My friend Val lives in what I’ve always thought of as the perfect beach cottage. It sits on a quiet little lane in Montecito that’s within easy walking distance to both Miramar Beach and Hammonds. The cottage is light and bright and filled with warm, natural materials. Val has a killer sea glass collection and shows it off artfully throughout her home. Last but not least, she and her husband, Branden, are surfers, so their surfboards and gear are the ultimate beach-themed furnishings. There’s nothing artificial about their décor. Their beach cottage echoes and emphasizes what’s important in their lives.
When I visited 3353 Padaro Lane last week, I wasn’t expecting to find a rival for Val and Branden’s beachy perfection. Knowing that the price tag of this home is almost 10 million dollars, I assumed that my modest tastes would be overwhelmed by an elegant environment. But I was wrong. While it is elegant in a crisp, beachy manner, it is also comfortable enough to walk through barefoot straight from a day at the beach. I fell head over heels in love with this charming beachfront beauty.
The house has an even better location than if it were actually on the sand. Really! This stretch of Padaro is elevated enough so that the backyard is above the beach, providing privacy. A whitewashed staircase shared with just one neighbor gives immediate, easy access down to the sand and surf.
I’m told that the backyard provides 75 feet of ocean frontage. I was too mesmerized by the view to focus on its size, but it felt like miles. As I stood on the back deck chatting with the real estate agent, we watched a couple walking along while their dog bounded ahead, the sun sparkling on the waves and whales cavorting offshore. I’m sure it’s stunning all the time, but it felt like I had picked the perfect day.
The backyard consists of a multilevel natural-wood deck, designed to offer distinct seating arrangements and gathering spaces. It’s big enough for a large party but feels intimate when you’re sitting and talking to one person. My favorite part of the deck is the round wooden hot tub tucked unobtrusively in a corner. An ocean-view dip in your own spa should be a daily occurrence.
I could have ended my visit at that point, without even stepping inside the house, and been satisfied that I had seen 10 million dollars’ worth of home. But inside I did go, and I’m glad that I did.
The house itself is filled with light, with walls of windows and plenty of doors. The lines of the beautiful wood-paneled ceilings throughout the house draw all eyes toward the views. Supported by wide, white beams, windows up high create an even more airy atmosphere.
The house has three bedrooms, including a dreamy master suite with a walk-in closet, a separate dressing area, and a unique curved, fossil-brick fireplace. I couldn’t decide which of the two bathrooms was my favorite: the master with a wall of glass brick or the second bathroom with a deep soaking tub. Every single detail of this house is charming, exuding casual elegance.
The kitchen was redone in 2015 and has a large center island with a deep farmhouse sink and custom glass-fronted wooden cabinets. An impressive curved stainless hood above the stove shines down on the room. A breakfast nook between the kitchen and living room plus a separate formal dining room provide options for meal times. Of course, the veranda offers al fresco dining most of the year, as well.
I drove away from Padaro Lane realizing I had just fallen in love with an almost-10-million-dollar house. But it’s okay. Val will let me come visit her beach cottage as often as I like. And I can gaze up at 3353 Padaro Lane as I walk along the beach.
3353 Padaro Lane is currently for sale in Carpinteria, listed by the Grubb Campbell Group of Village Properties Realtors. Reach the Grubb Campbell Group at email@example.com or (805) 895-6226.