the RIV - Volume 2

Page 192



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Montecito JOURNAL

@RobinDonaldsonAIA Santa Barbara Culver City Photo by Bruce Heavin The Riv Founder & Editor Les Firestein Art Director Trent Watanabe Magazine Managing Editor Gina Zondorak Terlinden Copy Editor Lily Buckley Harbin Administration Jessikah Moran VP Sales & Marketing Leanne R. Wood Account Managers Tanis Nelson: Susan Brooks: Elizabeth Nadel: Photography Farshid Assassi, Edward Clynes, Robin Donaldson, Rob Maday, Dewey Nicks, Tim Street-Porter, Lisa Romerein, Firooz Zahedi Contributors Robin Cottle, Brad Dunning, Kelly Mahan Herrick, Steven Libowitz, Dr. Erik Lucero, Lorie Dewhirst Porter, Ron Radziner, Nicholas Schou, Jeff Wing Volume 15 Issue 3
is published by Montecito Journal Media Group, LLC. Corporate Offices located at 1206 Coast Village Circle, Suite G , Montecito, CA 93108 For distribution, advertising, or other inquiries: (805) 565-1860 CEO Gwyn Lurie President & COO Tim Buckley FALL | 2022

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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01488213. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. UNMATCHED REPRESENTATION OF EXCEPTIONAL LUXURY REAL ESTATE.
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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number [license number to be inserted by region]. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. LUKE EBBIN 805.400.3424 | DRE 01488213 3070 SEA CLIFF | SANTA BARBARA




Born into Iranian aristocracy and a life of diplomacy, Zahedi turned his fate – via an unexpected friendship with Elizabeth Taylor – into a storied career as the man behind some of the most iconic images of our time. Zahedi makes people and houses look the best they can possibly be. In his own words.


DeWoody is one of the most important philanthropic art collectors of our generation. And she has elevated collecting to an art in and of itself. She’s married to Firooz Zahedi. Oh, and they have kids just as creative as they are.


Harkening back to the days of the “village carpenter,” Paul Tuttle was a quirky, brilliant, local design savant informally adopted by the town of Montecito, which cared for him, fed him, and gave him shelter (and wine). One of the most unsung architectural, interior, and furniture designers mentored by Alvin Lustig. Tuttle left a small but potent body of work behind as a profound design legacy.


Google is building a quantum computer in Goleta that’s more than a billion times faster than the reigning supercomputer. However, just as important to The Riv, architect Robin Donaldson and Google Quantum lead Erik Lucero took a mundane building headed for the landfill and reconceived it as an Incubator for Inspiration where artists and scientists collide… beautifully and with purpose. It is a cathedral of quantum.


“Upcycler” junk artist Gabriel Dishaw takes upscale detritus in the form of vintage Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Goyard, you get the drift… and turns it into masks, sculptures, and other objects straight from Star Wars. A certain resident of Padaro Lane should take note.


Ukrainian architectturned-pastry chef Dinara Kasko (@dinarakasko) has incorporated her original skill set into making architecturally complex and beautiful pastries. In addition, she is using the same 3D printers she uses to make cake molds to aid in the defense of her country.


Unexpectedly, Ron Radziner does a lot of his contemporary architecture the old-fashioned way – he physically draws it. In this meditation on quirk, the starchitect explains some of his endearing contradictions.


From L.A. party boy to master ceramicist, the widower of décorateur extraordinaire Paul Fortune has lived a blessed creative life and is now flourishing in Ojai thanks to some help from his friends. His friends are hallucinogenic mushrooms. Bonus: Brock’s husband Paul Fortune renovated a home designed by Wilt Chamberlain. That’s not a typo.




Photographer Annette LeMay Burke (@atelierlemay) has traversed the Western United States documenting trees – not your ordinary palms and pines but rather that unique California native plant, the cell tower palm – for her recently released book, Fauxliage: Disguised Cell Phone Towers of the American West.


The husband-and-wife design team of Steve and Brooke Giannetti, Ojai’s answer to Chip and Joanna Gaines, has built a patina empire in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, and they just finished a celeb refresh in Montecito. What next? They’re opening a sustainable farm in Tennessee and spreading the word – and manure – on biodynamic farming.


From automated custom lighting, perfectly timed air conditioning and heating, concert-quality sound (indoors and out), and how about a home theater that simultaneously projects movie posters of whatever you’re watching? Central Coast Audio Visual goes next level with their smart home technology.


Along with renowned local architects such as Marc Appleton, Jeff Shelton, and Stephen Harby, gallery owner Thomas Reynolds has curated “ARTchitecture” of watercolor paintings by local architects.


The RISD–trained Santa Barbara craftsman Brian McNally took the centuries-old art of stained glass and turned it into a booming – albeit under-the-radar – career.


Santa Barbara and Montecito are home to many talented design visionaries – including architects, interior and landscape designers, contractors, builders, and stylists – ready to help you elevate your home or business to reflect the beauty of the American Riviera.


From Ojai to Montecito, Santa Barbara to the Santa Ynez Valley, a plethora of dream homes are awaiting their forever owners.


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Born in 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee, Brad Dun ning currently resides in Southern California and is a designer known for working on architectural ly significant properties, historic restorations, and his own contemporary designs. He has helped re store or reimagine homes by noted architects Wal lace Neff, Quincy Jones, Albert Frey, and many others. He has also written extensively about de sign, architecture, and architectural preservation for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, T Magazine, Vogue, House & Garden, and Interview, among other publications, and was a contributing editor on architecture and design for GQ and GQ Style


Lorie Dewhirst Porter practiced law for a decade before entering the publish ing world as a legal editor and now writes about ar chitecture, art, and culture. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Santa Barbara Magazine, 805 Living, San ta Barbara Independent, and Galerie Magazine. She is the author of the about-to-be-released Montecito Style: Paradise on California’s Gold Coast (Monacelli Press) photographed by Firooz Zahedi (see below).


Firooz Zahedi’s award-winning images have appeared in and on the covers of numerous magazines, including Vanity Fair, British GQ, French Vogue, Time, Glamour, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Interview Magazine, and InStyle. Zahedi also produces prominent advertising and publicity campaigns for film, tele vision, and the recording industry including the iconic poster for Pulp Fiction. He has exhibited his por traits and fine art photography at galleries in Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai, and Basel. He is the author of several books, including My Elizabeth (2016), City of Angels: Houses and Gardens of Los Angeles (2018), Look at Me (2020), and the very-soon-to-be-released (and available for pre-order) Montecito Style: Paradise on California’s Gold Coast


In 1990, Donaldson found ed ShubinDonaldson Ar chitects. A fourth-genera tion Southern Californian, Robin Donaldson, AIA (@robindonaldsonaia and @sd_rplusd), received his bachelor’s degree in studio art from UC Santa Barbara, focusing on painting and printmaking. He then at tended SCI_Arc, winning the Henry Adams Medal. During his SCI_Arc studies, Donaldson began working with Morphosis Architects and served as the Project Architect on the award-winning Crawford Residence in Montecito. Today, he lectures at academic institutions, devotes time to AIA advisory boards, and serves on community planning advisory boards across Southern California. He can also design you a pretty cool house.


Dr. Lucero designed, built, and operates Google’s Quan tum AI campus here in Santa Barbara – with the mission to build an error-corrected quan tum computer for the world to enable humankind to solve problems that would other wise be impossible. He is one of the scientists on the Goo gle Quantum AI team who demonstrated humanity’s first beyond-classical computation (Nature Magazine, October 23, 2019), recognized as one of the Breakthroughs of the Year. Dr. Lucero has two decades of experience in quantum archi tectures and a portfolio of images documenting the evolution of quan tum processors from single qubit devices to Google’s Sycamore quantum computer. Dr. Lucero received his PhD in Physics from UC Santa Bar bara and joined Google in 2015. He is also an excellent photographer.


Ron Radziner is an outstanding writer of all matters architectur al. Which makes sense because he’s also a world renowned ar chitect known for his sleek yet organic designs – both residen tial and commercial. Radziner works frequently with Tom Ford, and his firm is known for outstanding renovations of works by modern architectural maestri like Richard Neutra, John Lautner, and Cliff May. In addition, Radziner has written one book about architec ture and another tome about siting a house and landscape architecture. He has also written for every single issue of The Riv



After featuring the wildly ambitious, futuristic Bruce Heavin Hilltop House in Riv #1, we wondered, How could we surpass that level of anticipation?

Luckily a little birdy told us about a massive – and massively important – project out in the Good Land, sunny Goleta. Yes,

Goleta, where Montecito hides its Costco.

Turns out there’s an epic mystery project in Goleta quite well funded by a company you may have heard of – Google. If you haven’t heard of it, Google it. It’s hard to wrap one’s

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On Our Cover…

Our cover image may look like a high-end light fixture, but it’s really the quantum computer at Google’s new design-forward Quantum campus in Goleta. Dr. Erik Lucero, who runs the program, was kind enough to share his photographs, his time, and his “nerdsplaining.”

Google’s supercomputer is one billion times more robust than the world’s next most powerful computer and is going to change our world. So while our cover image is not, in fact, a chandelier… we’re still confident it will illuminate much.

(Photo courtesy Gledhill Library, Santa Barbara Historical Museum)

head around how this project will change our world. Let’s just say there’s a lot this machine can do, and it’s being developed by some of the coolest physicists to visit Santa Barbara since, well, Einstein.

Experts say what Google is doing could “break the Bitcoin algorithm in about 10 minutes.” Have we aroused your Pinterest?

The Riv also got to talk with New York Times bestselling author Maria Semple about the house she lived in with her significant other, George Meyer (one of the big brains behind The Simpsons). The house was designed by Wilt Chamberlain (you read that correctly). The highlight reel of that abode includes a ceiling that opens up Astrodome-style, and the place has an “orgy room,” which is something you don’t see every day. Well, not since the days of Emperor Caligula. I asked Semple if she repurposed the orgy room thinking maybe her answer would be “for shoes.” She said, “I turned it into my writing space.” To which I said, “So pretty much the opposite of an orgy room.” Semple had the place renovated (and hopefully saged) by local design legends Paul Fortune and Chris Brock (see “Chris Brock’s Outrageous Fortune”).

Speaking of sage, Brock continues to work his ceramic mastery out in Ojai… where he has also become a sage of hallucinogenic mushrooms. If you’re looking for a story about how Gwyneth created a personal wellness retreat in her own home, this is not that.

Firooz Zahedi seems to have photographed every

celebrity and has taken one image more iconic than the next. He also shot the poster for Pulp Fiction and has an awesome new book about a rather interesting place called… Montecito Style. His spouse, Beth DeWoody, gives us a master class on the art of being one of the world’s most thoughtful and epic art collectors. We hope you enjoy reading The Riv as much as we enjoy putting it together. As always, The Riv is oh-so-grateful to everyone who plays with us: architect Robin Donaldson for photographing his friend Paul Tuttle’s studio. Bosky Landscape Architecture for droning the George Dangerfield House for us. And architect Sebastian Giefer for opening his home to us, so I could get a picture of Robin getting a picture of Paul Tuttle’s mini masterpiece. Somewhere Paul Tuttle is giggling.

The Riv is grateful to work with so many people doing inspiring work. Artist Gabriel Dishaw upcycles your tattered Vuitton into… can we call it “science Vuiction”? (See “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Mandalorian.”) Or how about the gutsy architect-turned-pastry chef Dinara Kasko (see “Arch-cake-tecture”) who has repurposed the 3D printers she uses for cakes to help defend her native Ukraine. I spoke to Kasko in her bomb shelter. It puts the idea of a “shelter” magazine in perspective.

Donaldson outside the Paul Tuttle studio he has not seen for two decades. Robin Donaldson inside Tuttle’s studio looking out “Paul’s Favorite window.”
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JOHN A. SENER 805.331.7402 | ALYSSA A. JONES 805.755.8735 | DRE 00978392/02096482All information provided is deemed reliable, but has not been verified and we do not guarantee it. We recommend that buyers make their own inquiries. A seasoned team with local and deep roots in the Santa Barbara Community
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Beth and Firooz at their home in Montecito, September 2022. The painting behind them is Sixty-nine by Erin Morrison.



Firooz and JLo, Coral Gables, Florida, 1998, Vanity Fair photoshoot. Firooz, who can’t take a bad picture, photographs JLo, who also can’t take a bad picture.



heard his name around town. My friend, the architect Marc Appleton, said

of Firooz, “Firooz is a master curator of mise-en-scène for people, interiors, and I’m sure any subject he turns his eye on. The percent of his shots that turn out to be iconic is simply astounding.”

Lorie Dewhirst Porter, who cowrote Firooz’s new book and writes for us more than occasionally (see “Chris Brock’s Outrageous Fortune”), said of Zahedi, “He is a genius at capturing the uniqueness of a person or place and showing them in their absolutely optimal state.” Porter goes on, “Assisting Firooz with this book was transformative. His attention to detail is extraordinary. The man has an amazing ability to bring out the best in his endless supply of fascinating subjects. He sweats the small stuff, he sweats the big stuff, and everything in between. That’s how he sired so many iconic images.”

What I think most people don’t know about Firooz, however, is that his personal saga is as unlikely as it is inspirational. So on the occasion of the release of his new book on Montecito Style (available for preorder on and Amazon), I was honored that we were finally able to turn the lens on the man himself, in his own Montecito home, and do a deep dive into not just his life but his remarkable life partner, the renowned art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, and their equally creative offspring.

Iwas born in 1949 into a prominent political family in Iran, and in that family, it was very much a thing that boys did not pursue the arts. As I didn’t want to go against the family tradition, I applied to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with the intention of following in the footsteps of several members of my family, including my cousin Ardeshir Zahedi, who had been Foreign Minister and was about to serve as ambassador in Washington, D.C. I worked part-time at our embassy to qualify for financial assistance to pay for school. Later on, I became my cousin’s personal assistant. Despite all the benefits, I realized none of them could override my need to pursue a life in the arts. So l applied to the Corcoran School of Art, and once accepted, I handed in my resignation at the embassy much to my family’s chagrin.

Samuel L. Jackson, 1995, Premiere magazine photoshoot

Ihave always been passionate about the arts. Since around five years old, I drew and painted, and then at boarding school, I won art awards on several occasions. When I was a teenager, I would help deliver Christmas gifts for my cousin in London when he was ambassador to the Court of St James’s. I’d get dressed up in a suit and tie and be driven around in a limo dropping off fancy gifts for Lord this and Lady that. All the homes were beautifully decorated, but I wasn’t paying attention to that as I just wanted the day to end so I could get out of the suit and be a kid again.

However, when I started working at the embassy in Washington for my cousin, one of my duties was to make sure his residence was in tip-top shape for his guests and his parties. I finally started paying attention to the decor, and since the place was elegantly put together by the wonderful English decorator Michael Szell, I took notice and came to appreciate what high quality and refinement looked like.

I loved being at art school. It was a dream come true. I was beyond over the moon. I took as many different courses as possible, including a few to learn to print black-and-white photographs. I’d bought myself a 35 mm Nikon camera when I’d graduated from Georgetown, and for fun had been taking portraits of people I knew. l’d also gotten to know Andy Warhol through a friend and he let me do some photos for his Interview magazine – yet I didn’t know if that was the profession for me at that point. Frankly, I had no idea what lay ahead, but I wasn’t going to give up – although I knew getting support from my family would likely not be in the works.

Nude from a series originally shot in the 1990s. Zahedi reworked this image for an exhibit in 2014 at the Kopeikin Gallery titled “Photographs and Collages.” A piece from a 2016 exhibit titled “This is Now” at the Craig Krull Gallery A 2016 collage of Sharon Stone and Courtney Love for an exhibit at the Kopeikin Gallery
Elizabeth Taylor by Firooz Zahedi, from their historic trip to Iran, 1976. “She was my friend and mentor, and I will always cherish that friendship that lasted until she passed away.”


Just before I was about to finish art school in the spring of 1976, my cousin met Elizabeth Taylor and the two became an item. One evening when I went over to have dinner with him, she called, and he invited her to stay with him in Washington. Since I had previously, as his assistant, helped look after his guests, he automatically put me in charge of making sure she was taken care of in case he would be busy, which he always was. So suddenly I found myself acting as Elizabeth’s escort/host while at the same time I was trying to do my final projects at school to graduate. Though at first, I was apprehensive that A) I did not qualify to be taking care of one of the most famous people on the planet, and B) I may get too distracted to pass all my exams, so I decided to cast my fate to the wind so to speak and give my 100 percent to this amazingly beautiful and fun lady. The more time we spent together, the stronger our bond became as I learned about her past and she learned about my struggles with my family and my wish to be an artist. Somehow, I managed to graduate and was sent with Elizabeth to Iran on a goodwill tour. I took some photos of her there that she found impressive, and she encouraged me to get them published in Andy’s Interview magazine. So I decided to stick with photography as my profession – you took a photo, and it got printed soon after in a magazine and you got some recognition and maybe some money!

The romance between my cousin and Elizabeth did not last. She moved to Washington and married John Warner and helped him become a senator from Virginia. The best part was that we maintained our friendship. On the downside, I struggled to get work as a photographer, and in 1978, I decided that it was best I throw in the towel and do as my parents had been insisting I do – go to Iran and make a living there. When I told Elizabeth of this plan, she immediately discouraged me from giving up, and since she was about to go to Hollywood to be in a

movie, she arranged with the producer for me to accompany her as her personal photographer on the film set. I was overwhelmed by her friendship and kindness – she put me up at their house as I’d given back my apartment. At the same time I owned one 35 mm camera and had no experience shooting on a film set, so I was a little apprehensive. I splurged and got a second 35 mm camera and winged it on the set and learned from my mistakes, and since they couldn’t kick me off because of Elizabeth, I managed to earn some money and learn a few tricks of the trade.

I owe that lady plenty. She made me believe in myself and hammered it into

me to never give up on my dreams. I ended up falling in love with someone during the course of that movie and decided to get married and make L.A. my base. I cut off the umbilical cord to my diplomatic past. The most amazing thing was that in less than two months after I got married, the Shah’s regime was overpowered, and soon after the Islamic government was set up. If I’d gone back, I would have met with a nasty fate, as some of the people I knew were either executed or jailed like my brother. I owe my life to Elizabeth Taylor. She was my friend and mentor, and I will always cherish that friendship that lasted until she passed away.

Sigourney Weaver, New York, 1997
Uma Thurman, 1994. The Pulp Fiction movie poster – one of the best of all time.


