Nestled in a premier Montecito, California location rests this sophisticated property that captures the essence of the area’s indoor/outdoor living while stylishly providing every modern luxury. Extensively renovated in 2013 by noted real-estate design and construction company, Becker Studios, Casa Allende enjoys new systems and architecturally significant design elements throughout the spacious 3,600 square feet. On a quiet cul-de-sac off East Mountain Drive, impressive entry gates reveal a circular drive and a generous motor court surrounded by abundant olive trees and stone-lined succulent gardens. Wood doors open to the outdoor foyer, a lovely courtyard bathed in sunlight.
The original entry reveals the large windows of the home’s central great room, encompassing both living and dining spaces. Outfitted with the finest in low-maintenance materials to uphold the home’s natural character, a beamed ceiling, driftwood ash Oak floors and a sleek gas fireplace adorn the living room. The adjoining dining room enjoys a pitched ceiling and views of the vibrant entry courtyard. The open floor plan continues with a fluid transition into the designer eat-in kitchen. In keeping with the crisp and clean design, the kitchen’s generous center island and breakfast bar is finished with Spanish limestone, while combed basalt adorns the backsplash. Wired for extensive audio and video capabilities, the space perfectly doubles as a media room.
This masterfully renovated hacienda has been designed to uphold Montecito’s luxurious standards while basking in a coveted outdoor lifestyle, listed for sale at $4,695,000, from here.
This photo shows what the kitchen looked like before renovations began.
Wide-plank oak flooring has been used throughout the home, imported Spanish stone countertops in the kitchen.
Off the kitchen, natural light fills a spacious bedroom where French windows open to gardens and a separate entrance allows private access for guests. Through a set of lovely archways, the opposite wing of the home provides privacy for two bedroom suites, each enjoying baths with Lagos Azul limestone floors, an additional powder room, and the sumptuous master suite (pictured above). Designed to emulate the true relaxation of an ultra-luxury spa, the master suite enjoys French doors opening to a stone terrace overlooking the property’s enchanting gardens.
Designed to emulate the true relaxation of an ultra-luxury spa, the master suite enjoys French doors opening to a stone terrace overlooking the property’s enchanting gardens. The master bath is a peaceful refuge adorned in marble, with a pitched ceiling and walk-in shower, while a private outdoor bath is a heavenly escape. A large walk-in closet completes the impressive master suite.
An outdoor soaking tub is tucked in a very private space.
Iron and glass doors open completely flush to allow for idyllic indoor/outdoor living. Beneath a repurposed vine-covered trellis, an inviting herringbone brick terrace and stone fireplace overlooks the property’s pool and lush landscape of lawns and gardens.
The property’s grounds have been mindfully landscaped to take full advantage of Montecito’s idyllic climate. Lush lawns and gardens of succulents line an expansive brick terrace, which surrounds the 18-by-40-foot swimmer’s pool and a separate spa providing abundant seating and endless entertaining possibilities. Permitted for additional guest quarters, the property is plumed and wired for an approximately 650 square foot pool cabana with a bedroom, full bath, and kitchenette.
Sandy Koepke is a Los Angeles, California based designer who creates stunning outdoor rooms for her clients for entertaining, dining and the pure enjoyment of being immersed in nature along with beautiful interiors that are timeless design that radiates warm and comfortable family environments. “Sunlight. Space. Sophisticated comfort. These are the elements I incorporate into every home and garden design. Yet each project is as individual as the clients — compatible with the specific site and architecture, and reflecting their own style and needs.”
Sandy has a BFA from the University of Nebraska and an MFA from Arizona State University. She developed her incredible design style from living in sunny Southern California. Her style is fun and relaxed, combining the best ingredients in imaginative ways; creating seamless transitions from indoors to out. Twinkling layers of vintage lighting and masses of succulents in California pottery and salvaged containers add charm and color to her outdoor living environments.
“I love the design process: the attention to detail, partnership with my clients and collaboration with architects, contractors and artisans. Most of all, I love turning ordinary spaces into beautiful places that welcome you home. Timeless and effortless….a light-filled and light-hearted approach to interior and garden design.” Sandy’s work has been featured in national shelter magazines, design books and on HGTV.
Photos: Courtesy of Sandy Koepke
Villa Pearl is a charming blue-shuttered Provençal villa that enjoys a privileged location right on the edge of St. Tropez, yet is privately tucked away in the countryside amidst surrounding vineyards. The two story villa offers five lovely guest bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms. Shaded by olive trees and sweet-scented Mediterranean pines and surrounded by vineyards, the garden makes a tranquil and calming escape from the world. A covered terrace runs the length of the house, shading outdoor living and dining areas. The large pool is set in the private garden and provides lounging areas under over-sized umbrellas.
Indoors, the main floor hosts ample living areas as well as the open plan, fully equipped kitchen and dining area, elegantly furnished in a classic style. Light and airy, the living areas open directly to the terrace and outdoor living spaces. A cozy fireplace provides warmth on chillier evenings. The main floor also provides two of the bedrooms, a playroom, TV room, a convenient powder room and the laundry room. The roomy master bedroom is on the upper level, includes a sitting area, and opens to the balcony. The master bedroom hosts an en-suite bathroom. Two further double bedrooms are on the upper level and share an ample bathroom. A one bedroom staff quarter is also onsite.
An oasis of calm and tranquility, Villa Pearl is roomy, bright, and secluded, while remaining close to the culture, dining venues, nightlife and beaches of famed St. Tropez. Prices range from $4,668 – $6,785 per night or $29,567 per week, sleeping up to ten people, from here.
