Of all the places I've traveled to in the United States, Santa Barbara is probably my favorite. To be more exact, Montecito. If you can say a city or town has "it", this place definitely does. With the beach, the mountains, the climate, the architecture, the food. I just don't think it can get much better.
The times I've been there, I love to drive around to see all the incredible homes and gardens. Many are very difficult to see from the road because of the enormous walls and most of the homes are set so far from the street. Last time we were there we dragged the kids to an estate sale just so we could see the property -- the last thing kids want to do on a Spring Break.
Well known interior designer John Saladino's estate is one of these. Fortunately, C Magazine, did a story on his incredible home (you can also see it in his book).
His Italianate villa was built in 1929 by architect and builder Wallace Frost. Saladino did an incredible job of remodeling the house that is quintessential Monticeto.
The roof is 18th century Italian handmade terra-cotta tile. He brought in more than 4,000 trees and shrubs including these incredible 50 year old Italian cypress trees.
The interior is just as amazing as the exterior. Many of the interior walls are the same stone as the exterior. The steel windows and doors are incredible. We are currently building a Mediterranean house in Fort Worth with windows and doors very similar.
I love the urn set into the stone window surround. The ivy covered wall in perfect.
The dining room, with the (what I believe to be) cypress paneling and ceiling and Italian chandelier is beautiful.
All of the above pictures from C Magazine.
Another well published interior designer, Michael Smith, did an incredible job at the former Pillsbury estate in Montecito -- Las Encintas. This Portuguese-style house was originally a California Mission Revival house built in the 1890s and is set into the hillside. It is much different from Saladino's but typical old Montecito. More formal and crisp.
The tile in the living room and powder bath typical Portuguese and are handmade in Los Angeles. We are using a very similar tile from the same tile company for a current job.
I love how Smith gave the powder bath a true Period Revival feel.
While I love my city, Montecito is one of those places that is just very difficult to beat.
All of the pictures of Las Encinitas come from Santa Barbara magazine.