It took a few years for me to establish myself in Hollywood, but once I was put under contract with Vanity Fair magazine, a ton of wellpaying jobs came my way. I’d always wanted to shoot movie posters and finally I was getting a lot of them. At one point, a newer indie film company by the name of Miramax approached me to shoot the poster for a little film they were doing called Pulp Fiction. Though the budget they offered was small compared to the major companies, once they sent me the script and a clip from the film – and the fact that Quentin Tarantino, who’d done Reservoir Dogs, was involved – I decided it was a worthwhile project as long as I could create the concept. I’d always been a big fan of film noir and pulp fiction and had collected paperbacks with those cool ’60s covers. I’m happy to hear people say it has become one of the most iconic movie posters.


Iphotograph homes the same way I photograph celebrities – I focus on their most beautiful characteristics and try to enhance them. The truth is, nobody likes to look bad in photos, and so homes are the same in that they need your help in being groomed the same way a person needs hair and makeup and a good wardrobe. Since the early 1980s, l’d been coming up to Montecito for day or weekend trips, and because I knew Diandra Douglas from Georgetown where she was also a student. She and Michael would invite my ex and I up to their home. It was a spectacular home, and it was at that point I realized how special a place Montecito is. Some years back, Beth and I bought a little pied-à-terre here and then bought the little house next to it, but then realized with our expanding family, we needed still more rooms. So l was shown our present home in the Hedgerow area and fell in love and sent photos of it to Beth, who was in New York at the time. She loved it too, and so we put the other two places up for sale and bought this house. It was right when COVID was really ramping up. But it gave me a great project to do while that epidemic put the world on hold. I was promoting my book of portraits

when I got a call from Keith Fox, the editor at Phaidon press. He wanted me to do a project with Monacelli Press, which they had just acquired. The only thing that came into my head was to say I want to do a book on Montecito. At first, there was hesitation

on their part because Montecito hadn’t yet become a household word. But once Harry and Meghan moved here, we talked again, and they decided it was a great idea. I’ll have to thank that lovely couple and send them a copy of the book!

Zahedi’s soon-to-be-released Montecito Style: Paradise on California’s Gold Coast
Andy Warhol, Beverly Hills, 1973. Photographed by Firooz Zahedi and from the collection of Beth DeWoody.





With her husband Firooz Zahedi, the philanthropist and globally significant art collector Beth DeWoody purchased their place in Montecito just two years ago yet somehow, it’s finished, appointed, buffed out, and showcased better than any house I’ve ever lived in or ever will live in. Then again, Firooz Zahedi and Beth Rudin DeWoody might be the most aesthetically perfectionistic and curatorial couple on the planet.

Where did DeWoody’s vaunted reputation and beloved status in the art world come from? For starters, she’s a huge philanthropist. She is chair of the Rudin Family Foundations with additional board affiliations that include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philip Johnson Glass House, Empowers Africa, New Yorkers For Children, and the New York City Police Foundation. She is an honorary trustee at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the New School for Social Research, and she’s on the Photography Steering Committee at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. She also sits on the advisory board of L.A.’s Hammer Museum.

But DeWoody’s support for the arts goes way beyond sitting on a bunch of boards – albeit great ones. She personally owns enough art to make most museums jealous, and the sheer magnitude of her inventory creates an interesting storage problem, which DeWoody ingeniously solved by creating an art storage and show space called The Bunker. Instead of just stockpiling the stuff, inside The Bunker, DeWoody has 15 separate galleries, all organized around different themes, spaces she shares with a who’s who of the modern art world and frequently allows others to curate. Importantly, with the semiprivate Bunker space, DeWoody is not beholden to museum board controversies, political climate, click-worthiness, flavors of the month, or Instagrammability.

The mirrored fireplace in the great room reflects the mountain view and is flanked by a poured glass installation by Rob Wynne. The Lucite coffee table is graced by two Lucio Fontana bronze orbs.

The 2021/2022 installation centered around works of resistance from the Vietnam War era to the present, but also leaned into civil rights, women’s rights, and all sorts of artistic expression confrontational to the status quo.

Spanning many generations and cultural backgrounds, artists included Varnette Honeywood, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sadie Barnette, Hank Willis Thomas, Howardena Pindell, Judith Bernstein, Glenn Ligon, Ed Paschke, Alison Saar, David Hammons, Niki de Saint Phalle, Arnold J. Kemp, and Lisa Anne Auerbach. The mezzanine opened with an explosive commissioned tag by the celebrated graffiti artist Lee Quiñones and an installation of 150 toy-bejeweled guns by Jamaican-born artist Ebony G. Patterson. Themed rooms included American Magical Realism, Hair, Eyes, Artist-Designed Puppets, and Celebrity, an exhibition of photography by Andy Warhol and of Andy Warhol. The opening program featured a live performance by Ryan McNamara where the viewer was invited to perform as an integral part of the artwork, akin to Warhol’s Superstars at The Factory.

In addition to her massive collection of art housed at The Bunker, DeWoody has additional extensive collections in her homes in New York, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, and now, Montecito.

But her impact on the art world goes way beyond lending out and giving the art world public access to her varied and myriad collections. As it’s been explained by art world experts, one of the great things about DeWoody is she “gets in” early (when struggling artists need support the most) and is not the least bit afraid to take risks. She’s an early adopter of unproven entities and not a political weathervane. Because of her knack for supporting “baby artists” at the right moment, she is frequently referred to as art’s “fairy godmother.”


In her role as the art world’s fairy godmother (someone else referred to her as “Glinda the Good Witch”), it’s critical to DeWoody to not just support “baby artists” and artists off the beaten path but also small and alternative galleries or even just embryonic ones. DeWoody says it’s important to her to support all kinds of artists that are not being seen, and that includes not just the “traditionally ignored,” but also artists the mainstream art market frequently thumbs its nose at, like those who fall into the category of “crafts.”

One of the things I noticed as Beth gave me a tour of her impeccable Montecito midcentury home is that she frequently seems to love the story behind the art almost as much as the art itself. After the tour, we sat outside and chatted about the history, or herstory, of Beth DeWoody and art.

LF: So my first question – it seems like there’s an art to collecting. Can you speak on that? Or do you do it by instinct?

BD: Just pure instinct.

A portrait of DeWoody in front of sculptures by Joel Otterson at their Los Angeles home

A Gisela Colón wall sculpture provides a backdrop for the glasstopped dining room table, which displays a collection of whimsical ostrich egg sculptures and candlesticks by Gabriella Crespi

Years ago, when DeWoody visited the small Harlem studio of Kehinde Wiley, he was a struggling portraitist. The $5,000 Beth spent on one of his portraits, he later told her, was more important than bigger sums that followed because it helped him survive. Now Wiley is an art world superstar who painted the official portrait of Barack Obama for the National Portrait Gallery.”

– The New York Times

LF: Because I know you’ve been doing it since you were a kid, right?

BD: Maybe it’s more of a gene. Some people are able to look at things and not have any desire to own them and some people want to own them, if at all possible. It’s clear which category I fall into. I always feel that certain people are kind of the stewards of things in life, understanding that those things, those totems, have a place in history. Just today Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” jersey sold for $10 million. And a few weeks ago did you see Mickey Mantle’s baseball card went for $12 million? I probably had that at one time. I don’t know.

LF: Did you collect baseball cards?

BD: Yeah. As a kid, a little bit, but I wasn’t obsessive about it–and I also collected magazines and I collected Beatles stuff. But I always loved art, so I took drawing classes at The Art Students League of New York. And then later I took art at The New School, which is where I bought my first piece of art, a Benny Andrews drawing because he was my teacher. I bought that when I was 17. But I also had a great classical art teacher at the Riverdale Country School. So I really had a lot of outstanding art mentors. My art history teacher sent us to the famous critic and curator Henry Geldzahler’s show called “1940, 1970 Painting and Sculpture,” which was the first show the Metropolitan Museum ever did of contemporary art. That’s kind of what opened my eyes to what was going on in the art world. And it was great. Truly revelatory.


The owners’ poodle, Rooz, lounges in the main bedroom. IF by Ed Ruscha hovers near a graphic Piero Fornasetti console, which houses a Sacha Brasso lamp and bronzes by Gabriella Crespi (left) and Alma Allen (right). The abstract painting over the bed is by Marc Horowitz.

A portrait of owner Beth DeWoody by Marc Dennis establishes the relaxed air of the TV room, rounded out by a gold lamp by Pedro Friedeberg and another Rashid Johnson ceramic pot


LF: So you start out as a collector, but eventually you kind of become next level. What was that trajectory? And what was the accelerant?

BD: It was one step at a time, you know? I remember going early to art fairs when they first started with friends who had been really involved with the art world. I was saying, “Oh my God, you know everybody!” And they said, “That’s just because we’ve been doing it a long time.” And then I became that person; I too became friendly with the curators, like at the Whitney, and I would go around with them to the galleries and the velvet rope would lift and I’d get to go in the back way and, you know, meet people. It was thrilling. And then I got involved more directly with the Whitney Museum, and the MOMA, and also on the print committee and the education committee at the Whitney. And then eventually in 1985, I went on the board. So it was a process, or evolution, a little at a time. It was a different world back then – a much smaller world. And as I got to know a lot of the collectors and people from these committees and from traveling–I started to accelerate.

LF: You accelerated all the way up to The Bunker. Can you explain to me, a pseudo lay person, what that very unique facility is?

BD: I was buying all this art and I had it in a warehouse, then one day a friend of mine who’s a real estate broker came to me and said, “You know, there’s this great building for sale.” And it was at the time when the real estate market in Florida was really depressed and here was this great Art Deco building that had 20,000 feet of raw space. It seemed like an incredible opportunity. You could say it was my version of a blank canvas.

LF: And the idea was?

BD: That I could store my art and I could show art there. And if nothing else, hopefully it’d be a good real estate investment. So I bought it, and it took two years to renovate. Anyway, it came out beautifully. And, yes, there was some storage of art, but it was really more about showing the art there. Then I ended up buying another warehouse to actually store the art in, but really what it is, it’s not a for-profit. It’s not a museum; it’s not a gallery. It’s an art space where I show my art and can curate, and I have kind of

Clock is the work of British sculptor Alex Chinneck The breakfast nook displays a multipanel work by legendary California ceramicist Beatrice Wood

in-house curators and guest curators. Like one time I had the artist E.V. Day curate a show for us that was absolutely spectacular. I had already curated about 14, 15 shows over the years because I wanted to do something a little more fulfilling than simply collecting. And also when I was collecting, I would see patterns and things. I was collecting a lot of stuff that has, for example, eyes in it. So I started doing shows for galleries where I didn’t get paid or anything. I would just organize a show. I kind of always have like a gazillion ideas of shows and I have enough art there that I can call out different, interesting groupings of things.

LF: So the “Fairy Godmother of Art” gets to wave her magic wand.

BD: It’s so much fun.

LF: Okay, so where do you stand with NFTs?

BD: I’m not a big NFT person. I almost bought one by this artist I know whose medium is video. I was thinking about getting it. And he said, “Well, you know, it’s an NFT.” And then I thought, Oh, well, that’s actually better because I can put a little bit of money in it and own it with a bunch of other people. And he said, “No, it’s a unique NFT – you have to buy it with crypto.” And at this particular time crypto was crashing. I’m glad I didn’t get it. I’m very old-fashioned. It’s not that I’m against it, I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand that world. And I’ve been to lectures about NFTs. And I still don’t get it even after they speak. Although I understand for artists, if an NFT “works” that’s great because if it’s resold, they get a piece of it.

LF: Yeah, I understand that.

BD: But I don’t have much interest in it yet. Maybe I’m more tactile or tangible or I need to have more control over my relationship with art than that. Or at least I like to think I do.

LF: I noticed, when you gave me a tour here the first time, there are so many stories behind every piece of art that you have. You’re like… encyclopedic. Or Wikipedic. One of the two.

BD: Oh, absolutely. These are my modern-day baseball cards.

LF: You said when you acquire a piece or decide to acquire a piece, it hits you on a gut level, right? Or you said it’s like a gene – there’s just something about it that you recognize on perhaps a primal level.

BD: Sometimes there’s more logic to it than that. I have a side that’s more historical, that’s looking for overlooked artists or even whole groupings of artists. And that can mean anything. Then I have a side that wants to help young artists. So I’m looking at, you know, young, contemporary artists, I’m looking at indigenous artists, Black artists, but of course I’ve always looked at these artists always, you know, it wasn’t because all of a sudden, it’s au courant . It’s something I’ve always incorporated into my collecting because I like the art, plain and simple. I mean a lot of times I’ve discovered long after the fact that some art I have is by a Black artist. And I had no idea. I never saw a picture of the artist, I just bought the art. I mean, that’s just the way I like to collect.

Zahedi designed the landscape for their Montecito home. The black conservatory structure is from The Well in Summerland.

LF: But my question is: Philosophically, art obviously has a profound effect upon you, right? And to an extent you have an effect upon it. And do you think these pieces you respond to are part of The Great Psychic Mass? Like someone’s saying the right thing at the right time or you go, “Oh, that’s never been said before.” What do you recognize when you decide to buy?

BD: I guess it’s anything. I mean, there are a lot of people who only collect living artists. Or they’ll only collect women artists. But I don’t really set those kinds of limits for myself.

LF: So is your selection process more like… falling in love?

BD: Kind of, yes. But you know, it’s interesting. The

dealer Franklin Parrasch curated last year’s Bunker show. He called the show “All Roads Lead to More Roads” and he wrote an essay about it, which I can read you right now. I think this sums up my collecting pretty damn well.

[Beth’s collecting] is not something that can be mechanically traced with a program or quantified with an app. It’s an experience connected to the energy of a perpetual creative vibration. There is a rhyme. There is a reason. These connections begin with subtle pathways, like salt licks in the forest marking the beginnings of deer paths, that become cow paths, that lead to trails, that eventually become roads. And all roads lead to more roads.

The Zahedi-DeWoody clan (before the birth of grandson Graydon DeWoody). (Top) Musician/designer Carlton DeWoody with his son Jackson, Firooz Zahedi, and Beth DeWoody. (Bottom) Cavern wallpaper designer Sarah DeWoody with daughter Ginger, musician/photographer Darian Zahedi, Rooz, and curator Kyle DeWoody with Gracie.

Happy. Healthy. Home.


The Curious Case of Paul Tuttle

A design genius and local character whose life says much about the character of our locality

(Courtesy Thornton Ladd & Associates)

This past month marked two events that don’t seem linked but weirdly are. As of last month, it is exactly 20 years since the passing of local furniture design wunderkind Paul Tuttle. And 60 years ago, The Jetsons TV show premiered. How are the two related?

Where did all that cool Jetsons-style furniture come from? Well, by the time 1962 rolled around and The Jetsons premiered the design cues featured therein, they had already been well explored and experimented with by modern furniture geniuses such as Tuttle.

Tuttle was truly a master. Among the devoted fans of the impish and elusive designer were no lesser luminaries than Frank Lloyd Wright, design impresario Alvin Lustig, director of the Fowler Museum Marla Berns, the actor Peter Sellers, the artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Sam Francis, and Alexander Calder… the list goes on and on. Tuttle’s pieces sell in the many thousands of dollars on designer reseller sites like 1stDibs and There have been multiple Tuttle retrospectives and books. And yet many complain Montecito’s native son’s reputation lives in relative obscurity to the likes of bigger names like Eames, Knoll, Nakashima, or Marcel Breuer.

Marla Berns, who curated a Paul Tuttle show at UC Santa Barbara designed by our reigning titan of modernism Robin Donaldson (Crawford House, Hill House, Morphosis Design), says, “The only reason Paul Tuttle is not better known is because he did not have a bigger commercial footprint.” Berns also says Tuttle was astounding in terms of his lasting impact and what he achieved – his mix of materials and very specific design geometries – he just didn’t make enough of it to move the design needle.

Yet Tuttle was highly regarded and widely loved by those who knew him. Which has left many design mavens scratching their heads, “Why wasn’t Tuttle (for lack of a better word)… bigger?”

A look back with the many Santa Barbarans who knew Tuttle and are still thrilled to talk about him reveals a man who craved purity and simplicity in the things he designed… and in the life he designed as well. A showman he was not.

Tuttle lived by the minimalist credo “Do not have more than is absolutely essential against life.” He was not much of a businessman. He sold one-offs and prototypes and did commissions when he needed money. He bartered for food and shelter. He very much depended on the kindness of strangers. And those strangers, in turn, cherished the companionship of Tuttle. Those who knew and loved him were as obsessive about supporting him as Tuttle was obsessed with perfecting his designs. Thanks to his Montecito peeps, it is said that Tuttle “lived quite well for a pauper.” Montecito was his muse and he was Montecito’s.

“He was like the town stray no one claimed but everyone left food out for,” says Peggy Dent, who used to stage impromptu exhibitions

for Tuttle at her place on Fernald Point. “Someone would ‘lend’ Paul an office here, or a patch of land there (upon which he built his iconic studio). I mean, who gets to build themselves an art studio on someone else’s property? Not that many people. But Paul was quietly charismatic and those of us who were his fans – I guess you could say we were virulent.”

Though not wealthy in the monetary sense, Tuttle did not live a life of yearning but one of monklike discipline and perfectionism. He was more yogic than enterprising. More Stradivarius than Philippe Starck. He wanted to create the perfect thing, the perfect objet in its purest form, which many feel he did much more than once (his Padaro chair, Arco chair, and Z chair to name just a few of Tuttle’s iconic Jetsons designs). And above all, what Tuttle really wanted was respect from his Parthenon of modernist design gods.

There are two key stories that illuminate the life and ethos of Tuttle.

Berns says Tuttle was demanding of perfection – not just of himself but other perfectionists. “Paul had a long-term deal with the famous Swiss furniture manufacturer Strässle. Paul was smart, whimsical, charming, finicky, and opinionated. Which is what made his work great and durable. But it could also make Paul a pain in the ass. At Strässle, they were perfectionists, but Paul, he was next level. The man was simply not built for mass production.”

Andy Neumann, himself an iconic Central Coast architect, tells another tale. “I’m one of those people who used to lend Paul an office. And the interesting nuance of that office was that Paul used to have to walk through my office to get to his. So we wound up chatting about art and architecture quite frequently, especially if he was in the middle of a project or if I was.

“The one time Paul got mad at me,” continues Neumann, “was someone wanted to do a story on him for a magazine, which Paul said he wasn’t going to do. To which I weighed in, ‘Boy I’ll bet if you did that article, you’d sell about a thousand of your chairs like the next day.’ To which Paul turned to me and said, angrily, ‘And why the [expletive] would I want to do that??’”

In the end, the question as to why Tuttle was not a more famous designer says more about the person asking that question than about Tuttle himself. Tuttle was about reputation perpetuity not ubiquity.

