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Charming Vintage Cottage Featured in Creative Home Magazine in Mill Valley

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vacation rental description

Our charming circa 1903 cottage in Mill Valley is just 12 miles north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge in scenic Marin County. This special home is featured in the Summer 2009 issue of Better Homes & Garden’s Creative Home magazine. It has also appeared in California Interiors, an internationally acclaimed design book, and on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Home Section. Filled with antiques, books, artwork and a baby grand piano, this is an elegant, comfortable home away from home close to the culture of San Francisco and the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Tamalpais.

The cottage is built with rough old growth redwood plank walls and beamed ceilings enameled a luminous white. The Douglas fir floors have been whitewashed to a soft pink glow. Generous windows, French doors and the dining room’s glass solarium ceiling flood the interior with warm light filtered through the verdure of a mature garden with climbing roses and wisteria clambering over rooftops and arbors. 

In the living room, a comfortable banquette with down pillows, English antique reading chairs and a French Louis XV style brocade love seat circle a wood-burning fireplace. We created the coffee table from a salvaged slab of antique mahogany. Across the room, built-in bookshelves house a collection of art and design books. A bird’s eye maple drop leaf desk holds Bay Area trail maps and guidebooks. 

A wide archway joins the living room with the music room, featuring a 5 ft. grand piano and furnished with a velvet chaise and an English-style overstuffed sofa.  The exterior wall of floor-to-ceiling 1920’s vintage black steel multi-pane casement windows is softened with antique Italian lace curtains. The beautiful green light from the windows is reflected in a wall-size mirror over the sofa.

A step down from the music room is the solarium dining room, with a rough-hewn antique farm table and vintage metal Chinese Chippendale garden chairs. The solarium continues the music room’s steel casement windows, wrapping around to the back of the cottage, where French doors lead to an ipe-wood deck furnished with teak garden benches, Adirondack chair and marble coffee table. The dining room and the deck share a glass solarium roof that is covered in white roses and wisteria each spring.

A half-wall bookcase housing our collection of garden books divides the dining room from a small media room with a comfortable twin daybed sofa for watching the 42” HD plasma TV with home theater sound system. You may view the TV from the dining room, or draw vintage floral chintz drapes across the opening. 

There are CD and DVD players, a selection of music and videos, and a wide range of premium cable channels including HBO, Showtime, AMC, IFC, Retroplex, On Demand, etc. There is high speed WIFI internet service for your laptop computer, and a jack for playing your iPod or MP3 player through the stereo system. 

The media room can be used as a twin bedroom, with the daybed sofa made up with a memory foam mattress topper, high thread-count linens, down pillow, quilt and down duvet. The first floor bathroom is adjacent to this room.

The kitchen has custom-built mahogany cabinetry with pink marble counters and a butler sink. Stainless steel appliances include a Bosch dishwasher, Gaggenau cooktop, oven, and a French door refrigerator with ice water dispenser. Small appliances including a microwave, 4-slice toaster, Francis-Francis espresso machine, Chemex manual drip coffee maker, coffee grinder, Cuisinart food processor/blender, rice cooker, waffle iron, ice cream maker and immersion blender. There’s a full complement of cookware and bakeware, sharp knives and handy gadgets. Tableware includes an extensive collection of vintage English china circa 1840-1940. 

The kitchen’s library/breakfast nook is wrapped in white-washed pine bookcases filled with more of our extensive book collection –– here fiction, poetry, cookbooks and reference volumes predominate. An antique pine table is drawn up to a cushioned banquette. Residing over all is a marble Buddha in the window.

The first floor’s full bathroom includes a shower tiled in sea green/blue glass mosaic. A steel casement window in the shower has stained glass panels of Chicago art glass in watery tones. 

