February 21, 2017 / Property Spotlight

The Luxury Edition: Mountain Majesty in Montecito

We dare you not to fall for this sweeping estate, seductively set on a narrow ridge between the Pacific Ocean to the south and Montecito Peak to the north

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Noble, stately, palatial. Indeed, Constantia, in the heart of Montecito, is all of these. But, says Ladd Jackson of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate—co-listing the property with Village Properties Realtors, affiliates of Christie’s International Real Estate—if one word were to sum up this sweeping estate, it is “romantic.” One glimpse of this home, a reminder of more sedate, elegant times, and it is impossible to disagree.

The romantic Cape Dutch-style design of the home stands out in an area more commonly known for its Mediterranean and modern architecture.A masterpiece of Cape Dutch style, Constantianamed after South Africa’s Cape Town wine regionwas designed in 1930 by Ambrose Cramer as a summer house for his father-in-law, Arthur Meeker. With whitewashed walls, a pitched roof, rounded ornate gables, and wide half-shuttered windows, it bears all the typical characteristics of its design heritage, one that makes it unique in an area famed for its Mediterranean and modern styles.

Cramer, a native of Chicago who spent most of his life in Santa Barbara, could not have chosen a better location for the property, enviably positioned on a narrow ridge between the Pacific Ocean and Montecito Peakan area that today is home to some of California’s most sought-after real estate.

“Wherever you sit, you are captivated by views of the ocean on one side and of the mountains on the other.”

Set behind soaring decorative gates on 3.5 acres, Constantia, with its tree-lined driveways, manicured lawns, fountains, and reflection pond, has all the majesty of a grand European estate, albeit one with Oprah Winfrey as a neighbor. Completely sheltered, it is a wonderful family home with matching children’s playhouse, but was also built for entertaining, its lavish grounds perfect for largescale al fresco parties and charity events.

Constantia was designed by noted architect Ambrose Cramer as a testament to the architecture of South Africa’s Western Cape.  “Wherever you sit, you are captivated by views of the ocean or mountains,” says Ladd Jackson of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate.A truly five-star property demands a five-star locale, and Montecito delivers. “It is a regal neighborhood,” says Ladd Jackson, “a seaside town with the most perfect climate.”

The property’s historical exterior is complemented by its show-stopping 10,000-square-foot interior, restored and renovated by the present owner. A neutral palette throughout provides a fresh backdrop. “This is most evident in the kitchen, one of many standout features of the house,” says Jackson. “Its cathedral-high ceilings and wood beams partner with the latest, sleekest designsit is stunning.” As is the main living room, accessed through double doors from the foyer and flooded with light from adjoining terraces. “Wherever you sit, you are captivated by views of the ocean on one side and of the mountains on the other.”

Look-at-me spectacular but oh-so-private; classic yet thoroughly modern; and situated in the most august of settings, Constantia, it would seem, has the lot. Just, in fact, as a true romance should.

Constantia has all the majesty of a grand European estate, albeit one with Oprah Winfrey as a neighbor. The interiors of Constantia reflect the grace and grandeur of its exterior design, and feature a calm, neutral palette throughout. One of the home’s standout features is the stunning kitchen, a spectacular space with beamed cathedral ceiling.Traditional mahogany paneling, fireplaces, and finishes dovetail seamlessly with contemporary comforts.The great room, with its lofty beamed ceilings and fireplace, opens up to north and south terraces, each providing majestic panoramas. One looks out to the Pacific Ocean, particularly breathtaking at sunset, and the other offers beautiful views of the reflecting pond and the mountains beyond.The home is appointed with an eclectic blend of classic yet luxurious design elements.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY TREVOR TONDRO

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Stephanie Jones
is a regular contributor to Christie's International Real Estate magazine

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