ANACAPA Architecture
Montecito, California

Nestled in the scenic hills of Montecito, California, a 2,500-square-foot dwelling and a dual-purpose guesthouse/home office from the 1970s underwent a transformative journey, blending modern aesthetics with the magnificent surrounding nature, all while adhering to a restrained budget. This intricate redesign, a collaborative effort between the client and design team, was orchestrated not merely as a home renovation but as a reimagining of its intrinsic residential persona, while seamlessly integrating contemporary elements.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (

Strategic Redesign While Preserving the Essence

The strategy was clear: respect the pre-existing footprint and structural elements of the home, whilst holistically re-envisioning the internal dynamics of space. Emphasis was placed on sculpting welcoming communal areas both inside and outside. The establishment of a fire pit, poised gracefully between the home’s two wings, not only enhances outdoor living experiences but also subtly knits together different sections of the residence.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (

The material selection was carefully curated, nodding respectfully to the earthy tones and textures embedded in the nearby natural milieu. The original board-and-batten T1-11 wood siding made way for a refined charred shou sugi ban cedar cladding, creating a gentle dialogue with the natural surroundings. Concrete floors, which seamlessly extend from the interior to the exterior, paired with new anodized aluminum-and-glass sliding doors, fortify the dwelling’s symbiotic relationship with the landscape. Architect Dan Weber remarked on the symbiosis, noting, “The shou sugi ban harmonizes beautifully with the native California terrain, resonating with the dark forest green of the oak trees’ canopy.” Further complementing this aesthetic, a new standing-seam metal roof was installed, ensuring a minimalist, yet starkly elegant silhouette against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez mountains.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (

Interior Reinvigoration through Minimalism and Luxury

The interiors have been revitalized with a deliberate movement towards brighter, more open spaces, through the integration of concrete surfaces and smooth gypsum siding, replacing previous materials such as carpets and wood cladding. This initiative not only introduced a modern touch but also illuminated the internal environment with a fresh, light ambiance. The embodiment of luxury permeates through the crisply defined, modern lines and a consciously minimalist aesthetic. The elimination of dropped ceilings revealed the structural wooden ceiling above, now painted white, granting the spaces an elevated sense of openness and breadth.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (

In an exercise of spatial redefinition, several smaller bedrooms were amalgamated to formulate a singular primary suite. Concurrently, the bathroom suite was generously expanded, and interior partition walls were strategically removed, resulting in a generously proportioned unified space. The attention to detail extended into the carefully selected furnishings and materials; each piece of furniture was treated as a unique sculpture, and materials, such as the dignified stone chosen for countertops, articulate a quiet, yet assertive luxury.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (

In conclusion, this Montecito residence has been reborn through a meticulous redesign that not only honours its own structural history but also pays homage to its naturally rich surroundings. The home, now a harmonious blend of modern luxury and natural aesthetic, stands as a testament to the possibilities that lay in the thoughtful collaboration between client, designers, and the inherent character of the space itself.

Credit: Vista Residence | ANACAPA Architecture (
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