Upstairs, the master bedroom has a comfortable, Edwardian era English mahogany king bed. The bed is dressed with a memory foam mattress topper, quality linens and quilt, down pillows and duvet. The room’s rough redwood ceiling and walls and Douglas Fir floor are all enameled white. A wedding cake confection of a Venetian glass chandelier hangs from the peaked ceiling; halogen reading lights on both sides of the bed provide focused light.  Japanese and Chinese cabinets act as nightstands; there’s a low wall of poetry books along one side of the bed.  A charming amateur copy of a Picasso painting from his pink period hanags at the food of the bed; an amateur Monet hangs next to the Dutch door that opens onto a private deck with a wisteria arbor and sunrise view overlooking the garden and the rooftops covered with climbing roses. Two lounge chairs and a built-in seat make this a comfortable spot for morning coffee or sunbathing.

A Hasbro portable crib can be set up in the master bedroom on request.

A second upstairs bedroom has a antique iron full bed with quality linens including Marimekko sheets, down pillows, quilt and down duvet. A wall of casement windows opens onto a view of climbing roses; a wall-size mirror at the foot of the bed enlarges the sense of space. A large built-in armoire houses ample drawers and closet rods as well as a gas fireplace and flat screen HDTV with premium cable and DVD player.

The upstairs bathroom has a vintage claw-foot tub with hand-held shower spray. Appropriately painted shell pink, the bathroom displays an extensive collection of shells and shell-craft.

The cottage is filled with original works of art, antique furnishings and chandeliers. We are both artists whose media include poetry, painting, letterpress printing and vintage home remodeling. Our home is our favorite work of art, lovingly lived in and created over a period of more than twenty years. 

The cottage is surrounded by a long-evolving garden of roses, wisteria, hydrangea, herbs, Mediterranean perennials and California natives. The back deck looks out on a center courtyard with a fountain; to the left is our studio, where one of us quietly works most weekdays; to the rear is “The Playhouse,” our own cottage retreat. Laundry facilities in the studio are available in the evenings, weekends or by arrangement.

Located at the gateway to Homestead Valley, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Mill Valley, our cottage is on a quiet street near the Miller Avenue shopping district, around the corner from Whole Foods Market, Marin Theater Company, and a variety of interesting shops and tasty restaurants.  A Golden Gate Transit bus stop is a block away, with service throughout the county and to San Francisco directly or via the Sausalito Ferry

It’s a 3 minute drive or pleasant walk to Mill Valley’s charming downtown, with boutique shopping, dining, movie theater, bookstore, library, and live music, theater & stand-up comedy at 142 Throckmorton Theatre.

Annual events include the Dipsea Race, the oldest trail race in America; the Mountain Play at Mt. Tam’s splendid outdoor Greek theater: Shakespeare, film nights and the Fall Art Festival in Old Mill Park; and the celebrated Mill Valley Film Festival. 

Sports & Outdoor Recreation: A yoga studio and circuit training gym are a block away. We’re at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais, with many miles of gorgeous hiking, running and mountain biking trails. Level, scenic bike trails link Mill Valley to the picturesque bayfront towns of Tiburon and Sausalito. Golf, tennis, indoor & outdoor swimming pools are all nearby; kayaking & sailing on the bay and swimming & surfing at the ocean are 15-30 minutes at most. We’re close to Muir Woods and many beaches, including Muir Beach, Tennessee Valley, Rodeo Beach, Stinson Beach and the Marin Headlands.  From bird watchers to whale watchers, the region is a haven for nature lovers.

Napa and Sonoma wine country and the beautiful coast of West Marin are within 20 minutes to an hour. We’re an hour from both San Francisco Airport, with bus transport to Mill Valley’s Manzanita Parking Lot, a 5 minute cab ride from the cottage; and Oakland Airport, with bus transport to central San Rafael, a 15 minute cab ride. Door-to-door van service is also available to both airports.

Parking is on the street. Sorry, no pets and no smoking. May not be suitable for young children; please inquire.

