When he’s not designing custom homes, such as this Montecito modern, architect Tom Meaney enjoys the beauty of fine art.

Courtesy Photo

When he’s not designing custom homes, such as this Montecito modern, architect Tom Meaney enjoys the beauty of fine art.

20 Questions with Architect Tom Meaney, AIA

A Love of Fine Art Informs Home Design

Santa Barbara–based architect Tom Meaney first realized the potential of combining his passions for art and architecture while studying in Rome through the University of Notre Dame. Since then, his artwork has helped him “understand and appreciate the subtleties of color, proportion, and texture,” he said. “Combined with architectural training, I strive to create a home emphasizing light, space, scale, and detail. My goal is to create a home for my clients which reflects the unique qualities of their site and the individual aspects of their lifestyle.”

For examples of his art and architecture, visit And for Meaney’s thoughts on life’s bigger picture, keep reading.

What drew you to architecture early on? It’s always been in my blood.

What has been your favorite architectural field trip or vacation? Studying in Rome for a year while in college.

By Courtesy Photo

Tom Meaney at the I Madonnari Italian street-painting festival

What is your favorite public building in Santa Barbara? The Mission.

Where do you find inspiration outside of architecture? Drawing, traveling, and seeing great artwork.

What do you most like about your job? Doing good work for good people with a good team.

What do you most dislike about your job? The governmental agencies.

Go back and pick another profession. What would it be? Hmmmmm. Maybe art forgery.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Family vacations.

What is your greatest extravagance? Family vacations.

What is your greatest fear? That we are ruining our planet.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Originality.

Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to speak many languages

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being dad to some amazing kids.

Which living person do you most admire? Pope Francis.

Which living person do you most despise? Trump.

What do you most value in your friends? Humor, intelligence, humility.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Captain Hook.

Who are your heroes in real life? My kids, Father Hesburgh, and Michelangelo.

What is your most marked characteristic? I’m easygoing.

What word or phase do you most overuse? “Bruce Giffin is a genius.”

On what occasion do you lie? Answering questionnaires like this. But not this one, I swear.

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