Make Myself at Home: Luxury Living in the Foothills
Dream Homes Becoming a Reality
Address: Serenity Lane
Status: On the market
Prices: To be determined
Scout has had just about enough of the recent construction in our neighborhood. As the self-appointed watchdog of our section of Castillo Street, she has taken these road and sidewalk renovations quite seriously. Every backhoe, jackhammer, and load of cement has been a personal affront to her guard duties, not to mention her quest for peace and quiet. How’s a furry girl supposed to protect the block — let alone snooze in the shade — with hard-hatted intruders appearing unannounced at all hours?
When I was invited to tour the evolving construction site at The Woods last week, I decided to bring Scout along for the ride. She needed a change of scenery and a break from the action in our front yard.
Situated on a private cul-de-sac named Serenity Lane, off of San Antonio Creek Road, The Woods is made up of four luxury estates, each sitting on more than an acre of land studded with oak and olive trees and graced with enviable views from the mountains to the ocean.
This was not my first visit to The Woods. I was introduced to the site 18 months ago, when it was open land being offered for sale. Now all four houses are in various stages of completion. The active construction site is orderly, organized, and even peaceful, especially compared to the cacophony in our corner of downtown. I was offered a guided tour and told that Scout was welcome to tag along.
Serenity Lane slopes down the hillside and circles around a large landscaped area with a stately oak tree in the center, creating a nice, wide turnaround. We toured the houses from top to bottom, numbers one through four, which illustrated their similarities and differences and helped me keep them straight. Estates one, two, and three are single level, while estate four has two stories.
All of the homes are modern contemporary in style, and while all will have top-of-the-line appointments, appliances, and finishes, no two floor plans are alike. Developer Todd Davidson has created The Woods with care and deference to the natural site, working with the existing topography to blend the homes into the landscape. The architect and design teams of Murray Duncan Architects and Taylor House Interiors have been engaged with this project since its inception, and no detail has been overlooked.
At more than 3,600 square feet, and four bedrooms and four baths, estate number one is the largest of the single-story homes. It has two en suite bedrooms on one side of the house, plus a large master suite and an additional bedroom on the other. A huge great room sits in the center, with a 24-foot-long wall of pocketing glass doors opening out onto the patio and backyard beyond. While I had to use my imagination to envision some of the details, the magic of the indoor-outdoor floorplan is apparent. Even though the walls and floors are unfinished, there’s no mistaking the gorgeous setting.
Walking down toward estate number two, I was struck by the views toward the ocean. On a clear day, the islands would certainly be part of the backdrop. With four bedrooms and three and a half baths, estate two boasts a mid-century-modern design aesthetic, with a sleek, low-slung silhouette laid out in a wishbone shape. Similar to estate one, it has two bedrooms on each side, with a great room in the center. A dramatic front entryway has been added in between, with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing views through both the front and back of the home. Some of the cabinetry and tile work is already in place in this home, so I was better able to envision its finished status.
Estate three is the smallest of the homes, but at more than 3,400 square feet, there’s plenty of space. Like its neighbors, it has a large living room area with walls of glass on both sides and a state-of-the-art adjoining kitchen. Standing in the spot where the kitchen sink will be, I was mesmerized by the mountain views out the window. While all four bedrooms are on one side of this floor plan, the master suite is afforded privacy in a separate wing at the back of the house. The other three bedrooms include one at the front of the house with its own bathroom and entrance, perfect for a nanny or granny.
Estate number four is the only two-story home of the bunch. Its location at the lowest point of the street means that its higher profile won’t intrude on anyone else’s views. It’s the least complete of the four, with just the wood framing so far. While more of the details are therefore left to one’s imagination, it’s still easy to envision its appeal. The described two-story glass wall in the entryway, the three covered decks, plus its tranquil setting at the end of the lane are enough to ensure that it will be a favorite. It’s the largest of the four homes, at more than 3,900 square feet, so families or those who do lots of entertaining will have plenty of room to spread out.
My sneak preview of The Woods made me eager to see the finished product. While each of the residences is unique, they will have some features in common: oversized garages averaging more than 850 square feet each, dual walk-in closets in every master suite, and generous laundry rooms in each home. These luxury details are enticing enough to ensure that I’ll be waiting for an invitation to visit again when The Woods is complete. Scout, however, has seen enough. She’ll be perfectly happy to sit in the shade guarding our little house, as long as that darn construction is complete.
The four homes at The Woods are listed by the Zia Group of Keller Williams Realty. Reach Daniel Zia at (805) 456-3635 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more photos, blueprints, and information, visit thewoodssantabarbara.com.