Staging a home is critical in marketing, but there are occasions when it’s better to just get out of the way and let a house speak for itself.
Case in point, 120 Wildwood Gardens, a lustrous six-bed, four-bath circa 1927 home in Piedmont. The latest listing opts for a barebones approach to the photos, the better to show off the texture of the baroque interiors.
There’s octagonal paneling on the front door, wrought iron railing and tile steps in the entryway, and a sensational Gothic archway in the living room filled with grids of windows and a glass-paneled door, all underneath a ceiling so gently vaulted that the angle of the visible beams resembles the meeting point of a dragonfly’s wings.
The view from outside is no less elaborate, with a white Spanish-Mediterranean exterior extended by turrets. Realtor Anian Pettit Tunney credits the home to architect Frederick Reimers, who seemed to have a hankering for vivid and borderline excessive ornamentation.
Compare 120 Wildwood to the language used to describe his 1930 Howard Automobile Company building in Berkeley on a plaque at the site:
Five unequal show-window bays are framed by fluted pilasters of reinforced concrete rising to scrolled, fountain-like capitals. Metal grilles, scrollwork, and doors in art deco-relief patterns further embellish the building.\
The same honorific fixture notes that Reimers loved period revival houses “in the Moderne Style.” He went with the same tiled, hipped roof design on the Wildwood house as he did in his Italian revival fraternity house at 2395 Piedmont in Berkeley the following year.
Nearly 100 years later, all of that texture and craftsmanship adds up to an asking price of more than $3.49 million.