Small house design is practical and popular in these days of the “less is more” approach to living. This Santa Barbara home that the homeowner affectionately calls “The Little Glass House” is indeed small in footprint but big in style!
Today’s home tour is another favorite, as the laid back California lifestyle appeals to all of my senses. This home in beautiful Santa Barbara belongs to my Instagram friend…stylist and designer Elizabeth Burns. If you’d like to see more, please visit Elizabeth on Instagram at EDBDESIGNS and her blog HERE. She describes her taste level as organic, natural and modern and has designed her Santa Barbara home staying true to this aesthetic.
You may remember that several months back she was featured here on Shabbyfufu with her home in Big Sur California. Read that post HERE and I guarantee that it will take your breath away and it’s another example of small house design!
Once again, Elizabeth was kind enough to share a well told story that will be quoted below. Her design appears to be effortlessly chic, yet much thought and work has been put into everything in this small house design.
Santa Barbara Home Tour – The Little Glass House
“Once upon a time I was an East Coast girl living in a 1920’s stone and stucco cottage in Connecticut. A California vacation 16 years ago changed all of that. Back then, If someone had told me that someday I would be living in a mid century modern home in Santa Barbara with a hideaway in Big Sur (that’s another story), I would have told them they were hallucinating. And yet here I am, living the California dream!”
“On a family vacation in 2004 we drove from San Francisco all the way down the coast to San Diego with various stops along the way. One of those stops was Santa Barbara. Immediately, I was completely smitten with the area.”
“Never mind that it was February and people were dining outdoors with heaters, or that the beautiful town was nestled between the ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains. I was enthralled by the laid back lifestyle, the friendly people, and the overwhelming feeling that this was where I was supposed to be!”
“Five years later, I began the house hunt in Santa Barbara. After searching for nine months, I found the one! I knew it the moment I stepped through the door on that warm March morning. All of the large commercial French doors were open (with no screens, mind you) and the curtains were billowing in the breeze.”
“Music was playing softly and from the patio I could see a distant peek of the ocean. The house was filled with natural light and with five sets of French doors, four additional glass doors, and endless windows, almost every space opened to the outdoors . At 1900 square feet with three bedrooms and three baths it was the perfect size.”
“As I wandered to the back yard and gazed upon the mountain view, I almost passed out right there. I called my husband back in CT and we made an offer that day. By July, The Little Glass House was ours!”
“The house had been a 1950’s ranch that had been transformed by the previous owners and San Francisco architect Nick Noyes into a midcentury modern bungalow that embraced the outdoors. It was a completely different aesthetic than the one I had lived with most of my traditional East Coast life.”
“A fortuitous stop in a shop called Porch was an aha moment for me. I wanted to move right into that store. It felt outdoorsy, modern, fresh, and organic. It was the jumping off point of my own brand of California style. The owners of Porch have become dear friends. I was even able to help clients decorate their own homes. Hence EDB Designs was born.”
“I put my stylist and design knowledge to use in The Little Glass House. The bones of the house were excellent, but there were some things I wanted to change. Installing a skylight in the kitchen brought in more light, while painting the orange toned maple cabinets white completely transformed the space for not a lot of money.”
“We splurged on light colored engineered oak floors to replace the bamboo, linoleum, and wall to wall carpet. It made the space feel larger and more coherent.”
“The biggest transformation was expanding the small backyard that was nothing more than a patch of grass. We hired JGS Landscape Architecture to devise a plan that would incorporate the outdoor California lifestyle we craved. That included a custom designed fire pit, redwood hot tub, and of course an outdoor shower. Outdoor living at its best!”
“Inside I collected new and old pieces with a nod to nature. From local shops, online, antique malls, and garden centers, I wanted the house to evolve over time. Seascapes are something I have been acquiring for years, and I combined them together on the large wall just above the sofa to create a gallery. Who knows, on a whim I may decide I want a blank wall again, but for now I love seeing all of these sentimental treasures.”
“I would say the house has a coastal California vibe without the shells and anchors. Instead, a jute wrapped surfboard (I love texture!), a California light sign made of salvaged wood, and a collection of green and blue glass bottles, all lend themselves to the California laid back style.”
“With so much time being spent in Big Sur, we are considering offering The Little Glass House for rent in the future. Of course that means rethinking the office, which has become a storage room of stylist props and furniture and having a giant tag sale to unload some of my collections. Who knows, it may even lead to some interesting styling changes! Stay tuned…”