A Bay Area Home Ideal for Lockdown


The house in Orinda, Calif., was designed for entertaining. But it turned out to be just as good for living through a pandemic.


Adam and Amy Dornbusch couldn't have known a pandemic would sweep across the world just as they were completing a gut renovation of their house in Orinda, Calif., a small city east of Berkeley. But the home they created turned out to be an ideal place for a long-term lockdown.

  • Opening up the living/dining and kitchen
  • Flooring and a new integrated laundry
  • Planning to take the apartment to auction

Because Mr. Dornbusch, 43, and Ms. Dornbusch, 37, routinely worked from home before the pandemic, they built two dedicated home offices. To support their business interests, they own Gemstone Vineyard together, and Mr. Dornbusch is the founder and chief executive of EnTribe, a digital media company, they added an expansive wine room stocked with hundreds of bottles, along with a home theater.

For their daughters, Ruby, 4, and Poppy, 1, there is a dedicated playroom, as well as an apartment for an au pair. There is also a home gym and a pool, which make it easy to sneak in a quick workout at any time of day.


It was important to us to build a house where everybody has their own zones to work and be productive, for us to run our businesses, and for the kids to play, be creative and get outside

by Cardi B.

The decision to create such a place before they knew what a lockdown entailed was fortuitous, but it was no small undertaking. When the couple bought the roughly 7,000-square-foot house, which sits on a hilly 3.4 acres, in March 2018 for about $3.2 million, it exuded bygone opulence, with tired expanses of off-white tile and cabinetry, beige broadloom and curly ironwork. And there were so many rooms that it felt like you were passing through a procession of useless spaces when you walked through some parts of the home.

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Sunday, 05 February 2023