A great irony of Tuttle’s life was due to a catastrophic back injury. In the end, this man obsessed with chairs and perfect comfort became no longer able to sit. His longtime collaborator and fabricator Bud Tullis said Tuttle would giggle when he really thought he got something right. Somewhere in the modernist hereafter, Paul Tuttle is spread out on one of his many famous chaise lounges. Enjoying a fine glass of Central Coast Pinot. He is appreciating how this chaise has the perfect cantilever, the perfect blend of materials, and just the perfect amount of buoyant springiness.

Somewhere, Paul Tuttle is giggling.


Paul Tuttle, Chronology of a Design Icon

For many people, the fascination and introduction to the designer Paul Tuttle – who may very well be the best mid-century designer most people don’t know about – started with one intriguing image. A small, low-slung white plaster structure – perhaps it is modern in style (or is it ancient?), is it on a Mediterranean hillside (or is it California?) – is punctuated by a pair of soaring Italian cypress trees and an ocean horizon beyond. One wants to project themselves into the scene, know more about it, learn about it, live in it.

Perched high above the Pacific coastline near Santa Barbara, California, it is, in fact, the small home and studio of Tuttle. I’m supposed to know these things, and I was only barely aware of him. Yes, I was familiar with his Z chair, probably Tuttle’s most famous furniture design. Certainly, the springy suspension was admirable engineering (all that weight on those two tiny points!) and the chrome and leather luxury combo was seductively appealing, but I never dug deeper into the Tuttle oeuvre. When I finally did, I was richly rewarded.

(Courtesy Paul Tuttle papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.)
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If St. Louis, Missouri, is the gateway to the West – it was historically the starting point for many a westward-bound settler and adventurer – it is fitting Tuttle was born there in 1918 (even if Eero Saarinen’s modern masterpiece Gateway Arch wouldn’t be there, beckoning Tuttle to go further, for another 30 years). Tuttle’s journey culminated as far as he could go on the continent – the coast in California, atop a hill near Santa Barbara. That’s where he lived in that house with the towering cypress trees that he designed in 1962 and built for about $8,000 – about

what a Z chair goes for today on Tuttle’s studio still stands – mostly intact, high up on Toro Canyon – and somehow looks more relevant and forward-thinking than ever.

Tuttle was fascinated with airplanes as a child, and the return of Charles Lindbergh to St. Louis in 1927, after the lone flyer’s transatlantic odyssey, was a formative moment of his early years. Tuttle was inspired to enlist in the Army Air Corps and longed to become a pilot but because of poor hearing, he was denied that experience and instead became a librarian. He was asked to design a temporary library building – probably his first architectural creation.

The famed Tuttle live/work studio just turned 60. So did The Jetsons. They are furniture design cousins (Photo by Robin Donaldson © 2022) Paul Tuttle (Courtesy Paul Tuttle papers, Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.)
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Drawing of the inverted Y chair, 1960 (Courtesy Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.)

After the war, Tuttle attended the Art Center School in downtown L.A. (now ArtCenter College of Design relocated to Pasadena). But in a strange twist, he was expelled from the school by the very teacher he went there to experience – the esteemed industrial designer Alvin Lustig. What’s stranger is the reason Paul Tuttle was expelled. In the first indication that Tuttle was anything but normal, it turns out he was expelled because he wasn’t actually enrolled – and was not in fact a paying, matriculated Art Center student. But in an even stranger twist, though Lustig had no choice but to have Tuttle expelled (if he was ever really “there”), Lustig was so impressed with Tuttle’s eye for design that he immediately hired Tuttle to work in his office.

After his time apprenticing with Lustig, Tuttle was subsequently granted a fellowship at Frank Lloyd Wright’s experimental architecture school Taliesin West in Scottsdale, where students lived in tents of their own making in the open desert near their classrooms. Although at the school for less than six months, Tuttle apparently made a memorable impression on the master; his custom-designed tent was singled out for praise, a rare gesture from the usually stern and critical Wright.

In the first indication that Tuttle was anything but

normal, it turns out he was expelled because he wasn’t actually enrolled – and was not in fact a paying, matriculated Art Center student. But in an even stranger twist, though Lustig had no choice but to have Tuttle expelled (if he was ever really “there”), Lustig was so impressed with Tuttle’s eye for design that he immediately hired Tuttle to work in his office.

Industrial design titan Alvin Lustig was Tuttle’s “teacher” then, later, employer

Tuttle gravitated back to postwar Los Angeles and worked for Arundel Clarke’s West Hollywood design shop that sold Knoll textiles and artistic mid-century furniture to the design trade. Knoll was always on the cutting edge for furniture design and textiles, and through the shop he was able to meet many of the

iconic and legendary L.A.-based designers we revere today – most notably architect Thornton Ladd, whom Tuttle credits as another major influence. Ladd and Tuttle’s relationship hit its zenith with Ladd’s much-photographed and admired 1952 studio for which Tuttle was the interior designer.

The Skate dining chair, 1993 (Photo by Farshid Assassi)
The ultimate man cave? Paul Tuttle’s design studio as it stands today atop Toro Canyon. (Photo courtesy Bosky Landscape Architecture © 2022) Current interior shots of Tuttle’s Toro Canyon studio (Photos by Robin Donaldson, ©2022)

While working at the shop, Tuttle created his early organic furniture designs after hours. One piece was so impressive it was chosen by the highly regarded Danish designer Finn Juhl for an important museum exhibition and singled out by Charles Eames for praise. His early furniture work mirrored the Scandinavian aesthetic of organic modernism and was always exquisitely crafted and elegant.

In 1956, Tuttle moved to Santa Barbara – he had finally found his home. There, he began to make, exhibit, and finally sell his highly sophisticated creations, which were mainly made out of wood and other natural organic materials at the time.

Tuttle met Hans Grether, a partner with a large pharmaceutical firm based in Basel, Switzerland, through architect Thornton Ladd. Grether had seen and been impressed with what Tuttle had done for Ladd. Thus in 1958 began Tuttle’s regular yearly sojourns to Europe to work on designs for Doetsch, Grether & Cie in Basel. Tuttle seemed to have led two separate lives for decades, high on the hill above the ocean on Toro Canyon in the relatively quiet and remote-at-the-time Santa Barbara (the 101 freeway didn’t start construction until 1960), and for summer months with a highly sophisticated and intellectual clique in Europe. For Grether, he designed corporate offices and was soon “discovered” by other

smart Europeans who invited him to bring his personal brand of California modernism into their homes and offices.

The most important connection at that time for Tuttle was his association with the firm Strässle International, makers of exquisite modern furniture for which he fashioned furniture of his design for more than a decade. Also, during this time in Europe, Tuttle remodeled a classic Gstaad chalet into a modern, hip interior design statement that featured a clever winding staircase as a focal point – eventually purchased by the actor Peter Sellers.

Tuttle’s iconic Z chair was unveiled in 1964 and remains his most famous design. After working for more than a decade in wood, he shifted to metal. The original name for the chair was the Rocket Launcher, probably because of the springy base – an engineering marvel to say the least. Tuttle used to refer to it in his mock French as “zee” chair and the name stuck.

In 1966, Tuttle began sneaking small chrome-plated steel pieces into his wood designs. He loved the combination: “A little bit of metal is like jewelry on a woman, it makes a distinct difference,” he once said.

An exterior view of the Ladd studio in Pasadena, circa 1954 (Courtesy Architecture and Design Collection. Art, Design & Architecture Museum; University of California, Santa Barbara.)
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Gerard O’Brien, the prominent L.A.-based decorative arts dealer whose influential galleries include The Landing Gallery and Reform Gallery, always has a finger on the pulse for underrecognized California designers and has long been trumpeting Tuttle. “He wasn’t as well-known as other California

designers like [Charles and Ray] Eames because few of his designs were mass manufactured. Tuttle was a bespoke furniture designer mostly for architects, and many of his tables and chairs were handmade custom pieces,” he says. O’Brien cites the great California Design Exhibitions and the accompanying catalogs (“my bibles”)

A prototype of the Fat Tube chair, 1996, produced by Bud Tullis (Photo by Farshid Assassi)

Certain shapes were recurring in Tuttle’s work. Both the Tuttlemobile and the Tuttle studio had a sloped back like the AMC Gremlin. It didn’t work for the Gremlin but it sure worked for Tuttle.

(Photo by Farshid Assassi) (Courtesy Thornton Ladd & Associates)
Tuttle was always at least slightly askew and akilter. Entry way to Andina residence in Santa Barbara, bookshelves by Tuttle, 1997, and produced by Bud Tullis. (Photo by Farshid Assassi)
Tuttle’s Three-Legged Chair, 1984 (Photo by Farshid Assassi)
“A little bit of metal is like jewelry on a woman, it makes a distinct difference.”
– Paul Tuttle
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that the Pasadena Art Museum organized as his most influential and early exposure to Tuttle. The now-legendary exhibitions were highly anticipated and a true bellwether for important and new California design at the time. Tuttle was often included and highlighted in the catalogs and the Pasadena Art Museum even committed an entire solo show to him in 1966. Eudorah Moore, the former curator of design at the Pasadena Art Museum (now the Norton Simon Museum) has said, “The designs of Paul Tuttle, whether they be a house, chair, or a bottle, are each a sculpture for use.” O’Brien is proud to have placed one of Tuttle’s original Z chairs with LACMA’s permanent collection. He also confirmed Tuttle’s importance by devoting an entire booth of his gallery to Tuttle’s designs for the 2010 Los Angeles Modernism Show. Tuttle designs can be found today with savvy mid-century furniture dealers and at popular online auction sites where they typically fetch well into the five figures.

Tuttle’s initial meeting with fellow Santa Barbarans George and Mary Lou Dangerfield was pivotal in his career and personal life. Introduced by a local art gallery owner, Mary Lou was so taken with the photos Tuttle showed her of the custom tent he made at Taliesin that she boldly commissioned Tuttle to build a beach house for her and her husband in Carpinteria in 1959. The success of that perfect and succinct statement of post-and-beam

mid-century modernism garnered much attention. The small house was written about and photographed extensively. Although altered, it is still miraculously standing on Padaro Lane waiting for a sympathetic restoration.

The Dangerfields were so pleased with the house they subsequently asked Tuttle to design a larger home for them up on Toro Canyon the next year. The enigmatic Dangerfield house is now of legend, George Dangerfield penning this design valentine: “Your vision of what a house on this hill and beneath these mountains ought to be and must be has been justified and is being fulfilled: there are times when I and Mary Lou experience a pleasure more pure and piercing than anything we ever supposed an environment could give us.”

Tuttle became close friends with the Dangerfields and was invited to build himself a small house and studio on the edge of their hillside property. More than any other structure he designed, this diminutive dwelling has captured the public’s imagination, especially at this prime time in the mid-century revival arc. Prodigiously small – 550 square feet in size – it was originally intended to be made of sprayed concrete, but budget only allowed a traditional wood frame and stucco. A long, low wall defines the front yard and separates it from the Dangerfield House nearby. A handmade Big Sur-style front door is the only

“The designs of Paul Tuttle, whether they be a house, chair, or a bottle, are each a sculpture for use.”
– Eudorah Moore, curator emeritus of design at the Pasadena Art Museum (now the Norton Simon Museum)
Paul Tuttle in 2001 (Photo by Wayne McCall)
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exposed wood on the front facade. A small area for a desk and an equally small space for a bed and sitting area completes the interior that is traversed, divided, and defined by cleverly joined cross beams. A tiny back terrace allows a spectacular vista of the Pacific Ocean with straight-on views of the Channel Islands. The tall Italian cypress trees were vertical counterpoints completing the perfect Cali-terranean tableau. The oven and refrigerator, recalls good friend/photographer/major collector of Tuttle designs Farshid Assassi, were used to store clothing since Tuttle ate out for almost every meal. In the pantheon of important midcentury architecture, Tuttle’s Toro house rates quite high on the list of influential California designs. Andy Neumann points out that Tuttle only designed five or so houses in total but “they all got built, and I think almost every dang one of them is in David

Gebhard’s, Marc Appleton’s, and Bob Easton’s biblelike Santa Barbara Architecture.”

Although Tuttle only completed so few architectural projects, each one is a gem and loudly displays his underutilized talents as an untrained and unlicensed but highly gifted architectural designer. Then again, Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t have an architecture degree either.

After he passed, Neumann and the “Friends of Tuttle” orchestrated a memorial with more than a dozen of some of Paul’s closest friends to scatter his ashes at sea off the coast of Tuttle’s beloved Santa Barbara at Hammond’s Reef. On his surfboard, paddling his way out past the break to a calm spot where the ceremony was to take place, Neumann saw a wave about to break over him, he turned his board and caught the wave, Paul’s ashes aloft in one hand.

“Paul was smart, whimsical, charming, finicky, and opinionated. Which is what made his work great and durable. But it could also make Paul a pain in the ass.”
– Marla Berns
The famed Paul Tuttle Studio in dialog with the Tuttle-designed Dangerfield House. Today, that conversation is still spirited and lively. (Photo courtesy Bosky Landscape Architecture ©2022)

Thanks to her training as an architect and computer modeler, Kasko is able to create delectable desserts not otherwise possible




Pastry chef is a fascinating profession. The best pastry chefs are creating works of not just digestible art but works of architectural significance. Bespoke pastry is designed to be enjoyed (and Instagrammed) for a few fleeting glorious moments, then almost instantly obliterated. Pastry may be the gastronomic equivalent of the Buddhist sand mandala. The profession requires a unique kind of constitution. The kind of person who can pour enormous amounts of effort into a grandeur that is oh-so temporary.

One such chef – at the top of her field – is Dinara Kasko. It’s unsurprising when you see Kasko’s fantastical creations to learn she trained not as a pastry chef but as an architect. Kasko earned her architecture degree then worked for years at a firm. Her specialty was computer modeling and rendering – all of which came in much more handy when she made the jump from the Palladian arts to pastry.

Architect-turned-architectural pastry chef Dinara Kasko uses her notoriety to bring attention – and donations –to critical Ukrainian causes, and she has rejiggered the many 3D printers used for cake molds she left behind in Ukraine to instead fabricate medical and surveillance supplies that get shipped directly to the front lines

What Kasko did with her unique training was bring highly technical designs to a previously mostly handmade field. One thing that makes her pastries so unusual is they are designed in the metaverse with computer renderings turned into silicone molds by way of a 3D printer, creating shapes and a precision in dessert that is otherwise not humanly possible.

With cakes so breathtakingly designed, Kasko quickly gained a huge following with her CGI-looking pastries featured on magazine covers and currently closing in on one million IG followers. Normal signs of international success followed. A TED talk. Robust sales of her parametric cake molds on Amazon. Kasko pastry outposts in Miami and Moscow. She was referred to as the modern-day Marie-Antoine Carême, Napoleon’s pastry chef touted as the “first-ever celebrity chef” and the actual inventor of that emperor’s eponymous dessert.

I enjoyed following Kasko’s Instagram feed along with her talks on parametric architecture, her melding of art and science, and the lengths she went to take her chosen profession soaring to new heights of beauty and complication. I was also curious how a pastry chef stays so thin. So Kasko and I set up a Zoom to discuss the intersection of pastry with architecture, the metaverse, and science. And then a strange thing happened.

Kasko is from Ukraine, and her studio where she fabricates these heavenly creations is/was/is in Kharkiv, the second largest city in her country, 30 miles from the Russian border, currently under constant shelling. I began this story wondering what it was like to create works of incredible intricate beauty knowing their intention is to be enjoyed then instantly destroyed, a less-than-24-hour life cycle. Now the entire life

Where truffles meet tribbles
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tastes better than

Kasko built in Ukraine faces that same precarious life cycle. She says, “The Earth is for people, but right now, people don’t seem to be for the Earth.” After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kasko and her family were lucky enough to flee first to Portugal and now Britain. But she is very much a refugee; she doesn’t know when or if she’ll ever return to Kharkiv, and if she does, what she’ll find there.

When I caught up with her, Kasko was somewhere in the English countryside between Manchester and Liverpool living a bizarrely bifurcated life. As the war grinds on – and doesn’t always make it on to our front pages – she faces the harsh reality of having to earn a living, somehow keep her business afloat, and keep her family together. There are many forces acting upon her that are way beyond her control. Beyond anyone’s. Her every day is filled with incredible works of inspired beauty along with a ticker tape of incessant tragedy. “I don’t understand the goal of Putin’s war,” says Kasko. “I am a Russian-speaking person, lived in a Russian-speaking city, and had many Russian friends. I did business in Russia. There was barely a border between our two countries. It was like Spain and Portugal – just a guy at a gate. We all worked in both places. Had family in both places. And went

back and forth between the two countries with ease.” Putin clearly sees Ukraine as strategic. Just as the annexation of Crimea was militarily strategic for Russia’s control of the Black Sea and its interests in the Mediterranean. Crimea is also known as the “Russian Riviera,” so Putin got that in the Crimea package. With Ukraine, Putin would get Russia’s (and Europe’s) breadbasket. But probably just as important to Putin is what he doesn’t want from Ukraine – a strong Western ally on his border.

This cake was from a collaboration Kasko did with Land Rover.
Land Rover.
Kasko uses architectural computer modeling and 3D printers to create molds not otherwise possible.
Photo by Natalia Khoroshayeva
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The invasion of Crimea gave Russia a riviera, and, sadly, emboldened Putin to get his sights on Ukraine

For someone whose artistry relies upon incredible precision and often the finest of lines, Kasko cannot see the value in redrawing the line between Russia and her native country. “Putin wants to redraw the map,” she says. “But at such a terrible human cost. All the lives and money that have been spent on this war – on both sides – these resources could have been spent on construction instead of destruction. Medicines, universities, factories. And for what? To move a line on a map?”

Yet even on the run, Kasko has proven to be a person who can pivot. Just as she pivoted from architecture to pastry, so too has she pivoted from permanence to impermanence, from disrupter to rebel. She uses her notoriety to bring attention – and donations – to critical Ukrainian causes, and she has rejiggered the many 3D printers used for cake molds she left behind in Ukraine to instead fabricate medical and surveillance supplies that get shipped directly to the front lines.

She is a person used to the destruction of grand designs. But for someone whose profession is the very definition of impermanence, I feel like she’s going to be with us for a very long time.

Her every day is filled with incredible works of inspired beauty along with a ticker tape of incessant tragedy.



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The beach at Santa Barbara offers peak contemplation. Hence Einstein, the birth of the internet, and now, Google Quantum.


Story by Are Robin Donaldson & Google's Erik Lucero Today's Louis Kahn & Jonas Salk ?

Google's quantum computer is more than a billion times faster than the reigning supercomputernot a typo. By the year 2029 or sooner, Google Quantum AI will profoundly change your life.

