Elegant Living in North Los Altos

Posted on February 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged:

30 Maynard Way, Los Altos, CA 94022
Listed at $2,498,000 / Sold at $2,675,000
4 Bed / 3.5 Baths / Home: 3,200 sqft / Lot Size: 11,000 sqft +/-
Single Family Detached
Represented: Seller & Buyer


EV Charging Stations Coming Soon

Posted on February 22, 2013 by  
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The Los Altos City Council Feb. 12 gave the green light for installation of three electric-vehicle charging stations in the city.

A U.S. Department of Energy grant to ChargePoint Inc., a Campbell-based manufacturer of charging stations, made the three 240-volt units available to the city at no expense. Although the units, which retail for $6,800 each, are free, the city will incur installation expenses of approximately $30,000.

“I’m so excited that we are going to get these EV chargers and that the city has jumped on the chance to get these free stations,” said Los Altos resident and electric-vehicle owner Maddy McBirney during public comment.

When fully operational, the devices charge two cars per unit. With a $1 per hour charging fee, the city expects to cover all electrical costs, maintenance and annual fees.

To minimize expenses and maximize user convenience, the city selected strategic locations for the chargers based on electrical line accessibility and parking demand. Two of the chargers will be located in Plaza 3 between San Antonio Road and Third Street, with the third installed adjacent to Bus Barn Theater in the civic center.

If there are no delays, the charger installations could be complete by the end of March.


New Bike Center In South Los Altos

Posted on February 13, 2013 by  
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Undiscovered Country’s Terry Morse envisions that in time, cycling enthusiasts will view his new Los Altos bike center the way children view a certain Southern California amusement park.

“Our mission is to make people happy through bicycling,” said Morse, who relocated his bike center from Mountain View to 2249 Grant Road in November. “It’s our corporate mission – kind of like Disney.”

The center’s co-founder and managing director, Morse noted that turning his Los Altos business into the happiest place on earth for cyclists means offering more than your run-of-the-mill bike shop.

To that end, Undiscovered Country is part bike shop and part travel agency, Morse said, offering 60 guided bike tours throughout California this year. Trips range from three to nine days, with group rides along the coast and through wine country and the Sierra, as well as treks to southern locations like Palm Desert, the Salton Sea and Borrego Springs.

Morse said the catalyst that prompted him to start Undiscovered Country with his wife in 2005 was his personal dissatisfaction with commercial bike tours.

“The commercial tours were long on things like cooking classes, wine tasting and gourmet picnics and less on the cycling,” said Morse, who operated the business out of his Palo Alto home before opening his first bike center in Mountain View two years ago. “It’s not satisfying for the cyclist. With us, you actually ride your bike from place to place. A lot of the other tours just drive you to a place and let you out of the van to ride your bike. That’s a bus tour with bikes, basically.”

And while tours are a major component of his business, Morse also provides typical services such as bicycle repairs and rentals, as well as a limited selection of retail items.

Morse envisions his new location as a local hangout for cyclists trekking along nearby Foothill Expressway. Additional offerings by Undiscovered Country include snacks, beverages, free Wi-Fi access and even the use of a shower for local cyclists.

“We’re not a traditional bike shop with a lot of items to sell,” said Morse, pointing to his business’ proximity to Lucky Supermarket at 2175 Grant Road, a common park-and-ride destination for cyclists. “It’s more about servicing and being a clubhouse for cyclists. We’ve wanted a space for a long time for tours and rentals, so when (the Los Altos location) became available, we thought, ‘Why not offer up a space people can use?’”

Despite being a relative newcomer to town, Morse said he’s pleased with his decision to relocate to Los Altos, noting that his center has received positive early reviews from customers.

“When people come in and see it, they get pretty excited,” he said. “They come in expecting a bike shop and leave knowing it’s a lot more than that.”

For more information, visit www.udctours.com.


Two New Listings In Los Altos

Posted on February 6, 2013 by  
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With a very competitive real estate market, and low inventory, we’re showcasing two new Los Altos properties we’ve just listed.  Please take a moment to preview the properties, via their web sites, and then let us know if you have any questions.  If you are interested in a private showing, please feel free to call us at 650-823-1434.

