Credit: Via Media

Status: On the market
Address: 1800 Jelinda Drive
Price: $8,395,000

Easter egg hunts, Fiesta parties, and games of hide-and-seek top the list of memories for the family who has treasured the home at 1800 Jelinda Drive in Montecito for the past 35 years. Walking through the spacious rooms and thoughtful gardens of this contemporary Barry Berkus–designed estate last week was breathtaking. Learning about the care and intention that fueled the home’s creation, and has furthered the family’s enjoyment of it since, gave me an additional layer of appreciation of its serene spaces.

Credit: Via Media

The home is located in Ennisbrook, an exclusive enclave that began its life as a 356-acre California rancho granted by the Town Council of Santa Barbara in 1845. The land was developed in 1986 into a gated community of homes set on one-to-three-acre parcels. A private clubhouse offers amenities such as private wine lockers, BBQ facilities, a pool, a gym, and tennis, basketball, and pickleball courts. One of the distinguishing features of Ennisbrook is that 44 acres of its land have been set aside as open space, with hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails to be enjoyed by all.

The home at 1800 Jelinda has an open, airy feeling that continues as one moves from room to room, admiring the shapes and views both inside and out. The homeowners describe their design process with the late architect Barry Berkus as a very collaborative affair, taking into detailed consideration how their family lived, and crafting plans from the inside out. They shared that they worked on the floor plan and interior spaces for more than a year before moving on to the style of the home’s exterior.

Credit: Via Media

The first level of the home incorporates the living room, kitchen, dining room, and family room in an open configuration. A breakfast area off the kitchen provides a cozy gathering place, as do both fireplaces on this floor. An aptly named “oval office” enjoys views of the ocean and mountains through floor-to-ceiling windows on its curved walls. An entertainment platform overlooks the living room, and an attention-grabbing floating staircase takes top billing as it invites visitors up to the second level.

Upstairs, three en-suite bedrooms are on one wing, while the expansive primary suite with a fireplace, huge walk-in closet, and a spa-like bathroom occupies the other half of this floor. The pièce de résistance of the upper level, and my favorite spot in the entire house, is a huge spa tub set on a private balcony. It truly brings the outside in, overlooking the home’s colorful gardens, as well as the grandeur of the surrounding mountain backdrop.

Credit: Via Media

The backyard gardens are best enjoyed via the huge patio off the family room. With a koi pond, fruit trees, and magnificent rose garden, plus wildflowers and multiple levels of space to play, the outdoor area of this home is just as compelling as the interior. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the gardens have been a passion of the homeowners during the entire 35 years, and also a source of great joy. The gardens have been the site for three weddings, the aforementioned Easter egg hunts, and countless hours of play with children and now grandchildren.

Credit: Via Media

One of the couple’s dreams when designing and building the home was to create a place that would serve as a magnet to draw their children home to be together again and again. Having accomplished that goal and more, they’re now ready for the next phase in their lives, one in which a smaller home will allow them to travel to visit their children and grandchildren instead of the other way around.

Whether for weddings, Easter egg hunts, or something completely different, let’s hope that this home can again serve as a magnet for its new owners to make their own memories.

The home at 1800 Jelinda Drive is listed for sale in Montecito by Deborah Samuel of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. Reach Deborah at (805) 570-6680 or

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