In Montecito, Extraordinary Simplicity at $6.3M


Where: 655 El Bosque Road, Montecito
Asking: $6,300,000
What: Designed by the Santa Barbara architect Lutah Maria Riggs in 1930, this 3-bed, 3.5-bath home is small enough (by Montecitio standards) to be called a “pied-à-terre” by the agent. We’ll just call it right-sized and perfect, in part because it’s set in an exceptional series of terraced, manicured gardens that evoke Provence, but mostly because of the simple serenity brought about by the current owners.

Riggs (1896-1984) was the protege of the legendary George Washington Smith, an aristocratic American aesthete who was largely responsible for the bringing the Spanish Revival Style– a melding Mexican adobe missons and Andalusian villages– to Santa Barbara. It was a characteristically California style that would eventually extend in various forms from San Diego to Berkeley, made possible by the development of the cast terra cotta industry in the state’s nearby Central Valley, which produced everything from roof tiles to decorative elements to the dimensional blocks that enabled the construction of thick-walled structures.

Because the blocks were hollow, they were lightweight enough to build massive structures in an earthquake-prone area. Easily cut and trimmed to allow for gas, electric and plumbing lines through the walls, and then covered in stucco on the exterior and plaster on the interior, the blocks permitted designs that would have been impossible with the original adobe or stone traditions that the new buildings emulated. The spectacular arch in the entry hall could not have been built any other way.

What We Love: The kitchen and pantry, adjacent to the dining room.

Below, the master suite and its private pation.

More: have a look at the listing for additional images and information. The property is represented by luxury specialist Suzanne Perkins at Sotheby’s International Homes.