Reconnecting in a Mission Canyon Contemporary

Cutting-Edge Style Plus Comfortable Living

Credit: Will McGowan

Address: 1100 Palomino Road
Status: On the Market
Price: $2,345,000

I discovered a secret pocket of Santa Barbara when I went to visit the contemporary two-story home for sale at 1100 Palomino Road. Only four miles from downtown, this Mission Canyon hideaway perched above San Roque feels like a secluded oasis. Nestled in the foothills above a rolling canyon, the house looks out over the city and to the ocean. Though I had been in the heart of Santa Barbara only 10 minutes earlier, I suddenly felt worlds away.

The house itself is also a surprise. I had seen photos of the striking facade, so I knew it cut a commanding presence. Inside, the high ceilings and dramatic angles reinforced the modern feel, but as I walked through the rest of the house, I realized that although it enjoys a myriad of cutting-edge features, the home is comfortable and livable.

I was in for my biggest surprise yet when I saw a photo and realized that the home belongs to someone I know. I haven’t seen my friend Stephanie since we worked together almost eight years ago. Since then, she and her husband, Brett, have gotten married, had three children, and built a house. I was already enamored of the gorgeous home, but this newfound knowledge made it an extra-special visit. 

The custom walnut front door opens into a great room with high ceilings proportionate to the large, open downstairs rooms. The kitchen, dining, and living rooms combine into one central space that flows directly to the back patio and yard beyond. Reminiscent of an infinity pool that blends into the horizon, the backyard looks out over the treetops all the way to the ocean. The home is situated to take full advantage of this panoramic vista, with telescoping wall of glass blending the barriers between inside and out. The ocean view is highlighted from every room, especially from the downstairs main patio and the upstairs bedroom-suite balcony.

That’s right: The house has two main suites in addition to four other bedrooms. A flexible layout allows the home to function as either six bedrooms with four and a half baths, or — with the lock of a door — a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath main house plus a separate two-bedroom, one-bath guest suite. Ideal for families blending work-from-home and homeschool hybrid living situations, this adaptable floorplan is also perfect for more traditional mother-in-law or guest quarters. 

Brett Vernon and his family have been building in and around Santa Barbara for three generations. When he built this home in 2016, he designed it for long-lasting environmental impact as well as convenience and comfort. Eco-friendly features include a sophisticated geothermal heating and cooling system, as well as a photovoltaic solar array. No expense was spared on either the aesthetic or technological front. Architectural Corten metal cladding blends organically with the surroundings and provides top-notch fire resistance, as well. The house enjoys high-efficiency LED lighting throughout, and built-in speakers both inside and out. 

Standing on the upstairs balcony, I realized, as I gazed out over the treetops at the mesmerizing view, what I was not seeing. All the utilities are underground, so the panorama is truly uninterrupted, with no distracting power lines. A built-in barbeque and firepit add to the indoor/outdoor ambience and make the house perfect for entertaining. Sitting on 1.3 flat acres overall, a pool or other additions are possible.

Stephanie and Brett are sad to leave this dream house, but with three children under the age of 5, they have their hands full. They’ve found a new home closer to family, friends, and work.

I drove back down the hill, feeling as if I had caught up with an old friend. Even though I didn’t actually get to see Stephanie, enjoying the intimacy and comfort of her home — resplendent in its rural setting, yet steeped in modern conveniences — I felt as though we had reconnected.

1100 Palomino Road is listed in Santa Barbara by James C. Krautmann of Village Properties Realtors. Reach James at (805) 451-4527 or


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.