A Restoration Brings Renewed Life To A 1929 Estate Near Santa Barbara
Architects George Washington Smith and Lutah Maria Riggs did much to shape the architecture of coastal Santa Barbara, California.
Smith helped popularize the Spanish Colonial Revival style in the region in private homes and public buildings that are now National Historic Landmarks. Riggs – who would go on to become an architect in her own right – worked as a draftsman for Smith in the last nine years of his life, contributing to the designs of some of his best-known buildings.
This 1929 estate in the part of Montecito known as the Golden Quadrangle – a celebrity haunt above the fog line that is often bathed in sunlight – is emblematic of the fruits of their partnership.
But they are not the only notables associated with the residence. The estate was owned for nearly six decades by actress and model Suzy Parker and her husband, actor Bradford Dillman.
A more recent name connected to Las Armas, as the property is called, is architect Marc Appleton, who spent three years restoring the regal home.
Today, modern and luxurious finishes and design choices blend seamlessly with original details.
Natural light fills the groin-vaulted ceiling of the foyer, where original tile floors lead to the main living spaces. The original wrought iron handrail lines the stairs up to the bedrooms, which can also be accessed by elevator.
Original light fixtures and 16th-century carved wooden doors are among other details.
A beamed ceiling, built-in bookshelves, French doors and a fireplace appoint the living room, which can double as a home theater and conceals a hidden 4,500-bottle wine cellar.
The dining room opens to terrace space and adjoins a newly created wet bar lounge. Nearby, the new center island kitchen opens to a sunny breakfast room.
The primary suite, one of six family bedrooms and six bathrooms, features an office with a fireplace. The guest suite contains another bedroom and another full bathroom for a total of 8,712 square feet of living space.
At the front of the home, antique European statues that look down at the motorcourt from inverted archways.
An 88-foot-long swimming pool with a spa and a Baja shelf stretches along the back of the house. Stone fruit trees, a 15-variety citrus grove and raised garden beds complete the nearly two acres of grounds.