Surrounded by stately oak and eucalyptus trees and exhilarating Santa Ynez Mountain views, a couple living in the stylish enclave of Montecito in Santa Barbara County were understandably enamored with the location.
But the homeowners, an opera singer and talent manager, weren’t completely happy because they yearned to savor it from a remodeled house. Craving something bolder, a place that fully engaged with the glorious outdoor setting, they hired a contractor. When he realized he needed additional help with the overhaul, he suggested adding Anacapa to the fold.
Dan Weber, founder and principal architect of the Santa Barbara–based firm, wasn’t too impressed upon seeing the abode. "It was a pretty drab, California ranch-style with a brown shingle gable roof and T1-11 composite wood siding, but it was sitting on this amazing piece of property," he recalls.
Although the 2,500-square-foot dwelling did not expand in size, its personality was completely transformed by Weber’s decision to amplify mountain views through vast spans of glass along the north facade. To maintain the minimalist vibe, a standing-seam metal roof now caps the home.
From the beginning, Weber determined that a dark palette was one of the best ways to revive the residence, but realizing that the budget was modest, he was ready to merely paint the siding that was already in place. As the couple became more invested in the renovation, however, they sprung for the higher-quality alternative of shou sugi ban.
Anacapa replaced the original board-and-batten exterior siding with cedar weathered by the shou sugi ban technique, and the petite adjacent guesthouse—used as an office when friends aren’t visiting for one of the owners’ meditation retreats—now flaunts the same look.
Inside the main house, dropped ceilings were eradicated, leaving the wooden ceiling structure exposed to lend a sense of openness, an impression that is reinforced through the overall revision of the floor plan.
"A couple of small bedrooms were combined to make one master suite, the bathroom suite was enlarged, and interior partition walls were removed to make one huge space," Weber explains.
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Santa Barbara studio Bailey Peace Design handled the interiors, and the objective, says cofounder Betsy Peace, was bringing the outside in, "collaborating with Anacapa to create a quiet sanctuary with clean, modern lines, softened by elemental materials."
Hushed white walls, for example, contrast with the dark, burnt shou sugi ban exterior. Even the couple’s writing desks were crafted from the same big tree, fostering dialogue between indoors and outdoors. "The result is nature glowing against the shou sugi ban in perfect harmony, and the interiors almost feel as though you are outside," adds Peace.
Other than the pendants over the bed and the sconces in the dining room, all lighting fixtures were chosen to blend with the architecture and grounds. Each piece of furniture was handled like a fine sculpture, and materials, including the stone used on the countertops, possess a certain dignity.
"We poured concrete floors to expand from the inside out, so that it feels like the house is floating," says Peace. "The neutral palette of earth tones allows for texture and grounding."
More by Anacapa:
Builder/General Contractor: Richard Scibird
Structural Engineer: Ashley & Vance Engineering
Interior, landscape, and lighting design: Bailey Peace Design (Kelli Bailey and Betsy Peace)
Photography: Erin Feinblatt
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