Make Myself at Home: The Tiffany House
Take a Look Inside This Classic Upper Eastside Craftsman
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Address: 401 East Pedregosa Street
Status: On the market
Some people appreciate a prominent address. They covet the cache of a recognizable street name: possibly for the panache or perhaps just for the convenience that such recognition provides. Other people prefer the anonymity of being tucked away on a private lane — the less well-known, the better. These are folks who don’t necessarily want to be found easily, if at all.
The Tiffany House, on Santa Barbara’s upper Eastside, provides the best of both of these extremes. This beautiful craftsman home sits on the corner of Laguna Street and Pedregosa Street. Not only are both roads well-known in town, but this particular corner is noteworthy because it is a five-way intersection close to the landmark Santa Barbara Mission. I’m sure anyone who has lived in Santa Barbara for any length of time could find this corner without a map or a cell phone.
The house is set far back from the street and occupies more than one-third of an acre. Its address is 401 East Pedregosa, but it is also known as the Tiffany House because it was built in 1913 for Burnett Tiffany, who had come to California around the turn of the century. The house exudes the style and grandeur of the era, befitting a residence that has been here more than one hundred years. However, it doesn’t feel overly formal or imposing. It looks and feels as if one could move in and make it their own.
The entrance to the house is dramatic and dignified. I walked through the tall front hedge and up the brick walkway, pausing before the front steps to take it all in. The steps are flanked by solid ledges topped with Santa Barbara sandstone, wide enough to sit on. They lead up to an entrance portico with two hefty wood columns on either side. From this front porch, one can access the broad patio, which spans the front of the house, or head straight inside.
The Tiffany House boasts more than 5,000 square feet of living space, with six bedrooms and five and a half baths. The front door leads to a spacious entry foyer, with the living room to the left and dining room to the right, and huge French doors opening straight out to the backyard.
The house has a plethora of period details, including coffered ceilings, leaded windows, built-in bookshelves, wainscoting, paneling, and oak hardwood floors throughout. I kept finding myself fixated with the quaint latches and handles on all the windows and doors. There are antique light fixtures, and several fireplaces that all have charm and character. But the features that most emphasize the era of the house, and reminds you of its pedigree, are the twists and turns that one encounters while exploring the house. There’s nothing cookie cutter about the Tiffany House. It’s wonderfully one of a kind.
The basic floor plan of the house has the living room, dining room, kitchen, and two bedrooms on the first floor, with the remaining bedrooms upstairs. There is also a library, a breakfast room, and a butler’s pantry on the first floor. And there are not one but two staircases to choose from. The grand front staircase is wide and well used, leading up to a landing that sports a huge hidden media closet with plenty of built-in storage. But there is also a back maid’s staircase that leads to a separate sitting room that feels like a secret hideaway.
Upstairs, there are four more bedrooms, an office, and a sunporch. The master bedroom suite might be my favorite part of the house. It occupies the front westernmost corner, and it’s spacious, with separate double walk-in closets, a fireplace, a dressing room, and a balcony. The master bathroom has its own private patio, along with a luxurious bathtub and separate shower. It may contain more marble than I’ve ever seen in any one room.
As charming as the interior of the house is, the yard of the Tiffany House is a wonder, as well, with fruit trees, separate lawn areas, and brick patios, all surrounded by a private hedge. There is a covered veranda off the side of the house that provides an additional huge indoor/outdoor living space, plus a pool and a hot tub.