Forest Knolls, California — Green Home For Sale

Borders Open Space, enveloped in sunlight, this private forest retreat exudes beauty, tranquility, warmth and comfort. Property features: primary residence, private guest quarters, office w/separate entrance, art studio above garage & organic garden.

Listing ID: 20147

  • Energy Efficient Home
  • Green Home
  • GreenBuilt Home
  • Healthy Home
  • LEED Home
  • Natural Home
  • Sustainable Home

Asking Price (USD) $1,500,000
Annual Property Tax $5,519
Annual Utility Cost $3,650
Home Area 2,095 sq ft
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 3
Total Property Area 16117 sq ft
Year Built 2010

Property Description

Tucked into the hillside and enveloped in natural sunlight, this private forest retreat exudes beauty, tranquility, warmth and comfort. In addition to the primary residence, the property includes private guest quarters, a spacious office with separate entrance, a beautiful art studio above the detached two-car garage, and an organic garden planted with California Natives, berries, plum trees, herbs and flowers that attracts hummingbirds, Monarch Butterflies and other wildlife. Embrace the majestic perfection of the forest and bucolic countryside within each living space through any of the many French and sliding double doors, private decks and patios, and through the prodigious clerestory windows, all of which offer breathtaking views. Experience mindful indoor-outdoor living, where mature trees and the adjacent hillside create a feeling of privacy and the comfort of nature’s embrace.

Upon approaching the property, one is awe struck by the uniquely arched home on the hillside. Often referred to as “The Ark,” the home’s round windows and arched roof resemble those of the biblical ship that served as the ultimate safe haven. Pass through the front gate and ascend the curved driveway hugging the terraced front yard or climb the staircase to the top of the knoll to be greeted by both the cheerful entryway of the home and the forest’s edge - a hidden gateway to 1,500 acres of Marin County Open Space.

Step through the double glass doors into the bright chef’s kitchen characterized by extensive counter space, stainless steel appliances, a sizable island/ breakfast bar, gorgeous dark wooden cabinets and mosaic glass pendant light fixtures. The bright colors and plethora of windows add depth and sophistication to an already beautiful and joyous space.

The kitchen opens to the focal point and most inspiring space of the house, a great room with exposed custom engineered Montana Spruce curved beams with exceptionally high ceilings and grandiose clerestory windows, providing a larger than life feel among the Heritage Oak trees, California Bay Laurels, Madrones, Pine trees and more. Curl up next to the fireplace with a good book or take your living outside seamlessly through the double doors to the large deck.
Climb the elegant staircase detailed with hand painted Mexican tile and a glass paneled banister to the lofted master suite. Yet another retreat for nature gazing, one cannot help but appreciate the magnificence of the forest and rolling hills of Marin County when looking through the double layered clerestory windows or the double glass doors leading to the private deck. The breathtaking master bathroom includes an oversized Jacuzzi jet tub beneath a five foot circular window, stall shower with pebble river rock floor, low flow toilet and bidet, a double wooden cabinet vanity with two stone vessel sinks and travertine tiling throughout.

The second bedroom, with access to the rear patio and organic garden, and a full guest bathroom complete the main residence. No detail was unattended to in the design and reconstruction of this environmentally and ecologically conscientious residence. This home features renewable, organic and sustainably resourced materials as well as energy and water efficient appliances to honor and appreciate the natural world.

One floor below the primary residence is yet another retreat for nature gazing, a second legal unit with full bathroom and attached (unfinished) laundry room - storage space. Referred to as the “Eco Nest,” this tranquil space has operated as an active short-term rental for Spirit Rock Meditation Center visitors, Airbnb guests, and guests seeking a non-toxic chemical-free haven for the past four years. Nearly every material used in the remodel is organic, sustainable or recycled.

Still one floor further beneath is an incredibly private (Appx) 210 square foot office with glass French doors that invite in fresh scents of clean air and aromatic greenery. Mexican Saltillo tile flooring, ceiling fan, sizable window and wall heater ensure a comfortable atmosphere conducive to work, exercise or meditation.

