Life in the Village

WHEN THE PERIPATETIC Barbara and Matthew Anderson were looking for a home in Marin, one thought dominated their minds: vacation. “Whenever I look at a house, I think, if we had two weeks off, is this where we’d want to go?” says Barbara. “Every place we’ve lived has felt like a resort.”

Their waterfront cottage in Point San Quentin Village is no exception. Two paddleboards hang below the deck. A stone pathway leads to a tiny beach. A deck overlooks the San Francisco Bay, where seals and otters swim by. All this, in a quaint village unfamiliar to most Marinites, a cluster of 40-plus homes that time has passed by.

Barbara and Matthew came to San Quentin Village by way of Los Angeles, Florida and New Zealand. Shortly after arriving in San Francisco, where Barbara took a job and Matthew joined a start-up, they began looking for a waterfront property in Marin. They were priced out of Tiburon and Belvedere, and Bel Marin Keys wasn’t a match. “The neighborhoods in Novato are more traditional,” says their realtor, Jeff Sterley, “and these two are not traditional.”

When they saw the three-bedroom cottage, they were immediately interested — despite the location, just a few doors from a maximum security prison. “I initially thought that’s a weird place to live,” says Barbara, “but the second I came out here, I never thought about it again. It just feels good. It really is like a village.”

The 1928 cottage, too, really is like a vacation home. Renovated by owner/realtor Marika Sakellariou, the house is all about the water. The living room’s glass doors open to an upper deck. The lower deck, just off the master suite, was designed to show seamless infinity views of the bay.

Like most elegant beach houses (and all of Sakellariou’s designs), the home is done entirely in white. The walls are painted white, all three bathrooms are white, and the kitchen (which has three echoing skylights) is entirely white, except for a stainless-steel refrigerator and oven. A modular Italian couch and modern laminate coffee table in the living room are also in white.

The modern feel is offset by a circular stairway that has old-fashioned carved balusters, as well as by the more traditional pine furniture that the Andersons have accumulated on their travels. The stark white is also interrupted by the endless sand their puppy, Mojito, tracks in. “The whole house has sand in it all the time,” says Barbara. “But if it didn’t, it would mean we weren’t using the beach, wouldn’t it?” And that wouldn’t be much of a vacation.


WHERE THEY PURCHASED Point San Quentin Village

WHAT THEY BOUGHT A renovated 1928 cottage

LISTING AGENT Marika Sakellariou, McGuire Real Estate

SELLING AGENT Jeff Sterley, Pacific Union/Christie’s International Real Estate

View the gallery below for more photos of the Anderson’s home.