Natural Setting near Skofield Park

Take a Look Inside One of the First Homes Built on Las Canoas Road

Front entrance at 1645 Las Canoas Road | Credit: David Palermo

Address: 1645 Las Canoas Rd.

Status: On the market

Price: $2,400,000

I often fall in love with the guest house when I’m visiting a bigger house for sale. I’m not sure if it’s the bite-sized beauty of cute cottages, but I frequently find myself more at home in a petite pad than in the main house itself. Give me a she-shed or a pool house any day and I’ll be plenty happy.

When I went to visit a 1950s ranch-style house at 1645 Las Canoas Road last week, I wasn’t the only one ogling the guest house. Its claim to fame had other visitors giving it a once-over as well, based on its historic reputation.

The main house itself was well worth the trip. One of the first homes built in an idyllic area near Skofield Park, its boulder-studded setting promises tranquility and seclusion. The home’s long, low facade, painted a sandy gold with sage-green trim, blends subtly with the landscape. A terraced arbor intertwined with greenery frames one entryway, while a tiled pathway edged with succulents and native plants leads visitors to the main entrance.

The front door opens into a foyer with the living room and kitchen to the right and the bedrooms down a hallway to the left. Multi-panel windows and wood-framed French doors showcase the natural beauty just outside. Set on two acres, this property encompasses the landscape as far as the eye can see.

The living and dining areas form an expansive great room open to the kitchen, a concept ahead of its time for a home built in 1955. Vaulted ceilings with recessed lighting provide a spacious, airy feeling, with a fireplace in the living room for cozy winter evenings.

Next to the kitchen is a half bath and laundry room, and a breezeway that leads to a separate free-standing workshop, waiting to be a home office, art studio, or whatever fits your lifestyle.

The front hallway leads to three bedrooms and two more baths. They’re comfortable and bright, and all of the rooms seem to be oriented to the out-of-doors.

While the house overall has a classic, original feel, the kitchen has been remodeled in all the important ways, including newer stainless appliances and quartz countertops. It also has high ceilings and an abundance of natural light, making it a bright space to work and a natural gathering place.

I gave in to the allure of the landscape and stepped out of sliding doors from the master bedroom onto the covered back patio that runs the length of the house. While the property is almost completely level, the lot is situated at the top of a knoll, so it enjoys views in all directions. The ocean and islands are visible to the south, and gorgeous mountain views can be admired to the north. Sandstone boulders, plus mature oak and olive trees, are dotted throughout the two-acre property, and a mini orchard boasts lemons and other fruit trees.

Having explored every corner of the main house, I was finally free to visit the guest house. Located down a rock-lined path, it has one bedroom plus a reading nook, a full bath, and a great room with a new kitchen. Its own private yard and deck enjoy the same lovely wide-open views and setting as the main house.

A nameplate at the front door declares its pedigree: It was once the “Forest Cottage” located at the San Ysidro Ranch. It was moved to this property in the 1990s and was recently legally permitted as an ADU. It can therefore be a separate rental unit or used for guests or extended family. It is far enough from the house to afford privacy yet close enough for comfort.

Perhaps the most charming thing about the guest house is its history: Records from the San Ysidro Ranch show that many famous visitors slept here, among them Mick Jagger. I’m not sure about Mick, but if I could wake up to the natural beauty outside the Forest Cottage and sip coffee on my deck while listening to the birds, I could definitely get some satisfaction.

1645 Las Canoas Road is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Team Regan of Compass. Reach Pamela Regan at 895-2760 or or Earl Wilcox at 886-8668 or


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