About This Listing
A beautiful, large, tranquil Victorian home & retreat-like setting in the South Berkeley area, only 2 blocks from BART. Architecturally colorful & unique, very conveniently located near cafes, bakeries, and the celebrated Berkeley Bowl grocery.
This charming Old Lady, a 1905 Victorian Home, is an artistically colorful and inspiring refuge and place to find rejuvenation for your soul. I have several guest rooms. Click on my photo or name to go to my profile to see other listings. See my profile here:
All rooms are single occupancy only to help preserve the quiet environment.
THE HOUSE AND THE LOCATION:
This house is very conveniently located directly on the Berkeley-Oakland border 2 blocks from the South Berkeley (Ashby) BART station, the local subway. This allows you to travel to most any San Francisco Bay Area destination without a car. You can quickly arrive to downtown San Francisco within 30-45 minutes by BART.
Within walking distance of 5 blocks, you can find: several ethnic restaurants (African, Mexican & more), 2 cafes, 2 bakeries, La Pena Latin American cultural center, Starry Plough Irish Pub, a low-fee acupuncture clinic, and Berkeley Bowl grocery store, with its celebrated enormous offering of fresh produce. Walk a little farther north, and within 30 minutes or 1 mile you will come to downtown Berkeley, and the University of California at Berkeley, movie theatres and many shops, restaurants, and other attractions such as bookstores, comics/games stores. (Downtown Berkeley is also just one BART stop away.) By walking East, you come to the attractive Elmwood avenue shopping area within ¾ mile, and its shops, restaurants including Indian and Mediterranean food and Italian deli, movie theatre and Metaphysical bookstore. The Walkscore rating for my home location is 88 out of a possible 100 in walkability rating: any higher a rating and you would have trouble finding parking. Speaking of parking: there is plenty of 2 hr parking on my street (M-F, 8am to 6pm it's 2 hr limit) and some smaller areas of unrestricted parking on my street and nearby.
This attractive room available for you is 12 by 12 in size, with hardwood oak floors and a 10 foot ceiling, a tall window facing east, a full size bed, table and chair and desk lamp, nightstand and overhead bed reading lamp, closet and shelves. Clean sheets and towels provided. The room is painted a golden yellow and the trim is orange, doors are light violet. There is a loft bed platform built into the room, which you won't use, but which gives the room an atmosphere of an art studio or den, eg. a "lair." The full bed is under the loft so it has a "tucked away" and sheltered feeling. I call this room the "Enchanted Lair" because in many respects my house feels like a magical, fairytale setting, with its kaleidoscope of colors, its encompassment by trees and garden animals, its many intriguing environments and views. I hope that a visit to my house might rekindle your sense of the possibility that you are living in an enchanted world! Depending upon how scheduling goes, I may or may not be able to accomodate short stays (eg less than 2- 3 weeks) in this room, which is generally intended for longer term stays. Currently there is space available for shorter stays from May 1 to 14, 2015, during July 2015, and starting August 29th 2015.
You will share the kitchen and bathrooms (one full bath, one half bath) primarily with 2 other guests and myself, though I don’t cook much. I am not vegetarian, and there are no restrictions on what you may cook here. There is wifi and laundry available on site.
Architecturally, this is a colorful and playful house, where you won’t find white or “off white” rooms. The rooms have ten foot high ceilings and attractive moulding. All the original redwood moulding and redwood panel doors remain. The spacious kitchen is orange with a blue countertop and green tile floor, featuring an antique Wedgewood stove. For those staying 4 weeks or less, there are basic staples for you to use for your cooking. (For those staying longer, please purchase your own kitchen staples). Feel free to enjoy the fresh chicken/quail eggs I have placed in the kitchen, from my backyard flocks. In the kitchen I have also placed free maps which will help direct you to local attractions.
The Meditation Room generally has a guest staying in it and is not available to other guests, but during any times when there is no guest staying in that room, feel free to enjoy the meditation room and library, the colorful front room of the house featuring 3 bay windows. Browse my book collection or sit in silence for meditation, yoga, reading or writing, art or any other silent activity: guests may talk in the room during hours 3-7pm.