On an American riviera, in a part of this state more associated with surfing than high science, a well-funded, world-class scientist directed a world-class, cutting-edge architect to create a kind of Socratic academy – a temple, really – where the alienated cultures of science and humanism could cross pollinate. This scientist’s ambition was to create lab spaces that would adapt to the ever-changing needs of science, while fostering a dialogue between inspired creatives across many disciplines. The building ma terials would be simple and durable, the whole thing perched within walking distance of some of the best coastline on Earth.

That was 50 years ago. The scientist was Jonas Salk, his architect, the globally renowned Louis I. Kahn, and the town was La Jolla. Ever since, the Salk Institute has been a prodigious producer of Nobel Prize-winning research. The Salk Institute has also received a cavalcade of architectural awards. It is one of the greatest, most revered scientific institutes ever built. It has been thriving and without peer for 50 years. Until now.

(Santa Barbara beach photo courtesy Gledhill Library, Santa Barbara Historical Museum. Drawing

The Malibu Collection

® LOS ANGELES NEW YORK instagram: williamhainesla

World-class quantum scientists at Google have tasked the modern Pythagoras Robin Donaldson with a similarly ambitious mission–but in workaday Goleta. However, today the driving force is quantum physics not molecular biology. The mission – building the world’s first practical quantum computer – involves nothing less than the most advanced science in the world. And if that seems like a mismatch for ‘surf’s up!’ Santa Barbara, remember UCSB was one of the original four nodes of the internet. Let’s back up.

In the beginning...

Well, actually in 1969, computers existed at only four universities, and they were connected by a network. The Lucky Four were UCLA, Stanford, the University of Utah, and our very own UCSB. Go Gauchos. Those computers were room-sized and required huge amounts of under-floor air conditioning. Around Halloween of 1969, Leonard Kleinrock, a professor at UCLA, wanted to send a transmission through ARPANET, a primitive university grid of computers and part of the Department of Defense.

It was not exactly the Big Bang.

Kleinrock’s intention was simply to send the message “LOGIN,” but the system crashed after sending just the first two letters. Unlike Samuel Morse’s momentous first telegraph – “What hath God wrought?” – the first internet message, if anything, underwhelmed. The Heavens didn’t open up nor did a choir of angels sing. It wasn’t even “Lo and behold,” which still sounds Biblical and epic. Or even LOL. Just “LO.”

At the time, it seemed like nothing epic had really happened. Except that everything happened. Those four nodes were about to rock our world.

Sure, the original ARPANET “send” wasn’t fireworks. But it was a proof of concept. The concept was that end users could communicate via computer even if phone lines were disabled (i.e., destroyed). And we all know what happened after that initial false start. That “LO” became, well, The Internet. And “LO” became the LOre of that sort of hilariously inauspicious beginning. The internet basically started with a crash and a reboot. But it has done pretty well since then.

The internet went on to change your world and mine profoundly. It led to Netflix, binge watching, live navigation, internet dating, Tindering, the end of privacy, online banking, multiplayer video games, Big Data, Big Data breaches, YouTube, YouPorn, how to everything, trolling, Roblox, Uber, and Zooms. To name just the first 15 things that come to mind.

Those four nodes were about to rock our world.
(Photo courtesy Erik Lucero) (Photo by ShubinDonaldson)

Oh, and Googling. Who knew on October 29, 1969, that modest demonstration that crashed and took an hour to reboot would lead to… how we all spend half our waking hours. Who even knew UCSB was an integral part of the founding of the internet? Is there even a plaque commemorating the event on campus? (I don’t think so.) And what’s up with UCSB’s stealthy involvement with seismic change and paradigm shifts? What the Hartree-Fock? (Google it.)

UCSB co-hatching the internet is important because it very much informs the world-changing project being built out there today. It turns out that without much fanfare (or self-promotion), our Gauchos have a rich history with physics. Something like six Nobel Prize winners are from here. What brings so many nerd laureates to “sleepy” Santa Barbara?

The same thing that brought you here. It’s always 73 degrees. You can surf or ride your bike or horse 360 days of the year. Plus we really only have one kind of weather and it’s called “perfect.”

Or maybe the draw of Santa Barbara is something more metaphysical. It’s bright during the day and dark at night. You can think straight. It’s not L.A. There’s not endless distraction and distortion. And there are lots of great promontories from which to ponder the universe: The mountains. The sea. The islands. Your paddleboard.

(Photo courtesy Draweverywhere)
The intersection of art and science is pretty much... right here.

To those who don't speak Science, it seems like Google may be building God in Goleta...

From that first broken DARPA message, cut to more than 50 years later. Same campus. Something conspicuously inconspicuous is happening, right now, bruh, in Isla Vista and Goleta. And it could just become bigger than the internet.

One of the people who has been here pondering the vagaries of life for a very long time is an awesome dude and likely genius named Erik Lucero, who is one of the leads of Google’s quantum computing effort. Whereas, for example, Mark Zuckerberg had one year of college and seems to be trying to cobble together some sort of moral philosophy on the fly (and in front of Congress), Lucero has had many years of schooling (at UCSB) and holds a PhD in physics but at the same time literally leads seminars on his favorite books at the library (his favorite author is Ted Chiang, and his favorite story is called Anxiety is the Dizziness of Freedom).

In person, Lucero seems like your mindful kundalini yoga instructor, who just so happens to be working on the 21st century’s version of the Manhattan Project. In my opinion, the Google quantum computer is likely the biggest (in impact), most profound project in the world. Since quantum can solve other enormous problems, if the quantum computer really works the way its founders project it will, it’ll be a problem-solving juggernaut.

(Courtesy Draweverywhere)

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet (the parent company of Google), calls quantum computing “Our best chance to understand the natural world,” and, by extension, a great chance to repair it. It was Robin Donaldson (who has done 10 previous architectural projects with Google) who tipped me off. Donaldson told me Google was doing something “pretty mind-bending” in an inconspicuous building hollowed out and repurposed in Goleta. Robin, who is extremely smart, said, “I’m not sure the project is entirely comprehensible to us lay people” and talked about how even the quantum physicists or quantum mechanics are not entirely sure what the architectural aspect of quantum computing is going to be – meaning they’re not exactly sure how the facility will grow and even ultimately what its needs will be, or ours.

Google quantum is about matter, but why does it matter?

In rough terms, what they’re doing out there in this former breast implant factory (it is SoCal after all) is the modern equivalent of building that first wooden Apple computer – times a billion. I first met Erik Lucero on a video conference. Lucero is friendly and unassuming and doesn’t display a lot of ego for a guy who spends most of his life solving problems that stumped, literally, Einstein.

Where is the line between model and supermodel? Between computer and supercomputer?

Lucero explained to me that the quantum computer the team built in 2019 called “Sycamore” solved a problem a billion times faster than the world’s reigning supercomputer. (Two hundred seconds compared to 10,000 years. Supercomputing is measured in units called “exaflops.” Don’t ask.) In a world of incremental change, what’s up with beating the reigning champ by a factor of… a billion?? Like, imagine if the new Corvette had a trillion horsepower (the Space Shuttle has 37 million horsepower). What would be the possible use of such overkill?

The internet basically started with a crash and a reboot. But it has done pretty well after that.
(Photo courtesy Google, Quantum AI)
Sundar Pichai, who runs the company that runs Google, stands beside the machine that may one day run everything.
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t turns out that a lot of problems like, say, finding the prime factors of a large number to give an ordinary example, are not that they are incalculable, but more like incalculable in our lifetimes. A quantum computer could perform these calculations in minutes. Provided the best known methods and a classical computer, these calculations are currently incalculable within a human lifespan (encryption relies on this fact). Personally I find it best (easiest) to measure quantum computing not in terms of bytes or gigs or exaflops but in terms of time.

What Google’s quantum computer will do is drastically compress the time it takes to solve really big problems. Meaning the quantum computer could crack, say, the encryption underpinning Bitcoin, which could have taken 10,000 years, and perhaps solve that riddle in more like… wait for it… 10 minutes. This would be a good place to pause and think about the ramifications of post-encryption society, so here’s a pretty picture of the quantum computer to look at while you ponder that.

mechanics say,``To solve previously unsolvable problems.'' What do they mean by that?
Let's tip our hat to the Google Gang for upcycling a structure that was indubitably bound for the landfill and reconstituting it into Santa Barbara's answer to the Salk Institute.
A Sycamore quantum computer (Photo courtesy Erik Lucero)

The first time I went to the Google Quantum AI campus, the place was hard to find. Robin Donaldson had warned me the structure was pretty nondescript and the “architectural equivalent of a single-use straw.” Indeed, the building was so mundane, it’s hard to find it even standing directly in front of it. Unlike the Amazon Prime Megachurch of 1-Click in Ventura, which seems like something you could see from space. I felt I was at the House of Mirrors. Does one of these vaguely reflective panels actually open? Fortunately, Lucero eventually found me.

Where an incubator for inspiration meets co-lab-oration.

What the Centre Pompidou in Paris looks like on the outside is what Google quantum looks like on the inside – a cathedral to science meets art installation. Donaldson and laboratory consulting architect Kristin Story have done nothing less than explode the original box, or “decohered it” to use a quantum word. In its place there’s transparency, open views, and many ways for creatives from different disciplines to connect, collide, and to flow, to witness and conversate and create those happy accidents from which so many scientific discoveries seem to emanate. Frankenstein’s lab it is not. It’s more like Thomas Dolby’s lab meets a WeWork. With the bright, upbeat vibe of a craft microbrewery.

To take this theme to the next level, Lucero has hired the TED talking and wildly talented bizarretist Forest Stearns to turn this former shoebox of nonarchitecture (not to be confused with nano architecture) into an incubator for inspiration.

In a way, the place makes me think of NASA’s long-term collaboration with Snoopy and Charles Schulz and I wonder: Could it be that the world’s third largest corporation has… a humanitarian side?

Frankenstein's lab it is not. It's more like Thomas Dolby's lab meets a WeWork. With the bright, upbeat vibe of a craft microbrewery.

orest Stearns is a renegade artist and founder of Draweverywhere Studios, credited with creating the first art show in space, when, from 2013 to 2018, Stea rns etched art onto 350 satellites launched into space for Planet Labs/San Francisco.

From Stearns’s work in outer space, it was not hard for Google Quantum lead Erik Lucero to see how Draw everywhere would be a positive influence on the variety of humans developing quantum innerspace. Lucero and

Stearns shared the goal to break open the opaque sphere of science by building an experiential and hopefully in spirational conversation around it. The result is the GQ2 Temple of Science.

“Our intention is to make work that excites and engages the viewer through hand-drawn adventures for more than a moment,” says Stearns. “Humans are a mark-making spe cies and our studio collaborates to bring those marks to any surface, everywhere.”

(Photos courtesy Draweverywhere)

Don't be evil.

Whenever Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai discusses quantum, he says they’re “building a practical quantum computer for humanity” or “building a quantum computer for the world.” In fact, it has been written into the Google corporate charter:

“Our goal is to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible. In pursuing this goal, we may do things that we believe have a positive impact on the world, even if the near-term financial returns are not obvious... Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served – as shareholders and in all other ways – as a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short-term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.”

No, it's not the rebuild of Notre Dame. It's much bigger than that.
(Photo courtesy Draweverywhere)

Breast implant factory upcycled to grow house for inspiration.

As Lucero continues my Golden Ticket tour, it becomes clear the place is Lucero and Google’s candy store. As opposed to the camouflaged outside “these are not the droids you’re looking for” nothing-to-see-here aesthetic, inside, the place was reconceived by Donaldson, Story, Stearns, and Lucero with a very intentional “desire to inspire.” There’s exhibits, like, everywhere. There are weird hieroglyphics. Lucero calls these “found artifacts from the future.” Da Vinci code. Quantum language seems to be scrawled or etched everywhere. I feel like I’m inside some mad scientist’s notebook. Lucero tosses superlatives with great nonchalance (is “great nonchalance” a term?) and casually introduces me to a passing scientist. “He’ll win the Nobel Prize next year,” says Lucero as he scampers upstairs to demonstrate how The Machine just might save the world.

Starchitect Robin Donaldson explains what kind of cladding would look best on the metaverse.
Hard to believe the building was once bound for the landfill.
(Photo courtesy ShubinDonaldson) (Photo courtesy Google, Quantum AI)
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The quantum computer is so much more than just a Magic 8 Ball on steroids.

Lucero shows me the actual “thing,” the quantum computer, which looks like a gorgeous chandelier kidnapped from Blade Runner. But an ordinary chandelier only solves the problem of darkness. Lucero’s chandelier can potentially solve the problem of, well, maybe everything?

There’s an old adage about Thomas Edison, that supposedly he said, “I know 10,000 ways how not to make a lightbulb.” What the quantum computer actually does is make perfect models and simulacrums of anything (the electronics structure of molecules for new materials, for example) and the computer can then run through all simulated solutions – the 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb or to not build a more efficient battery. But at the same time, The Machine will also figure out the best way. Because of its quantum mechanical power, it’s able to make accurate models of nature, to see how essentially anything behaves under an almost infinite number of influences.

What could The Machine solve? Better automobile batteries – that’s going to be a big one going forward. Better drugs targeted to recalcitrant diseases. Geoengineering solutions to combat climate trends. And of course, just as we could not foretell the advent of the internet at the dawn of the classical computer, it’s safe to say that it’s still an open question of what applications lay undiscovered that a quantum computer could potentially help us solve.

Photo of a Sycamore quantum computer from below (Courtesy Erik Lucero)
124 Lucero
wants his scientists to think outside the box, so he asked his
team to provide many access points outside the box. And even ways to explore the edges of the box... to get perspective on the box and ultimately question the very concept of box ness.
(Photo courtesy Google, Quantum AI)

What's taking Google so long? And if The Machine is so smart, why can't it just build itself?

Building a quantum computer isn’t like building a guest house. Every step must be perfect and verified and peer reviewed then openly debated in the scientific community before one can move on to the next milestone. The top of the pyramid is deeply affected by the perfection (or imperfections) in the base.

But the first critical milestone of the project has already been surpassed. That was Google’s successful demonstration of performing a “beyond classical” calculation with its Sycamore processor (that was the billion times faster calculation Lucero explained on our Wonka tour). In the quantum world, Sycamore was the equivalent of sending “LO” to the original Four Nodes (worst name for a rock band ever). Their peers called it the “Kitty Hawk” or “Wright brothers” moment for quantum computing.

Going forward, next steps include Google creating an error-corrected qubit (qubits are quantum’s version of bits) then on to an “error-corrected” quantum computer. You don’t really need to worry what that means yet, it’s just an ideal and perfectly clean quantum computer, a cyber Garden of Eden if you will. Google’s goal is to have a fully operational quantum computer by the year 2029. I wouldn’t bet against them.

In the meantime, it’s worth tipping our collective cap to Robin Donaldson and the Google Gang for upcycling a structure that was indubitably bound for the landfill and reconstituting it into Santa Barbara’s answer to the Salk Institute. And that’s no small feat. It’s out there in Goleta, you just can’t find it.

Other than haters, I mean “competitors,” Alphabet has two big challenges standing in the way of firing up The Machine by 2029, though the challenges are not what you’d expect. It’s not brain power. It’s not funding. Google has both. (In fact, Google/Alphabet is one of five companies on Earth with a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. The change under their couch cushions can fund quantum.)

Their number one problem is refrigeration. Just like those primitive first four nodes of the internet, a really big issue is how to cool the quantum computer. At present, they cool it with liquid helium. Liquid helium can cool the qubits to -460 degrees Fahrenheit – colder than outer space for those of you who are counting. Still, as the computer gains capacity, its cooling capacity will need to grow with it.

The second issue is the same issue every other business is grappling with. No, it’s not parklets. It’s housing for their workers. If The Machine can solve that, that’d be a pretty cool thing to have right down the street.

"We draw a ton of ideas that then develop into a few great ideas that then get built out into a few EPIC collaborative installations. As we continue to build out the campus and bring in more amazing minds, it is crucial to remember that we are driving at the edge of known science. By being different together, we can attract, inspire, and activate the best minds in the world with which to collaborate and build community. If art imitates life, then we speak the language of Nature."
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Upcycler Gabriel Dishaw has captured the Santa Barbara “Art From Scrap” ethos and taken it next level

Oneof the things that made Star Wars so successful was George Lucas (of Padaro Lane and, before that, a galaxy far, far away) created such a complete and detailed world that it really seemed that world existed. The triumph of the Millennium Falcon was that up until that point – Hollywood always depicted the future as sleek and sterile. But the genius of Lucas and his designer Ralph McQuarrie was to imagine a future that looked lived in – and everyday and battle weary and sometimes even a little trashed.

Now “upcycler” Gabriel Dishaw has taken Lucas and McQuarrie’s designs to the next level, imagining – brain bender ahead – retro designs from the future infused with a mixture of luxury branding and patina. Evocative of Santa Barbara’s Art From Scrap (but on steroids and asteroids), the result is a futuristic pop culture melee. You want to touch Dishaw’s new/old costumes and smell their old leather and wear them (which you can) and ultimately buy them, which a lot of people do. The rapper T-Pain wore a Dishaw mask sitting courtside at a recent Lakers game. The masks (and other space paraphernalia) are so attractive even the most strident anti-masker will want to strap in. Dishaw’s oeuvre seems like such a paean to the Santa Barbara ethos: we – the birthplace of the environmental movement, upcycling, repurposing, and luxury – simply needed to know his inspiration. Here’s what he told us.

THE RIV: How did you catch the Star Wars bug?

GABRIEL DISHAW: Star Wars has been part of my life since childhood; I spent countless hours rewatching the movies with my cousin, collecting and playing with the original Kenner toys. I still have a collection of the original toys and cherish them. I certainly appreciate George Lucas’s vision and stewardship of his creation. He has created something that generations have enjoyed and that I share in further celebrating through my work.


RIV: What got you started in upcycling?

GD: I’ve always been an artistic individual and was enrolled in advanced art classes in school, but I truly found my passion for this particular art form in 9th grade. My teacher posted 30 art project ideas on the chalkboard for us to choose from and make our own. One of the items listed was “Junk Art.” To be honest, I had no idea what that was so I did a bit of research then went into my dad’s garage and began to tinker. That’s one of those moments you look back on and think, had the art teacher not offered that particular project, I don’t know that I would have emerged as an artist in this genre.




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RIV: Finally, what does it all “mean” – at least to you?

GD: For me, it’s always been about the journey/process that I continue to strive for as I seek more time with this meditative state. My creative process starts with disassembling objects that aids me through the process of finding inspiration. I get a lot of joy in this step but that is only the beginning.

Through my craft, I’m also able to express my eagerness to inspire dialogue on reducing waste and participate in creative solutions for utilizing materials that would often be discarded after its intended use and repurposing them so others can find enjoyment.

