Perched along the rocky contour of a forested hillside in the sought-after city of Piedmont, 99 Somerset is an elegant sanctuary poised dramatically above the fray with breathtaking views of San Francisco and the bay. The custom design of this modern home is grounded in Earth’s natural elements: exposed wood framing holds generous glass walls and stone patios set the stage for the interplay of the fire and water features as they dance with the surrounding forest and are framed by the distant views beyond.

This gorgeously renovated modern home was originally designed in 1973 by Bay Area architect Bennett Christopherson for Robert Farnsworth, a structural engineer and inventor. Farnsworth and Christopherson collaborated on the design and execution of an intricate and robust foundation network of 20’ deep piers and bond beams. This allows the home to “perch” along the contour of the forested hillside, while allowing for infinite views to the west.

The second owners, who are selling this home, have spent well over $500,000 in recent renovations, state-of-the-art appliances, and custom features such as cabinetry, designer windows and energy-efficient lighting. This home is the ultimate embodiment of style and luxury that sits beautifully cradled within the natural world.

Highlights at a Glance:

  • Modern Piedmont home with sweeping bay views
  • Currently configured as 2++ bedroom, 2.5 bath (public records state 3 bedrooms)
  • 2,127 sq. ft. home set on a +19,000 sq. ft. double lot
  • Being sold by only second owner
  • Over $500,000 in renovations
  • Gourmet kitchen with state-of-the-art Miele oven, espresso maker, dishwasher, and Viking gas range, refrigerator, and wine fridge
  • Roof by Interstate Roofing
  • Custom-built copper gutters by Les Williams and Chris Master
  • Exterior features clear Western Red Cedar siding
  • Bamboo floors and custom cabinets
  • Custom birdseye maple cabinets in downstairs level
  • Low-e, argon filled, Blomberg windows throughout
  • Recently added Bruck low voltage lighting throughout
  • New slate tiling on all outdoor patios
  • Custom cast concrete water feature and gas fireplace in back patio
  • Upgraded French drains around home’s perimeter and retaining wall in the rear
  • Spacious under-house storage (expansion potential?)
  • Hillside view location for potential hot tub, and more

You can arrive at the home following the gently winding garden stair or the covered private funicular cable car from the modern two-car garage at street level. In the funicular, you are carried up to the home the same way every board, brick, and shingle was brought to the site during construction. It is a wonderful way to arrive, slowly watching the view emerge as you ascend the hill to the home.

The entrance opens into the dining room and the attached living room. Wide windows, vaulted ceilings, and exposed beams frame the views to the west. The living room features directional lighting fixtures and a fireplace with custom stone tiling. A sliding glass door leads to a balcony with new deck and railing, once again offering a sweeping view of the bay.

The dining area is set beautifully with views to the landscaped outdoor space, and adjacent the gourmet kitchen. The kitchen is perfectly appointed with bamboo cabinetry, mosaic tile backsplash, and skylights. State-of-the-art appliances include Miele oven, espresso maker, dishwasher, and Viking gas range, refrigerator, and wine fridge.

A hallway leads to an area that serves as the study with a built-in desk wrapping around the space. Here a windowed door opens into a second balcony. Just beyond the study lies the first full bath, which includes a glass-encased shower with rainfall showerhead, new built-in bamboo cabinets, and sink with stone countertop and storage beneath. A beautiful skylight illuminates a wall of greyscale mosaic tiling.

Farther down the hall, the first bedroom features a wall of Blomberg windows and access to the second balcony. Farther still, the second full bath includes a step-in shower with graceful rainfall showerhead, dual vanities, and a separate bathtub.

The second bedroom boasts multiple skylights, directional lighting fixtures, a modern ceiling fan, as well as new custom closets and drawers. As is the case with every room in this home, the view is stunning.

A sliding glass door leads from the hallway to an intimate and beautiful enclosed back patio. This slate covered area features an intricate and beautiful cast concrete waterfall along the retaining wall and gas fire pit, as well as a barbeque hook up for grilling outside. Both the waterfall and the fire pit are elegant showpieces that will surely entertain guests at dinner parties and gatherings.

Downstairs you’ll find a recreational room or third bedroom with recessed lighting and a partial bath adjacent. Just off of this space is the laundry room with washer and dryer. This level features bamboo flooring throughout and custom birdseye maple cabinets along the wall. Adjacent to this space is a separate outdoor patio. The patio is furnished with a second fire pit and includes new slate tile to enjoy the view of the setting sun.

Just beyond the patio, on the corner of the house is a beautifully crafted storage structure which currently houses the bird enclosure for the Harris’ Hawk and Gyre Falcon who live with the current owners. This would easily convert to accommodate a variety of uses. Another path and stairway up the hill leads you to a private location with stunning bay views above the waterfall patio that would be a perfect to place a build future hot tub. A massive under-house storage area may provide an opportunity for future expansion. 

At 99 Somerset Road modern luxury is wedded to superb design, and this exquisite home is a show-stopping piece of architecture that you absolutely must experience for yourself. With resplendent bay views that span out to the horizon and world-class Piedmont amenities nearby, you are bound to fall in love.




Piedmont, a two-square-mile city within the borders of Oakland, was incorporated in 1907 and was known then as “The City of Millionaires” because there were more millionaires per square mile residing there than in any other U.S. city. Today, their large, estate-like homes are still standing in the heart of Piedmont, reminding residents of its glitzy past. Homes in Piedmont range from those estate-like homes in central Piedmont with expansive grounds to more modest homes on the edges of town. Well-manicured landscapes prevail and the city’s stringent permitting guidelines ensure all of the homes maintain their original flavor.

The commercial area of town is small, featuring several banks and one gas station. Mulberry’s Market, a specialty food store with ready-made meals, caters to gourmet taste buds and is the frequent morning coffee stop for parents and after-school hot spot for kids. Piedmont’s proximity to Oakland’s many big-city amenities ensures Piedmonters will not miss out on the latest restaurants or first-run movies.

The sense of community is strong, as witnessed by the large turnout for the annual Fourth of July parade that happens each year down Highland Avenue. The Piedmont Recreation Center offers a central gathering place for residents. Available for rental, it is the frequent setting for community events and parties. The beautiful grounds provide a wonderful place to hang out and play, and the wooded trail connecting the Center to the high school is the best place to take your dog to play.

A casual carpool zone on Oakland Avenue, along with proximity to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District buses, offer workers convenient commute options.

Pride in community involvement and village living are just a few of the reasons people love to live in Piedmont.


Open Houses:
By appointment only

Brokers Tour:
Information available to Brokers through MLS

Additional Showings by Appointment:

Please contact listing agents to schedule appointments at other times.




David Gunderman
Real Estate Broker
Alain Pinel Realtors
BRE# 01313613
[email protected]
Andrew Raskopf
Real Estate Broker
Alain Pinel Realtors
[email protected]
Wendy Sanda
Real Estate Broker
Kane & Associates
[email protected]