Address: 340 E. Los Olivos Street
Status: On the market
A long-standing love affair with Santa Barbara is woven into the Craftsman home at the corner of Los Olivos and Laguna Streets, evident in both the early stories of the house and in its more recent history. The home’s current owner has spent the last six years meticulously restoring it to its original glory and adding some loving new touches. As the Old Mission Santa Barbara’s closest neighbor, the house stands in a landmark location at 340 East Los Olivos Street and smiles onto the rose garden next door.
Known as The Edwards House, the home was built in 1911 by the architectural team of Bliss & Faville, who also designed the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco. This house was the firm’s only project in the Santa Barbara area.
When John Edwards married Ruth Spaulding in 1911, the brand-new home was his parents’ wedding gift to the newlyweds. John’s father, George, was a banker as well as mayor of Santa Barbara.
John and Ruth raised their three children in the home. John passed away in 1951, and in 1954 Ruth subdivided the lot, so that the home’s back garden area, which faced Junipero Plaza, was now a separate parcel. In 1960, the original house was sold to the William Dole Family, who owned it until 2013, when they sold it to its current owner.
Having had only two owners in the span of almost 100 years, the house needed some attention to restore its original glory. Renovations included refurbishing or replacing many of its systems and installing new landscaping.
Walking through the house today feels like a step back in time. The front door opens to reveal a classic Craftsman staircase leading up to the second floor and an oversized foyer welcoming visitors. Pocket doors lead off of this entryway to the formal dining room on the left and the living room on the right, with a study next to the living room at the front of the house. All three of these rooms have fireplaces, and there are three more throughout the home.
The details in each room are stunning. Built-in bookcases flank the white stone fireplace in the living room. Open wood beams in the coffered ceiling of the dining room reflect the floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors that lead out to the covered veranda that spans the back of the house.
The kitchen is true to the home’s original era, with a butler’s pantry with built-in china cabinet, a separate pantry and laundry room, and access to the back staircase, which was certainly intended to keep the help — or the children — out of the home’s more formal areas.
Upstairs, two pairs of bedrooms each share Jack-and-Jill bathrooms, while the master bedroom sports a fireplace, window seat, big bathroom, and views of the Mission and its rose gardens. An attached sitting room with another fireplace and garden-facing window seat could function as a study, a nursery, or a meditation room. A separate large sunroom feels perfect for afternoon tea with a view, or a sunny reading room.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, there’s a light-filled third story with a bedroom, full bath, and big open loft space with a private ocean-view balcony.
Outside, the yard includes vegetable gardens, fruit trees, tropical ferns, and palm trees. There’s also a separate guest house, with a kitchen and bath and its own big porch.
A doorway near one corner of the back veranda leads down to the biggest surprise of this home: a downstairs workshop plus an authentic pub. A big mahogany bar seats at least eight, while additional seating, slate floors, and exposed brick walls help set the tone of a true saloon.
A staircase from the pub leads up into the kitchen. I couldn’t help but think about how much fun a new owner could have with this home. From the sunny porches to the butler’s pantry, and from the third-floor loft to the downstairs pub, this home’s comfortable parts balance out its grandeur. The house is formal but not stuffy. It’s easy to see why the earliest residents of 340 East Los Olivos Street made it their home for so many years.
340 E. Los Olivos Street is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Rachel Brown of Bartron Real Estate Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Rachel at email@example.com or 570-7160 or Bartron Real Estate Group at 563-4054 or firstname.lastname@example.org.