My Luxury Series builds upon this philosophy. With each piece, I have taken characters and universes from my childhood that I cherish –as well as my passion for science fiction – and elevated them from their original meanings and stories by using textiles from luxurious brands. Whether based on a toy I grew up with or a film like Star Wars I have rewatched countless times, each piece reflects a moment in time through a modern, fashionable twist.

“My passion for working with metal and mechanical objects has been essential in the evolution of my art. It provides me an avenue to express myself in a way that brings new life to materials such as typewriters, adding machines, and old computers – technology that would normally end up in a landfill. My mission is to create dialogue and help find creative, environmentally sound ways of repurposing e-waste.”

RIV: So you imagine a future where luxury brands collaborate with militaries throughout the universe?

GD: In my future, those brands have simply adapted and endured and spread from the Earth to other galaxies. I guess Vuitton and Goyard have a certain timeless je ne sais quoi.

RIV: Did you know that George Lucas owns two homes here in Montecito?

GD: No, but I’m not surprised.




The windows are open, and the morning breeze is gently shifting the papers on the large conference room table, but all this fresh air is not helpful. I am sitting at the table while watching a lovely home we are designing go flying by on our 85-inch television screen and thinking I may need to throw up. A young architect who probably does not know how to hold a pencil is at the controls navigating us through the house. We swing around the exterior, race through the front door, and sprint through the rooms of the house as if immersed deep in some fast-paced action video game that I am not looking to win. Occasionally, we’ll barrel straight through a wall. Maybe the kid needs some more practice piloting this machine? Our client, who is taking it in opposite me across the table, is loving every minute of this. He directs superhero movies, and I’m sure, feels right at home. I am genuinely exhilarated by the architecture we have created for him, and happy that the client is appreciative, but less enthusiastic when being exposed to it at 100 miles per hour.

I like to drive fast, so this feels like a contradiction. I once received a speeding ticket for going 110 miles per hour on the 10 near the Arizona border on a Christmas morning. My license was revoked for 30 days. Fortunately, I was in the process of building a new house for my family at that moment, and we were temporarily

renting a home two blocks from my office, so I just walked to and from work. It was wonderful. This was long before Uber, so situations would arise where I would normally have gone alone to a meeting with a client, but now had a coworker drive me and then attend the meeting alongside. I would introduce the architect to our puzzled client and explain my predicament.

I have never driven 110 miles per hour again. I don’t get car sick, but there is something about moving through a model of a house on that big screen that gets to me every time. I try to look away as often as possible, but this contradicts the goal of the meeting which is, of course, for me to cheerfully provide a guided tour of the proposed building to the client.

I still draw by hand. At this point, most of the architects in our studio do not. They have grown up in front of a screen and do amazing things with a mouse and keyboard. Meanwhile, I sketch on tracing paper, building up layer by layer of trace, tossing some layers in the trash, while keeping others and adding new ones, until the original scribblings on the piece of trace at the bottom of the pile may not be visible at all through the many layers of thin paper. I get anxious when a roll of trace gets small. Like I am standing on the edge of a cliff.


We often gather to sketch together on projects in our studio. Inevitably, someone will bring an almost empty roll of trace for us all to work with. I guess this is quite logical, as it makes sense that you would finish off the old roll before beginning one anew, but I get up from the table and locate a new roll. Trace is how I express myself. When the roll gets small, it feels like I need to conserve thoughts and ideas. I have not seen a roll of trace run out in over 30 years of practice.

If or when I finally get something on trace that I am happy with, I pass on the sketches to a computer-savvy architect who inputs my ideas into the computer to create a 3D model of the building. It is quite magical when they complete this task, as a seemingly complete building is suddenly available to view. We then begin an iterative process where we look at the computer model together, and I point out things I am not happy with – something looks too tall, the materials are coming together strangely, or some other weird thing that is bothering my eyes.

I begin sketching again and we go back and forth this way for a while. Eventually we have something that we can show the client, at which point I get to feel sick in front of that big screen and at the same time feel incredibly fortunate that we have the opportunity to

design these buildings where our clients can experience a sense of space that is, hopefully, both eloquent and beautiful.

Beauty is seen as superficial in architecture by some, but I am a believer. If a space is not a delight for my senses to be within, what is the point? I remember a client who demanded a home so practical and rudimentary that it lost all sense of enchantment. Nevertheless, the same client wore the highest of heels on her feet. I asked her about this during one conversation. “Anything for beauty,” she told me. Somehow the same did not apply to her home. It never made sense to me.

At my own home, the only way to remove debris from the pool skimmers located in the sidewall of the pool is through the inlet into the side wall from the pool itself. I assiduously avoided installing any of the standard round covers on the pool deck that typically provide easy access to the skimmer basket for cleaning from above. I did not want the little round covers defacing the pristine pool deck. To clean out the skimmer basket is to bend down and blindly place your hand into the sidewall of the pool and feel around for the leaves and other debris to grab and remove. A couple of times a year, I reach into the abyss and pull out a squishy, dead mouse. This always startles me, and I let out an involuntary yelp, but it is worth it. Anything for beauty.



From Hollywood to Ojai and Beyond . . .

Covering half the back page of The New York Times, Paul Fortune’s obituary – describing him as “a self-appointed ringmaster in the social circus of Los Angeles” – announced the designer’s death from cardiac arrest at his Ojai home on June 15, 2020. As obituaries go, it was a very good one; but many more would follow, in high-profile publications such as Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, and Architectural Digest – which dubbed the designer “the famously oracular West Coast arbiter elegantiarum.” As the various superlatives poured in, one important person was silent: Chris Brock, in whose arms Fortune died. Now that two years have passed, Brock is ready to talk about how the two met, their shared life, and his own fascinating future in Ojai with his constant companion clay… and his newfound companion: psychedelics.


ALos Angeles native, Brock grew up in Whittier, California, and came of age in the 1980s. Formerly a citrus growing area – and home to President Richard M. Nixon and food writer M.F.K. Fisher – Whittier is located roughly 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. As the youngest of three boys, Brock’s childhood was emotionally fraught; his parents “were heavy drinkers and partiers and out all the time,” he recalls. With his parents absent, Brock’s coping mechanisms included making pizzas – “from the Spago cookbook” –and decorating the house. “I’d go out and from the street look at the house and arrange the lighting in specific ways, and in the summer, I put ferns in the fireplaces and ran a cord up the roof and down the chimney to light them. I was trying to make up for the illness that was going on there,” he says. “It seems I was making the best of it.” He also knew he was gay and eventually was “going to Hollywood at 20 in full drag, but it was a drag of the ’80s and new wave/ Boy George, and you didn’t have to associate it with gayness. My parents, being faux hip and permissive alcoholics, admired it.” But looking back, he wishes his parents had been aware of his sexuality. “One five-minute conversation could have released me from years of playing out all the shame,” he says. “It was right in their face all the time. Sex Ed gone wrong.”

“When Paul hosted, he made you feel like you lived there. And if he liked you, he would invite you to stay. I stayed on and off for years.”
– Screenwriter Daniel Minahan
Ceramicist Chris Brock (clad in Vuitton) at home in Ojai with a display of his pots and a view of the Spartan guest trailer in the background (Photo by Dewey Nicks)

Drawn to the trendy clubs and glamorous restaurants he’d read about in W magazine and the L.A. Weekly independent newspaper, Brock would “put on these looks that could only be worn once because they were stapled together and made from tulle or netting.” Club sojourns commenced at 11:30 pm, after the latest TV episode of Brideshead Revisited concluded. Brock became a regular at Ports – a now-legendary West Hollywood restaurant – after the owner Micaela Livingston called him to her table. “At that age, I was enthralled by being at the table of the glamorous proprietress,” he confesses. “We became very good friends and went to dinner at Spago, Morton’s, and Le Dôme. We had a blast.” Brock’s nickname among friends was Lemon Chiffon, “because I took a pale yellow polyester leisure suit and made shorts out of it and did something weird to the top and had a Gucci handbag with an eight-foot-long fur strap that dragged behind me. It was extravagant and sensational; and guess what, people noticed.” Brock remembers depositing his 1968 yellow Cadillac with gold brocade seats at the valet in front of Trumps, another

The library of Paul Fortune’s Laurel Canyon home, circa 2000 (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)

famous West Hollywood venue frequented by actors (Sam Shepard) and artists (David Hockney and Ed Ruscha), and highsociety decorators attracted to the scene and to star chef Michael Roberts’s famous quesadillas stuffed with grapes and brie. “I’d roll out looking like Little Bo Peep,” Brock says, “and they’d say ‘Come on in!’ That was really fun.” But the fun also had a dark side – Brock acknowledges excessive drug use at the time as a means to overcome his insecurity and shyness, not to mention the troubled home life he grew up with. “Gosh! Looking back, I realize now that the clubs were full of sensitive people and introverts like me, who were all on drugs, expressing ourselves in ways we were incapable of doing otherwise.”

The couple with Joyce, Brock’s 1967 Rolls Royce painted Ojai brown (Photo by Dewey Nicks) The living room of the Laurel Canyon house (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)
The penthouse suite at the Sunset Tower Hotel designed by Paul Fortune features a signature spray of carnations (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)
A cozy bedroom in Fortune’s well-appointed Laurel Canyon home (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)
A dramatic bathroom in Fortune’s Laurel Canyon home (Photo by Tim Street-Porter)

Brock’s eventual partner Paul Fortune emerged from an entirely different environment. Born with innate impeccable taste in a suburb of Liverpool, England, Fortune studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in London before departing briefly for New York, then driving cross country to Oregon, and finally landing in Hollywood in 1978, his “dream town” since childhood. Fortune paid the rent by doing odd jobs: painting murals for the China Club, creating an album cover for the Eurythmics, producing music videos. As Fortune recounts in his book, Notes on Decor, Etc with no lack of understatement, “My aplomb carried me through.” Recalling London’s thriving new wave/punk scene, Fortune founded the Fake Club (motto: “Some nights I fake it!”) attached to a Trailways bus depot in Hollywood. Within no time, Fake Club was packed with a glittering crowd of musicians (The Clash, The Go-Go’s, Madonna); actors (Daryl Hannah, Anthony Perkins); and writers (Eve Babitz, Bret Easton Ellis). Fellow Brit Tim StreetPorter, an architecture and interiors photographer (who would end

up documenting much of Fortune’s work), and his wife, Annie Kelly, an artist, interior designer, and author, also came. As did future fashion designer Rick Owens, who was underage and had to be ushered through the club’s back door. Many of these regulars had creative careers that, like Fortune’s, ended up flourishing in the creative crucible that was L.A. in the 1980s.

Ultimately, Fortune shifted his focus from the Fake Club and music videos to interior design, the result of repeated requests by friends who were gobsmacked by the setup of his 1920s Laurel Canyon home. High-profile commissions included refurbishing Wilt Chamberlain’s exotic 1970s Bel Air mansion for TV writers George Meyer and Maria Semple, and convincing club impresario Peter Morton to suspend a vintage Cadillac nose-first through the roof of the Hard Rock Cafe at the Beverly Center shopping mall, complete with blinking taillights inspired by Martha’s drunken scene – played by Elizabeth Taylor – in the film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Brock’s pottery studio is a vintage 1949 orange and white Schult trailer parked alongside their Ojai home. It was a surprise gift from Fortune. (Photo by Dewey Nicks)
Fortune and Brock strike a pose in their Ojai living room for photographer Dewey Nicks



rock’s and Fortune’s worlds would ultimately collide in 1998. After Brock had made the rounds of some of the best restaurants in California, doing stints as a waiter at San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe and Röckenwagner in Santa Monica, he began working at Les Deux Café in Los Angeles. It was a hardto-find, celebrity-packed hideout where owner Michèle Lamy held court inside a 1904 Arts and Crafts bungalow that had been trucked in from another location. Lamy had enlisted Fortune to design the restaurant, garnering raves from Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila, who couldn’t resist observing that “the restaurant has the feel of a private club. The minute you walk in, you sense you’re somewhere special.” Indeed, it was special, so much so that when future fashion designer Thom Browne brought Brock there one evening and introduced him to Lamy, he immediately asked to work there. “Yes of course, call me in the morning,” responded Lamy with her heavy French accent. And that was that. Chris Wallace, writing in The Paris Review about working at Les Deux, describes Lamy as “casting” the staff more than hiring them, and concluded “we all performed in her play.” Lamy, now nearly 80, lives in Europe, is the longtime muse to her husband, fashion designer Rick Owens, and is an enigmatic icon in her own right.

That Brock and Fortune would eventually meet at Les Deux was inevitable, although Brock theorizes their paths had likely crossed before: “Did Paul and l bump into each other at Trumps or Morton’s? Sure we did, or at Muse, or at Le Dôme. Of course we did.” But their formal meeting transpired while Brock was arranging flowers at the restaurant (a talent he’d perfected since his ferns-in-the-home-fireplace years) as Fortune happened by, examined Brock’s handiwork, and archly commented, “these flowers belong at the Hyatt Regency.” In retrospect, it was a provocative pickup line, but Brock was crushed. And intrigued. “He was extremely attractive, and he had that voice,” Brock says, “and he was surely not going to give me what I needed, like my father didn’t give me what I needed….” (Fortune later proved a staunch supporter of Brock in every respect, from his work as a florist, landscape designer, and ceramicist to – shortly before he died – encouraging Brock’s psychedelic explorations.)

In other words, Brock was smitten, and there’s no doubt the feeling was mutual. For all his insecurity and shyness, Brock has always possessed the chiseled looks and physique of a movie star, which Fortune, a true aesthete, could not help but notice. Fortune, the West Coast editor at House & Garden magazine at the time, enlisted Brock as a server at a party for the magazine at Fortune’s house in Laurel Canyon. “I couldn’t believe that house,” Brock says, “I’d never seen that level of taste, and the decor, and the whole atmosphere.” Within a year, Brock had cleaned up his act and moved into the Laurel Canyon house. “After all,” Brock notes, “social climbing is an American tradition.” They were together for the ensuing 19 years, until Fortune’s death.

A portrait of the couple taken shortly after their wedding at the Beverly Hills courthouse Brock down on the farm while Fortune plays the Duc
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For Brock, the Laurel Canyon move placed him directly at the center of Fortune’s social world, a whirlwind assortment of glamorous personalities. “It was Lee Radziwill and Marisa Berenson and Mario Testino and Jude Law all the time,” says Brock. “But it was also the gardener and a certain variety of hustler and such. It was so divine and so chic, but it wasn’t about money or position or status, it was something much better than that.” It was also about love: “So many people fell in love in that house, and made love, and conceived even,” Brock says. It was also a place where people would crash, sometimes for months at a time, with Fortune’s encouragement. Screenwriter/director Daniel Minahan (Six Feet Under, True Blood, Game of Thrones) in his Vanity Fair memoriam to Fortune, recalls: “When Paul hosted, he made you feel like you lived there. And if he liked you, he would invite you to stay. I stayed on and off for years.” But Brock found it unsettling. “It made me deeply uncomfortable and beyond nervous,” he confesses, “but it’s the alcoholic thing. When I was growing up, we kept a secret in my family, and when there’s a house that’s open, Clare Quiltystyle, it was very challenging for a kid from Whittier.” Even so, he acknowledges, “I showed up and I enjoyed it. Looking back at

old photos – always good to have a photographer around – I’m newly alarmed and charmed by how wonderful we looked. I found my home in Tom Ford’s iteration of Gucci,” he pauses. “The next sound you hear is the unbuttoning of the third button. I loved it; who wouldn’t?”

In addition to people and clothes, Fortune introduced Brock to a louche and luxurious international scene. Naturally, there were forays to New York, where Fortune designed townhouses for Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola (who ended up casting him as Duc Fortune in her film Marie Antoinette). Paris was a frequent destination to confer with Jacobs (at the time Louis Vuitton’s brilliant creative director), whose Parisian triplex Fortune was tasked with designing. Fortune booked the Plaza Athénée, which captivates Brock to this day. “Paul was so nonchalant about it,” Brock remembers, “while simultaneously appreciating it more than anyone else. I loved that combination. And Marc personally welcomed me to Louis Vuitton for a full turnout, which I still treasure.”

Fortune and Marc Jacobs had known each other for years, having met at New York’s fashionable Charivari boutique, where the thenunknown Jacobs was employed (he started working there at age 15 in the stockroom). According to Brock, Jacobs was Fortune’s “biggest admirer and most enjoyable client. They had a ball together.” For his part, Jacobs told Architectural Digest that “Paul was responsible for creating the most important places in my life. We were always sparring, which I loved because I respected him so much.” In fact, Fortune was in the midst of designing the interiors for Jacobs’s Frank Lloyd Wright Hoffman House in Rye, New York, when he died. After exchanging a few tears with Jacobs after Fortune’s death, Brock pronounced, “Bad timing, Sweetie, you’ll never again have another Paul Fortune house.”

Meanwhile, Brock’s landscape and floral business was booming. In addition to maintaining gardens for private clients like Nancy Berry and Aileen Getty and providing daily arrangements at the Fortune-designed Sunset Tower Hotel, he was responsible for the decor and flowers for Graydon Carter’s annual Vanity Fair Oscar party. “Paul and I got very ‘old lady’ with our flowers,” says Brock, pointing out that the Sunset Tower’s official flower was the lowly carnation. “It was Paul’s genius in saying, ‘You think you know what chic is,’” laughs Brock. “We always loved fucking with flowers; it brought us closer.”

Naturally, there were forays to New York, where Fortune designed townhouses for Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola (who ended up casting him as Duc Fortune in her film, Marie Antoinette)
Fortune steals director Sofia Coppola’s seat on the Marie Antoinette movie set in Paris

“If These Walls Could Speak, It’s Probably Best That They Don’t.”

The Riv was fortunate enough to speak with the writer Maria Semple (most recently, Where’d You Go, Bernadette) about what it was like to work with Paul Fortune and Chris Brock. Maria and her partner, The Simpsons writer George Meyer, purchased the Wilt Chamberlain house in 2002 and worked on it for about a year with Paul Fortune and Chris Brock before moving in.

Says Semple: “For some reason I was obsessed with the Wilt Chamberlain house but couldn’t quite tell if it was epically good or potentially epically bad. So I reached out to my friend Nicolai Ouroussoff who was the architecture critic for The New York Times. Nicolai said, ‘The one person who could update this house is Paul Fortune,’ so that’s how I met Paul Fortune.

