~ Sited on one of the Peninsula's largest privately owned parcels, this grand-scale Florentine villa is the embodiment of grandeur, allure, and elegance.
Let's start from the beginning.
HISTORY: Designed by noted architect George Schastey and commissioned by Herbert E. Law in the early 1920s, this trophy residence took the skill and craftsmanship of more than 100 artisans to complete the vision. The realization was an intense labor, taking four years due to the uncompromising attention to detail. Law and Schastey's collaboration had an ambitious intent -- to authentically recreate the rhythm and savor of a Florentine villa right here in Northern California. Law was dedicated, making countless trips abroad to Europe, hand-selecting lavish appointments and precious materials, including brass hardware from France, marble and onyx from Italy, and fountains and wrought iron from Florence. Artifacts from churches and palaces throughout Europe were reclaimed, finding their new home at Lauriston. It is an enduring and revered triumph of accomplishment with a lasting appeal that cannot be reproduced.
THE APPROACH: The entrance to Villa Lauriston is up a long sweeping lane, saluted by respectful stands of redwoods and whispers of streams and wildlife. It is at the end of this private drive where the milestone manor emerges, guarded by a deep broad lawn, carved stone figures, and a formal arrival court, large enough for a fleet of dignitaries. Up a stanza of granite steps through the antique wrought iron gates is where the drama begins.
THE REVEAL: Massive sliding wood doors lead the way to the grand foyer and its eye-catching black and white polished Carrara flooring. You immediately know that you are in for something extraordinary -- every room, every turn, reminiscent of an earlier era of distinction. The home adheres to its European tenets, with its arched doorways, columns, handcrafted detailing, ornate fixtures, and Renaissance palette. With some thirty rooms, encompassing seven bedrooms, eight full baths, and two powder rooms in the main residence, the harmony of the design lends to a measured sense of procession. A generous guest cottage also offers additional living quarters. Rooms spacious enough to accommodate even the most admirable of gatherings include a living room/concert hall, a formal dining room, and a reception room. A library, sitting room, and reading room are just a few additional spaces that will play host to an inspired moment or motivating venture.
THE BACKDROP: Situated on more than 28 lush and sprawling acres and adjacent to one thousand acres of Midpeninsula Regional Open Space (www.openspace.org), Villa Lauriston is a rare offering featuring expansive event-worthy grounds and world-class landscaping. Beyond the home are manicured terraced lawns, sunken gardens, grassy meadows, a reflecting pool, and meandering walkways that encourage the soul to explore. A stream and waterfall add to the solace and serenity that will accompany you throughout every journey. If organized leisurely activities are in order, a swimmer's pool and tennis court await an engagement or love match. And views? A spectacular daytime vista of rolling green countryside, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco Bay. And after sunset? Stars. Lots of them.
OPPORTUNITY & UTILITY: Of course, this estate offers more than just style and luxury. It features a 600-vine vineyard, producing over 2,000 bottles annually -- pinot noir, chardonnay, and merlot. A production facility is also onsite. Furthermore, there are terraced vegetable gardens, organic honey-producing beehives, natural spring wells, and botanicals. And if self-sustaining faculties pique your curiosity, the estate has resources all at hand, including fuel tanks and high-power generators that can sustain the property and its residents for up to two months.
With a rich and compelling history, picturesque setting with city and bay views, and refined sense of seclusion, Villa Lauriston is a true escape, away from the distractions of a busy world.