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Coastal retreat on bluffs of Carpinteria offers relaxed elegance

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Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects were in charge of designing this beautiful coastal retreat nestled on the bluffs of Carpinteria, a small oceanside community in southeastern Santa Barbara County, California. The clients had a list of requirements prior to construction of their beachside residence, this included two bedrooms for the couple’s grown sons, sumptuous guest quarters, a tennis court, expansive swimming pool with a pool house as well as several entertaining spaces for friends and family. The property encompassed just over four acres, yet the architects faced the challenge of designing a home that does not feel as big as it appears. The home that was original to the property was a board-and-batten beach cottage which dated back to the 1940s, offering design inspiration for the project. The architects plan was to make this coastal retreat appear as though it has been added to over time, creating a authentic feel. The core of this two-story structure is comprised of a living and dining room, kitchen and a family room, with a master bedroom retreat given its own private domain on the upper level. At one end of the house is the two bedrooms for the two sons, while the opposite end houses the private guest quarters.

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Interior designer Tom Stringer was brought into the project to help achieve the aesthetic in the interiors that the architects had begun with exterior; the concept that the home should appear as though it had been added to for generations. To help achieve this, the color palette and material elements were subtly changed between spaces, which also created a nice flow. The family bedrooms were decorated in a contemporary manner, while the guest quarters were given a more traditional styling.

RELATED: Artfully redesigned mid-century beach villa in Montecito

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What We Love: A beautifully crafted coastal retreat that can be used for more intimate family gatherings to entertaining larger groups of people, this abode offers everything one could possibly desire. It was designed to feel very relaxing yet has a casual elegance to it that is appealing to the eyes. We love all of the artistic details from the artwork to the structural trusses in the living room and everything in-between, very aesthetically pleasing. How about you, do you think this house is over-done or do you like what the architects/designers have done?

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A sunny courtyard with stone pavers welcomes you inside the home, opening into a gallery space highlighted by colorful oil paintings on canvas by the late artist Joan Mitchell.

RELATED: Modern concrete and glass dwelling in Santa Barbara

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The spacious living room is characterized by floor-to-ceiling stone clad fireplaces on either side with cast bronze grapevine logsets inside the hearth. These were designed by Elena Colombo of Fire Features who does custom installations of “firebowls, water & wind features, memorials, markers, and environmental sculpture.” We have an excellent example of this talented artists work in a previous home we featured here on One Kindesign. Be sure to look out for all the outdoor fire features, here: Striking modern pad with captivating views over the Sunset Strip.

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An abstract painting on the wall adds a pop of color to this otherwise neutral color scheme, by artist Cecily Brown.

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RELATED: Carpinteria Foothills Residence with coastal views

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The master bedroom in this coastal retreat features an Assyrian chest, a personal piece the couple had picked up from Turkey.

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The couple’s personal art and furniture collection picked up from travels is intermingled with contemporary art and furnishings to add visual interest. One such example is the antique doors pictured above, which the homeowners had purchased from Turkey.

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French doors in the guest suite leads out to several patio spaces outdoors, helping blur the lines between indoors and out.

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A teak folly at the end of the pool provides a nice shelter for the homeowners to relax and read or watch their guests swim. The structure was designed by the architects, who had it built in Indonesia for authenticity and then re-assembled on site. The lush gardens surrounding the property helps to provide sound attenuation from the road nearby.

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Photos: Ciro Coelho Photography

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