Address: 1 Miramar Avenue
Status: On the market
Now that our June gloom has turned into blue-sky July, I’ve gotten a little selfish with my Sundays. I love going to open houses, but I love the beach, too. This week, I got lucky and was able to combine the two. I found the ultimate beach house in Montecito just steps from the sand, and it has the perfect address to match.
The home at 1 Miramar Avenue is a solid, welcoming classic with an historic pedigree and beachy touches inside and out. When I walked through the gated entrance and saw the house, I was ready to make myself at home before I even got through the front door.
I’m a sucker for good front porches, and this house has a great one. A rock-lined pathway leads past massive palm trees and lush gardens to a wide, covered front porch that’s long and low, supported by round white columns. A porthole window lends a nautical touch, and flagstone underfoot gives an indoor/outdoor feel right off the bat.
Built in 1904, this two-story craftsman-style home is covered in chocolate-colored wood shingles with white trim on the windows and under the wide eaves. The roofline boasts interesting angles, including a round turret at each end of the house and a long balcony across the front.
The front door opens into the living room. With high, white coved ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors, and doorways onto the formal dining room, family room, and hallway, the living room is the center of this home. Refreshing and inviting, it feels like a natural gathering place. The adjacent family room sports a wall of windows looking out onto the tropical backyard.
Sensing a pattern, I walked through the first floor and verified that indeed, there was outdoor access from almost every room. With multiple ways to step outside, and decks or porches off each of the bedrooms as well as the family room, this house succeeds in bringing the outside in and blending seamlessly into its natural surroundings in true craftsman fashion.
In addition to the common rooms, there are three bedrooms downstairs, each with a full bath, plus an additional powder room. There’s no shortage of charm. Built-in cabinets, window seats, period hardware, and distinctive wainscoting are some of the retro details found throughout this home.
An octagonal dining nook at the front of the house sits under one of the turrets that caught my eye on the way in. An almost identical room on the other side of the house serves as a sitting room in the master suite, providing welcome extra space in an unexpectedly charming shape.
The kitchen is one of the magical parts of this home. Black-and-white tile counters and backsplash and white vintage cabinets cohabit with state-of-the-art gourmet appliances in a happy blend of turn-of-the-century style and modern convenience. This large L-shaped room includes a pantry and a back kitchen area that contains a second sink and the washer and dryer. Yet another back door opens onto a covered porch, which could be used as a secondary main entrance.
I have a fondness for smaller spaces, so it’s no great surprise that the second floor is my favorite part of this home. With a distinct bedroom and full bathroom, plus a great room that includes a kitchen area, the upstairs could easily function as a stand-alone living situation. Charming touches abound, including arched doorways, sloped ceilings, and an adorable curved vanity and sink tucked into one corner of the bedroom. No matter how this second-story space is used, the star attraction upstairs is the ocean-view balcony outside the living room. “Miramar” means “ocean view,” and this home lives up to its name.
The outdoor spaces of this home rival the graceful interior. Curving brick pathways lead past huge birds of paradise, myriad varieties of palms, and bursting bougainvillea. While the lush gardens have a decidedly tropical feel, most of the plants are native to this area. Distinct seating and entertaining areas include a fire pit, a raised deck, and an outdoor shower to rinse off the sand on your way in from the beach.
As close as this house is to the newly reopened Miramar Hotel and the bustle of Coast Village Road, it’s amazingly quiet both inside and out. It feels like a sanctuary, and I certainly would have liked to stay longer, but the lure of the nearby beach on this sunny day was too strong a pull to resist.
1 Miramar Avenue is currently for sale in Montecito, listed by Tiffany Dore and Cathy O’Neill of Village Properties Realtors. Reach Tiffany and Cathy at 947-0608 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ownsantabarbara.com.