Also feel free to enjoy the backyard garden, perhaps visiting the humorous hens, quail or the good-natured rabbit, or sitting by the pond with running water.
The common areas of the house are professionally cleaned once a month, and I clean these areas weekly. Apart from this, guests are required to clean up after themselves when using common areas (see house rules for more information).
Please read house rules before booking a reservation, so that you can assess if you will be comfortable in this setting. I ask that prospective guests please complete your profile, including a photo, and verified email and phone number.
Prospective guests often ask about area safety. Guests have said the area felt safe, and neither I nor any renter/guest has been robbed or accosted in the 9 years I have lived here. Apart from stating such facts, I cannot answer general questions about "how safe" the area is, or "will I be safe doing X", any more than I could answer a question about how likely you are to get hit by a car when walking around my neighborhood. Asking, "is the area safe?" is a bit like asking, "are tamales delicious?" Obviously, it depends. Safety is both subjective and relative, and is also dependent upon use of common sense, such as being observant of one's surroundings, and not walking down the street while talking on the phone and advertising one's expensive electronics. Robberies do occur around the Ashby BART area and throughout Oakland and Berkeley. No area is completely safe.
Street parking is available, mostly limited to 2 hrs on weekdays, but there are unrestricted parking areas also within 1-2 blocks.
This house has been a community house of one kind or another for over 40 years, and I have over 9 years experience in renting rooms in my house and learning how to create a tranquil environment for others to enjoy. It's a large house, and you won't feel crowded here: it's a great place to stay if you like your privacy and enjoy your independence.
I welcome you to come enjoy a tranquil retreat from the workaday world and rekindle your sense of delight and enchantment!
Search keywords: retreat, meditation, mindfulness, vipassana, contemplation, dharma, reflection, quiet, tranquility, garden, cottage, private, privacy, independent, introverted, spiritual, Buddhist, Buddhism, Zen, zafu, silence, art, artist, library, nurturing, rejuvenation, psychology, nature, animals, chickens, hens, urban farm.
2 bathrooms, full use of the kitchen, full use of laundry facilities for those staying 3 days or more, use of backyard. Use of Meditation Room if it is not occupied by a guest staying in that room.
Interaction with Guests
I like to talk with guests when they arrive, but I am a pretty private person as well as someone needing large blocks of private time for creative projects, so after I get home from work I tend to spend time alone. I also am out a lot on weekends. I tend to chat with guests when I them around...if you like interacting with others, there is always more than one guest at the house and you are likely to be able to get to know other people from around the world.
The immediate area is a one-block long very quiet residential neighborhood of mostly single family homes, but we are also one block away from a main street which has several cafes and restaurants, and we are walking distance from downtown Berkeley and the UC Campus.
The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, the local subway) is only 2 blocks away, and makes it easy to travel to most destinations in the Bay Area. There are also bus lines within 1 block.
In order to provide a rejuvenative, tranquil and retreat-like atmosphere for guests, as well as a healthy, comfortable and safe environment, the following are the rules of my house. It is your responsibility to not only read these rules once, but to be aware of and follow all of them throughout your stay at my home. Most of what follows is common sense or common courtesy. The rules serve to protect you as a guest by helping ensure that the environment you find here is the one that I intended to create.
Please keep in mind:
You will be sharing common areas with other guests, and thus the cleanliness of the common areas is far more dependent upon all guests cleaning up after themselves, than it is upon my once a week cleaning. Most guests do very well in keeping common areas clean!
Kindly remove shoes upon entering the house. Please do not drag luggage up the front stairs.
Please leave things as they are in your room: do not remove pictures from walls, don't move furniture around, and do not remove the comforter cover from the comforter or the mattress protector from the mattress. Also, it should not be necessary to say, but since some guests have done this, I must add: please do not take any of my personal possessions out of my home for any reason.
No smoking or "vaping" of any substance inside or outside house, and please do not smoke on the sidewalk in front of the house as this results in dropped butts littering the street.