“The interesting thing about Paul – for someone so debonair and known for his great taste – was I found him to be the least fussy person of all. There was no chewing of cuticles or gnashing of teeth. Things basically fell into three silos. They were either ‘pretty great’ or ‘tacky’ or ‘chic.’ Paul loved the challenge of updating the Wilt Chamberlain house and bringing down the scale for people who were not giants and whose personalities were not giant. We brought some of the infinity mirrors down to a number less than infinity and the living room ceiling was five stories high.

“I’m happy to say that under Paul’s guidance, the house went from being a spectacle to spectacularly gorgeous. By the time Paul was done, everyone wanted to visit, and everyone wanted to bring someone with them when they did so.”

And how about the “orgy room” that the basketball star talked about in Life magazine in 1972? “It was repurposed,” says Semple.

Writer Maria Semple on working with Paul Fortune and living in L.A.’s storied Wilt Chamberlain house A view of Wilt Chamberlain’s spacious bedroom (with retractable ceiling) as it appeared Life magazine in 1972 A view of Chamberlain’s bedroom after renovation by Fortune



aul was preparing for the future,” Brock says of the couple’s move to Ojai in 2012 shortly after their marriage at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. Fortune had started querying Brock about where the two should move next: “Would you live in Portugal? What about a penthouse apartment in Saint Petersburg?” When singer/songwriter Nate Ruess expressed interest in buying Fortune’s Laurel Canyon house, which was not for sale, Fortune, somewhat surprisingly, acquiesced. From there, according to Brock, “Paul held my hand and walked me forward into the future, both of ours, with my intentions prioritized. He went around the globe and brought it back to California and Ojai.” (One of Brock’s requirements had been to live near a “really good” opera house.) The legendary Laurel Canyon house was sold with most of its contents, but when Brock asked, “Are we leaving everything?” Fortune responded, “Not the good stuff; that’s going with us.”

Brock didn’t see the house Fortune chose for them in Ojai until he pulled up from Hollywood in Joyce, his sable brown 1967 Rolls Royce with his suitcase and Nelly, his cat, in tow. “Looking around at this little house, I would have come in and said there’s no hope,” he admits. “But Paul’s like, ‘Let’s get some Farrow & Ball Dead Salmon and slop it on a couple walls and hang this and that.’” (In truth, the tiny house is perfectly decorated in Fortune’s inimitable style, with exquisite fabrics, furniture, and art.) Brock continues, “We were really happy in this little house, and we really loved being in Ojai. We had a smaller but really dazzling crowd, and only occasionally, once a week or so, would someone come into town to see us. So it was the kind of social life I could handle.”

The move to Ojai was truly transformative for Brock – he discovered clay. “I wanted something to do, and to contribute as well,” he says. “So I took painting and pottery and decided to stick with pottery after about a year and a half of trying both.” Ojai is known for its ceramics tradition, most famously Beatrice Wood, but also Otto and Vivika Heino, a duo renowned for their glazes. “Larry Carnes, who taught me, was taught by Otto, who was taught by Beatrice,” Brock says. He employs the ancient technique of coiling clay to build his pots, as opposed to throwing them on a spinning wheel. “I wanted to ground myself and find a center that would hold,” he remarks, “That wheel was spinning out of control, and I thought, Honey, time to slow down the wheel.”

Along the way, Fortune’s “rare and poetic eye” helped guide Brock aesthetically. “The thing that I wouldn’t have done without Paul,” he insists, “was persevere through all those moments that were so difficult; I would have quit a thousand times.” But quitting was not an option when their friend Rick Owens wanted to carry Brock’s work at the opening of his first Los Angeles store. After a sellout show, Brock was persuaded his clay diversion was really a vocation.

For his part, Fortune remained occupied by projects in New York and elsewhere. Closer to home, he presided over the interiors of the modernist Santa Barbara beach abode of longtime friends photographer Dewey Nicks (who snapped

many iconic portraits of Brock and Fortune over the years) and his wife, Stephanie, and was also responsible for the sophisticated furnishings in Kimberly and Donald Robertson’s spacious Spanish estate in Montecito’s Hedgerow area. “The first thing Paul said when he walked into our house was ‘The front door must go immediately,’” Kimberly remembers, “and we were like, Huh? And he ripped out the front door and replaced it with a staircase. It looks incredible. And he always referred to our street (San Leandro Lane) as ‘San Leonardo DiCaprio Lane.’”

Despite the move to Ojai, Fortune continued his busy social life, regularly venturing out to meet new acquaintances or catch up with old friends like Eric Goode, the New York hotel and nightlife impresario (and benevolent owner of Ojai’s Turtle Conservancy). He also – after repeated entreaties –agreed to write a book, and his delightful tome Notes on Decor, Etc. was published by Rizzoli in 2018. Packed with inspiring visuals, personal anecdotes, and Fortune-worthy advice, it is dedicated to Brock.



n the aftermath of Fortune’s sudden death combined with the pandemic lockdown, which would have been daunting for anyone, Brock instinctively chose a path toward self-knowledge and ventured into the world of what one might call medicinal psychedelics.

“It had been 40 years since I tried psychedelics,” Brock says. But smoking the

Brock’s pots against the Ojai skyline (Photo by Dewey Nicks)


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Toad two years ago changed everything. “There’s such power in arriving late to the party, with lots of baggage!” he quips, but adds seriously, “I’ve listened to all the talks and read all the books, and I’m here as proof that you can go somewhere in one evening that would take 20 years or 20 lifetimes on the couch.” Some of Brock’s best psychedelic experiences have been in the presence of other people, supervised by guides. “I see now the value of having support and encouragement and supervision,” he says. As far as the experience goes, “It’s ineffable and otherworldly. Awakening to the experience of the awesome awareness of the existence of other realms of consciousness is one way to put it. Awakening through forgiveness, forgiveness for not loving well, for buying into values deeply at odds with love and truth, for not knowing who I am.”

For Brock, the psychedelics have provided benefits well beyond the mystical. His self-confidence has been boosted, and his fear of others has been vastly reduced. While his social schedule will never equal Fortune’s – whose could? – Brock now welcomes meeting new people. “I’m only now becoming comfortable enough to show who I am,” he says, “and I’m making these young friends all of a sudden. I also think there’s freedom in being older. I’m not an older; I’m an Elder.” Brock says he finally feels at peace with his upbringing, and through the medicine work is now able to view his parents as human beings with their own wounds and traumas. “I now see the similarities in what both

my parents and I were often compelled to seek: the blackout. Imagine if my parents had had Ketamine.... ” He continues, “Surely there’s Ketamine in heaven, or is it the other way around? Now I’m filled with gratitude to forgive all, for all. After all – surprise! – it’s all about love.”

Finally, Brock’s creative spark has been reignited. He’s back to making his highly desirable and much-coveted pots, but under his own terms, leaving behind the need for aesthetic approval from Fortune. “I’m finally not looking over my shoulder expecting and sadly longing for Paul’s judgment. Rather, I’m going about my life applying his standard here and there, and there and here. After all this time of trying to please others, I’m asking myself, ‘Umm, what do you think?’ Well, I’m thinking ferns in the fireplace, carnations at luncheon, sacred toad venom, and good suits for everyone!”

This fall, local treasure Chris Brock will debut a new series of pots at Joel Chen’s gallery in Los Angeles. 1000 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, 323-463-4603,



A variety of substances are known as psychedelics: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), MDMA (Ecstasy), and Ketamine – one form of which the FDA has approved as a medication for depression – are lab-synthesized chemicals; psilocybin is a compound derived from mushrooms; DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine) occurs naturally in many plants and animals; and 5-MeO-DMT (the Toad) is a venom secreted by the Bufo alvarius toad


When ingested, these substances alter perception by acting on neural circuits in the brain using the neurotransmitter serotonin.

HOW THEY HELP: Psychedelic therapies have shown promise for treating a range of addictions and mental health disorders, including depression and PTSD.


Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Francis Crick (co-discovered DNA), John C. Lilly (neuroscientist), Richard Feynman (theoretical physicist), Kary Mullis (Nobel prize in chemistry), Michael Pollan (author). For countless generations, indigenous peoples (including the Maya, Aztec, Olmec, Sapotec) have used magic mushrooms and other psychedelics in religious and initiation ceremonies.


Netflix has produced a docuseries exploring the history and use of psychedelics based on Michael Pollan’s book, How to Change Your Mind.


Several municipalities, including Ann Arbor, Michigan; Denver, Colorado; Oakland and Santa Cruz, California, have decriminalized the possession and cultivation of mushrooms containing psilocybin. (However, like marijuana, psilocybin remains illegal under federal law.)



Privately funded research into psychedelics as therapeutic tools is on the rise. A research group at John Hopkins was the first in the country to obtain approval from the DEA to conduct research with psychedelics. Other universities studying psychedelics for therapeutic use include New York University and Yale University. The federal government is underwriting some of this research.

Rainbows ahead for Chris Brock (Photo by Paul Fortune)
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Current Situation, Barstow, CA. Fauxliage by Annette LeMay Burke is published by Daylight Books. Photography © Annette LeMay Burke,,


The Southern California landscape has always been a tangle of contradictions. Marketed to Midwesterners at the turn of the last century as a semitropical, never-less-than-73-degree paradise, were we just on the leading edge of climate change… even then?


Almost none of the palms associated with our hammock-between-two-trees, laid-back California lifestyle originated on this continent. Those slender, swaying sticks were brought here by Franciscan missionaries in the 18th century, an odd choice because they provide neither fruit nor shade. What, then, can one say about our new native cell tower palm? This pale, plastic imitation of a non-native species, how quintessentially… Californian!

The fakes are so bad, they are of course easy to spot by human or avian and are often comical – the botanical equivalent of the synthetic breast implant. Or worse, the arboreal answer to the blow-up doll.

Barbed Wire, San Bernardino, CA
Three Saguaros, Phoenix, AZ

Our Cali is both a real place and the place we want it to be. In Fauxliage: Disguised Cell Phone Towers of the American West, photographer Annette LeMay Burke explores the tension between the real and the artificial – what she calls the “contrived aesthetic.” The book comprises 66 shots that document the presence of cell phone towers concealed in fake trees (and cactuses, and American flag poles, and even a cross in front of a church) across the American West. The faux tree/cell tower seems to have become as much a part of our daily drive as the actual tree or the brazen, unadorned cell tower.

California Native Plant, Los Altos Hills,
Equine Sunrise, Los Altos Hills, CA
168 Airport Approach, Palm Springs, CA


urke finds her Franken-palms everywhere. She finds them behind subdivisions and gas stations, in shopping mall parking lots and alongside riverbanks encased in concrete. The fabricated palms are just as out of sync, just as authentically Californian as the living versions. Or maybe this strange infrastructural hybrid – not from Galápagos but more like Goleta – has as much a claim to the narrative as any of us.


After the Giannettis' initial meeting with the owners of this Montecito home, Steve drew several sketches of the rooms to help them visualize what the spaces would look like after the transformation, which was headed up by lead designer Laura Putnam.

Ojai Patina Barons Pivot Hard into Legit Rural

The dirt on the Giannettis’ new farm project

The American Rivi-area has no shortage of ideal homes and estates. But I’ve always thought among the most dreamy and evocative are those designed by the prolific design duo of Steve and Brooke Giannetti of the Patina empire – Patina Style, Patina Homes, Patina Living, Patina Farm… you get the idea.

For anyone unfamiliar, the husband-and-wife architect/designers perfected “casual timeless elegance,” which is a blend of California and Europe and somehow works better than both. Their homes feature the type of stuff you and I would have inherited had we come from better and more tasteful lineage.

On a recent visit to a just-completed Montecito celebrity estate – ridiculously dialed in by perfectionist builders Giffin & Crane – I was impressed how everywhere you turn there’s a vignette just waiting for the tasteful brushstroke of Johannes Vermeer.

The Patina brand started with their own perfectly styled home in Santa Monica… which then became a picturesque farm in Ojai… and is now morphing into a fairly all-encompassing lifestyle enterprise (and small town) called Leiper’s Fork located 30 miles southwest of Nashville.


The fascinating thing about Leiper’s Fork is it doesn’t feel like the Giannettis as simply optimizing their brand à la Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia empire in Waco, Texas, and featured on HGTV and in every supermarket checkout line in the country. The Giannettis are proselytizing a message that is not so much about consumerism and stuff but more about us all becoming better stewards of the Earth and happier people in the process.

I visited with the Giannettis to inquire how Patina’s pandemic went, get the scoop on their recent works in Santa Barbara, and get the dirt on their Nashville project.

LF: First of all, why is your brand so successful? Why is there Patina everything? You can now order your Tesla interior in Giannetti Patina French Linen if I’m not mistaken.

SG: We design for an emotional response. And if that’s resonating with people, great. We think there’s a very definite substance behind our Patina style, so we’re excited for this next venture.

BG: I think the pandemic awakened in many of us this primal need to connect with the land and with animals and with nature – people built up a real longing and craving for connection. To be outside and touch and engage with something living.

During their daily walks with their dogs, Steve and Brooke talk about their design projects and their dreams for the future The living room at Patina Farm is connected visually to their gardens through large steel windows and doors. The interior design palette is inspired by the natural colors seen outside. (Photo by Lisa Romerein)
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The Giannettis love to blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. Groups of potted topiaries and citrus trees in the glassed-in hallway lead to their children’s rooms, adding to the outdoor feel of this space. They also used the same outdoor limestone on the walls and floor to give this space a garden feel.

LF: So how does patina come into play?

BG: Patina is the mellowing that occurs to a natural material as it ages and is used. For us, the patina is a reflection of an antique’s story. It’s why we’re drawn to them. We also add our own stories to these pieces as we use them. So it’s very much an ongoing process.

SG: Like our son used to ride his scooter on our soft pine floors. The small grooves became part of our shared story.

LF: I love that your places feel so used and alive. I’ve been to so many houses that have that mid-century François-Xavier Lalanne sheep. But you guys have actual sheep. That’s so next level.

SG: Indeed, none of our sheep hail from the mid-century.

LF: But I’ll bet actual sheep are messier.

SG: Yeah, but actual sheep renew the topsoil, so it’s a net positive.

LF: Can you guys tell me, what is the Patina-Giannetti secret sauce?

SG: We have three core values. The history of the house and the story the house is trying to tell, that’s the first one. The narrative. Which I’d describe as a compelling story that makes sense.

BG: When we were doing our own first house in Santa Monica, I always wanted people to look at that house and think, A happy family lives in that house. And that’s what I designed around. The Dutch door through which Halloween candy would be given out to the neighborhood. That fantasy.

LF: Why was that the main driver of your design?

BG: Honestly? Because I wasn’t happy as a child… And when you

During the pandemic, the couple built Patina Studio on their property, using the space as an online shop (Photo by Lisa Romerein)

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come from that and you have your own kids and start designing, I think first you have just an image of what a happy home would look like. A mold if you will. And then, hopefully, with enough hard work and intention, and maybe a little bit of therapy –

SG: And self-knowledge…

BG: You can get your reality to grow into that template.

SG: Our second tenet is “connection to community.”

LF: Which means what exactly?

BG: For us the concept of community works in a few different ways. Creating stronger bonds with the people who have chosen to live in this area, but also a larger group of people who are drawn to live a life similar to ours, people who want to learn more about the healing properties of nature, people with a need to create (craftspeople, makers, artists, musicians…), and even community in a larger sense… Each one of us is an important part of a complex system, with unique gifts. We can all learn from each other and support each other so we can all thrive. At least that’s the goal.

LF: Can I guess the third tenet? That one can never have too much fuchsia or too much gold?

SG: The third one is “connection to nature.”

LF: And that’s the one you’re really leaning into with Leiper’s Fork.

SG: Leiper’s Fork is a small town in Tennessee near where we are building our next domicile, Patina Meadow. Patina Home & Garden at Leiper’s Fork is a place to gather farm-to-table provisions,

“Patina Studio filled with our Giannetti Home store merchandise, including antiques we’ve collected during our travels” (Photo by Lisa Romerein) An 18th-century Belgian Verdure tapestry is the backdrop for the dining room at Patina Farm. The colors in the tapestry reflect the neutral colors seen through the windows. (Photo by Lisa Romerein)
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local farm-grown flowers, botanical skin care, and herbal remedies to help bring the natural world into your life. It’s also a place to gather Giannetti-curated furniture, antiques, and handmade items to add to your home and garden. Our store will be the place our community can gather, since Leiper’s Fork is already a tight-knit community of musicians and artists, natural remedies, floral design, and organic biodynamic farming.

LF: But Leiper’s Fork is not exactly around the corner. What led you there?

BG: Two things really. The first is we got into biodynamic and organic agriculture and horticulture and started expanding our Patina Farm mission more. We fell in love with the natural beauty of the area and the wonderful people we met. We realized we could expand our mission of Patina Farm to include an onsite store with the opportunity for tours and classes that were impossible with our very circumscribed property in Ojai.

LF: Right. I think we have that with Lotusland. People would like the place to be more open, but there are constraints having to do with one’s land use permit and other limits put in place by various governing bodies and the municipality.

SG: And the other thing is Patina Farm is really a farm for one family. But as we got more and more into it – our own education about best practices for interacting with the planet – we really wanted to do a deeper and wider dive into all these sustainable methods that are so critical to the Earth. We wanted to not just be part of a community but create one.

LF: So you hired one of the guys from The Biggest Little Farm documentary film.

SG: Yes, Andrew Beedy. He’s our biodynamic farming consultant guru.

LF: And… what does biodynamic mean exactly?

SG: Basically that we need to synchronize with the Earth’s rhythms instead of bombarding it with chemicals.

BG: We’ve learned that whatever we do to the Earth, we’re also doing to ourselves, and unfortunately, there’s often no balance in the way our culture treats the world around us. We work everything to the extreme – our bodies, our lives, and our Earth. So it becomes, and we become, depleted.

LF: It’s like Red Bull culture. The energy drink, not the animal.

SG: When we learn to slow down and rest, we gain a deeper understanding that the soil needs this too. We rotate crops and plant cover crops to give our soil a chance to rest and regenerate and recover.

BG: The way we treat the Earth is a mirror reflecting how we’re treating ourselves.

LF: And on top of this incredibly ambitious and holistic enterprise, you’ll still be designing perfectly patinaed houses across the United States?

BG: We never say never. But we are definitely being quite selective about our new projects because we’re so excited about Patina Home & Garden.

LF: So assuming this works out as everything else you guys have done, what’s next? Any plans for a Patina Palace in maybe… Las Vegas? Or selling bottled Patina at Target?

BG: Hopefully with a strong connection to the community, we can take the time to listen and see where that takes us, growing slowly and organically.

SG: And biodynamically.

LF: Do you think when you’re all done building Patina Meadow, people will drive by and say, “A happy family lives there!”

BG: We’ll say it, and that’s the most important thing, right?