Please inquire to see our extensive photo album and web links to regional attractions.

cottage rental amenities


  • 1200 sq. ft. house
  • 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths
  • 1 king, 1 full, 1 twin
  • Short-term rental 
  • Ideal for vacation, business, visiting family
  • 1 block to shopping district 
  • 1 block to Golden Gate transit bus
  • Walk to downtown Mill Valley
  • 12 miles to San Francisco
  • Linens provided
  • Utilities included
  • No phone; use cell
  • No pets, no smoking
  • May not be suitable for young children

Living Areas 

  • Living room with wood-burning fireplace
  • Music room with baby grand piano
  • Library breakfast room
  • Solarium dining room
  • Media room/twin bedroom with Plasma HDTV/DVD with premium cable, DVD, CD, connector for iPod or MP3 player, board games
  • Full bedroom with gas fireplace and HDTV/DVD with premium cable
  • Hardwood floors, French doors, chandeliers
  • Antiques and art
  • Furnished deck off living/dining rooms
  • Garden with fountain


  • King bedroom with private deck
  • Full bedroom with gas fireplace and flat screen LCD HDTV/DVD
  • Twin bedroom with Plasma HDTV/DVD/CD
  • Quality linens
  • Down duvets & pillows
  • Quilts
  • Plush bathrobes
  • Portable crib on request


  • Media room: 42” HD plasma TV, CD, DVD
  • Premium Cable includes HBO & Showtime
  • Home theater sound system
  • Hi-speed WiFi Internet access 
  • Flat screen LCD HDTV, Premium Cable & DVD in full bedroom
  • Scrabble and card games 
  • CDs & DVDs 
  • Hundreds of books
  • Regional tourism, nature & trail guides
  • Yoga mats 


  • Filtered water & ice 
  • Gas cooktop with hood
  • Electric oven 
  • French door refrigerator/freezer with ice water dispenser
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Espresso machine
  • Electric tea kettle
  • Chemex manual drip coffee maker
  • Coffee grinder
  • 4-slice toaster
  • Cuisinart food processor-blender
  • Rice cooker
  • Immersion blender
  • Waffle iron
  • Ice-cream machine
  • Full complement of cookware & bakeware
  • Sharp knives & handy gadgets
  • Attractive tableware
  • Coffee, tea, espresso pods, sugar, spices
  • Non-toxic cleaning supplies

Two Bathrooms

  • Clawfoot tub with hand-held shower
  • Tiled shower with hand-held shower massage
  • Dual-flush water conserving toilets
  • Towels provided
  • Hairdryer


  • On-site washer/dryer
  • Available evenings & weekends; weekdays by arrangement
  • Iron & ironing board

Eco-Friendly Features

  • Dual-flush water conserving toilets
  • Non-toxic cleaning supplies
  • Linens laundered in unscented detergent 
  • Recycled paper products
  • Compost bucket for kitchen scraps
  • Recycling bin for plastic & glass bottles & paper
  • Cloth shopping bags provided
  • Natural fabrics, vintage furnishings
  • Salvaged redwood & Douglas fir walls & floors
  • Forest Stewardship Council certified Ipe decks
  • Organic garden, water-conserving drip irrigation
  • 1 block to Whole Foods organic grocery
  • 1 block to Golden Gate Transit bus stop

activities and attractions in Mill Valley San Francisco Bay Area

  • San Francisco and Bay Area 
  • Pacific Ocean beaches, swim & surf
  • Kayak & sail San Francisco Bay
  • Mount Tamalpais hiking, running, mountain biking trails
  • Bike paths to Sausalito and Tiburon on San Francisco Bay
  • Boutiques and restaurants in Mill Valley's charming downtown
  • Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco
  • Sonoma & Napa wine country
  • Muir Woods & Golden Gate National Recreation Area
  • Tennis, golf, horseback riding
  • Spas, indoor & outdoor swimming pools
  • Walk to theaters, live music, stand-up comedy, dining & shopping

vacation rental rates

10% tax on rental fee

$125 cleaning fee

$500 refundable security/damage deposit

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Mill Valley vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 05/1/2009.

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