What’s in a name? Quite a lot when it comes to well-known street names. Foothill Road is one of the most recognized routes in our community. It’s also one of the longest thoroughfares, spanning almost all the way from Goleta to Carpinteria. Many drivers use it as an alternate route to avoid the freeway during peak commuting hours, which means that Foothill gets its fair share of traffic, too.
But not the little pocket of Foothill that I visited last week. The house for sale at 2606 Foothill Road is actually up a private lane that runs perpendicular to Foothill, just around the bend from Rocky Nook Park and the Old Mission. I was pleasantly surprised by its secluded location and even more delighted with the home itself.
A set of white, wooden gates stood wide open, welcoming me to the property. Once inside, I found myself in a large parking court surrounded by a low stone wall, with a gazebo on a hillside to the right, a two-story garage and guesthouse to the left, and the main house itself straight ahead.
The word “charming” is overused when talking about houses, but it’s hard to describe this one without using that exact word. Red wood siding is set off by bold white trim, including a fence and balcony. Dormer windows peek up over the front entrance, and a long covered bridge connects the main house to the guesthouse, leaving a first-time visitor no doubt that that this property is much more of a compound than a house. Built on a hillside, the house has three different levels and multiple paths and staircases connecting them.
A red-brick walkway leads past the front lawn and up to the house. The landscaping is an artful blend of succulents and native plants and trees that has both a manicured feel and yet a natural, rambling sense. It’s a front yard that feels loved. As I paused to soak it all in, I realized that the gazebo area to my right looked out over a putting green. This was my first sign that the compound might be a good place to entertain.
The front door opens into a multipurpose great room, with striking wood-beamed cathedral ceilings showcased by floor-to-ceiling decorative support beams. Skylights allow the sunshine to stream in and provide natural spotlights. A huge stone fireplace against the far wall echoes the exterior stonework and helps bring the outside in.
A separate dining area splits off from the main living room and flows nicely into the kitchen. As captivating as this great room is, many windows plus no less than three sets of doors allow views outside, making it hard not to head straight through to the backyard.
Once I stepped foot into the backyard, I knew that no matter what I found inside, the yard would be my favorite part of the whole property. Enormous oak trees provide a parklike feel and add to the sense of seclusion. A wraparound deck encircles the house and allows captivating views plus space for ample dining and lounging. Stairs lead down to a huge open space ideal for entertaining, and walkways meander through the rest of the property. With over half an acre of space to play in and explore, the backyard is reminiscent of the grounds of the Museum of Natural History — no great surprise since it’s just down the road.
Back inside, I faced stairs leading both up and down from the great room. Downstairs is a bedroom suite with a separate entrance, perfect for a teenager who needs a large dose of privacy. Another en suite bedroom is on the main floor; plus there’s an enchanting master suite upstairs, with a bay window on one side and a balcony on the other.
There are several ways to walk from the main house to the guesthouse, but I had been anticipating the walk across the bridge since I had first laid eyes on it. The bridge is a unique, romantic touch and provides another vantage point of the lush grounds.
The bridge leads to the second-floor guesthouse, which is a studio with a full bathroom and separate sleeping area, plus its own deck. Downstairs is a two-car garage with laundry room and additional storage space. On the other side of the garage is a self-contained artist studio. With cathedral ceilings, a wall of windows, and French doors onto its own patio, the studio is a versatile space with plenty of options. I’m told that the whole property was used as an artists’ retreat in the past, and with the great light and versatile space, it’s easy to imagine.
This charming farmhouse offers more than meets the eye and blows away the assumptions one might make with its Foothill Road address. A lucky new buyer just needs to find their way down the meandering lane and through its magical front gates to discover this country farmhouse in the city and make it their own dream home.
2606 Foothill Road is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Chris Gregoire and Chad Beuoy of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 452-9032. Reach Chad at email@example.com or 886-7188.