Make Myself at Home: Mid-Century Mesa Magic

Mid-Century Magic on the Mesa

239 Cordova Drive
David Palermo

Address: 239 Cordova Drive

Status: On the market

Price: $1,675,000

One has to get creative when one’s home doesn’t include a garage. I realize this is a first-world problem, but through some quirk of the universe, the past four houses I’ve lived in have been garage-less. I’ve kept camping gear in my bedroom closet, bicycles in the hallway, and shuffled beach chairs from one car trunk to another. My current cottage is so compact that it doesn’t even have a broom closet. I therefore suffer from a serious case of closet envy, and you’ll catch me gawking at many of the garages in the homes that I visit with undisguised greed.

David Palermo

That wasn’t top of mind, however, when I visited the house at 239 Cordova Drive last week. The artistry of this Mesa home charmed me before I even got through the front door. A palm tree stands majestically in a corner closest to the street, framing the face of the house with its gently draping fronds. Surrounded by a low fence with two gated entrances, the front yard is a colorful mix of native grasses, boulders, birds of paradise, and other exotic flora. Walking up the curving path toward the red Dutch door, I felt as if I were about to experience an abode more interesting than your average Mesa tract home. And I was right.

David Palermo

Built in 1958, this three-bedroom, two-bath, single-story home has a long, low profile with mid-century modern lines. Through the distinctive front door lies a combination living room, dining room, and kitchen, forming an airy great room that’s cheery, livable, and filled with artful details.

The kitchen has a perfect blend of open and covered shelving and cabinets in a neutral palette of wood and white, with stainless appliances, a farmhouse sink, and multiple surfaces for both meal prep and conversation. With a wood-topped breakfast bar on one side and a tall set of cabinets on another, the kitchen is perfectly defined without any enclosing walls.

David Palermo

The living room has a fireplace against the far wall and glass-fronted pocket doors that slide open to reveal an office with built-in custom cabinetry and a desk. French doors from the dining area open out onto a covered patio and a dreamy backyard.

Outside, a trellis covers a patio large enough for comfortable dining, plus a separate area where a massive stone fire pit promises to be another favorite gathering spot. A large lawn is surrounded by walls high enough for complete privacy, covered with lush greenery and bougainvillea. Atop a raised wooden platform sits a family-sized hot tub that is sure to be used year-round.

David Palermo

Back inside, down a short hallway to the right of the front door lie two of the bedrooms with a full bathroom in between, sporting a colorful antique vanity and matching mirror. The back bedroom opens onto an attached two-car garage, which is definitely worth a second look. The garage contains a laundry area with a sink, plus a utility closet and plentiful built-in shelves and cabinets. The enviable amount of storage space had me daydreaming about how much more organized my life would be if I lived in this house.

David Palermo

The master bedroom took this daydream one step further. In addition to an en-suite bathroom with a glass-enclosed dual-head shower and a double farmhouse sink, the master bedroom boasts an amazing walk-in closet with more efficiency-inducing storage than just about any closet I’ve ever seen. If my organizational wheels weren’t already turning, this closet would certainly have made them spin.

David Palermo

I walked away from this lovely Mesa house with an appreciation for its details, both artistic and structural. I’m sure that the next family that moves in will enjoy laughs around the fire pit, meals made in the cheery kitchen, and many productive hours arranging the closets and systematizing the garage storage space exactly to their specifications. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep dreaming.

239 Cordova Drive is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Laurel Abbott of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Reach Laurel at (805) 455-5409 or laurel@laurelabbott.com.

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