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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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The fix is in Los Altos remodel keeps modern family in mind


Ellie Van houtte/ Town Crier
Nadine and Aaron Matityahu transformed an Eastwood Drive house from dated ranch to modern family style.

Nadine and Aaron Matityahu purchased a “fixer” – her term – on Eastwood Drive in Los Altos last year with the intention of downsizing.

The prospect of remodeling the dated ranch-style house didn’t faze them because they have either built or remodeled every home they’ve lived in since their marriage in 1956 – including their “too big” home just off Mora Drive.

“After buying the house on Eastwood and listing our house for sale, we were begged by our 7-year-old granddaughter Erika not to sell,” Nadine said. “She is such a sweet and very articulate child. It really got to us, and we decided not to move.”

Instead, the Matityahus hired architects Amnon Levy and Avi Agasi of Ashford Associates in Palo Alto and went to work on plans to remodel and sell the Eastwood house.

“We saw the potential of the property with its creek setting, great neighborhood and excellent school district,” said Nadine, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker in Los Altos whose passion is remodeling.

She and Aaron, a retired realtor, approached the project as though they were going to live in the house themselves.

“I was 100 percent involved,” she said. “The idea was to create a custom home that would fit into the neighborhood and yet be unique.”

“We used a blend of Arts and Crafts and Contemporary to rejuvenate the ranch style,” Agasi said. “The new facade is distinguished by arborlike structures which emphasize the house is in a garden. And plants can grow and adorn it.”

First impression

The landscaping and fencing are what make the first impression. The house is on a corner lot with a curved fence wrapping it on the right side. Low, curved stone walls in the front and back mimic the fence and portion the front and back lots.

The fence, gazebo and outdoor wood decorations are stained cedar.

They planted a green wall around the front lot perimeter before starting the remodel to enable the plants to grow while rebuilding the house. Some, such as lavender and Queen Palm, are drought resistant.

In the back, a split-rail fence replaced the 6-foot fence so that the Permanente Creek bed became part of the yard.

Consequently, the back of the house is a wall of glass.

“It’s almost like a nursery,” Agasi said.

The stone-lined dry creeks or wells in front and back were installed to collect rain and landscaping runoff – practical and aesthetic touches.

Grassy knolls and a circular driveway in front complete the outdoor picture.

Spacious intimacy

Indoors, from the new vaulted entryway, the home opens up to reveal spacious living areas that maintain a feeling of intimacy because of ceiling treatments. The 3,600-square-foot house has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

The architects worked with the existing footprint, added a vaulted-ceiling family room and redefined and expanded the interior. All walls were taken down to the studs. New wiring, plumbing, windows, roof and stucco contributed to the house meriting a green certification from the city.

Dramatic skylights in the open kitchen illuminate the large, multilevel granite island that houses a wine cooler. Other features include Caesarstone countertops, a mother-of-pearl backsplash and custom walnut cabinetry.

The open dining room adjacent to the kitchen sports an oval coffered ceiling and built-in walnut cabinets for display and storage.

The formal living room boasts a vaulted ceiling and opens to the backyard. Its statement-making gas fireplace highlights a distinctive straight line of fire in a bed of crystals.

In lieu of walk-in closets in the master suite, there is a wall of European-style built-in wardrobe closets and drawers. The master bath has a skylight, freestanding oval tub, dual vanity, glass-enclosed shower and towel warmers.

Nadine said she designed the house with the busy modern family in mind. Among the byproducts are a mudroom and a shoe closet.

“In my experience in seeing so many homes, usually shoes are stored in the bedroom closets, which is not very healthful, or they are left by the door. I decided to build a shoe closet in the entryway for storing all the family shoes, and a mudroom off the garage for backpacks and coats for after school,” she said. “I wanted to build a house that would feel good to come home to – one with lots of light and windows to bring the outdoors in. No messy clothes in walk-ins. No shoes or bags to pick up after the kids. A home with the best of everything.”

For a virtual tour of the house, visit www.BuchananAnd Bowen.com.


Eastwood Drive Home - Images by Ellie Van Houtte/Los Altos Town Crier

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