Make Myself at Home: Historic Montecito Home

Historic Home in Montecito

1167 Summit Road

Jim Bartsch Photos

1167 Summit Road

Address: 1167 Summit Road

Status: On the market

Price: $6,350,000

My sister and I watched the last sunset before daylight saving time ended at Butterfly Beach in Montecito. The time change means that we won’t be leaving the office until after dark most days, so Saturday’s six o’clock sunset was worth celebrating. We parked at the top of Channel Drive and walked our dogs along the hillside path down to the beach. We saw dolphins frolicking and sailboats full of people enjoying the warm evening air. Everyone we passed smiled and said hello. It was one of those idyllic evenings that reminded me why people who can live anywhere in the world choose to live in Montecito.

The house for sale at 1167 Summit Road in Montecito is less than a mile from this blissful site. It offers plenty of amenities of its own, but when I visited last week, I have to admit that its location was the first on my list of reasons to love it.

The house itself has a notable past. It was built in 1911 and designed by architect Frederick Roehrig, who was well-known for many turn-of-the-century homes, mostly in Pasadena. This home was originally the carriage house and water tower for an early 1900s estate, but it was extensively renovated in 2013. The house one walks through today has both a classic feel plus all the modern-day luxuries.

When you’re standing in front of the house, a tall tower rises on the left side, while a steeply pitched roof anchors the rest of the home and hugs a balcony on the second story, draped with bougainvillea and smiling down on all who enter. For a historic house, it has an almost modern feel, with clean lines and geometric details.

The house flows beautifully. Walking in the front door, I felt an immediate sense of calm. The foyer opens to both the left and the right, and each direction beckons with spacious symmetry. To the right is the living room, with a garden beyond it. Through the living room and down a step is the dining room. Both of these rooms are serene and inviting, but after peeking into both, I made a U-turn back to the foyer to see what the other direction had in store.

An entry hallway opens up to the second floor, providing the option of going upstairs, but instead I walked into the family room. It was immediately evident that I was in the heart of this home. The kitchen and family room form a great room that are spacious and inviting in their own right, but they also open onto a huge central patio with a pool, spa, and outdoor kitchen. The indoor/outdoor flow is seamless, with seating areas and a covered dining area outside that just beg for mingling, entertaining, and family fun.

The pool is the focal point, flanked by a trellised dining area on one side and a pool house on the other. The amenities include an outdoor shower, a built-in barbecue, and a raised spa at the far end of the pool. I’m sure that if I had had more time to explore, I would have discovered even more delights.

The pool house backs on to a guesthouse, which can be as open or as self-contained as desired. This leaves flexible options, depending on whom you’re entertaining. Your guests can be completely self-sufficient with their own full kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, plus an entrance onto the front gardens. Or, with the door into the pool house open, traffic can flow freely from the guesthouse into the pool area and main house.

Walking back into the great room, I saw that I had almost missed an elegant office, as well as a doorway that leads down to a wine cellar. The kitchen was also definitely worth a second look, boasting an oversized island with a marble countertop, gourmet appliances, and a full pantry.

I was already enamored, but I hadn’t even gone upstairs yet. The wide staircase is crafted from the same walnut hardwood as the floors throughout the house and opens onto a spacious landing, with round windows casting an artful glow. Three bedrooms each enjoy their own bathrooms, with a laundry room placed conveniently in the center.

The master bedroom steals the show, with a terrace that runs the length of the house, looking out over the pool and backyard and offering views of the ocean in the distance. The afternoon that I visited was one of our hot summer-in-November days, but the ocean breeze was surprisingly refreshing through the open terrace doors. The master bath features a bathtub with a view of one of the home’s peaceful gardens below. A fireplace, sitting area, and walk-in closet complete the package.

This home is luxurious but not ostentatious. The floor plan is designed for fun gatherings, and the great room is ready for a crowd. Not that you’d ever need to leave this house, but if the lure of the waves is strong enough, the fact that it’s walking distance to picture-perfect Butterfly Beach just might be reason to want to leave once in a while.

1167 Summit Road is currently for sale in Montecito, listed by Riskin Partners of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Riskin Partners at 565-8600 or team@riskinpartners.com.