Make Myself at Home: Mesa Mania
330 Mohawk Road, Mesa Mania at Its Best
Thursday, December 21, 2017
There must be a special moniker for those who live in Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood. Mesa Maniacs? People who live on the Mesa love the Mesa. The allure might have something to do with their microclimate. Mesa dwellers sit nice and cool under their proprietary layer of fog when the rest of the city’s temperatures soar in the sunshine. The draw could also be due to their pristine beach proximity. Sets of stairs from nondescript Mesa streets lead down the cliffs to secluded coves. Mesa-ites are quick to point out that the Mesa has its own neighborhood-named Mesa Café, Mesa Burger, Mesa Barbers, and even a Mesa Bookstore. This self-contained burg is split into several micro-neighborhoods, including the flat, beachside portion closest to the Mesa Lane Steps, bordered by Cliff Drive on the north and west and Meigs Road on the east.
It was in this zone that I visited a charming house at 330 Mohawk Road last week. While most of the rest of the city was filled with smoke and ash, the Mesa, especially near the beach, was a cool, clear respite.
A white picket fence surrounds the front yard, with a palm tree in one corner, drought-tolerant landscape along the curb, and just enough grassy lawn for kids or pets to play. The house sits on a corner lot, so it almost has two front yards, facing both Mohawk and Elise Way. As I walked in and started to look around, I realized that the street-facing yards were only part of the home’s outdoor living space.
By Courtesy Photo
The entire home is built around an interior courtyard patio. So in addition to the fenced yards outside, residents can enjoy a completely private, Saltillo-tiled outdoor room, perfect for dinners al fresco, birthday parties, or whatever fun from inside the house wants to spill outside. There’s even a hot tub to enjoy after a long day at the beach, or for relaxing stargazing.
With five bedrooms and four baths, two stories, and approximately 3,000 square feet of space, there’s plenty of room inside as well. The house flows from one living area to the next, with thoughtful touches throughout. The front door opens into a foyer, just steps to the large living room that’s the center of the house. Cathedral ceilings and skylights enhance the airy, open feeling, while two fireplaces hint at cozy gatherings when the weather turns chilly.
In addition to the living room and a separate dining room, there’s a family room that feels perfect for game nights, movies, or reading. The kitchen also feels like a prime gathering place, with counter seating, glass-fronted cabinets, and a showcase gas stove that’s old enough to be a coveted retro piece but new enough for gourmet tastes.
By Courtesy Photo
There are three bedrooms and three baths downstairs, plus a separate master bedroom suite upstairs. Although it is nestled up above the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home, one of my favorite features in the entire house is the patio off the master bedroom. French doors open onto a deck that overlooks the outside courtyard. So while the master suite is isolated, it’s still connected to the goings-on downstairs. I imagine early-morning coffee on the deck while waiting for the rest of the household to wake up and start the day.
Every aspect of this house is ready-made for comfortable yet classy family living, but one of its most enviable features is its prime Mesa location. Four blocks to the beach in one direction, and only four blocks to shops and restaurants the other way, the future owners of this house may never need to leave the Mesa. And from what I hear, that’s just the way that the Mesa Maniacs like it.