A Dark Midcentury Becomes a Luminous Gem

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
A dated midcentury dwelling in Santa Barbara is transformed into a bright, airy abode—perfectly suited for contemporary living.

Sited just a half-block from the Pacific Ocean and neighboring a 70-acre ocean-side preserve, the location of the 1952 ranch-style dwelling could not have been better. Yet, homeowner Heather Greene of Sprout Concepts envisioned a more modern look for the modestly sized 1,100-square-foot residence in Santa Barbara, California. 

To take charge of the project, Greene called upon local firm Anacapa, where she worked in collaboration with architect Dan Weber. Given the extensive updates that needed to be completed on the three-bedroom, two-bath property, the redesign soon turned into a three-year project.

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Before: a look at the 1952 ranch exterior 

Before: a look at the 1952 ranch exterior 

At the start of the project, the team planned to incorporate the home's basic footprint into the redesign and retain the original foundation. Yet, once the demolition took place, the architects determined the foundation was not safe to build on and needed to be completely replaced. 

Before: the carport

Before: the carport

By relocating the garage to the front, the architects reconfigured the home's floor plan to transform the carport structure into a new master suite, which increased the home's square footage by approximately 1,000 square feet. Now, this area, along with two guest bedrooms, are located in the "private" wing of the home. The new design maximizes natural light through extensive glazing via skylights and oversized sliding glass doors. 

The new exterior palette consists of white stucco and Ipe wood, and the landscaping in the front yard is comprised of drought-tolerant plants, with a focus on succulents. 

The new exterior palette consists of white stucco and Ipe wood, and the landscaping in the front yard is comprised of drought-tolerant plants, with a focus on succulents. 

The team selected a simple material palette of Ipe wood and white stucco for the exterior, and brightened the interiors by painting the walls a crisp white and allowing ample opportunity for natural light to flood inside. 

The master suite was inserted where the carport used to be. 

The master suite was inserted where the carport used to be. 

After three years of strategic design and a thoughtful remodel, the result is a stunning, 2,500-square-foot home—including a covered outdoor deck—with a luminous open floor plan that centralizes the kitchen, dining, and living spaces, all while showcasing uninterrupted views of the private backyard garden and fire pit.

With the home being located just minutes from the beach, the outdoor shower from Kohler's Purist collection is a perfect spot to rinse off after excursions. 

With the home being located just minutes from the beach, the outdoor shower from Kohler's Purist collection is a perfect spot to rinse off after excursions. 

Before: as you can see, the kitchen before the remodel was dark and narrow.

Before: as you can see, the kitchen before the remodel was dark and narrow.

Now, the kitchen is bright, open, and totally transformed. The chandelier is the Aquitaine Linear Chandelier in Burnished Brass from RH Modern. 

Now, the kitchen is bright, open, and totally transformed. The chandelier is the Aquitaine Linear Chandelier in Burnished Brass from RH Modern. 

Sliding glass doors have been inserted along the entire width of the kitchen/dining/living room area, enabling the home to be completely open to the elements. The radiant-heat cement floors and two indoor fireplaces provide warmth on cooler days. 

Sliding glass doors have been inserted along the entire width of the kitchen/dining/living room area, enabling the home to be completely open to the elements. The radiant-heat cement floors and two indoor fireplaces provide warmth on cooler days. 

Keeping the region’s temperate climate in mind, the architects have inserted sliding doors and operable windows throughout the home to enable ventilation and decrease the need for air conditioning.  

Keeping the region’s temperate climate in mind, the architects have inserted sliding doors and operable windows throughout the home to enable ventilation and decrease the need for air conditioning.  

The residence is now both comfortable for everyday living and convenient for entertaining family and friends. Simple and elegant, the home has been transformed into a serene retreat that is the epitome of California indoor/outdoor living.

Shop the Look 
Oblique White Planter
Oblique White Planter
Keep your plants thriving through neat and tidy living. Kingston, N.Y. artist Andrew Molleur handcrafts planters that seamlessly integrate a display vessel and water tray in a triumph of minimal design.
Antipode Brass Candle Holder
Antipode Brass Candle Holder
A modern interpretation of classic Scandi candleholders, these minimalist pieces are elegantly rendered in solid brass.  We recommend mixing and matching different sizes for a stylish look.
The Citizenry San Rafael Safari Stool
The Citizenry San Rafael Safari Stool
Thick caramel leather. Rich Haya wood. This stool is one handsome fella. With its streamlined design and “throw-me-anywhere” size, this classic piece instantly ups the game of any extra corner. Style as a set of two for the end of a bed or entryway.


Greene's golden retriever, Hudson, hanging out in the living room. 

Greene's golden retriever, Hudson, hanging out in the living room. 

"This home feels like my personal paradise," exudes Greene. "Anacapa elevated the design way beyond what I could have imagined on my own, and yet, it feels totally aligned with my sensibilities. It is flooded with natural light, there is a connection to the outdoors in every room, and the home’s clean lines soothe my soul."

Before: the bathroom also felt dark and dated. 

Before: the bathroom also felt dark and dated. 

Now, the bathroom is a beautiful blend of white, wood, and brass. The Lucent mirror and Aquitaine pendant lighting in burnished brass are from RH Modern. 

Now, the bathroom is a beautiful blend of white, wood, and brass. The Lucent mirror and Aquitaine pendant lighting in burnished brass are from RH Modern. 

The current layout takes full advantage of the site, placing heavy emphasis on maximizing natural light and indoor/outdoor living.

The current layout takes full advantage of the site, placing heavy emphasis on maximizing natural light and indoor/outdoor living.

The deck and fire pit create a cozy space for everyday living and effortless entertaining. 

The deck and fire pit create a cozy space for everyday living and effortless entertaining. 


Project Credits: 
Architect: Dan Weber of Anacapa Architecture / @anacapa_architecture

Structural Engineer: Paul Belmont, Ashley & Vance Engineering

Interior Design: Anacapa Architecture

Cabinetry Design/ Installation: Joseph Franklin, Lotus Cabinetry

Custom Dining Table & Master Bed Frame: Nate Modisette, Bomo Design

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