When my son James was little, his fantasy wish list included living in a house with a huge slide coming out of the upper-story windows. In this dream home, he would be able to jump on the slide, swoosh down to the yard, and run back into the house and upstairs to do it all over again.

This long-ago fantasy popped into my head as I toured the beautiful contemporary home for sale at 4517 Vieja Drive in Hope Ranch last week. The memory may have been triggered by the awesome tree house on the hillside or the putting green in the backyard, both of which would be the fodder for many people’s dreams. The open floor plan, vertical spaces, and many balconies also made it easy to envision gazing — or even sliding — out the windows.

I was impressed with the details of this stylish home before I even stepped inside. The terraced front yard features palm trees, native grasses, and drought-tolerant plants along the front walkway. Subtle touches like colorful tiles on the risers on the steps and the circular red-brick detailing under the eaves near the front roofline were indications that something special awaited within.

Flanked by terra-cotta planters, the double front door opens onto a great room comprising kitchen, dining, and living-room areas. Every surface gleams, from the stunning wood floors to the quartz kitchen counters and the multiple sets of French doors and multipaned windows. Although this main level is the ground floor, a balcony from the living room opens onto a deck that looks down onto the backyard below. The effect is one of being elevated; as if you’re in a tree house. The dining room also opens onto a huge side patio, perfect for extending this great room into the great outdoors.

The kitchen features a stainless farmhouse sink, high-end appliances, and a white, neutral palette that helps it blend into the other living areas. Huge circular iron chandeliers define the dining space, while a dramatic fireplace anchors a cozy seating area in the living room and offers a beautiful contrast to the contemporary lines and multitude of windows.

The three bedrooms are upstairs, with the master suite separated from the other two bedrooms for seclusion, yet still close enough for easy access. The master bathroom offers one of the most jaw-dropping features of the whole house: a deep soaking tub next to an oversized, glass-walled shower, both of which overlook the treetops and backyard below. I love a bathtub with a view, and this one is a knockout. An enviable walk-in closet and a bonus, attached sitting room or office complete the master suite. While the second upstairs bathroom is plainer, it still has wall- and floor-tile treatments worth a second look, and all three bedrooms boast French doors and balconies.

There is another office or den on the first floor, with exposed-beam wood ceilings and floor-to-ceiling doors and windows. A laundry room and two-car garage accessible from inside complete the floor plan. This home is light, modern, and airy, with clean lines and vertical spaces. The design flows easily from one area to the next, and the many decks and patios and the relationship between indoor and outdoor space make it feel even more expansive.

Before I drove down the long, private driveway and through the iron gates out into Hope Ranch, I gazed again at the tree house perched in the branches of a sycamore tree. I realized that even without James’s fantasy slide, this house — along with Hope Ranch’s private beach, horse-riding trails, and tennis courts in an idyllic setting — would fulfill most people’s housing dreams.

4517 Vieja Drive is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by The Easter Team of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Gloria, Marcy, Jenny, or Brooke at 570-0403 or easterteamrealtors.com.


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