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popular home styles for 2012

Yahoo Real Estate published an interesting article today about the most popular home styles of 2012. We decided this would be a great opportunity to discuss their findings and showcase the many beautiful listings we currently have that fit each category.


1. One of the most popular styles right now is the modern home. Clean lines, simple floor plans, and easy, open spaces. The modern design leaves out decorative details in favor of industrial materials like glass, steel, and concrete.

Our property on Olive Mill Road honors the modern style with bold splashes of color and unique architectural details.

modern style montecito home


While not overtly modern-esque, our newly-built Hot Springs property features an open, flowing floor plan, geometric lines, and a clean aesthetic in a modern style. The home's Spanish flair adds a bit of intrigue for contemporary style-lovers who want a bit of detail.

Montecito Spanish modern homemontecito spanish modern home family room


2. Neo-Mediterranean homes look fantastic on Montecito and Santa Barbara foothills and coastal cliffs. Local architects have always recognized this and built (and continue to build) in this style accordingly.


One of our most stunning properties is a Mediterranean home graciously overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Montecito Santa Barbara mediterranean homeMontecito Santa Barbara mediterranean home Living room


A brand new construction, this next home features state-of-the-art amenities with a grand, old-world feel.

Montecito mediterranean style home 2Montecito mediterranean LivingRoom


One of the most beloved features of the Neo-Mediterranean style is its eye-catching, red spanish-tiled rooftops. Another newer construction, this Mediterranean beauty graces the foothills and overlooks Montecito's one-of-a-kind coastline.

Montecito mediterranean home 3

Montecito mediterranean home master bedroom 3


Ornate details, while out of place in modern homes, can figure beautifully into the Mediterranean style. In this home, intricate details warm up grand spaces.

Mediterranean home montecito 4 entry waymediterranean home montecito pool


3. Craftsman style homes have captured the adoration of Americans across the country for over a century. They are perhaps one of the few distinctive styles that have timeless charm.

Our historic listing on Ashley Road offers the best of the style, with a wrap-around porch, and decorative brackets and gables. Its artistic details make every room feel special and it looks like it belongs among the giant oak trees that decorate its landscape.

craftsman home montecitomontecito craftsman home living room





a very special property

One of our most recent Montecito real estate listings on Ashley Road has an incredible history. We love working with properties that have an enticing past and truly believe one of the best things about Montecito is its rich history-- something unique to come by in California. Not surprisingly, we weren't the first ones to recognize our area's paradisial beauty!

Original Oglivy House

The original Oglivy house was built in the early 1900s by Scottish immigrant Arthur T. Oglivy as a farmhouse surrounded by lemon groves. Famous architect J.L Curletti designed the distinctive craftsman style home. Arthur T., wife Jessie Alexander, and their only son, Arthur Edward, lived in the barn while they constructed the shingled, two-story home.

Oglivy Family

Arthur T. was a popular resident of Montecito, and the Oglivy house was known for its hospitality and casual social gatherings. The family regularly participated in community events and entertained visitors often. San Ysidro Ranch has records of Arthur T. taking advantage of its "low summer rates" in 1893-- the famous resort's first year in business.

Arthur T. and Arthur E. Oglivy

The property enjoyed a few wells, one of which produced enough water for the Oglivys to start a drinking water business called Oglivy Artesian Water Company. For almost 30 years until 1947, people would bring jars to the Oglivy well to quench their thirst.

Son Arthur E. attended Cold Spring School before heading off to Yale. After graduating, he returned to Montecito and began working at his uncle's insurance firm, Oglivy-Hill insurance, which is still in practice today. In 1927, he hired architect George Washington Smith to build him a home on the south end of the property, now 650 Ashley Road.  Like his father, Arthur E. became a well-loved local figure in Montecito.

Mrs. Oglivy died at age 90 in 1955, with Arthur E. following shortly after in 1960 at age 71. Their deaths marked the end of the Oglivy presence in Montecito.

The historic Oglivy house in Montecito circa 1952

In 1959, Donald and Ellen Armour of the Armour Meatpacking Empire bought the Oglivy house. According to neighborhood chatter, Donald's penchant for mismanaging money forced the couple to abandon the home with all furniture in tact, vanishing forever.

The following year, Todd and Gail Campbell purchased the home, where they raised four children and several grandchildren. Recently, one of the Campbell children returned the home's original brass doorbell cover, which is now back in its original place.

Oglivy house montecito circa 1976

Julia Emerson bought and restored the home in 1984. She worked hard to get the house back to its original state, re-painting walls white and stripping linoleum away to reveal the original Douglas Fir floors beneath. She updated the kitchen and carefully restored the original pantry. Julia hired landscape architect Nancy Goslee Powers (who designed the driveway around the Norfolk Island Pine that was planted when the home was built), and updated the home's electricity and plumbing to match modern standards.

The Oglivy house Montecito 1991

In the spirit of the Oglivy family, Julia Emerson frequently hosted worldly guests at the home, including the Dalai Lama and a team of monks who meditated at the home for weeks to bless the property before his arrival. As a gift, one of the monks carved a Tibetan prayer into a piece of sandstone, which is now embedded within the front porch.

All of the home's residents who came after the Emersons likewise became beloved members of the community, with the home carrying on its reputation as a lively social gathering spot; the home has traditionally hosted Easter egg hunts, intergenerational bocce tournaments, and summer concert series.

Residents have continued to restore the home over the years, with exquisite care to maintaining original details, while updating its features to the highest end of standards.

The home is truly a treasure trove of community joy nestled in the heart of Montecito.

The Oglivy home today:

Montecito historic home historic montecito estate