I’m not great at keeping secrets. I try to be trustworthy, but when it comes to sneaky subterfuge, I tend to get excited and accidentally let details slip. So when I was invited to visit and write about the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s (MCASB) dream home this year, I had to check and double-check which details I’m allowed to share. Visiting this lovely estate while its exact location is still shrouded in mystery is a test of my secret-keeping abilities.
The home is the grand prize in MCASB’s annual Dream Home Raffle. The public is invited to buy tickets with the chance of winning more than 2,500 different prizes, including vacations, cars, and cash. The top prize winner gets to choose between either $3 million in cash or this actual home. I’m told that in previous years, the winner has taken the cash every time, but seeing this year’s home in person, I’m wondering if 2017 might be the year that the tradition is broken.
This year’s dream home is an elegant two-story Mediterranean house, situated behind a gated entrance. It radiates quintessential Santa Barbara style, from the drought-tolerant landscaping to its red-tiled roof.
The front door opens to a formal entry with marble floors, a crystal chandelier, and a sweeping circular staircase leading upstairs, just perfect for a wedding or other dramatic entrance. I walked through the downstairs living rooms, admiring details such as the light fixtures in the hallway and the carved fireplace mantel in the family room. But I stopped in my tracks at the entrance to the great room.
This room alone measures more than 1,500 square feet, with vaulted beamed ceilings, multiple wrought iron chandeliers, and windows up high around the perimeter of the room. One side contains the kitchen, with two Viking refrigerators, a six-burner Wolf stove, beautiful glass-fronted custom cabinets, two copper sinks, and a massive dark marble island in the center. The other side is a living area with built-in bookshelves, plenty of space for relaxing, and multiple sets of French doors leading outside. Tucked behind the kitchen, separate storage and pantry areas, plus an enviable laundry room, prove that this home is functional as well as fashionable.
The dream home offers plenty of outdoor living space, as well, with oak trees, a putting green, and lovely landscaping highlighted by boulders that were excavated from the setting when the house was being built. A tantalizing pool and Jacuzzi are the centerpiece of the backyard, with a separate one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath pool house beyond. My favorite outdoor feature is the colorful poolside shower, which sports two shower heads at different heights, perfect for both adult- and kid-sized après-swim use.
Back inside, all three bedrooms are spacious and include en suite baths. Especially noteworthy is the master bathroom. Its round whirlpool tub with a built-in fireplace and hand-painted ceiling mural make it truly one of a kind, and the adjacent walk-in closet is movie-star-worthy.
It’s fitting that the dream home is full of artistic details. The proceeds from the raffle ticket sales support MCASB’s hundreds of annual student art programs. I can’t tell you exactly where the dream house is located, but it’s no secret that whether the grand-prize winner chooses the home or the cash, they will experience a dream come true.
The dream home is not for sale. Tickets for the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara’s Dream Home Raffle can be purchased for $150 each or discounted amounts for multiple tickets. The next early-bird prize deadline is October 27. The grand prize drawing will be held December 8. For details visit sbhomeraffle.com.