No pets/animals may be brought to my home. If you like animals, there are some in the backyard who enjoy being visited! Any guest who intends to bring an animal, MUST disclose this prior to booking. In the case of a guest who fails to disclose that they intend to bring an animal prior to making a reservation, and arrives with an animal, their reservation will not be honored and they will be turned away.
For the better health of all, this is a fragrance/chemical free environment --no fragrances --no perfumes/colognes, “air fresheners”, laundry soap with fragrance, fabric softeners, incense. Shampoo with fragrance is fine.
Due to danger of fire, no candles, space heaters or open flames may be used in the house.
Rooms come already furnished, and guests may not bring additional furniture. Guests may not bring a huge amount of belongings -- please limit yourself to 2-3 suitcases.
Please observe hours for laundry facilities.
When you are done using the kitchen, leave no dishes or food in the sink, on counters, on the stove, or in any common area. Either wash your dishes or put them in your personal storage space. The kitchen should look as though you were never there. Kitchen hours are 6am to 10pm: you may quietly retrieve snacks outside of these hours but no meal preparation outside of these hours. No heavy/greasy cooking in the kitchen. Please, if you spill things on the stovetop, clean it up. Do not leave spills to bake onto the stovetop, which makes them hard or impossible to clean off.
Please don't store your items anywhere but in your designated storage space, labeled with your room name, or they may be removed or discarded, as I will assume a departing guest has left them.
Please do not consume food or beverage in the bed as this can cause damage to linens. Dishes may not be stored in the guest bedrooms.
Do not leave personal belongings in common spaces when done with those areas. Each guest will have designated bath and kitchen storage areas for your own personal use.
AFter use of the bathtub/shower and sink, please clean out hair from the drain/floor area and sink area and make sure tub/shower is basically clean. Do not remove the drain screens from tub/sink as those help prevent clogs. Do not use hair dyes in tub/shower as this will cause damage to the facility.
Common areas are cleaned once a week, and guest rooms are cleaned in between guest visits. Apart from this, guests are expected to clean common areas after use and clean their own rooms during their stay. I cannot stand by the kitchen or bathroom 24/7 and clean up after others. Please do your part to clean, so that others don't complain to me about a situation that you have caused.
Longer term guests: in order to prevent the problem of stale, unpleasant odors emanating from rooms and into common spaces or other's rooms, room windows need to be opened periodically to air out the room. If stale odors become a problem, I will enter guest rooms to air out these spaces.
Rooms are single occupancy only, and guests may not bring any others to visit to my house, neither overnight or during the day. No exceptions will be made.
House quiet hours are 9pm to 8am, and laundry hours are 9am to 9pm. To help preserve the tranquil environment, please keep electronic players and/or voices down at all times, and do not have cellphone conversations in the house after 10pm to avoid disturbing others. No socializing in the house after 10pm.
Please use computers, radios, electronic players and cellphones in your room only and do not bring these into common areas.
Please always lock deadbolts of exterior doors when passing in/out through the doors.
If you have a bicycle, there is a bike storage area outside where you can put it: please do not bring bikes or additional furniture into rooms. Because bike storage space is limited, please ask me before bringing a bike to the house, as there may or may not be room for additional bikes. I do have a bike available for guests to use if an additional security deposit amount is paid to cover its potential loss. Bikes may not be parked/stored anywhere on the property except in bike storage area.
I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to say this, but because some guests have done this I have to say: you may not be present in my house in an intoxicated state. Neither I nor other guests at my house want to have to interact with an intoxicated person or have our sleep disrupted by someone who arrives drunk late at night. Persons who are intoxicated in my house will be asked to leave my house and find another place to stay.
No mail may be received by guests at my home. I used to allow this but due to repeated abuse, I cannot allow this any longer. I get an enormous amount of mail for people who no longer live here. There are UPS and Fedex places nearby where you can receive mail. Unauthorized mail will be refused delivery and returned to the mail carrier.
