of the Cuban tiles). Just don’t get us started on the parking lot out back.
∙ Listing: 610 El Camino Del Mar (4/5) – $6,200,000 []
An Albert Farr Design Breaks Free (610 El Camino Del Mar) [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by gh

    Incredible place! Cool website too. Albert Farr designed some very cool places, although far different in style, he designed the waterfront cottages on Beach Road in Belvedere owned by the Belvedere Land Co…the same people that developed Sea Cliff originally.

  2. Posted by Sleepiguy

    It would be a shame if someone went in and tore out all the finishes that make this place so unique…

  3. Posted by noearch

    Ok, I’ll be the contrarian here.Yes, it has some nice, purely original Spanish Med features..but most of the detail is in the living room. The other rooms are rather plain, dull, ordinary. And what’s what that outdated kitchen. Old appliances, bad lighting over the sink, and that cheap, not so built-in refrigerator. For that price, the kitchen should be totally high end, everything new, chefs quality.No pics of the baths? I suspect they are very outdated. Otherwise, great views but a foggy part of The City.

  4. Posted by curmudgeon

    Beautiful place. Kitchen looks completely serviceable, just not updated. Pool is to die for. And who cares about fog with that view!
    But the kitchen brings up a question for me. Redone kitchens with all the latest gizmos are seen as such a high-end pre-req…. but at what price point does it almost become a moot point…because you’re so wealthy you don’t use it anyway? Up there in the multi-millions for houses you cross a threshold where you assume live in help. I just don’t know where that is, being quite far from it myself.
    And of course we all know that you don’t need all the brand names and fancy materials to be a good cook…you just need a few good implements and a decent stove.
    For me, the kitchen and environs is where I spend many happy hours, so I’m as wowed by a slick one as the rest of you. So, just wondering….

  5. Posted by Sleepiguy

    I just meant that whoever remodels the house should maybe keep the tiles and other curiosities put in by the original owners. Sure it’s a little dated, but it’s kind of interesting. I’d hate to see this lovely home suffer the same fate as 300 Sea Cliff at the hands of merciless (and untalented) decorators. That said, the house does need a massive overhaul. I’m not sure I’d trust 90 year old wiring and plumbing, plus lath and plaster doesn’t make good insulation in chilly Sea Cliff. Also, check for dry rot and check the soil to make sure you aren’t sitting on sand.

  6. Posted by S&S

    Beautiful place, but I agree with noearch. All the wow factor is in the living room. Oh — and the pool. 😉

  7. Posted by noearch

    From a holistic viewpoint, you must look at the entire house to prove that it’s worth 6.2m..and what its going to take to upgrade the property. That may include foundation, structural work, electrical, mechanical and plumbing. Too often people are wowed by one great room or detail in the whole place, and forget to look at the flawed kitchen, baths..the dreadful home depot rear yard patio. Again, in my opinion, you should get a totally high end,high quality kitchen for a $6.2m house.

  8. Posted by Adam Smith

    Down in L.A. buyers have already moved on from our current obsession with the “Dwell” magazine (or Wallpaper if you prefer) style of interiors. Diane Keaton’s new book “California Romantica” is really worth picking up if you want to see how this style can be admired and used in a very comfortable and attractive way. She is making a fortune by buying properties such as this and returning them to their former glory.
    The buyer of this home would be wise to keep the original tilework and other fixtures in place.

  9. Posted by Sleepiguy

    How big is this house? Property Shark has the square footage at just about 3600. That seems sort of conservative. That makes this about 1700 a foot if that’s right.

  10. Posted by DavidQ

    Bad lighting over the sink? There’s a set of track lights pointing directly at the work surfaces and the sink. Or by “bad” did you mean “insufficiently expensive looking”?
    I’d be more concerned with how well the heat works.

  11. Posted by amused

    Spanish/Med is a great and entirely appropriate style of architecture for the Bay Area. History, culture and climate make it legitimate. I like this place, and hope any new owner will modernize thoughtfully.
    Re: the comment about “Dwell” and “Wallpaper” style interiors … please don’t provide commentary on subjects about which you know nothing. Dwell and Wallpaper are magazines, not styles. Both have a tendency toward the contemporary and modernism, but I think that’s entirely appropriate, given that we live, um… now.
    I collect furniture and art, and I don’t need to look to Annie Hall for clues as to how to design or live. And while I like to bring interesting things back from the past, we’d all do well to remember that Queen Victoria, after whom all of our beloved Victorians are named, died 106 years ago. Yes, Victorians can be nice, but building (or living) in that style today is a bit silly.

