Address: 1746 Prospect Avenue
Status: On the market
When I went to visit the Craftsman-style Victorian home at 1746 Prospect Avenue, I suspected from its lower Riviera location that it would have a great view. What I didn’t expect was the plethora of charming details inside and out, vintage and new, upstairs and down.
The romance starts at the street. The house is accessed by a staircase sheltered by an arched, jasmine-covered trellis overhead. Feeling as though I was entering a magic doorway, I ascended the tunnel of greenery, certain that it would lead to something special.
When you emerge from the stairway, the house looms large and lovely at first sight. Sage-green wood shingles and white curlicue detailing decorate the tall two-story facade, with a steep pitched roof and a distinctive second-floor dormer window up above. The house was built in 1900, and it has all the charm of that era.
An extra-wide set of wooden steps leads up to an equally spacious front porch. This outdoor living room invites guests to sit and enjoy the majestic ocean, island, and city views spread out beyond. Private enough to feel like part of the house and encircled by a white banister bordered by bougainvillea, this is a porch that will truly get enjoyed.
A cardinal-red front door opens onto a dramatic foyer, with the living room on the right, dining room on the left, and a classic staircase straight ahead, zigzagging upstairs. The ceiling in the foyer extends all the way up to the second floor, with a heavy wood banister that curves gently out of sight. An alcove under the sloped stairwell creates the perfect nook for an entryway bench. This combination of high-ceilinged spaciousness plus cozy intimacy blends comfortably to set a welcoming tone and hint at the treasures to come.
The dining room takes advantage of big corner windows with south- and west-facing views. The windows throughout the house have been completely refurbished, with new pulley axles, cords, and sashes. They retain their original charm but operate smoothly. The dining room windows — and those in some other rooms — also enjoy motorized window shades; just one touch from a light switch raises or lowers the shades as the light shifts throughout the day. These modern touches go unseen but are certain to be appreciated.
A large pass-through window peeks from the dining room into the kitchen, keeping both spaces bright. The kitchen’s centerpiece is a gorgeous La Cornue range, with a Bosch dishwasher and Liebherr refrigerator rounding out the gourmet appliances, and white wood cabinetry complimenting gleaming granite countertops.
From the kitchen, one can step out to the backyard, into a powder room, or down a stairway to the basement. Yes, this house even has a real, “walk-out” basement, big enough to be outfitted as a gym or play space and complete with water hookups for flexibility.
Another door from the kitchen leads to a laundry room with wide countertops for folding and clever bonus storage as well. The laundry room continues through to the living room, giving the entire first floor of the house a convenient, circular traffic flow.
The living room is a large, bright space for watching movies or reading in front of the ornate sculpted-plaster fireplace. Pocket doors lead into an adjoining office, and triple French doors open onto the lush backyard.
Outside, a slate patio showcases a redwood-lined spa, a fountain, and a fire pit with curved seating around its edges. There’s a built-in barbecue and plenty of room for entertaining. Terraced gardens feature a pergola in one corner and mature landscaping that continues around the sides and front of the house, with plentiful citrus and avocado trees.
Back inside, all three bedrooms and three baths await upstairs. Two suites lie on either side of the house, each with a fireplace and a walk-in closet. While one is larger, the other boasts a window seat, and both have enviable treetop views.
The third bedroom, however, is one of the most captivating spaces in the entire house, with unparalleled views provided by eight adjacent windows on the front and both sides. This room is at the very front of the house, so the ocean is straight ahead. Gazing out from this wraparound vantage point feels like being on a ship’s prow, sailing over the rest of Santa Barbara.
While considered bedroom number three, this room is currently styled as a sitting room, which feels appropriate, ensuring that the magical view can be enjoyed by all. This home has the view that I had hoped for, surrounded by myriad details from its period past and enhanced with unexpected modern-day surprises, offering something for everyone to love.
1746 Prospect Avenue is currently for sale in Santa Barbara, listed by Kathy Strand Spieler of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Kathy at (805) 895-6326 or firstname.lastname@example.org.