Address: 428 Corona Del Mar | Status: On the market | Price: $3,595,000

Address: 428 Corona Del Mar
Status: On the market
Price: $3,595,000

I love staying in hotels. The crisp, clean linens that magically appear anew each day, the perfectly manicured gardens and grounds, and the smiling faces ready to grant my every wish are a delightful departure from everyday life.

When I heard about a house for sale in Santa Barbara at 428 Corona Del Mar, I looked up the location and thought, “Wait, there are only hotels in that neighborhood.” I was partly correct. As a local, unless I’m going to the zoo or East Beach, it’s an area that I rarely visit. This part of the waterfront district is populated mostly by quaint inns and hotels that play part-time home for tourists.

The adorable “Sea Captain’s House” at 428 Corona Del Mar fits right in. Just like its neighbors, it is pristine, welcoming, and as charming as can be. But unlike its visitor-serving counterparts, it’s an actual residence.

Charm abounds before one even walks through the front gate. The facade of the house is quintessential Martha’s Vineyard, with a combination of white wooden shingles and planks accentuated by black shutters and a signature red door. A towering pine tree frames the house with its branches, and a wide gray walkway leads to the front porch and the treasures awaiting within.

Living room at 428 Corona Del Mar

A gorgeous sunroom with floor-to-ceiling paned windows welcomes visitors into the house, with the living room, dining room, and kitchen laid out beyond. Each space offers ooh-and-aah inspiring details that beg to be admired. I found myself in a kid-in-a-candy-store trance, unsure whether to linger over the details in each room or race through to experience it all.

The living room boasts a traditional Santa Barbara sandstone fireplace with a bright white wooden mantel above, flanked by two multi-paned windows. The clean lines and symmetry of this room contrast perfectly with the angles of the huge bay windows in the dining room beyond.

Both of these rooms enjoy high coved ceilings, wide-planked wood floors, and gorgeous period millwork detailing. On the day that I visited, a huge round dining room table was laden with a catered feast in anticipation of the many open-house-goers who were scurrying in to see the home. I couldn’t help but imagine similar holiday feasts that could be enjoyed for years to come.

The kitchen lies beyond in a perfectly stylish blend of old and new. Stainless steel appliances cavort with board and batten woodwork, a farmhouse sink, and tiled backsplashes to continue the period charm and yet ensure current day comforts.

On the left side of the house, all three bedrooms plus the full bathroom lie off two short hallways that also provide extra storage. The master bedroom is the largest of the three. Situated towards the front of the house, it enjoys an adjoining sun-filled sitting room that just may be my favorite space in the house.

I looped back through the house towards the backyard and discovered a full laundry room and powder room tucked back behind the kitchen. The back door opens to a porch and stairs leading down to a cute back garden with a detached studio ready to be used as an office, playroom, or she shed. Sorry, it’s just too cute to be a man cave.

The garage sits on the side of the house through a garden gate. A pathway beyond leads to “The Sea Loft,” a separate upstairs unit that’s deserving of its own name and delivers much more than its demure entryway promises at first glance.

A stairway upstairs reveals two big bedrooms, a full bath, a separate kitchen, and a large combo living and dining area with treetop views. But it’s the bonus rooms in this legal second residence that really surprises. Two dormered rooms on either side of the large, front bedroom offer versatile additional space. Either could serve as a reading nook, office, game room, or cozy guest room.

I was captivated by the cute clapboard kitchen pantry, the first-impression view as one crests the entrance stairway, and the endearing sloped ceilings. But at over 1200 square feet, and permitted as a legal second residence, “The Sea Loft” also adds practical flexible options for interested buyers.

As I walked away, I admired the pristine inns surrounding the idyllic “Sea Captain’s House.” I realized that as much as I love hotels, getting to live among them in this storybook-perfect-cottage would be an even more idyllic dream come true.

428 Corona Del Mar is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Vanessa Shotwell of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Vanessa at or 448-5307. For more photos and information, visit


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