When it comes to contemporary homes, California has a long history of designing examples that perfectly capture the architectural concept while allowing for a unique level of livability. Contemporary architecture is ideal for both the California climate and the state’s casually elegant style, maximizing opportunities for indoor-outdoor living and showcasing views of gorgeous landscapes. The two contemporary homes selected for this month’s Livable Luxury feature certainly fit that bill. Except for the “expensive” part. Whether you are looking in Northern California’s East Bay or on the sand in Southern California, you can find an exceptional contemporary wonder for less than $5 million.



131 Alamo Springs Drive
Alamo, CA 94507

Located in the East Bay hamlet of Alamo, bordered by Walnut Creek and San Ramon, 131 Alamo Springs Drive offers over 6,400 square feet square feet of dramatic contemporary space that has been designed to be as welcoming to its daily residents as it is to visitors. The home interprets California living indoors with special touches including a hand-created, seashell-covered drum chandelier in the dining room and disappearing sliding glass doors in the living room that open the space up to the back yard.

“Contemporary architecture retains modernism’s devotion to connecting the indoors and outdoors, and to achieving a feeling of spaciousness,” said Front Door. And this home says, “Touche!”

Outside, it is as if the home was created as a blueprint of the ultimate contemporary offering, right down to the outdoor kitchen with infrared Viking barbecue, refrigerator and Corian countertops. A pool fed by several fountains, large sports court, spa, fire pit, fireplace and numerous outdoor dining areas complete the outdoor oasis.

Entertainment space is equally abundant inside, with a theater room with a 120-inch screen, projector, blackout curtains and surround sound. The impressive kitchen is the heart of the home, with two large islands, stainless steel appliances including a double commercial refrigerator, double dishwashers, warming drawers, glass-tiled walls, butler’s pantry and views of Mt. Diablo framed in by oversized windows.

Five bedrooms are offered, including the spacious master suite with views of Mt. Diablo and a master bath featuring a separate whirlpool bath, computerized shower system by Kohler, a flat screen TV, and its own kitchenette.

Alamo, named by the Spanish in 1850 for the poplar trees that lined San Ramon Creek, is close to freeways and abundant shopping, and just a 35-minute BART ride to San Francisco. 131 Alamo Springs Drive is represented by Clark and Anne Johnson of Coldwell banker Residential Brokerage for $3,950,000







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6638 Old Pacific Coast Hwy
Ventura, CA. 93001

The award-winning contemporary residence at 6638 Old Pacific Coast Highway presents a unique opportunity to own a California beach house right on the sand with the Pacific Ocean as your neighbor. This exceptional residence in Mussel Shoals is “located at a critical juncture of the California coastline, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, near a legendary surf break,” said Design Arc, the home’s architectural firm.

The contemporary showplace offers views right out of a magazine, with breaking surf and the pier out to Rincon viewed right from the living room. Walls of glass bring the coastline and miles of sandy beach right into the home. But lest a glare from glass doors get in your way, you’ll be happy to know they disappear right into the wall.

Sparkling blue and whitewater views also punctuate the elegant, private second-floor master suite and spa bath, with sleek surfaces that are nearly as captivating as the vistas beyond.

The concrete and glass, 2,725-square-foot residence, with three bedrooms, three baths, a gourmet kitchen with professional-grade appliances, and numerous fireplaces juxtaposed against Pacific panoramas is “a confident and self-effacing home that defers to the repose and tranquility of the sea, while providing a place of quiet respite for the client,” said Design Arc. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) agrees. The architecturally stunning beach house won both the 2008 AIA Ventura County Chapter Award of Merit and the 2012 AIA Santa Barbara Chapter Honor Award.

The home, located on a promontory adjoining miles of sandy beaches housing only 28 residences as well as the Cliff House, a renowned beachfront hotel and restaurant, is sheltered from the road behind privacy gates. Yet it opens up to the entire Pacific with a sunny oceanfront terrace, expansive decking, and sparkling swimming pool.

6638 Old Pacific Coast Highway is represented by Victor Plana of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $3,299,500.

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Which luxury contemporary is most livable in your eyes?