This Wallace Neff home, designed by the architect largely responsible for creating the classes Southern Californian distinct style, is now on the market. It is one of many homes designed by Neff in the Mediterranean Revival style, though not all of them boast such fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean.
The home measures 14,000 square feet, with five bedrooms and five full bathrooms, as well as a number of other formal spaces and stunning outdoor landscaping and recreation.
Wallace Neff is considered the first architect to embody the desires and style of Hollywood stars. He designed a number of beautiful estates in Southern California before his death in 1982. His designs, evidenced by what we now consider typical and classic California style, draw from architectural styles of both Spain and the Mediterranean.
This estate — the Straus House — is in Santa Barbara and was designed at the height of his career. His other designs include the Pickfair Estate, the Libby Rance, and the Gillette Mansion, among many others.
The Straus House is a hacienda-style home, measuring 14,000 square feet and originally built in 1970. It is situated in an H-shape, with two wings splitting the five bedrooms and five bathrooms, along with a fully refurbished chef’s kitchen, formal dining room with sweeping ocean views, a home theater, full wine cellar, and a den. Outside, you’ll find a terrace facing the ocean, an elegant pool, 27 miles of riding trails, and a private guesthouse (that also faces directly towards the ocean).
The large living room features what becomes the standard tall cathedral ceilings, as well as an open glass wall. The full kitchen is sleek, with dark modern appliances matching the exposed beams of the cathedral ceiling.
Each room is beautifully and intentionally lit, and many maximize the natural light with extensive windows and often glass walls. Many of the bathrooms feature polished stone not just for the countertops, but for each wall as well.
The back patio of the house features dark stone flooring and a view out to the lawn, pool, and ocean. This space also hosts a large fire pit. The full guest house is obscured from the view of the main house but opens up entirely to the ocean. It also boasts its own outdoor patio space and fire pit.
The landscaping features lush trees and lawns. As it wraps around the buildings, you’ll find elegantly-placed concrete walkways and trees to filter the hot California sun. Farther from the building and lining the entry and black circular driveway, you see more of the Mediterranean influence, with its unique tall trees and vegetation.
The house is located in a small equestrian community in Santa Barbara’s Montecito neighborhood — dubbed “Beverly Hills North” for its rising popularity. It is quiet, with a mild climate and beautiful views from the ocean to the mountains. While many bigger stars have recently been attracted to the area, this Neff design, the Straus House, made it home more than 50 years ago.
The home is now on the market, listed for $32.75 million. It spans 14,000 square feet, with sweepingly elegant formal rooms, as well as five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
Jon Dykstra owns an interior design company in North Vancouver, British Columbia. He's fascinated by architecture and interiors. He also enjoys gardening at his "house in the burbs" and "homesteading" at his off-the-grid boat-access cabin.
Combine all that with a love of writing and Homestratsophere.com was born. He balances his working time between running his interior design company, working on his off-the-grid cabin and publishing homestratosphere.com.