A remodeled ranch home inspired by the Spanish-style courtyards, fountains, and arches of Santa Barbara

San Carlos Spanish Style Remodel/Addition

Our clients love visiting Santa Barbara as often as possible, and wanted to bring a bit of that feeling to their non-descript ranch-style cottage near traditional downtown San Carlos. Armed with many photos and images of courtyards, fountains, plaster walls, and detailed wrought iron work collected over they years, they had no trouble articulating their vision for their whole-house remodel + addition.

The existing house had the benefit of a few “grandfathered” conditions, including a single car garage (where a two-car is now required) and non-compliant side setbacks along each side wall. Our massing and roofline design carefully avoided triggering a “rebuild” scenario so that these beneficial conditions could be legally retained.

The existing garage was left in place to serve as a multi-purpose room that still complies with the parking ordinance. It frames a landscaped forecourt whose focal points are a peaceful tiled fountain and an arched entry tower. Salvaged clay tile roofs, copper and dark bronze metal accents, and smooth hand-troweled plaster walls create the warm and friendly atmosphere for which this style is known.

Once inside the house, smooth and supple integrally colored plaster walls bounce light throughout the high-ceilinged public areas. High windows and skylights let in light without compromising privacy. Prefinished veneer beams add visual interest and rhythm to the vaulted ceilings.

The rear of the house opens onto a covered loggia, whose outdoor kitchen and seating area in turn open onto a rear landscaped courtyard with a second custom-designed fountain.

The master suite shares this view, and features the only barrel-vaulted ceiling in the house.

The success of this project is attributable primarily to the wonderful clients, whose enthusiasm for the house shows in every detail. They engaged a fantastic team of our frequent collaborators, who are listed below.


  • Scope of Work:¬†Remodel of and addition to an existing one story, 3 BR, 2 BA house of 1,320.5 s.f. living area and 318.6 s.f. garage area. An 952.4 s.f. addition and 5.3 s.f. garage conversion created a total of 2,278.2 s.f. living area with 4 BR and 3 BA and 313.3 s.f. garage area.
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Project Cost:¬†$750,001 – $1,000,000
  • Location: San Carlos, CA


Photography by Mark Pinkerton, VI360 Photography


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