Dash up the steps, a swell surprise awaits in this Craftsman home's backyard

The art of buying the right home can be so perplexing. Those who excel at work and play could find themselves frustrated by cash buyers, a sizzling market, or "thinking too much" before acting. Realtors may recite a mantra to refocus the buyers: location, location, location. This 1914 Craftsman-style darling is 3 for 3 in desirous qualities: vintage ambience, essential updates and walking distance to plenty of amusements.
From the moment the 1,426-square-foot Oakland, Calif., home comes into view, the blend is obvious: older trees, newer front garden; stately home design, refreshed facade. It all whispers: Step right up and stay a while.
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After you open the door, the main event greets you. Drink it all up: The front window lets in beautiful light, the mirror accentuates the space, and the fireplace nestled between two sweet windows means you'll be the best, and busiest, of party hosts. 
The dining room connects the front room to the kitchen, retaining the natural tones and emphasis on light with a trio of windows. The vibe here is both intimate and relaxing, meaning you can shut the curtains, light some candles, and shut out the world for sure. Or invite a few competitive bakers over for a cupcake bake-off. If the chef prefers company while creating, pull up a stool at the bar. 
The kitchen is well appointed with the tools of a cook's trade: good counter space, farmhouse sink, updated appliances, effective storage, and enough floor space to twirl about in sheer ecstasy over a fabulous concoction (it could happen). Let's face it, this kitchen is designed for entertaining, whether it's family night or poker night.
There's more than a wee bit of room in the nursery, where the dual windows mean your little can play on the rug on sunny or cloudy days. And when baby starts school? There's plenty of room to grow into.  
There are two more stately bedrooms tucked away, which should translate into soothing sleep time, and here there's even space for a swank chair for your nightly reading. This room's motto? Relax. 
What better place to begin the day (if you have to) than in a glistening, inviting bathroom? A smashing shower with a bench and window — it's a little bit daring — showcases a healthy sense of personal space just where it is needed. We feel refreshed already.
The back bedroom provides a portal to the pristine backyard. It seems a glorious way to live: Wake up with the sun kissing your face, or count the stars as they twinkle at night. It feels modern enough but with classic touches. Staycation, here we come!
A deck leads from the house to the property's lovely surprise: an artist's studio. Or perhaps there's a crafter in the family? A novelist in the making? We love the Mini-Me quality of the studio — matching the main home's design is so smart and pleasing to the eye. 
What a lovely spot to wrap up the tour. There's enough yard for little ones to toddle about and kick a ball around. Or for a cute pup to bark and wriggle about. Or did someone say putting green? All we can do is sigh with contentment.
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Some may say city living can take a toll on you. That might be so, but if you could call a home such as this one your castle, every night would feel like a fairy tale. May your home story have a happily-ever-after ending.
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