With a love for gardening and a desire to capitalize on the commanding views, the clients came to Laidlaw Schultz Architects with a request to create a home in the beautiful community of Cameo Highlands in Corona del Mar, California where the line between indoors and out is blurred. The design solution centers on the creation of two distinctive outdoor spaces. The first is an entry courtyard with an emphasis on activity space – some shielded while others open to the sky; the second is a series of lower terraces on the downhill side of the lot, with views towards the Pacific Ocean. A quiet veranda overlooks the terraces, which are dedicated to gardening.
The project’s strict budget yielded a creative solution of exterior materials developed around a simple screening wall composed of horizontal and vertical lpe planks, and smooth exterior plaster with a standing-seam roof capping the composition.
Internally, where possible, walls were removed to capitalize on views; and a composition of textured elements, both smooth and rough, are juxtaposed to add a richness often lacking in modern homes.
This luxury property is situated in the enclave of Smithcliffs, an exclusive and secluded gated community along the coastline of Laguna Beach, California. The masterpiece was designed by Mark Singer Architects and built by Prestige Builders, celebrating the open floor plan of contemporary style. The main house features close to 5,300 square feet, while the pool house features close to 700 square feet. The main house has a second floor dedicated to the master suite, and media room. The first floor has three bedrooms all en-suite and a flowing open floor plan that features details which received critical acclaim. The property is spread over three lots totaling close to 27,000 square feet. The grounds create the ambiance of living in a resort and include a large pool, spa, a quarter basketball court, and lush landscaping.
Photos: Courtesy of Prestige Builders
This amazing home nestled in a tree-lined cul-de-sac in Northcote, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia offers a private entry to Rubie Thompson Reserve. Designed by award-winning architect Robert Simeoni the residence presents an artful blend of contemporary style. As welcoming as it is intimate and sophisticated, architectural voids invite the environs in, over two floodlit levels, to a series of expansive living zones for a subtle, relaxed ambiance.
Seamless glass walls delineate a superb entry through exceptionally proportioned formal and informal living areas with open fire and custom in-built cabinetry. A palette of natural surfaces and materials echoes its Park setting. There are four spacious bedrooms, a master chef’s kitchen and an open plan living/meals area overlooking a large rear yard. A separate formal living area with an open fire place, large upstairs landing/study nook with tranquil views of parklands. Via
This beautiful four story row house is situated in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, New York. Designed by CWB Architects, the project entailed a gut renovation of the garden level and first floor of the 2,600 square foot residence. The program included a family room, guest room, play room, bar, mechanical space, new stairs and a new rear garden design. Exterior facade work included a new large opening in the southern facade facing the garden and an integrated sunscreen to shield the interior spaces.
Photos: Francis Dzikowski/Esto
Atherton Residence is situated on a peninsula south of San Francisco, California, nestled on an internal suburban flag lot. Designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, the previous 1950s house had to be removed due to structural problems, but featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve. They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inward on the pond, garden and pool.
Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace. The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows. The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence.
Photos: David Wakely Photography
Tucked away in the Tuscan hillside not far from the cultural centers of Florence and Siena, Borgo Santo Pietro is a luxurious thirteenth century private retreat set within 13 acres of enchanting gardens. A resting place for pilgrims en route to Rome 800 years ago, this ancient site continues to provide sanctuary to its guests today. Elegant and sympathetically designed interiors and grounds provide the perfect setting to experience sheer indulgence.
All of the rooms are unique and have been created to reflect authentic luxurious Italian style that gives the guests the sense of staying at an exclusive, ancient country villa. With fifteen guest room, eight of which are suites, each room provides a sitting area and a view to remember. The extensive grounds at Borgo Santo Pietro include an orchard, organic fruits and vegetable garden, tranquil lawns and a beautiful pool as well as a tennis court, basketball court and a bocce pitch for the more active guests. A playground is set away from the peaceful seclusion of the garden.
Innovative, world class cuisine created from the villa’s private organic gardens, a velar of fine international and Italian wines, spa treatments, impeccable service and passionate attention to details are set in a refreshingly relaxed and intimate environment. Borgo Santo Pietro offers ultimate quality with the personal touch for truly exclusive escape in the breathtaking surroundings of Tuscany.
Prices for guest rooms range from $488.79 – $1,166.58 per night, from here.
With each new project contemporary architecture is forced to optimize spaces and use the maximum of each square meter of the site. V4 House, designed by Studio MK27 is a rare anti-example. Its occupation of the land is very far from the maximum coefficient. Laws allow for much larger constructions. The solution adopted, however, dialogues with the dimension of the site, formulating an adequate relation between the scale of the construction and the site. Contrary to the surrounding houses, a garden neighborhood of São Paulo, Brazil, V4 House is a ground floor and almost disappears when seen from the street.
The living room, positioned at the front of the house, is under a delicate beam of exposed concrete. Two rows of door frames, on both sides of the living room, can be completely retracted, constituting total integration between the front garden, the living room and the back patio. The living room, in this case, shelters from rain and sun, like a large veranda. And, under the beam, in one of the extremities, there is an open kitchen. On the ceiling of this volume, a large deck is an empty space that functions as a solarium. This terrace makes almost the entire project like a garden.
The concrete beam appearing from the wooden box, houses the two rooms that face the patio. In the wooden box from where the concrete beam appears, are the two rooms that face the patio.
The wooded shaded area enables to control the inner temperature and, simultaneously, offers privacy to the environments.
The bathroom of the master bathroom faces a small garden, removed from the rest of the house.
The program for the client’s needs and the dimensions of the site made it possible to do an unusual project: an urban ground-floor house. The house ends up, therefore, being very delicately inserted with the surroundings.
Photos: Courtesy of Studio MK27