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Address: 6977 Shepard Mesa Road, Carpinteria

Status: On the market

Price: $3,995,000

I’ve been known to brag about my three-block commute. I’ll admit that I do love living so close to work, but I also appreciate that there’s something cathartic about driving for a few minutes up and out of the city after a long workday. It can literally and figuratively provide distance from the cares of the day, and a transition to slide into relaxation mode.

I considered this as I drove to visit a house at 6977 Shepard Mesa Road last week. It’s only four miles from downtown Carpinteria, but it feels worlds away. Once I reached my destination, the driveway continued to wind beautifully past a vineyard, and then yellow roses peeked through a white split-rail fence as I pulled into the parking area. A flagstone path led me through a hedge, across a wooden bridge, and over a koi pond to the front door, providing an absolute storybook entrance to this idyllic setting.

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The house itself is a beautiful board-and-batten farmhouse, its façade boasting a gentle natural wooden patina that’s at once both graceful and unpretentious. Roses climb up some of the walls, but most are bare. This is a solid, happy house that looks like it’s been in this setting forever.

Stepping inside, I’m at once wowed, and yet it still feels comfortable. Warm, gleaming pine floors and soft lighting pull me into the entryway to marvel at the huge great room beyond. My attention is torn between the beautiful surfaces and details surrounding me, and the walls of windows and French doors calling me to the gardens outside. Stepping all the way in, my immediate impression is that it feels like a vacation home. The ceilings soar, and the view is incredible.

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The great room has a fireplace of large, smooth river rocks on one wall. To the other side is the dining room, with an exposed brick floor, a painted wood ceiling, and what looks to be enough space to seat about 20 people. But still, as lovely as the interior is, the grounds outside and the view of the backyard and beyond competes for my attention. There is a huge veranda all along the backside of the home. Calling it a porch does not seem adequate, since it creates both an anchor to the back of the house and an additional outdoor living space. I might spend days out here: dining al fresco and reading, relaxing, and just being with friends and family.

Back inside, though, the gourmet kitchen beckons to be appreciated. It has commercial-quality appliances including a wood-burning pizza oven and a huge stainless-steel-topped island in the center, anchored by an impressive wooden rough-hewn beam to a charming pressed-tin ceiling above. The ceilings of this house alone deserve to be lauded, and this one in the kitchen is my favorite.

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Around the corner is a second kitchen with additional prep and storage space, laundry, and outside access. Yes, a second kitchen. Sometimes I feel like the solo kitchen in my own house doesn’t get enough attention. But this home begs to be enjoyed and shared, so cooking with a group would be a breeze and a pleasure. Across from the kitchen lies a family room, with warm wood-paneled walls and a unique decorative interior window looking through to the great room.

There are three bedrooms in the house, all with en suite bathrooms. The master has a fireplace to rival that in the great room, one of the bathrooms features a claw-foot tub, and all three have stunning views to bring the outside in. Upstairs is a small peak-roofed bonus room: either a hideaway bedroom, a yoga or hobby room, or whatever special space one craves, while also offering a view all the way to the ocean.

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I was surprised to learn that this home was built in 2001. So many of its features have such a natural, rustic feel — my favorite ceiling in the kitchen for example — that it feels timeless. The fixtures, materials, and hardware throughout the home have also been chosen carefully to reinforce the period, farmhouse feeling.

But as magical as the house itself is, the best features lie outside. There’s a natural rock-lined swimming pool and hot tub, vineyard, vegetable garden, horse paddock, multilevel landscaped entertainment area with a pergola, and one of the cutest playhouses I’ve ever seen. Swings hang from trees that frame postcard views of the coastline, ocean, and islands. As I walk back toward the house, the family dog sits serenely in the shade under one of the trees. His picture-perfect pose could not have been timed better if it had been scripted. This home is a haven to be truly lived in, friends, family, pets, and all.

I drove back to the office, and although it took a few minutes longer than my three-block commute, I would gladly trade that convenience for this magical fairytale farmhouse. Either way, I’ll live happily ever after.

6977 Shepard Mesa Road is currently for sale in Carpinteria, listed by Luke Ebbin of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Luxury Collection. Reach Luke at 705-2152 or


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