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Jim Bartsch

Make Myself at Home: Sweet Rosemary Lane Cottage

Simply Adorable Cottage


One of my friends asked me recently whether it’s frustrating to visit so many beautiful houses for sale. “Doesn’t it make you jealous looking at what you can’t have?” On the contrary. Visiting grand mansions and lovely estates doesn’t make me covet them. Oh, sure, a laundry room would be nice. And I wouldn’t say no to a fireplace. But I love my own little house. 

However, I will admit that once in a while I walk into a house that feels like it could be mine. It echoes my sense of style and confirms my vision of what my house can and will feel like when I put all the finishing touches on it. 

That’s what I experienced last week when I toured the charming cottage for sale at 12 Rosemary Lane. I was enchanted before I even stepped foot inside. A Santa Barbara sandstone wall hugs the house, and three steps lead up through a flowering arched hedge with a white picket gate. A curved stone walkway introduces the front yard and the adorable house, with white wood siding and baby-blue shuttered windows and trim. As if the house itself weren’t charming enough, it sits on one of the cutest streets in Santa Barbara: a quiet lane off Eucalyptus Hill and Barker Pass roads, dotted with several Moody Sisters–designed cottages.

Jim Bartsch

Once inside, hardwood floors, white wood-beamed ceilings, and wide French doors all vie for attention and combine to immediately set a tone that is at once bright, comfortable, stylish, and inviting. The living room is at the front of the house, with a cozy stone fireplace and built-in bookshelves. The kitchen is straight through the living room, with the dining room beyond. Large archways echo the beautiful ceilings and define the separate yet open living spaces. Skylights and huge windows let in tons of natural light and provide a spacious, indoor/outdoor feeling.

The kitchen is magical, with white wood custom cabinetry, a farmhouse sink, gorgeous travertine counters and tilework, a solid center island, and gourmet appliances. The dining room boasts another fireplace, with a curved mantel and magnificent floor-to-ceiling stonework. Huge French doors are flanked by an additional set of narrow glass doors that all open out onto the back deck and backyard beyond. 

Jim Bartsch

The backyard includes a lawn surrounded by a lush green hedge and is accessed from both the dining room and the master bedroom. It’s large enough to be versatile, with distinct spaces for entertaining plus plenty of space to play. 

As you walk back inside, the attached two-car garage is to the right of the kitchen, with a laundry room and a separate wood shop or storage room tucked behind it. On the other side of the kitchen lies a hallway to the bedrooms. Two bedrooms are on the right, with windows overlooking the front gardens. Both rooms boast custom cabinetry that echoes that in the other rooms, and they share a full bath. The master bedroom sits at the back of the house, with a lovely en suite master bath, and French doors that open to a private back patio.

As I lingered in the kitchen a bit before leaving, I realized that I had almost missed another half bath off the dining room. With turquoise walls, white tile, and distressed white accents, this little powder room perfectly captures the shabby-chic essence of the entire cheerful cottage. 

Jim Bartsch

I walked back down the garden path with my head full of ideas. I wasn’t jealous of this adorable cottage. But I’ll admit that I might try to emulate one or two of the decor ideas in my own house. And one lucky new homeowner is going to find one of the sweetest houses on one of the most charming streets in Santa Barbara, waiting right there at 12 Rosemary Lane.

12 Rosemary Lane is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Laurel Abbott and Dan Encell of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Reach Laurel at 455-5409 or laurel@laurelabbott.com. Reach Dan at 565-4896 or danencell@aol.com.

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