A fascinating story of a Big Sur California home and how it has evolved with the vision of its current owner designer. You’ll want to see more than the views here. It’s a spectacular place indeed!
Today’s home tour is definitely a favorite and belongs to a friend from Instagram that I’ve known on-line for several years. Meet stylist and designer Elizabeth Burns, who you can visit yourself on Instagram here at EDBDESIGNS and her blog of the same name HERE. She describes her taste level as organic, natural and modern and has designed both her Big Sur California home and her Santa Barbara home staying true to her aesthetic. These views though…just breathtaking!
Elizabeth was kind enough to share not only lots of photos, but a well told story that will be quoted below. She embraces the beauty of home in a most stylish way. Her designs appear to be effortless, yet much thought and work has been put into every timber and thought.
BIG SUR CALIFORNIA HOME TOUR
From Elizabeth…“I’m originally an East Coast girl, having grown up in New Jersey and then Florida and Connecticut. Fifteen years ago, on a family vacation to California with my husband and teenage daughter, I fell in love with the beauty and laid back lifestyle of this state. I knew this was where I was meant to be!”
“In 2010, we bought a midcentury modern bungalow in Santa Barbara. While I’ve always been interested in design (I was an art major), my creativity took off when immersed in the indoor/outdoor California life. A stint at a favorite home and garden shop (Porch) further fueled the idea to start my own business as a stylist. Soon after, edb designs was born. I have a passion for interiors that emphasize comfort and function with organic and natural elements playing an important role. To truly call a house “home”, it has to have a soul and embody the personality of its owner.”
“Santa Barbara is about a 4 hour drive to Big Sur, and when a family member has a ranch there, you try to visit as often as you can! After 10 years, we thought it would be amazing to have a place of our own here.”
“After the disastrous storms in 2017 took out the bridge to the North and caused the largest rock slide in Big Surs’ history to the South, Big Sur was essentially an island. After a new bridge was in place, we started casually looking for properties on the internet.”
“At most there are only a handful of properties for sale here and almost all were way above our budget. The ones that were affordable were lots that were off the grid. With permits taking years, they just weren’t an option. Then one day our daughter sent us a listing online of a 2 bedroom 1600 square foot house on 3 acres. It was one we had seen before but the price had dropped.”
“On a whim, we drove up that day to take a look at it. Mind you, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine we would actually own a house here. We met the realtor on Highway 1 at the bottom of a long, steep and extremely narrow road…more like a driveway with only a few places two cars could get by! I’m pretty sure the road alone would have deterred most people, but once we saw the view of the ocean and the redwood covered ridge, we had already fallen in love before we even laid eyes on the house! We made an offer the next day and a month later the house was ours.”
“Nothing comes easy in Big Sur and getting contractors, furniture, and groceries (an hour drive away) are difficult and slow. Very few places (with the exception of RH) would deliver here…not even UPS! We relied on friends with a truck and rented a U Haul to get lumber, furniture and rugs to our new home.”
“The Big Sur California home was built in the 80’s and was structurally sound but needed some updating. The huge deck had peeling paint and rot, the bathrooms had little storage (each with tiny pedestal sinks), floors needed to be refinished, leaking windows (caulked shut) needed to be replaced, and of course paint inside and out. We also decided to put redwood siding (milled right here on our ridge) on the south facing side of the house (sun and storms wreak havoc) so that it wouldn’t need to be painted.”
“There were permits previously granted for 2 studios. We have built one so far, but are still waiting on permits to add electric, water, and a small bathroom… patience!”
“We love just sitting in this small space gazing at the ocean through the 8’ tall glass door. Hopefully we will be able to build the small deck and complete the bathroom this year.”
“Our kitchen is fine for now. I’m not a fan of tile countertops nor the ochre color. The French ceramic sink is smaller than most bathroom sinks. With no dishwasher, it makes doing the dishes quite an adventure! Bonus, it came with a huge Viking range with a teeny tiny vent hood. There is little counter space and while I do like the wood cabinets, I think at some point, we will end up starting from scratch. Definitely a future project.”
“We practically live outside on the deck so fixing that became a priority. Plus, it had no railing! It made for a beautiful view but the thought of a pet or tipsy family member toppling down the hill was too much. So we tore our the old painted redwood deck ( we repurposed some of it to build a garden shed), and built one out of ipe. Ipe wood is harder than teak and will eventually mellow to a silvery gray. A new redwood and cable railing still allows plenty of the ocean view to shine. A giant fallen Cypress tree became our outdoor dining table, a bench and four stools created by our very talented contractors.”
“With a huge part of our budget going to the deck and studio, it left little for the interior. I painted the bathrooms, changed out the light fixtures and mirrors, and added Ikea vanities. While they aren’t my dream bathrooms, they are certainly more functional and feel fresher. My dad built the reading nook with built in storage sofa. I planned the sofa to be the same size as our RH outdoor sofa, and then simply ordered the cushions in Perennials fabric. Easy care is the name of the game here with nothing too precious.”
“An antique cabinet serves as a bar and a rolling rack holds extra dishes and bowls. It is a mix of old and new from World Market to my favorite shop Porch. One of a kind pillows from Indie Bungalow and Patine are like pieces of art for chairs and sofas. The round slab of wood coffee table brings nature into the living room. My husband wanted a fireplace but the expense and the fact that there really wasn’t a place for it, led me to find a propane burning stove that brings an extra level of warmth and coziness to the space. (I love that you can see the flames from 3 sides).”
“There is still MUCH to do in our Big Sur California home! Besides renovating the kitchen and finishing the studio, the landscaping is practically non existent, although we are lucky enough to have several fruit trees on the property. I’m learning to take my time and enjoy the process. There is always so much to do and learn about life here.”
“I am blessed to be able to call this magnificent spiritual place home. I’m reminded of the quote by the writer and past Big Sur resident, Henry Miller…”It was here in Big Sur that I first learned to say ‘amen’.”