4347 Marina Drive, located in equestrian minded Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara’s unincorporated, westerly neighbor that benefits from the plentiful coastal breezes its cliffside position avails, is an original 1969 Wallace Neff, the master of sprawling, thick, whitewashed walled, Spanish Colonial Revival homes, with an H-shaped floor plan, allowing for the use of two separate, serene courtyards, one welcoming and orienting you into the home, the second showcasing the Santa Barbara lifestyle, which are enfiladed via the massive glass walled, stone floored, and wood beamed living room. It is this type of distinctive, grounded, engaged planning and division of spaces which is a trademark of a Wallace Neff home—his excellent, keen eye for design have enabled this home to wonderfully transition into a smart home of today.
Once inside the home, and behind the substantial front door crowned by an attractively sized and centered circular window, its stripped down, elemental approach to design becomes apparent; a limited color palette of white and grey enable the textures and surfaces of the plaster, marble, wood, glass, and tile to all intermingle on an even plane, a plane where they harmonize with one another and help each other shine in unison. The structure of the fireplaces and ribbing of the ceiling help create and construct a sense of space in such a large, voluminous home.
The sleek, sleek kitchen, adding black to the grey and white palette, is a study in minimalism—every surface is curved, glass, seamless, or has a shine to it. All of this is angled toward the Channel Islands out on the horizon, the likenesses reflected off the cabinets and tabletop.
The private areas surrounding the master suite create a transitional space between the highly entertainment centered public spaces, and the private, spa-like retreat the suite provides to you. The library, a wonderfully intimate size, continues the grey color of the beams, down onto the walls and shelving, which makes the space very cozy and human-scaled. Once into the master bedroom proper, a minimalist room with polished, grey veined marble floors, white plaster walls, and grey beamed ceilings expose themselves in their truest, most intimate form. The dressing areas and bathroom provide intimate views of an exterior fountain wall as well as views out over the Pacific, highlighting the interplay constantly humming in the background of this storied property—public vs private.
Underground, a true spa awaits you, with multiple treatment rooms for you to enjoy at your leisure. This area is connected to the home theater, of course.
Once back outside, you are able to fully enjoy the salty air—I can already feel my hair curling—sprawling black stone terraces, fountains, firepit, zero edge pool, lawns, out to the view of the Pacific Ocean, a view where you are always have a front row seat to the sunset, a true luxury.
As always with homes such as this, little surprises abound, such as the guest house under the pool, which is all glassed-in and concrete in the best ways—all crisp and clean beneath the boughs of an ancient oak.
The original floor plan, below, has been altered considerably, yet it is quite interesting to try your hand at pieces the new and old together—Neff’s hand is still evident in the structure, and quite rightly—as the architect truly designed for person-centered living, a timeless, built-in feature of this home.
4347 Marina Drive is currently listed for $24,900,000 by Olesya Thyne of Goodwin & Thyne Properties. The roughly 14,000 square foot home, located on a 1.54 acre lot, encompasses 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms.
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