Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Design on the Run: Montecito, CA

People call me an "ice princess"...I always cry at the oddest times. For example, when the Homewood High School Marching band marches under the star in the Homewood Christmas parade OR when the Auburn University majorettes sprint across the field, I am completely overcome with emotion. Like the other night, I went to see the Help and my friends were all sobbing. All I could think was, "I love those sconces, the vintage wallpaper and that rug in her foyer". (BTW, I know I said I would wait to see this particular movie, but I just couldn't pass up a "girls night out").

The oddest time that I have ever become "verklempt" was in Montecito, California. I was on a Mother-Daughter trip and I had decided to go out for an early morning run.

When I stepped outside of the hotel, the weather was an ideal 65 degrees, with LOW humidity, and beautiful flowers and scenery all around me. I thought this must be what Heaven is like and I said out loud, "Thank you Lord for this PERFECT day!" As I ran, the tears began to flow. I attribute this to being totally overwhelmed by all of the "cuteness".

Butterfly Beach, Montecito, California
Downtown Montecito
We ate breakfast at the bustling Jeannine's Bakery (feels just like the movie, "It's Complicated")

I am a very visual person and this town sent me into sensory overload!!!! I now know why Oprah decided to build her 23,000-sq.-ft. Georgian-style house in beautiful Montecito, California.

Oprah's 42-acre estate in Montecito

I discovered many places on my run that day. It was almost like I was on a covert-op because I was sneaking a peak thru many a fence. Oh, the treasures that waited behind those "pearly gates"!

My favorite home on my run
Love the garage doors and that planter is fabulous!
great driveway detail
Succulent it!
This mansion overlooks the Pacific. See the wall in front? I told you I like to look over walls.
I got so close to this house, I'm surprised an alarm didn't go off.
Love this driveway and look how lush the grass is!
Another beautiful Montecito mansion overlooking the Pacific
Look at that baby...looks like a miniature version of my babies
Farmer's market on State Street in neighboring Santa Barbara

The charming village of Montecito is one of my top 5 favorite places that I have ever visited. It definitely left it's mark on my design style. I only hope, that I can bring a little bit of that California magic to our new home in Hollywood (Alabama).

My sister, Goody, at our magical hotel, The Biltmore
Biltmore Hotel
the beautiful Biltmore Hotel


  1. Love it Susan! When are you going to give us some ideas for a pool? I know you've got to have some great pictures somewhere!!

  2. I love California! If I could up root all my friends and family, I would move there in a heart beat!