The Santa Barbara Design House and Gardens, headed up by the husband and wife team at Big Red Properties, Dennis and Joanie Franz, is a very unique project with an interesting backstory. Life has been good to the Franz family and they decided to make this project one that gave back to the community they live in by teaming up with the *Junior League of Santa Barbara (JLSB).
Your first reaction may be one of, “Santa Barbara isn’t that where Oprah lives? That’s a wealthy place. What could they possibly lack?” It’s true. It is a very extraordinary part of the country, and she does live there, but I found myself surprised by the the prevalence of need in the area. The JLSB has a laser focus on childhood literacy and considering my belief that education is the best way to lift the next generation up, I was very impressed to hear what they are doing in the community.
We all know that some people, like athletes or entertainers, are more visible to the world than others. Joanie and Dennis became familiar faces as they walked red carpets together in Hollywood for the many acting awards he has earned. With this project, they have taken that notoriety and put it to good use. It should come as no surprise that the design team they assembled is the best of the best.
Take the front porch, for instance. They didn’t enlist a designer who just so happens to use my favorite line of out door fabrics, Perennials, they got the President of the company to do it!
Ann Sutherland is a power house. In addition to her position at the fabric company, she is also President of David Sutherland Showrooms and President and Principal Designer at Square Foot Studios. I’d sure like to know where she gets all that energy. I’m exhausted just from typing it all out!
The contemporary design of the chairs works surprisingly well with the upscale casual style of architecture, and the fabric, Boweed Tweed Maize from Rose Tarlow for Perennials, bridges the gap between the two.
To the right of the steps is a sitting area for a larger group. In this space, Ann used a matching Rising Moon sofa covered in Perennials In the Rough Beach, throw pillows in Tatton Stripe Sunfish with Classico Pewter welting and Primrose Maize with Sea Salt Spiral cord, a Belize lounge chair by Wicker Works, a hemp rug from Vera Zarour, and a Modernist Coffee Tray Table from John Hutton.The lighting is from Hinky I mean Hinkley. Hinky is a trademark Sipowitz word. I went NYPD Blue on you for a moment there. My bad.
I see a spot for cocktails and conversation!
Yeah. You’re going to need a designer to buy all of that lovely. That’s why I gave you the sources. Duh! If you need more info, please feel free to email me with your questions.
I love a pair, or ten, of working shutters. There are a ton of them on the show house, all from Timberlane and the paint is Farrow and Ball. (I can probably locate the color names for you, if you want them.)
I love a good porch, but this one is fantastic. It’s long, lean and delightfully mosquito free. The view of the mountains beyond the landscaping is breathtaking. Ann skillfully kept the space quiet, so the surroundings would shine.
She also managed to mix a variety of styles without seeming forced. In a whimsical touch, she placed what may be my new favorite planter, Volpi by the front door. It is a California counterpoint to the East Coast style house, and it would work in just about any design plan.
Talking about it is the next best thing to being there!
All photos ©livethefinelife 2012