“Our new store, Patina Home & Garden. We placed a welcome letter on the windows introducing ourselves and sharing our dream to create a gathering place for our Leiper’s Fork community.”
One of the original 1800s log structures in Leiper’s Fork is now a charming turquoise jewelry store owned by Chris and Morgane Stapleton
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To judge by what’s on Instagram, one would think that remodeling a home in 2022 means doing only one thing: installing a soaking tub next to a window. Sometimes these tubs look out on beaches, sometimes on alpine valleys, sometimes on city streets way down below, the bustle of traffic now insignificant. The message seems to be that from the tub, the world looks more peaceful. In the tub, one imagines oneself becoming a person who cares little about that email waiting for a reply, about whatever topic on whatever social media feed is getting the chatter of the moment.

But the real developments in home design can’t be captured in an Instagram photo. The real developments are happening behind the scenes in the form of smart home technology, which enables homeowners to use their phones to control just about anything in the house that runs on electricity, from basic features like lighting and window shades to fireplaces, Christmas lights, and and even NFTs.

Savant home control of the TV, music, lighting, shades and HVAC. This picture shows a Sony OLED display with a custom matching sound bar in the client’s office.

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According to research, smart homes sell up to 38 percent faster and at a price point 21 percent higher than traditional homes. Newly built smart homes sell seven days faster with a price boost of nearly $9,000. In addition, smart home technology leads to increased energy efficiency, which opens up the possibility that, over time, smart home technology pays for itself.

Chris Wilson is the founder of Central Coast Audio Visual, the leading smart home design company between Malibu and San Luis Obispo. Wilson, who has installed smart home technology at the Montecito Club, the Santa Barbara Polo Club, Birnam Wood Golf Club, and countless private residences, insists that the goal of the smart home is not complexity but rather simplicity. “Once you live with motorized shades, it’s hard to go back to manual,” he says. “Every day in the bedroom, the shades close at sunset and open at 8 am. This may sound lazy, but it’s opening the doors for you to spend time doing other things.”

Wilson says that it’s the customer service that sets CCAV apart from its competitors. He compares his customer support staff to local doctors, there for a house call once a quarter to update firmware.

Savant home control of the TV, music, lighting, shades, and HVAC. This picture shows a Sony OLED 83-inch display recessed with a custom James Loudspeaker sound bar.


Though Central Coast AV prides itself on being able to program just about anything that plugs into the wall, they have gotten some pretty outrageous requests. “We had a client with an expansive backyard who could, at the press of a button, have the landscape lighting illuminate in a colorchanging sequence with Frank Sinatra simultaneously playing at concert level volume throughout the property. It was quite the intro to a party,” Wilson says.

Because systems in a smart home are controlled by apps, the system can also be modified remotely. AC can be turned on from the car on the drive home from work. On the way out of town, homeowners can check their phones to make sure their security lights are programmed to come on at the right time. “We’ve had clients who want simultaneously ESPN on every TV in the house with a click of a button, and that’s easily done,” Wilson says.

Everything users can do from their phones in a smart home


can also be automated, and collections of settings across various systems can be saved as “scenes.” For example, a Monday morning scene might include brisk AC, wide-open shades, and the sort of audio that’d be good for the start of the week (Tony Robbins?).

A saved party scene, meanwhile, might mean dim lighting, The Weeknd, and activated water features in the pool. The idea is that if a group of people are over, and the gathering is especially fun, and the music and lighting are perfect, the scene can be memorialized, and the next time a group of people come over, the atmosphere can be duplicated. The saying is “you can’t go back again,” but from a programming standpoint, at least with CCAV, you kind of can

The aspiration is that with the right technology and the right amount of planning and know-how, some of life’s friction and uncertainty can be stripped away, making for a day-to-day that’s just a little more peaceful. In this way, the ambitions of the smart home and the soaking tub are just about the same.

Savant home control of the pool temperature and hidden landscape speaker system, which provides concert-level audio

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George Washington Smith was Santa Barbara’s most influential architect back in the 1920s, the founding father of the California Move ment in Spanish Revival design. The irony was that Smith, when he moved to Monte cito in 1917, saw himself as an artist. But after building the centrally located house and studio he’d designed for himself and his wife, friends and neighbors kept clamoring to have him create residences for them. “I soon found that people were not really as eager to buy my paintings, which I was laboring over, as they were to have a whitewashed house like mine,” he once said. “So I put away my brushes and have not yet had a mo

ment to take them up again.”

Now, a century later, Smith’s spiritual offspring are turning the tables back again, as a new group show features a dozen successful Santa Barbara architects who also paint or create other visual art. “ARTchitecture” is on display through Oc tober 29 at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara. “I’ve been an architecture junkie since I was a young lawyer living in Chicago, and a few decades running my gallery in San Francisco only encouraged that,” says Reynolds, who moved to Santa Barbara during the pandemic and opened the new art space on State Street last year. “Living here, it’s like I’ve arrived in architectural Nirvana.”


The idea for the exhibition came about through Reynolds’s casual conversations with Marc Appleton, the celebrated Santa Barbara architect who helped organize the show, and they reached out to peers to round out the curation. “There’s a natural affinity between architectural design and visual art that many of us feel,” says Appleton. “We decided it would be fun to see how many architects in town actually indulge their passion for watercolors.” Quite a few, it turns out.

Anthony Grumbine, Jeff Shelton, and Stephen Harby are among the well-known locals participating in “ARTchitecture,” along with Domiane Forte, Henry Lenny, John Margolis, Sean McArdle, Tom Meaney, Alexis Stypa, and Qing Xue, who collectively contributed more than 75 works for the exhibit.


Watercolor is an extremely seductive art form. We have our profession of architecture, which is a commitment like a marriage. But then we have watercolor as a mistress.”

While the well-trained architects are all famous for designing homes, offices, and/or public buildings in and around town, frequently employing beautiful architectural drawings to convey their vision, painting is a different matter entirely. Appleton jokes, “If I had to paint with the intention of making a living by selling my watercolors, I would be in the poor house.” (No doubt a nice poor house, but a poor house nevertheless.) However, Reynolds says the products of the architects’ art aspirations are anything but amateur hour. “Everything in the exhibition is frameable –they are fine art paintings that stand on their own.”

– Marc Appleton

Locals will recognize many of the scenes depicted in the water colors, as a majority of the pieces focus on some of the most beloved buildings in town, including the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. The landmark shows up in paintings by three differ ent architect/artists, each revealing an individual perspective – not unlike how they might design a building from scratch, although without having to please anyone but themselves.

Appleton says the focus required for watercolors is part of its ap peal, perhaps even more so than the finished product. “You have to really look at the building or architectural scene and allow yourself to learn about what you’re seeing,” he says. “It becomes a way of remem bering the experience that’s richer than a photograph.”

Harby, who has largely traded active design for a set of watercolor brushes and leading art-travel trips, goes even further.

“The joy of experiencing spatial complexity, materials, and light fueled my architecture career for a number of years,” he says. “Now, sitting in front of an astonishing and challenging building and trying to capture and represent it brings the same kind of thrill as creating it.”

Appleton agrees. “Watercolor is an extremely seductive art form,” he says. “We have our profession of architecture, which is a commitment like a marriage. But then we have watercolor as a mistress.”


Heart of Glass

Stained glass? Majesty. The cathedral at Chartres, Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, Augsburg in Germany… these magnificent structures hail from the architecturally self-aggrandizing Middle Ages, when the Church saw fit to encase theism in behemoth stone statements whose towers, by design, sought to touch the very precincts of heaven. These cathedrals featured enormous stained glass reveries through which the light of the sun would bathe the congregants in otherworldly color, the sublime incandescence of the next world.

Brian McNally’s skill set is 1,000 years old, his sensibilities post-modern. This combo produces light-throwing wonder.
Brian McNally with a blackout – a template for selecting glass color, optimizing contrast, and otherwise planning a piece before soldering

1919. Tucked away near the Santa Barbara

surrounded in privacy & understated luxury. A blend of character & charm w/modern comfort and

transcends this rare villa. Sited on over an acre near the upper east & lower Riviera, this estate is the epitome of Santa Barbara lifestyle with dramatic character architecture, sprawling manicured gardens and flawless indoor/outdoor flow. 18ft ceilings in the living room, surrounded by over scale windows bring in light and views of the incredible gardens w/specimen fruit trees, a bamboo grove, lawns & rose gardens.

formal dining leads to the newly designed classic chef’s kitchen with stainlesssteel appliances and banquette seating; ideal for hosting large or small groups. A separate room off the living room is perfect for TV and more intimate conversation. The main house has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, set on the upper and lower floors; with a 6th bathroom in separate two-room guest quarters and an additional separate office, nursery & full wine cellar. The 3-car garage and gracious motor court offer plenty of parking. A noted gem near everything Santa Barbara has to offer, yet a world away.

KONSTANTINE VALISSARAKOS Historic & Architectural Estates Wall Street Journal | Top 100 Agents Top 1% Nationwide Locations: Beverly Hills Hollywood | Montecito 323.462.6262 | 310.274.4000 direct: 323.252.9451 dre# 01023114 Villa Firenze, circa
Mission and
Sold in Ojai 545 Del Oro Drive Sold in Ojai 909 Del Oro Drive Sold in Montecito 366 Miramonte Avenue 6 6 6,105 SF House 1.09 Acre Lot Offered at $6,087,000

Now let’s draw the counterintuitive line from all that Middle Agesappropriate gigantism to a guy named Brian McNally. Here he is, standing in his outdoor workshop amid rows of indecipherably organized cubbies containing shards and sheets of glass the color of translucent candy. McNally is a stained glass artist of quiet local renown with a Rolodex of discretion-driven clients. As we chat, a bee the size of a furry golf ball drifts noisily in and out of the scene with an alarming buzzsaw drone. “I didn’t learn any of this in school. I’m self-taught,” he says. “I was a ceramics guy. That’s how I started at UCLA. I came out of San Diego State University. I was taking jewelry classes, sculpture classes, and printmaking classes. Ceramics seemed to be the way I was going.”

McNally is one of those very relaxed guys whose deliberative speaking style and unhurried vibe seem to still the air around you. At SDSU, he’d begun to make a name for himself as a ceramist, creating large-scale pieces and wowing the clay community there. “So I got to UCLA and there was a woman about to retire –a known quantity in the ceramics world named Laura Andreson. I worked under her as an assistant in her studio.” Andreson had founded the UCLA ceramics program in 1933, one of the first such programs in the United States. She would go on to be a pivotal 20th-century figure in American ceramics. A wholly different path lay in wait for McNally.

A 34-inch Chinese magnolia on drapery glass combined with confetti/stringer glass – and its preliminary sketch predecessor

was a teaching assistant in ceramics my second year. Understand, it was 1970 and UCLA was trying to be with it,” says McNally. “They brought in somebody to teach glass blowing.” As public universities will, UCLA had noted a growing public interest and somewhat peremptorily moved to parlay it into a curriculum. The school’s new glass fever quickly became a Stockholm Syndrome-like episode for McNally, whose artistic passions would take a fruitful turn.

“One day, all the ceramics instructors said, ‘Okay, all you guys in the ceramics grad program, you’re all going to blow glass.’ There were 10 of us.” McNally looks at me with an amused expression. “Not ‘Do you want to blow glass?’ It was ‘You’re going to blow glass so we can get this program off the ground.’” In the event, McNally took to the mandated art form like an enormous bee to a magazine interview.

Around the end of the ’60s, glass artistry blossomed into a swinging popular art form the public couldn’t get enough of. Half a decade later, the fever cooled. “Glass got hot from ’70 to about ’75,” McNally says. “Then schools started to figure out how expensive it was to run furnaces and how few people could use them. Only two or three people at a time could work. It wasn’t like ceramics where you had a whole room of pottery wheels. And the furnaces were burning gas 24/7.”

A 12 x 58-inch vertical Chinese magnolia, drapery glass on tri-colored spiders web confetti glass installed in a cottage at the San Ysidro Ranch

Bean counting and evolving regulations (air pollution and the acute chemical toxicity inherent in the work) conspired to shutter many of the country’s glass programs and suppliers. McNally mentions how once-fulsome art programs are routinely put out to pasture with their retiring advocates and profs. “UCSB used to have a tremendous printmaking program and ceramics program,” he says. “That’s all gone. Some of the key people retired, and the school just broke it all down and threw it away to use the space for something else.”

Several years ago an art appreciator in the area reached out to inquire about McNally’s services. Ty Warner owns a beloved local auberge whose main lobby had prominently featured a large stained glass installation – one needing a measure of resurrection. “The mudslide that blew through Montecito had come down the driveway between the restaurants and the lodge,” McNally says. “Eight feet deep. Tore off the wall with the gorgeous stained glass installation. They found it downslope, destroyed.” The piece’s original artist, now living in New Jersey, was not interested in recreating his original. “Having been doing Montecito jobs for 30 years, my name showed up.”

“It was a superb work,” McNally says of the original. “It comprised 1,000 pieces of glass fabricated by the artist; there were no off-the-shelf materials. It took me a lot of preparation to have all the meticulously arranged odds and ends work out to my satisfaction. A lot of the specialized glass in the piece I had made by a studio in Wisconsin.” Was his client pleased? “I have a good rapport with Ty Warner. We freely exchange ideas, and he has been a pleasure to work with.”

McNally's work also on display at the San Ysidro Ranch

McNally’s chosen art form dates to around the time King Henry II’s thugs in shining armor cornered and killed Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, itself a stained glass monument. Surely so dedicated an artisan as McNally spent his youth in lace cuffs and a beret. “I was a collegiate wrestler at San Diego State in 1970,” McNally says. “I stayed mildly active with the sport through grad school, wrestling with the team at Brown University while I was at Rhode Island School of Design, just down the hill from Brown. That was the early ’70s. And then for 30 years, I assistant-coached at San Marcos High School here in Santa Barbara.”

McNally also taught for Santa Barbara City College’s adult education program for some 30 years. He decisively burned that bridge. “I went into the office one day about eight years ago and told the director that if it was up to me, I’d fire him and everybody else because they were wasting money that we needed for the program.” Buh bye. McNally’s laconic manner conceals a guy who suffers fools for about as long as it takes to spot them in a room.

Earning a master’s degree in glass from UCLA in ’72, McNally went on to earn his MFA in glass sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975, where he worked under world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly. He has worked out of his private studio in Santa Barbara since 1976. That 50 or so years of dedication to craft belies a restless spirit. McNally sums it all up.

“When I turned 60, I started writing short stories and dancing the Argentine tango,” McNally says with his usual matter-of-factness. “Had you told me at 60 I might be doing this, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. I’ve been to Buenos Aires six times to take serious lessons and to dance, of course. Eight months spent dancing milongas six nights a week. It’s a hook that is hard to explain.” He pauses and seems to reconnoiter.

“I won the top prize at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in 2015 for a nonfiction short story,” he says with something like amused wonder. “Perseverance is what life’s about. I might have been an architect – but I didn’t like the abstract math. I just didn’t want to grasp it. Once I got into the clay, then glassblowing – there you go.” He grins. “I guess I got called.”

“Perseverance is what life’s about. I might have been an architect –but I didn’t like the abstract math. I just didn’t want to grasp it.”
Royal Oaks Ranch – 5 gated, private acres close to downtown with wrap-around porch, 5 bedrooms, media room, wine cellar with tasting room, library, gym/massage room, 4 fireplaces, pool and spa, sauna, family orchard, olive tree orchard with approximately 30 trees, Bocce court, putting green, volleyball court, chessboard, gazebos, pasture, private well, 150-year copper roof, copper gutters, RV parking with hookups, six-car garage and workshop, and more. Price Upon Request Nora Davis The Davis Group LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty (805) 207-6177 DRE #01046067


Santa Barbara and Montecito are home to many talented design visionaries, ready to help you elevate your home or business to reflect the beauty of the American Riviera. The following is a short list of some of the best-of-the-best local vendors, as well as some out-of-town options, who beautifully capture our luxury aesthetic, including architects, interior and landscape designers, contractors, builders, and stylists.

photo by Lane Dittoe photo by Riley Yahr photo by David Palermophoto courtesy Denver Image Photography

Attention to detail, material choice, and the art and craft of building are paramount in the design process at Ferguson-Ettinger Architects. The company employs restraint, forms true collaborations with its clients, and is engaged in all stages of design and construction. The designs emerge through the

process without preconceived notions. Each of the projects is unique and crafted to respond to the client’s vision, the specific attributes of each site, and the desire to forge sustainable features with innovative and progressive building techniques to create modern, comfortable, and light-filled spaces.

More information can be found at (photos courtesy Ferguson-Ettinger Architects, Inc.)


Margarita Bravo is a namesake luxury interior design firm offering full-service residential and commercial design and decor services. Bravo’s interior design studio brings her exquisite taste and years of high-end experience working one-on-one with luxury clients nationwide. She offers the white-glove attention to client and design detail everyone wishes for. Bravo is a mix master of layering colors, styles, patterns, understanding the power of a beautiful and thoughtfully decorated space can have on a person, as well as the importance of its feng shui – no two interiors of hers will ever look the same.

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Interior Design studies in New York and Barcelona, Margarita brings a technical, creative, yet down-toearth approach to her interactions with her clients. She completed her second Interior Design Program at the European Institute of Design in Barcelona, Spain.

More information at montecito-interior-designers.

photo courtesy Denver Image Photography photo courtesy Tia Lorae with Storytelling photo by Jake Holschuh


Ann James is a Santa Barbara-based interior designer specializing in custom design, and her clients are as varied and diverse as the interiors she creates for them. Ranging from the latest in contemporary design to a more traditional approach, a sophisticated sense of style is woven into each project. The thread that connects her work is extraordinary attention to detail and quality, with an emphasis on livability.

For over 30 years she has designed homes throughout the Western United States, and is familiar with the latest sources and vendors in the field. From cottages on the beach in Montecito, to ranches in Santa Ynez, to modern homes on Santa Barbara’s Riviera, Ann is known for creating timeless, beautiful spaces, which are both distinctive and inviting.

More information can be found at


Based in Bend, Oregon, Baldhead Cabinets is a family-owned and operated company that has been in the metal manufacturing industry for 37 years. They design and manufacture fine custom metal cabinets, beginning the process with each client by putting together a custom CAD drawing specific to their space, wants, and needs. Once the design is approved, fabrication begins, and everything is done in-house, from laser cutting to powder coating and then assembly.

What sets the team apart is that they hop on a plane, meet the cabinets at their final destination, and complete the final delivery and installation. The company believes the only way to achieve the highest level of quality and service is to handle the entire process themselves, which has proven successful since 1985.