At the street level, nestled in the hillside is a detached oversized garage with art studio above whose arched architecture mirrors that of the main house. Sliding barn style doors lead to the interior of the remodeled garage and a set of wooden steps lead around the exterior to a perfectly placed art studio. Draw inspiration from this beautiful setting to create your greatest masterpiece -- from the soft sound of the wind through the trees, the bright colors of springtime flowers, the bubbling of the ephemeral creek that runs across the street or the beautiful display of changing leaves in the deciduous trees surrounding the property.

Enjoy a warm and breezy afternoon, a starry night or the divine magic of a sunrise from any private balcony, patio, garden or from within your own cathedral in the forest. Break out of the box and fall in love with this peaceful, secluded oasis submersed in nature and untouched by time.

Special Features List
Property Highlights
o Eco-Green, Organic, Sustainable and Recycled materials
o Water and energy efficient appliances
o Nestled in the forest of California Redwood and Madrone trees on a uniquely sunny lot
o Borders Gary Giacomini Open Space Preserve
o Rural living within 45 minutes of San Francisco and 20 minutes to Highway 101
o Close proximity to Samuel P. Taylor State Park and Point Reyes National Seashore, listed in the top 10 most beautiful places in the USA by Good Morning America, with camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming, kayaking, slow food and farm-to-table dining
o Wonderful neighborhood and vital community with music, phenomenal dining and fresh produce stands, art shows and community center
o Successful short-term (Airbnb) rental for additional income, or legal rental/guest quarters

Main House (Appx. 1,404 square feet)
o Double layered, custom engineered Montana Spruce exposed beam barrel vaulted ceilings
o Floor to ceiling windows, large circular windows, four clerestory windows and many double paned conventional windows of varying sizes
o Architectural style compliments the setting creating an open feel and phenomenal acoustics
o Acacia wood (fast growing renewable wood source) flooring in the lower level
o Propane fireplace and propane powered forced-air heat
o Two ceiling fans keep the air flowing to cool the house in summer, and the heat from the fireplace circulating in the winter
o Private and Quiet – very few homes can be seen from any place on this property
o Chef’s kitchen includes: propane 4 burner stove, electric oven, stainless steel appliances, new Whirlpool dishwasher, ample counter space, island/breakfast bar, artisanal mosaic recycled glass pendant lighting supplemented by recessed lighting
o Beautiful up lit LED lights shine on the curved ceiling from the walls of the great room and master suite loft
o Master suite features bamboo flooring, separate sunning/sitting wooden deck with dramatic turquoise spiral staircase to the garden
o Master Bath has separate low flow toilet and bidet, stall shower with pebble river rock floor, a large Jacuzzi jet tub beneath a 5 foot round window, a double wooden cabinet with two stone vessel sinks and travertine tiling
o Bright second bedroom has beautiful views and access to the garden through French double doors
o Second full bathroom with shower over tub, beautiful cabinet with vessel sink
o Cedar wood exterior siding and spiral staircase painted in the summer of 2014

Green-Certified Organic Guest Space / Third Bedroom and Third Bath (Appx. 481 square feet)
o Currently doubles as guest quarters and the-Eco-NEST, a Marin County and Bay Area Certified Green Business
o Legal second unit - plumbed for kitchen and stackable washer/dryer
o Sustainably engineered Oak wood flooring and LED recessed lighting
o Private full bathroom with large Travertine tile throughout
o Beautiful cut-glass oval entry door and two sets of sliding double doors to the large private deck
o Propane stove fireplace
o Large unfinished room attached, currently serving as laundry room and storage space (appx. 652 square feet)

Separate Office (Appx. 210 square feet)
o Quiet, private space with glass French doors leading to exterior surrounded by lavender bushes, California Oak and Bay Laurel trees
o Mexican Saltillo tile flooring
o Remains cool in the summer due to location and ceiling fan
o Electric wall heater keeps warm and cozy during colder months and cool evenings
o Great space for yoga/meditation studio and/or gym