Elegant Living in North Los Altos

A Gorgeous, traditional home in a highly sought after North Los Altos location.  30 Maynard Way is a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 3200+/-sf  home, located on a 11,000+/- sf lot.  Click here, or simply type 30Maynard.com into your browser.

Centrally Located With Large Lot


What an absolute find!  This traditional ranch style home is located centrally to all Los Altos has to offer.  525 Outlook Drive is a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2150+/-sf home, located on a 29,670 +/-sf lot.  Click here, or simply type 525Outlook.com into your browser.


Los Altos tile artist’s whimsical creations

Posted on February 4, 2013 by  
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Artist Kathy Richardson likes vibrant colors and things with drama and a little sparkle.

“Glass has an intensity that appeals to me,” said Richardson, who was in her backyard studio in Los Altos creating a glass floral mosaic that eventually will cover a wall of the studio.

A vintage six-door refrigerator from a Mountain View coffee shop is a novel dustproof receptacle for her art supplies and shares space with a large worktable and two kilns.

A cement walkway with colorful mosaic inlays – she poured the cement and created the mosaics – meanders between the studio and the back door of the house, where a mosaic Etruscan horse, one of her many “critters,” greets visitors.

The house itself is a showcase for her architectural mosaic and glasswork – and her creativity.

“I did all the artsy parts,” she said of the Spanish Colonial Revival house, which she built with her husband, Steve, a research professor in computer architecture at Stanford University.

“I’ve always created functional art,” said Richardson, who grew up in New Mexico and had no choice but to be creative – she made gifts for family and friends, clothes, jewelry and elaborate appetizers and desserts.

“For a first career, I chose to create computer hardware and software,” she said. “Engineering and art are quite similar disciplines. They require creativity, vision, a command of implementation details, the ability to coalesce ideas into a simple and elegant solution, a dedication to quality and the ability to see the work through to the end.”

When her job at a startup ended, the computer engineer with a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford devoted the next 14 months to the house she and her husband were building, which in turn set her on the path to a second career.

“The house is a rendition of the Spanish Colonial homes built from the ’20s to the ’40s in Southern California,” Richardson said. “We have arched doorways and 6-inch walls with 4-inch windows to create the same look.”

Exterior and interior walls are painted white (Swiss Coffee is the shade) – a perfect foil for the vibrant accent colors and her collection of alebrijes, hand-painted Oaxacan wood animals that have inspired some of her glasswork (for example, the fused-glass fox on the stairwell leading to the downstairs game room and patio).

Richardson has used a four-color palette: goldenrod, rust, teal and black.

The roof is rust-colored; the window frames are teal. Each of the 22 doors was hand-stained by Richardson in one of the four colors.

A teal door opens to her office, a goldenrod door to the guest bathroom. Black doors in the master suite “tie it together,” she said.

In the master bath is a black tub with a tile surround that includes fused-glass tiles of her design. All other surfaces are one-piece.

“Although I’m a tile artist, I don’t like cleaning grout,” she said.

At the entrance to the master suite is a nearly life-size donkey made of shattered tempered glass. Richardson describes the donkey as “piñata-esque” but a little difficult to hang from the ceiling.

Urban crows, crafted from glass tiles by Richardson, take flight on one wall of an intimate sitting area to the right of the entryway. Two comfy chairs, with a mosaic-topped table between them, face the fireplace.

Down the hall is the kitchen, where the pièce de résistance is the hand-fabricated black concrete island created by Richardson. And, of course, it has tile inlays. Countertops also are hand-fabricated black concrete.

No matter where one looks, there is something special to see, like the whimsical teal bookshelf by the stairs or the great room cupboard that Robertson calls her “thesis avoidance.” It took a while to complete, but she could measure her productivity.

Dozens of clients have discovered Richardson’s installations and fine-art pieces through the annual Silicon Valley Open Studios event held three weekends in May. She has had 15 commissioned projects ranging in size from 20 to 2,000 square feet. And she has sold 75-plus studio pieces.

“My most satisfying projects are collaborations with clients that incorporate their lifestyles into the finished piece, making it truly an expression of them,” she said.

When she’s not in her studio, she’s doing projects for the nonprofit Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and writing and evaluating iPad apps that help people with brain injuries.

Richardson hosts fused-glass and mosaic workshops in her studio. To register, visit www.meetup.com/fun-wth-mosaics.

For more information, visit www.krtile.com.