Please exercise common sense and good judgement throughout your stay. Examples of not using good judgement: piling up dishes too high on dish rack, so they fall out onto the floor. Putting on makeup or hair gel and then lying down on my linens, thus damaging them.
Guest agrees to pay Host for damages or loss for any of Host's property damaged/lost by the Guest.
In order to save myself and my guests from trouble in the case of any guest refusing to follow house rules, significant violation of house rules may result in immediate termination of the reservation, forfeiture of the total cost of reservation, and/or a $20 fee per incident.
When checking out, leave room door open, go out front door and lock exterior door, then place the keys in the mailbox. Note check out time of 11am. You must leave no later than checkout time.
I will orient you to the house when you arrive.
I look forward to meeting you!
Arbitration. All claims and disputes for total amounts greater than $5000, with the exception of Unlawful Detainer actions, arising under or relating to this Agreement are to be settled by Binding Arbitration in the state of California. An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
I had a wonderful stay at Deborah's place. The Victorian house and it's rooms are just amazing, and so is the host. Deborah was always supportive, friendly and outspoken - we also had some nice chats whenever we met. Apart from that, the location is simply perfect: close to everything (3 mins to BART, 10-15 to campus by bike). I highly recommend staying at Deborah's place.
O quarto é bem confortável e espaçoso. A casa é tranquila e ofereceu tudo o que eu precisava. Deborah é uma ótima anfitriã.
Gostei muito, e recomendo.
Deborah was a very gracious and welcoming host. The house is exceptionally quiet and peaceful. The room was well-appointed. Secure bike storage was a big plus.
I had a very good stay at Deborah's place. The room was well kept, clean and neat! The location is very nice, quiet. Very close to Berkeley Campus! Talking with Deborah was very pleasant experience. If I have to go back to Berkeley I will certainly go back to this place.
This host has 191 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Deborah
I have a passionate interest in cultivating the life of the soul of the human psyche. In the past I worked as a counselor and led a dream group. For many years, I have studied mythology and Jungian psychology, and practiced Active Imagination and dreamwork. I use Tarot as a tool for spiritual/soul growth as well as the Divinatory Arts, and I study and practice Horary Astrology. I enjoy Early Music (medieval), Baroque, and chamber music, and Sacred vocal music, and am an avid bicyclist. I also spend time taking long walks in the many Bay Area parks we are so fortunate to have available here. I also love creating beautiful spaces, and having an opportunity to do so creatively is one of my favorite types of projects to undertake in my professional life in home design. I've spent a lot of time making a more beautiful and inspiring space out of my own home, and I feel grateful to be able to make this space available to others!
I am an introvert, a visual artist, writer, astrologer and book lover and also spend a great deal of my free time either browsing bookstores, or at home engaged in the enchanting world of a good story or compelling mystery book, doing pen sketches and small watercolor or acrylic paintings, or working on the mystery novel I"m writing.
I love that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the richest spiritual centers in the world, with a marvelous diversity of teachings, retreat centers and workshops available here. We are extremely fortunate in this regard. In my own spiritual path, the role of Imagination and Creativity are very important, and the type of Meditation I practice is music/devotional meditation rather than Vipassana, though I do attend Buddhist retreats and workshops from time to time.
Irish Pub with live music and food.Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Latin American cultural center, restaurant and cafe -- live music.Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
BBQ place nearby.Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Lectures and meditation classes in the style of Paramahansa Yogananda.Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Mexican food nearby.Adeline St Berkeley CA 94703
Car rental place only 4 blocks away!Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Friendly neighborhood coffee house.Shattuck Avenue Oakland CA 94609
Books, magazines and newspapers in European Languages.Shattuck Avenue Oakland CA 94609
Mexican food near Berkeley Bowl.Shattuck Avenue Berkeley CA 94705
Tasty sandwiches and drinks only 2 blocks away!Shattuck Avenue Oakland CA 94609-1018
Berkeleys legendary grocery store with huge selection of fresh produce.Oregon St Berkeley California 94703
Delicious bakery near Berkeley Bowl.Adeline St Berkeley CA 94703
Whole FOods is nearby.Berkeley CA 94705