Art studio (Appx. 383 square feet)
o Architecture mirrors that of the main house with exposed Montana Spruce arched beam barrel vaulted ceilings
o Windows on all sides provide ample light and cross ventilation
o Beautiful custom glass door
o Internal access to electricity and water plumbed to the front entrance (exterior access) and back side of the building
o Located above garage
o Tucked into the private knoll upon which the main home sits

Full two car garage (Appx. 373 square feet)
o Sliding barn doors
o Built in fan for supplemental climate control
o Roof replaced in 2011

Organic Garden and Landscaping
o Three Automatic low-water drip irrigation system: one for terraced area with Japanese Maples, one for main fenced garden and one for raised beds outside of the main house double doors
o Terraced front yard with layer stone walls and Japanese maples
o Organic flower, herb, ornamental garden with several raised vegetable beds and deer fencing
o Attracts many species of birds and other wildlife such as Hummingbirds, Swallow Tail and Monarch Butterflies
o Indigenous and transplanted edible and aesthetically pleasing plants
o Outdoor electricity, exterior lighting with motion detectors throughout property

What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?

-Organic, Sustainable and recycled building materials used when possible
-Water and energy efficient appliances throughout
-LED lighting
-Guest space doubles as the Eco-NEST, a Marin Countya nd Bay Area Certified Green Business
-Ethernet Internet (no Wifi)
-NO SmartMeter (for EMF sensitivity)
-Organic garden

Neighborhood Description

Forest Knolls is an incredibly tight knit community with a serface area of 4.2 square miles. Even though it is less than 22 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, it feels like an entire world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Most neighbors know eacch other and are active in the vivacious community.

Market Area

Forest Knolls is one of 5 hamlets that make up the San Geronimo Valley Community. The Valley is located just west of the Town of Fairfax – a thriving, eco-conscious and diverse community with a wonderful organic & natural foods grocery, solar-powered Movie Theater, parks, coffee shops, fine dining, art and more. Forest Knolls is approximately twenty minutes from the beach, a few miles to Samuel P. Taylor State Park, less than 45 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge, and an hour to Napa wine country

School District

The San Geronimo Public School offers a choice of Montessori or Open School education programs. A Waldorf charter school is also nearby. Forest Knolls is a part of the Tamalpais Union High School District.


The San Geronimo Valley is known for mountain biking, hiking, equestrian sports, organic farming, art and music. Special features of Valley Living include: the Arti Café, a Michelin rated local, organic Indian Restaurant; an active Senior Services program at the Valley Cultural & Community Center; world renowned Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the beautiful San Geronimo Golf Course. The Valley has several places that offer sports for all ages, yoga, music programs and meditation.

Home Type or Land

Single Family - Split Level

Location of Home or Land


Elevation of Home


Building Details

Air Quality

Agriculture in Area Yes
Industry in Area No
Air Pollution in Area No
Pesticide Free Yes
Fragrance Free Yes
Cleaned with Green Products Yes

Interior Environment

Heating System Fireplace
Forced Air - Gas
Cooling System Other
Ventilation System Whole House Fan
Whole House Filtration Active charcoal
HEPA filtration
Whole House Vacuum No

Energy & Water

Energy System Municipal Energy
Water System Municipal
Wastewater System Septic System

Construction Information

Construction Type Wood Framing: 2x4, 2x6, etc.
Exterior Finish Stucco
Interior Finish Other
Interior Paint No VOC
Floor Material Tile
Wood - Solid
Roof Material Asphalt Composition Shingle
Window Material Other
Insulation Material Other

Garage / Car Port

Garage / Carport Yes
Garage Type Detached
Number of Cars 2
Garage Area 373 sqft

Property Website


Contact Information

Lotte and Sarah

1040 Redwood Highway Frontage Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941 US
Telephone: (415) 464-7484

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