Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty visits a very special home in the Santa Ynez Valley, California.
Broker: Village Properties
How does one, in a single word, articulate having arrived in a place that is simply just right? A place where form and function meet – and get on: a place in harmony with its environment – not shrinking violet-like into the background but boldly adding to the location: a place so immediately welcoming one feels instantly at home. These things are all difficult to achieve and rare to find. As difficult and rare as a single word to adequately describe them.
So, wooh! That is what it feels like to visit Son Sereno in the Santa Ynez Valley, California. It was designed by someone who knew exactly what he wanted to achieve – and achieved it. It is lived in by people who knew exactly how they want to live – and live it.
Commissioned by the owners, the house was designed by Michael Palladino, senior partner and design architect at Richard Meier & Partners, Los Angeles. He created a home to harmonise with the magnificent natural landscape of earth, rock, grass, vine-covered slopes and white-fenced corrals of the Santa Ynez valley.
Santa Ynez – only an hour from beautiful Santa Barbara – has already become an important wine producing area with a still growing reputation internationally. Increasingly buyers are drawn to the valley for wine or the other major local occupation – horses. It is a splendid region with delightful, restaurant-lined villages, scattered wine tasting rooms, a wonderful climate and dramatic mountain backdrop.
Another natural benefit of the area is the light. It is an artist’s light – another reason why there is a Mediterranean feel to things here. The architect has taken the natural light and used it to fill this home. Into the elevated 102 acres he has placed a building which fuses western style with mid-century modern. It is a brilliant blend of ideas and a fabulous collaboration between architect and client.
The good news is that now someone else will have the opportunity to live this particular dream. Talking of opportunities, an adjacent 102-acre parcel of land with a small ranch house, riding trails, landscaped swimming lake and mountain views may also be available for additional purchase. Better still this additional land may have vineyard potential – heaven!
I loved visiting this home. It is sophisticated, airy and modern. It is a signature house that is easy to live in, great for entertaining but equally good for being on one’s own. It gives pleasure to its owners and will do so again. Wooh!