  12. Posted by noearch

    Wow. Start giving opinions about design..and the claws come out for some people. I find it AMUSING. But I’m not amused.
    Dwell and Wallpaper are both great magazines that focus on and promote “fresh modern design”. and YES. they do advocate a style. It’s your choice to choose it. As an architect, I happen to like it, but I don’t push it on all of my clients. For some living in a wonderful Victorian is not silly, but appropriate for them, offering a certain “style” and comfort.
    As for the “bad” lighting over the kitchen sink in the Spanish Med residence..yes, its bad, its cheap. Those appear to be incandescent track lights from maybe the 70’s. They put harsh shadows and glare right in your workplace. Better solution: recessed, dimmable halogen downlights. And while we’re at it..they need to get rid of that utterly bland, cheap plastic lam counters. And that boxed in clunky Sears refrigerator just has to go.

  13. Posted by Mole Man

    Those floor tiles are amazing, and the stairway is a work of art. To me the kitchen is excellent and would probably be messed up by updating. If there is any one thing that can turn me off to a high end residence it is granite counters. Give me a 1970s or earlier kitchen over today’s crud any day of the week. If people had any idea what Shaker construction was really about which is still possible by visiting their remaining intact communes then plain particle board cabinets imported from China would have to be called something else.

    This building is a fabulous integration of architectural elements that accents the beautiful site. The only thing that stood out negatively for me was the white paint that is obscuring the wooden ceiling beams in some rooms.

  14. Posted by Adam Smith

    Relax Amused. I think the Dwell comment is appropriate because so many homes and condos today in San Francisco are staged to look like they would fit into that magazine, which is not classically modern. Modernism is no longer a religion for most designers, as it has fashionable style periods throughout the decades and has long since left the road of Miesian dogma.
    Name the last “modern” home you have seen in this city that is truly modern? Most homes being sold today have more to do with lazy selections from Room and Board and DWR, than they do with real design skill.
    As for California Romantica, why don’t you check out some of the essays in the book by scholars from both UCSB and USC School of Architecture? The fact that one celebrity chose to spend her millions saving certain estates in Southern California does not need your claws to start attacking. Perhaps you are not aware of her restoration of her own Frank Lloyd Wright and Lloyd Wright designed residences? Perhaps you are not aware of her property donations to preservation trusts? My what bitterness.

  15. Posted by noearch

    Thanks Adam..great commentary. I totally agree.

  16. Posted by like to cook

    All in all a beautiful home! I too hope that the buyer can respect the specialness. If I weren’t well settled where I am I would be sorely tempted!
    I don’t understand the criticism of the kitchen though. True it is in need of an update. But I would want to make any new kitchen my own, and I would much rather not be paying for someone else’s job. When last looking for a house, I hated nothing more than to see a great house with a brand new contractor special kitchen/bath remodel, or even worse, the owner’s “different” but very expensive taste – you knew that they had fully baked the cost (plus some) into the asking price, and you would be faced with the prospect of ripping out a brand new kitchen and essentially paying double (not to mention the horrible waste of it all).
    And yes, even people (at least some of them :)) in this price bracket cook themselves….

  17. Posted by like to cook

    And Mole Man, I totally agree on the granite… Blechhh!

  18. Posted by Sleepiguy

    Serious question…. I see many people are anti-granite here. What would you rather see on kitchen surface?

  19. Posted by dsarch

    I certainly didn’t say anything for or against granite. For some people, its the right product for their kitchen. I often propose solid surface materials for a new kitchen. It’s much more forgiving than granite..and often “warmer”..As for the total kitchen, it really isnt in par with the rest of the house, and the price. Now, lets ask why there are no photos of the bathrooms..I wonder why. Thats because, I suspect, they are also very outdated and not worth showing.

  20. Posted by SL123

    610 El Camino Del Mar sold for $3.3M on February 26, 2010.
    330 Sea Cliff Avenue Sold for $5.6M on January 22, 2010

  21. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    Wow, that’s a huge drop from 610 El Camino Del Mar’s expectations. Almost half off.

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