Sarah Sinclair

The word alegria means “joy” in Spanish. I can’t think of a better way to describe the charming cottage for sale at 520 Alegria Road in Samarkand Hills. Its lush gardens, cheerful colors, and playful touches throughout combine to create a serene, happy, joy-filled home.

As I walked up its curved front path last week, my gaze bounced from the friendly porch above to the colorful stone-lined garden to the jaunty vintage lamppost perched in the yard. A carved stone bunny posed with a basketful of eggs, welcoming visitors up the steps onto the brick-lined front porch.

The front door of the house is a blue-gray wooden work of art, with horizontal inlaid panels, a row of small glass panes at the top, and vintage brass hardware. The door opens onto a foyer that provides an initial glimpse of the brilliant hardwood floors that are on display throughout the entire house.

Through the foyer to the right lies the living room, painted a cheerful celery green. It sports a brick fireplace in the corner, plantation shutters on all the windows, and huge French doors leading out to the back garden. The room has a solid, farmhouse feel, which I soon learn resonates through the rest of the house, which was built in 1935. A separate yet cozy dining room adjoins the living room and leads through a large doorway into the kitchen.

From the cool pale green of the living and dining rooms, it’s a loud transition into the kitchen, which is painted a cheery cherry pink. It’s perfect for this central room, which has been thoughtfully remodeled with a huge center island, marble countertops, a Dutch door, farmhouse sink, custom cabinetry, and top-of-the-line appliances. It’s undoubtedly a room where people will gather, the central heart of this joyful home.

Through a short hallway is the huge master bedroom. It’s a light-pink oasis, secluded privately in the back of the house. It has built-in shelving, a curved coved ceiling, and French doors to the backyard. It also has a bathroom that stopped me in my tracks, with a color scheme that must be seen to be appreciated. Deep wine-colored tile and cabinetry mesh with a lime-green sink and tub, sitting like a double scoop of sorbet in tart contrast to the sweet bedroom.

As I step through the French doors, the backyard immediately captures my heart. The sounds of the splashing fountain mingle with the songs of the birds. Stepping up and into the greenery, I see that many of the trees are marked with their names, from apricot, peach, lemon, lime, and tangerine to pluot, white-flesh nectarine, and Hachiya persimmon. I learn that there are more than 20 trees, plus fabulous old blackberry vines and 13 pineapple guava plants. I’m also told that a gate in the back fence leads into a neighbor’s yard. The owner and her neighbor had been friends in elementary school in Los Angeles and rediscovered each other when she bought this house. They once again became good friends, put the gate between their yards, and even shared a goat for many years.

Back inside, the other two bedrooms lie at the front of the house, accessed off the foyer or through a short hallway through the dining room. Both sunny and charming, they share the second bathroom, which is tiled in pale pastels, also original to the house. As I turn toward the front door, I spy a built-in alcove, inside of which sits an old-fashioned telephone that still functions and even rings. This unexpected antique puts one last smile on the face of every visitor to this happy house full of joy.

520 Alegria Road is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Linda Mason of Home Realty & Investments. Reach Linda at or (805) 698-8335.


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