- Published on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 17:00
- Written by Carolyn Snyder - Special to the Town Crier
Oak Knoll is a house for all seasons. Picture windows afford unparalleled views of lush surroundings – blossoming fruit trees in spring, leafy green oases in summer, colorful vineyards in fall.
This Tuscan-style villa on Oak Knoll Court in Los Altos Hills has a commanding view of the Bay Area. Set back from the street on 2-plus acres, it is reached by a sloped driveway, granting a sense of privacy.
“There is nothing better than coming home, relaxing and watching the lights come on in the Eastern hills and sparkle on the Bay,” said owner Hayes Gladstone, a dermatologic surgeon who leads Stanford University’s Advanced Cosmetic and Mohs Surgery Center.
Gladstone purchased the house four years ago because it reminded him of what he likes about Tuscany – “the combination of classic architecture and a bucolic nature.”
He and his fiancee, Theresa Ward, added a gazebo and hillside dining pavilion to take advantage of the outdoors.
“The property always smells good because of the herbs,” he said.
Gladstone grew up in the Midwest surrounded by open land – perhaps another reason why he fell for Oak Knoll.
“It’s a neat property where you can go for a minihike or explore wooded areas,” he said.
Or take a swim in the pool, which has a panoramic view.
The split-level home has five bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. Gladstone likes it because “it is spacious but not cavernous, open but cozy.”
To the left of the dramatic marble foyer is a formal dining room framed by stone columns. Three steps lead up from there to the living room, which is wrapped in view-framing windows.
To the right of the foyer is a library with built-in cherry cabinetry and two desks. It has a beamed ceiling and paneled pocket door. But what really grabs attention is the rear grille of a red Ferrari, framed and hanging on the wall. It’s from a car he once owned.
“A Ferrari is a work of art, so why not treat it as such?” Gladstone said.
And speaking of art, Ward, a former fashion designer for Gucci, is an artist whose eye for color is especially evident in the kitchen, where the wall of the dinette is painted a rich cinnabar. Carved wood objets d’art are displayed on the wall.
The Brazilian cherry floor in the kitchen echoes the warmth of the cabinetry and wood-paneled Dacor appliances. The center island and countertops are a very lively granite.
The adjoining family room has a stone fireplace and butler’s area with a wine cooler. On the wall in the family room is a striking trio of contemporary paintings. Gladstone refers to them as “dog art” because they were “painted” by the couple’s French bulldog with the help of Ward.
The couple also own a German shepherd/Labrador mix and a Rottweiler – hence the name “Three Dog Wine” for the wine they produce from the property’s two vineyards – approximately three-fourths of an acre planted in Cabernet and Pinot.
Interestingly, Jerome Lohr of J Lohr Properties in San Jose, whose other successful enterprise is J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, developed the property. The house was built in 1997.
Grapes aren’t the only crop on the property. Gladstone ticked off a number of fruit-bearing trees – apple, cherry, guava, pear, lemon, orange and avocado.
The private master suite has treetop views, in addition to a fireplace and a marble bath with dual vanities, sunken Jacuzzi tub and shower built for two. An added convenience is the nearby laundry room.
The upper-level bedroom wing has four additional bedrooms, three baths, an open den and a stone balcony. Gladstone uses the den as an office and a place to play his guitar.
He and Ward created a gym on the lower level with French doors opening to the pool. The space originally had been designed as a wine cellar.
“It’s a great place to work out because of the view,” said Gladstone, who enjoys skiing, squash and tennis.
He also loves to travel and has been invited to several countries to speak.
Gladstone has served as co-director of surgical courses in Chile and Romania and co-founded the Blade and Light Society, which organizes humanitarian dermasurgical missions to developing countries, provides free surgery and trains local physicians.