Bring the Indoors Outside: the California Room Trend

If you are house-hunting and find yourself looking at new or recently developed homes in the Bay Area, you may have seen properties advertised to have a “California Room,” but what exactly is a California room?

California room or luxury porch image from Pixabay
Image by andre casti from Pixabay

What is a California Room?

Sometimes when a house has beautiful views, large sunny windows, and plenty of access to outdoor spaces we might promote it as “bringing the outdoors in.” With the popular trend of California Rooms, however, Bay Area new homes are bringing the indoors outside!

Outdoor living features are as old as the art of architecture itself. The California room is very similar to the classical loggia. It is a living and entertaining space open to the outdoors on at least one side and always covered by a roof. More protected than a lanai, not fully enclosed like a sunroom, and more multi-purpose than a patio, the California room is a luxury space that can be described as a hybrid between a porch and a room.

Read more

How old are the oldest houses in Los Gatos and nearby?

Historic Homes in Los GatosIf you drive through the Edelen, Almond Grove, Fairview Plaza, Glenridge and other older and historic Los Gatos neighborhoods, you may have wondered how far back in time these architecturally interesting properties go.  What are the oldest residences in town, or close by?

In the Santa Clara Valley, there are a few old adobe homes here and there, such as the Peralta Adobe in downtown San Jose (built in 1797), and the Santa Clara Women’s Club Adobe (built in 1790), and many more.  In Los Gatos we don’t have any pre-1800 adobe homes to my knowledge.

Property records for LG indicate that there are a couple of homes dating from about 1840 or 1850, but a close look reveals that they have been extensively remodeled and look more like homes from 2005.  Want something authentically historic and still looking the part? There are plenty, but they don’t date from quite so early. They are instead from the late 1870 or so at the earliest, generally.

Today I did a search of county real estate records for homes in Los Gatos (in town, 95030 & 95032 plus the mountains, 95033) and found hundreds of properties identified as pre-1900 construction.  There were about about 400 in 95030, 120 in 95032, and also about 120 in 95033.

The majority of the older homes were said to be built in 1900.  That figure is so high as to make me ponder whether that’s just an easy way of saying “really old” rather than the precise year of construction completion.

For all Los Gatos areas combined, there were about 65-67 homes that pre-date 1900.  That’s a pretty good handful for the lover of historic properties to admire!  If you enjoy seeing lovely older homes, especially Victorians, be sure to visit Los Gatos and drive through the historic districts and streets near downtown!  Below are a few photos to urge you to have a look in person 🙂

Read more