Thursday, December 13, 2018
Address: 601 East Victoria Street
Status: On the market
Claw-foot tub? Check. Retro kitchen appliances? Check. Wraparound porch? Check. The craftsman bungalow at 601 East Victoria Street is one of the most impeccably restored and beautifully detailed homes of its era in Santa Barbara. There may be other contenders, but this one certainly worked its charm on me.
When I toured the home this past Sunday, I shared my oohs and aahs with plenty of other visitors; some curious neighbors, and others active house hunters. This steady stream of spectators assured me that I was not alone in my fascination with this cottage.
The first asset of this home is its location. The 600 block of East Victoria is on a slight uphill grade, as downtown rises into the beginnings of the Riviera. This house is elevated even further; set above the street on a little knoll, accessed by a front pathway and a few stairs at the corner of Victoria and Salsipuedes Streets. It’s close to downtown and right near the Santa Barbara Bowl, but set up high enough to feel private and enjoy treetop views.
The corner entrance leads to the center of a broad front porch, which spreads to both the left and right, giving guests an option of two front doors, one on each side. Before going inside, however, it’s impossible not to pause and admire the porch itself. A traditional craftsman exterior with a long, low roofline is broken up by square white wood columns each set into a river-rock base. This natural stonework is echoed in the prominent chimney as well.
The porch is wide and welcoming, with a swing and several sets of Adirondack chairs beckoning visitors to sit, relax, and admire the view. The front side of the porch overlooks a lush, private yard, surrounded by a hedge and filled with palms, roses, and both native and tropical fauna. I was not surprised to learn that the house earned a Santa Barbara Beautiful award for its landscaping.
The front doors are oversized, with red wood frames around original wavy-glass panes. This unique style is mirrored in the beautiful windows throughout the home. Both front doors lead into the living room, a graciously comfortable space combining a sitting area with built-in bookcases and a deco-style fireplace, with a separate defined dining area. Throughout the home, wainscoting, maple hardwood floors, and vintage fixtures stay true to its 1917 pedigree, while an extensive renovation in 2011 provides modern updates and conveniences.
This blend of old and new is especially evident in the kitchen and bathrooms. Stepping from the dining area into the kitchen, a charming breakfast nook on the left takes advantage of plentiful windows, and faces onto the functional part of the room. A retro gas stove and ice-box-style yellow refrigerator integrate seamlessly with a farmhouse sink, high-end fixtures, and charming tile work.
The bathroom is configured in a Jack-and-Jill style, sitting between the two bedrooms. It marries a true claw-foot tub and patterned period tile with a Carrara marble counter and dual sinks with gleaming, vintage-style fixtures. An additional half bath off the living room serves as a guest bathroom and is equally as charming.
The bedrooms are finished with the same attention to detail as the rest of the house. One unexpected bonus is an anteroom beyond the kitchen that’s been converted into a laundry room, providing convenience and extra storage, which is indeed a premium in houses of this era.
The magic of this home is much more than the sum of its parts. The details are certainly part of its allure, but there’s more. The way it’s situated on its lot and every single view — both of the house and from the house — are appealing at every angle. The other visitors last Sunday seemed to feel it, too, so I’m confident that this enchanting cottage will attract a new owner soon.
601 East Victoria Street is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Bartron Real Estate Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Bartron Real Estate Group at 563-4054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.