Check out for more information.

photo by Jim Bartsch photo by Ingo Schmoldt photo by Tyler Phillips photo by Jim Bartsch photo courtesy Ann James

Pampel Design is a locally owned and operated husband and wife team specializing in shades, window coverings, awnings, and upholstery. They proudly offer a showroom on State Street as well as a local sew room here in Santa Barbara. With over 20 years of experience, Daniel, Valerie, and their team strive for excellence in all facets. From personal consultations, with a vast array of

product offerings, to hands-on professional installations, Pampel Design is a trusted provider to many within the community, including trade professionals. With a focus on innovative solutions, they ensure their clients receive the most up-to-date technology available within the market industry.

To check out their work, visit (photo credit Riley Yahr)


Since 1976, Buena Tile + Stone has been providing design materials to the Central Coast, specializing in hospitality, medical, and luxury residential projects. A direct importer of sophisticated product, as well as the local representative of several national brands, Buena has had the opportunity to supply many of the region’s largest projects including the Hotel Californian, the Ojai Valley Inn, the Community Memorial network of hospitals and clinics, and numerous national account properties with brand names in hotels, restaurants, and retail locations. In addition to the firm’s vast local commercial experience, Buena supplies product on projects both nationwide and internationally for boutique hospitality resorts.

Buena also provides sophisticated materials for elite residential properties designed by world-class design firms. Principals Edward Steed and Cheryl George have nearly 60 years of experience working with architects and designers, visiting factories and quarries around the world, and ensuring that the supply of specialty materials meet the exacting standards of the professional, as well as the budget of the owner.

Check out their work at

photo by Francesco Camellini photo by Adam Taylor


Brighten Solar Co. is a Santa Barbara-based solar energy company that installs solar photovoltaic and battery backup systems for residential and commercial property owners. Their custom approach focuses on aesthetically pleasing and innovative design while maximizing the financial return of their clients’ investment. Passionate about the environment, with a deep appreciation of the local community, the company strives to engineer solutions that will lower a client’s footprint, save them money, and increase their home’s resiliency.

In an industry that keeps innovating, the team at Brighten Solar are avid researchers and only install the best quality and most ethically sourced equipment. By not being bound to any manufacturer, the firm has total flexibility and impartiality to represent their clients’ best interests. Corporate social responsibility is a major focus of their operations, and they are proud to be a Santa Barbara County Green Certified Business. The company has received numerous local awards, including winner of the Best Solar Company several years in a row in the Santa Barbara Independent.

Learn more at (photos courtesy of Brighten Solar Co.)


Born and raised in the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen, Colorado, Chris Blaul developed his skill and passion for painting at a young age. As CB Paint & Decor Inc., Chris has redesigned, remodeled, redecorated, and transformed hundreds of clients’ Santa Barbara homes, as well as his own residences, into charming and elegant abodes. His knowledge of trends and classic styles gives him a unique edge that enables him to envision the décor that is suited to his clients’ tastes. Chris’s inspiration can be seen all over Santa Barbara, from downtown restaurants to palatial estates. The company performs high-quality painting, decorative finishes, and specializes in unique situations requiring matching finishes, refurbishing, and other un usual finish requests. From murals, venetian plaster, stenciling, patina, and glaze applications, to transforming kitchens, refinishing cabinets, and more, CB Paint & Decor has been licensed since 1992 and has painted over 2,000 homes and has completed countless very extensive projects.

Visit for more information. (photos courtesy CB Paint & Decor)


Designing interiors for over 36 years, Marc Normand Gelinas is best known for his classic and inviting designs, reflecting his knowledge of color, scale, and art background. He believes that each project should reflect the personality and personal style of each client, giving them a well-designed, comfortable, and functional space.

His extensive time in New York and Paris give him a unique perspective on aesthetic plans. Since 1987 he has consulted on projects from New York, Santa Barbara, Aspen, and Rhode

Island. Marc’s work has been published several times in such well-known publications as House Beautiful and Traditional Home. An honors graduate of the acclaimed Pratt Institute in New York City, Marc earned a BFA in Interior Design. He sits on several nonprofit boards including Montecito’s Casa del Herrero Board of Directors.

More information at (photos by David Palermo)


Kellen Meyer is a contemporary artist focused on large-scale fiber art installations, sculptures, and collaborations with galleries and boutique hotels. Her art is rooted in nature and influenced by the colors, shapes, and textures in the wild outdoors. She entwines a variety of natural fibers to create hand-woven works of fine art that integrate knitting, crochet, and various weaving techniques.

Kellen creates in her studio overlooking a bird sanctuary. She walks daily on the beach: collecting colors, stories, and images. Kellen loves fairytales, afternoon light, magic in the everyday, and warm sourdough bread.

Kellen has also been chosen as a finalist in the Arte Laguna Exhibition in Venice, Italy next March 2023. With over 10,000 entries, Kellen is honored to be one of the few from the United States, and excited to participate with artists from all over the world.

Visit for more. (Photos courtesy Cecily Breeding)



This year marks four decades of Jeff Menelli at the helm of Menelli Tile & Design. What began as a small family business in Carmel and Santa Barbara has evolved into a major outfit of master craftsmen and fabricators. Menelli and his team work with homeowners, designers, architects, and general contractors on both residential and commercial projects. From large-scale hospitality to fine estates in Montecito, Santa Ynez, Ojai, and Carmel, the work is notable, expansive, and distinctive. Although much of his work is in private residences, it is also appreciated in the iconic and intricate mosaic dome gracing the top of Santa Barbara Inn – as well as interior custom stone and tile work –, and in such locales as the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to Santa Barbara’s Public Market.

Menelli and his team work from inception to fruition to create the masterpieces his clients envision. His crews are best known for their ability to undertake complex projects that call for skill, precision, efficiency, and superior design and functionality.

Visit for more information. (photos by Erin Feinblatt)


House of Rio is a full-service design studio serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, with a retail shop in Ventura. The company offers complete interior design packages, including furniture and accessories, along with full-service install and styling. Their custom furniture line offers complete flexibility for all sizes and tastes. Along with sister company Barrett Living, they are a one-stopshop for all design and construction needs. Spe cializing in major projects and new construction, the team designs and builds for the way you live.

To learn more, visit (photos by Molly Rose)



California vibes pair beautifully with Monte cito’s relaxed sophistication and luxe con struction to create a spectacular oceanfront prop erty unlike any other. Enjoy the best of all worlds with the supreme privacy that the bluff allows yet with phenomenal private beach access for an easy connection to the sand. Seven bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms, two offices, a guest house, wine cellar, gym, and state-of-the-art security system offer an enviable lifestyle.

3165 Padaro Lane | $65,000,000

Riskin Partners Estate Group | 805-565-8600

Village Properties

DRE# 01815307 / 01447045 / 01954177 / 01951069


This globally-inspired, remarkable architec tural achievement, designed by Bertram Goodhue, has ruled over a century of seasons in the heart of Montecito. Einstein, Churchill, and JFK all spent time at the estate, which is notably featured in the movie, Scarface. Despite its histo ry and celebrity, El Fureidis is a truly livable res idence with beautiful spaces for everything from epic entertaining to everyday intimacies.

631 Parra Grande Lane | $39,995,000

Riskin Partners Estate Group | 805-565-8600

Village Properties

DRE# 01815307 / 01447045 / 01954177 / 01951069


Vast ocean views, flat grounds, luxe amenities, and incredible design coalesce at this iconic Montecito property. Flexible spaces make this an intimate home for two yet can easily accommo date crowds of over 200. The property includes a gym, theater, bar, game room, pool, guest house, and five-car garage. Solar, a generator, greywater irrigation system, private well, organic vegetable bed and citrus orchards, chicken coops, and secret gardens define sustainable sensibility.

888 Lilac Drive | $33,500,000

Riskin Partners Estate Group | 805-565-8600

Village Properties

DRE# 01815307 / 01447045 / 01954177 / 01951069


Ocean and mountain views define the horizon in every direction at this incredible estate. Just moments from the best of Montecito, this compound includes a five-bedroom main resi dence, detached guest house, meditation room, gym, and a stunning library. From the swimming pool to regulation-sized tennis court to raised garden beds, this estate creates a truly remarkable living experience.

560 Toro Canyon Park Road | $24,900,000

Riskin Partners Estate Group | 805-565-8600

Village Properties

DRE# 01815307 / 01447045 / 01954177 / 01951069


epitome of grace and grandeur, this archi tectural garden estate sits on four acres with mountain views and 200-year-old trees. Once host to a music pavilion while part of the original Ar cady Estate, the main house was extensively reno vated by Warner Group Architects to combine Pal ladian details with modern design. Four bedrooms in the main home, and the lower level features an airy great room opening up to the gardens.

838 Knapp Drive | $22,500,000

Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group | 805-565-4014

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices DRE# 01426886

R omantic 1929 Montecito Estate designed by noteworthy architects, Edwards and Plunkett. Ocean views behind iron gates in the famed “Gold en Quadrangle” on nearly 3.5 oak lined acres. Large corner tower serves as the entry, and opens to a light and airy living room overlooking rolling lawns, an cient majestic oak, pool and spa, and tennis court be yond. Delightful cottage and nearby two-bedroom guest house completes this enviable compound.

930 Lilac Drive | $16,995,000

Team Scarborough | 805-331-1465

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices DRE# 01182792



Architectural estate on an ±11-acre agricultural property in the Carpinteria Foothills, over looking the saltwater marsh and Carpinteria Reef. Custom home designed by Ferguson- Ettinger Ar chitects lends itself to the natural surroundings of the site, creating an idea of primitive architecture that captures the ocean, mountain, and orchard views in all directions. Carpinteria Reef Ranch features a stunningly unique main residence, barn, music room, and a ±5-acre certified organic avoca do orchard and orange grove.

4038 Foothill Road | $14,900,000 Casey Turpin | 805-232-5766

Village Properties DRE# 02125478


Welcome to Monte Arroyo Estate, located in the heart of Montecito. The main house was built in 1910, and features a stucco façade with elegant columns, recurrent arches, and sev eral fountains, reminiscent of classic Mediterra nean architecture. This expansive estate features five bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths, seven fireplaces, a library, formal banquet room, and a large kitchen, making this a perfect home for entertaining. Property features include a tennis court, pool, spa, and guest home.

465 Hot Springs Road | $12,900,000 Maureen McDermut | 805-570-5545

Sotheby’s International Realty DRE# 01175027


Defined by panoramic ocean and mountain views, unrivaled privacy and an unpreten tious spirit merged with timeless luxury, Buena Terra Canyon Ranch offers a rare combination of architectural, agricultural, and equestrian ex cellence nestled in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Set on approximately 22 prime acres, the lush terraced grounds share a custom-de signed Mediterranean-inspired residence, multi ple outdoor entertaining spaces, a pool, and fully appointed six-horse barn with apartment.

1220 Franklin Ranch Road | $12,500,000 Knight Real Estate Group | 805-895-4406

Village Properties DRE# 01463617



unobstructed views of the Pacific and Channel Islands beyond, this renovated mid-century modern home is situated on over one acre on the much-coveted Sea Cliff bluff. The owners commissioned Anacapa Architecture to reimagine this 4/3 classic gem, maintaining its original classic lines while bringing it into the modern-age with luxurious amenities, and only the finest designer finishes.

3070 Sea Cliff | $10,975,000

Luke Ebbin & Eric Haskell | 805.400.3424

Compass & The Agency DRE# 01488213 / 01866805

Hidden behind tall hedges and lush landscap ing, this Santa Barbara ranch estate with new ADU sits on 1.2 acres within the desirable Hope Ranch community. The four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom main house boasts 4,890 square feet along with vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors throughout, floor-to-ceiling French doors and windows, and an abundance of natural light.

4345 Via Glorieta | $8,900,000

Crysta Metzger | 805-453-8700

Coldwell Banker Realty DRE# 01340521

Located on 2.5-acres, this five-bedroom and 4.5-bathroom home boasts an abundance of natural light, vaulted beam ceilings, and a floor plan that opens up to a beautiful outdoor pool area. Located in Hope Ranch, this one-of-a-kind property offers close access to the community’s exclusive gated beach, miles of bridle trails, La Cumbre Country Club, and excellent State Street shopping and dining.

4520 Via Esperanza | $8,500,000

Gary Goldberg | 805-455-8910

Coastal Properties DRE# 01172139





turnkey estate in Hope Ranch on over two acres. Gated and fenced, this extensively remodeled home is filled with natural light, soar ing ceilings, and welcoming spaces. The main lev el primary suite is convenient and spacious, and there are three additional en-suite bedrooms up stairs. French doors throughout the home open to a lushly landscaped outdoor living environment, including a courtyard with manicured lawn, me andering pathways, and a hilltop seating area with sweeping mountain views.

801 Via Tranquila | $7,250,000 Riskin Partners Estate Group | 805-565-8600

Village Properties

DRE# 01815307 / 01447045 / 01954177 / 01951069


Located in beautiful Regency Hills Estates, this remodeled Belgian Farmhouse-style home exudes the ultimate in craftsmanship and finish details. Set on four+ acres in the Ballard School District, discover luxurious spacious living areas, a design/workshop studio, pool, spa, pool house, home theatre, guest house, boutique vineyard, bocce ball court, and pasture space for a horse or your own “big little farm” animals.

1325 Ladan Drive | $6,200,000

Laura Drammer | 805-448-7500

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

San Ysidro-style farmhouse with 1963 mid-century modern layout. Situat ed on a quiet cul-de-sac in a rural setting with a large oak-shaded garden and ocean views from the garden, this gorgeous and spacious two-story home features an open floor plan with cozy and contemporary interiors. Primary suites on each level, with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths, an artist’s studio, and beautiful gardens, this home is truly an exceptional offering.


723 Via Manana | $6,475,000

Cristal Clarke | 805-886-9378

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices DRE# 00968247


Villa Firenze, tucked away near the Santa Bar bara Mission, offers a blend of understated modern luxury with historic character. Sited on over an acre and offering a main house, separate guest quarters, and three-car garage with motor court, this estate is the epitome of the Santa Bar bara lifestyle with dramatic character architec ture, sprawling manicured gardens, and flawless indoor/outdoor flow.

780 Mission Canyon Road | $6,087,000 Konstantine Valissarakos | 323-252-9451

Nourmand & Associates

Classic Spanish Courtyard Hacienda showcas ing 360-degree views of the ocean, harbor, islands, and mountains. Situated on 3.69+/- acres, this unique property offers gorgeous interiors and classic details throughout and evokes the sense of a private retreat. With four bedrooms in the main res idence plus an upstairs meditation room/yoga room with private ocean-view balcony, this is truly an ex ceptional opportunity. There are multiple patios for dining al fresco, stunning rose gardens, a tranquility sitting area, and a detached artist’s studio.

251 E. Mountain Drive | $6,425,000

Cristal Clarke | 805-886-9378

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices


Welcome to your chic Montecito abode, de signed by Jeff Shelton, which combines impeccable finishes with a fantastic Lower Village location. The gardens and courtyards were re cently reimagined, providing the perfect setting to enjoy year-round relaxation and entertaining. Sit uated within the Coastal Zone, the residence also includes a two-car garage, bocce court, courtyard fireplace, lawn, and separate bonus room.

145 Olive Mill Lane | $5,550,000

Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group | 805-565-4014

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

DRE# 01023114
DRE# 01209580
DRE# 00968247
DRE# 01426886




meets modern with a near downtown Santa Barbara location. This five-bedroom, five-bathroom traditional-style home melds beautiful 1905 craftsmanship with modern up grades and features Smart Home improvements, remodeled kitchen and baths, creative conversion of a salon to a media room, and spacious living and dining rooms. The professionally landscaped and hard-scaped 0.39± acre lot with water efficient plantings hosts a sparkling heated pool and a 1,170 sq ft. original coach house beside it.

1718 Garden Street | $5,395,000 Colleen Beall | 805-895-5881 Compass DRE# 01201456


Experience grandeur in the historic “Sum mer’s Run” estate of the Upper Eastside Mission District. This seven-bedroom, eightbath residence, built in 1904, offers 33 distinct rooms across 8,243 square feet of living space on 0.47 acres. The home exudes old world splendor with a stunning entry foyer, grand dining room, seven fireplaces, restored craftsmanship, and in tricate architectural details. A crown jewel in a premier location.

2232 Santa Barbara Street | $4,495,000

Daniel Zia | 805-364-9009

Zia Group | eXp Realty DRE# 01710544


Wonderful opportunity to live in the coveted beach community of More Mesa Shores, merely two short blocks away from privately gated beach access and close proximity to biking and hiking trails. Recently remodeled, this sin gle-level home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac with four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a spacious back yard with pool. The light-filled interior opens to a bright living and dining space with massive floorto-ceiling windows and high ceilings.

5292 Louisiana Place | $3,500,000 Crysta Metzger | (805) 453-8700

Coldwell Banker Realty DRE# 01340521


Live minutes from Butterfly Beach in this charming Montecito condo set in a gated com munity. The three-bedroom, three-bath unit has been newly remodeled, including all electrical and plumbing. Enjoy cooking in the kitchen, featuring stainless steel appliances and custom blue cabin etry. The backyard offers greenery and multiple seating areas to enjoy fresh ocean air. Close to the Coral Casino Beach Club and the Lower Village.

81 Depot Road | $3,195,000 Rayni Williams & Shana Tavangarian

The Beverly Hills Estates | 310-626-4248

DRE# 01496786

Set on one of the most sought-after streets in Santa Barbara, this gorgeous cottage has been extensively remodeled and features two bedrooms and two bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, and a stunning new kitchen. The detached office/studio is the perfect retreat for a workspace or hobby, and the spacious oak-stud ded backyard is an oasis to be enjoyed year-round.

3411 Chuparosa Drive | $2,395,000 Sener Jones Associates | 805-755-8735

Village Properties DRE# 00978392 / 02096482

Peace and exclusivity are paramount at this gated 40-acre ranch located between Lom poc and Buellton. Enjoy panoramic views of the mountains, valley, and La Purisima Golf Course, all bordered by the Santa Rita Hills AVA. This rare, scenic parcel offers multiple building enve lopes for your dream property that could include a vineyard, ranch, equestrian facility, organic farm, trophy estate, and family compound.

1990 Tularosa Road | $2,297,000

Haden Homes Luxury Property Group | 805-880-6530 Compass

DRE# 01988499
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Zia Group | Daniel Zia | Broker Associate 2940 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 Zia Group DRE#01710544 | Exp Realty DRE#01878277 805.364.9009 ZIAGROUP.COM 2252 Stanwood Drive Sold for $4,000,000 101 Via Tusa Sold for $3,400,000 2232 Santa Barbara Street Listed for $4,495,000 Real estate. Real impact. PENDING

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