The Prettiest House You Ever Did See

There are a lot of beautiful houses in this area, but pretty ones are in shorter supply. Well, the house at 1270 Pepper Lane in Montecito might just be the prettiest house you ever did see.

But it wasn’t always this way….


Bedrooms: Five.
Bathrooms: Five full, two half.
Size/Acreage: 6,258 square feet (main house); 382 square feet (guest house); 1,259 square feet (garages) / 2.2 acres.
Price: $9.95 million.
Last sold: For $6.35 million in 2013.
Listing agents:
Riskin Partners.


While the 1937 Chester Carjola estate always had terrific bones—it flows from one spacious room to another—when Drew Barrymore put it on the market in 2013, the listing photos showed that the house was ready for a bit of TLC. It got all that and more, from new owners who didn’t just renovate it, they polished it. The details are impeccable: Note the windows you can crank open without removing the metal screens, and the rain gutters made of redwood, and the mahogany counters in the kitchen.

And they prudently hired Elizabeth Dinkel to decorate the place. She was able to both respect the property and update it. The result is a house that feels as if it could exist in 1956 or 2019. Fortunately, Dinkel had much to work with: The paneling in the living room and millwork in the den, for instance, are original to the house.

That’s a wood-burning fireplace in the master bedroom.

Below: one of the guest rooms, and the office, which has an en suite bath (and could therefore function as a bedroom).

There are two garages, one with two bays and another with four. Above the two-car garage is the guest house—more of a mother-in-law apartment, but who’s complaining?

As nice as all that lawn is—and the property does have a private well—I’d think about carving a terrace into the slope, so your eye has somewhere to stop on its way up the mountain. I’m seeing a low wall of white-painted brick, a few graceful stairs, and possibly a pool, like at 645 El Bosque.

Just as with 2050 Garden Street, one gets the sense that the current owners spent more than they can reasonably expect to get out. It’s a bittersweet situation—bitter for them, but sweet for the buyer who appreciates the sublime tastefulness of the house.

To see it in person, contact Riskin Properties at 805-565-8600 or [email protected]. And be sure to tell them Siteline sent you.