During the search for the perfect property, this Minnesota couple discovered a vacant lot that appeared to be the ideal canvas for a vacation home. “It hadn’t been fretted over or super-manicured, and it looked natural, like California used to,” the couple tell Luxe.

Choosing an architect to design their Californian escape was a much easier task than house hunting. “We have a huge affinity for mid-century design, and we wanted indoor-outdoor living,” the wife says. “We felt Marmol Radziner was well-versed in both.”

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The result of a collaborative relationship between the clients and Marmol Radziner Architecture was a two-story Montecito home, surrounded by mature oak trees. Drawing on inspiration from the landscape, the materials palette of Santa Barbara sandstone, cedar and glass is well considered.

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“We unearthed the gold-coloured sandstone as we excavated the site,” says Radziner, the architect. This was used to construct expansive walls and a massive fireplace which is a major focal point in the living room.

“The house is a reflection of what comes from the earth,” Radziner explains. Cleverly, the architects incorporated materials used outside into the interior to strengthen the connection the two spaces.

Attracted to California for its never ending list of outdoor activities like golf, tennis and hiking, the clients wanted to optimise the indoor/outdoor living in their own home. Relaxed outdoor living areas were a strong feature of the property, and the main family room benefited from a seamless connection onto a long patio. Even the master bedroom has a balcony to make the most of the expansive ocean views.

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To provide continuity, the architects took on all aspects of the project including the landscape design. “A holistic approach allows us to achieve a strong design and have a process where there’s not a lot of disconnect,” says Radziner who also put on the hat as an interior design and builder.

Preserving as much as the existing landscape, natural slopes and mature oak trees as possible was an important focus for the clients and design team. “It was about recreating an enhanced version of Santa Barbara’s park-like natural landscape,” explains Radziner.

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This is echoed throughout the property, with even the pool surrounded by native grasses. The soft landscape is of a simple palette reflecting the tones of the materials used in the architecture. This has a resulted in the feeling that the structure and garden have always been there – something that’s hard to achieve.

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To see more of this home and others by Marmol Radziner Architecture click here.

More images by Joe Fletcher can be seen at Luxe.