I’ll admit, I was a little bit nervous as I drove through the gates and up the long stone driveway toward 4215 Mariposa Drive in Hope Ranch last week. Multimillion-dollar houses sometimes feel more like museums than homes to me, and the entrance to this one is a little intimidating, with tennis courts, horse paddocks, and multiple outbuildings sitting beyond a huge expanse of manicured lawn leading up to the main house.
The house itself is long and low, with a balcony stretching all the way across the upper floor of its two-story façade. A brick pathway leads past sculpted shrubs, through a fragrant rose garden, and to the front door. Stepping inside, the entry foyer is grand and welcoming at the same time. A spiral staircase of gleaming hardwood leads up, while the living room sits to the left, and an inviting covered porch beckons straight ahead. This covered terrace might well be one of my favorite parts of this home, blending inside and outside space and offering gorgeous views of the backyard, complete with sparkling pool and horse corrals and looking all the way to the ocean. It adjoins the living room via several sets of French doors, and leads back inside to the library as well.
The library opens up one way to the family room, in the back of the house, and in the other direction to a large formal dining room. The dining room has a big brick fireplace, wainscoting, and separate built-in linen and china closets. The lighting throughout the downstairs is a combination of beautiful period fixtures and chandeliers, plus modern recessed lighting. The house was built in 1940 but was recently renovated, and it enjoys the advantages of both vintage character and up-to-date conveniences.
A hallway from the dining room leads to the rest of the downstairs rooms, which include an office, bedroom, sunny breakfast room, two half baths, another covered porch, and a spacious laundry room. Back at the front of the house is the gourmet kitchen, with Viking appliances, a granite-topped center island with seating for four, a desk, a fireplace, and generous display space both in cabinets and on stylish shelves.
The upstairs is split into two huge bedroom suites, each with two walk-in closets. Both bedroom suites enjoy the vantage point of being up above this private estate, with the balcony stretching the length of the entire house, allowing a view over the front of the grounds and the mountains beyond. The master suite has a long brick veranda on the opposite side as well, providing fantastic ocean views and a tree-house feel of being surrounded by greenery way up high. The other suite has a covered sunroom with built-in desks. This is obviously currently the “kids’ room,” with big single beds and a fantasy media setup. Both of these suites are large enough for much more than sleeping, and I couldn’t help but calculate that either one of them is about the same size as my entire house. But rather than feeling grand or opulent, both suites are comfortable and almost cozy feeling. It was in the bedrooms that I noticed sweet indications of the owners’ lives: a love note from a parent to a child on a chalkboard in the kids’ closet, and a cat scratching post in the master bedroom.
The house at 4215 Mariposa Drive is almost 7,000 square feet, and sits on nearly four acres. It has tennis courts, a three-stall barn, a tack room, two riding arenas, a pool and spa, a guest cottage, a tennis pavilion, a garden pergola, and more. But amid all this, there is also an adorable playhouse with a fenced yard that I imagine would be perfect for chickens, or maybe a goat. As grand as the setting is, there are signs everywhere that this house loves to be lived in. It was designed to be a home rather than a museum. I drove back down the drive, happy to have seen this equestrian estate in our own backyard that feels ready to make its new owners feel right at home.
4215 Mariposa Drive is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by MK Properties of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Marsha or Michele at 565-4014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.