I was enamored of 1417 East Mountain Drive before I even saw the house. As I wound my way through Montecito and knew I was getting close, a sign notified me that I was now on a private lane. Something in the air changed slightly. I felt as though only secret club members who knew the special password need venture any closer. Secure in the knowledge that I was indeed an invited guest, I happily continued down the lane to the appointed address.

Once I arrived, there were plenty of options for parking, with a long driveway that curved onto a large motor court with four garage doors, opening to what I later learned were two two-car garages. I chose to enter through the front gate, past palm trees flanking a pathway leading to a gated patio surrounded by a sandstone wall with a three-tiered fountain in the center. I stepped through a formal arched entry into the foyer and was greeted by a striking view. A huge picture window on the far wall allowed me to see straight through the house to the sparkling pool in the backyard.

This stunning first impression introduced a theme that was repeated throughout the estate. This house is designed to showcase its naturally beautiful surroundings. A palette of pale earth tones on the walls and floors allows the bright colors outdoors to steal the spotlight. Even the kitchen is a subtle blend of neutral cabinets, countertops, and sleek white appliances paired with wide windows, recessed lighting, and a coffered ceiling, all combining for an understated, natural feel. Although the house boasts both a formal dining room and a large breakfast area, the huge terrace outside the kitchen overlooks the pool and begs to be the most-oft-used dining “room” of the home. These features and more combine to emphasize the outdoors and bring the outside in.

With five bedrooms and five and a half baths, the main residence offers plenty of living space. The master suite is particularly inviting, with dual baths, dual closets, and a separate sitting room. A dramatic two-sided fireplace sits between the bedroom and sitting room and is the focal point of both. There is a private terrace off the master suite that also overlooks the pool.

It was about this point in my tour that I could no longer resist the pull of the backyard. The pool lay shining in the sun, inviting me to visit its lush, landscaped edges. I did exactly that and then continued beyond to the pool house. This separate cabana offers two bedrooms, one and a half baths, plus a great room with a fireplace and a wet bar. It’s situated far enough away from the main house to offer plenty of privacy and enjoys even closer proximity to the pool.

I lingered a while longer, comparing the pool house to the little cottage that I call home. The beautiful main house will be perfect for a growing family or perhaps a couple that likes to entertain in grand fashion. But the pool house is more my style and size. I left this idyllic estate with a last longing look at the pool, delighted that I had been invited down its private lane to visit.

1417 East Mountain Drive is currently for sale in Montecito, listed by The Venturelli Group of Coldwell Banker Previews International. Reach Bruce Venturelli at 448-3644 or bruce@venturelligroup.com , or Gabe Venturelli at 680-5141 or gabe@venturelligroup.com.


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