ABOUT: ROMANTIC VILLA SANTA BARBARA, MONTECITO, CALIFORNIA
In the hills of Santa Barbara, the pure pastoral ambience of the Tuscan countryside pervades this elegant stone villa, with its gentle light, rugged stone and wood and reverence for the natural surroundings.
Perched on a crest with views of the ocean, harbor, and mountains, the secluded estate was designed and built in the 1930s by celebrated architect Wallace Frost. After living in Italy, Frost created the two-story residence for himself, emulating the classical style of 17th-century Italian villas and creating an air of Old World romance and refinement. Impeccable attention was paid to every detail: a classic barrel-tiled roof, terra-cotta surfaces, wide wood flooring planks, rustic exposed ceiling beams, 18th-century Italian tiles, vintage light fixtures, and sturdy walls of locally quarried stone.
Highlights include six restful bedrooms, six baths, nine fireplaces, a media room, multiple libraries, a regal living room, a formal dining room, an inviting kitchen with marble-wrapped surfaces and stainless-steel appliances, relaxing stone terraces, and exquisite landscaping. Windows and glass doors admit lovely natural light, opening to encourage an interplay with the outdoors.
The 16.88-acre grounds, secured by 18th-century Spanish gates and approached by a meandering quarter-mile drive, are strewn with olive and eucalyptus trees, charming fountains, colorful gardens, and eye-catching statuary and sculpture. An idyllic alfresco dining area is tucked beneath striking mature trees, their winding, twisting branches creating cool shade. Beside the alluring Roman-style pool, amid a swath of verdant grass, an antique Italian column creates a dramatic silhouette, most notably at sunset. Recent additions include the spacious, modern entertainment pavilion known as Jordan Hall; a lap swimming pool; and a tennis court. As the land rolls gently downhill, tall trees give way to a sweeping view of the Pacific and the hills beyond.