Montecito Sea Meadow, my dream once-in-a-lifetime decorating job!! [repost]

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Well, there is a “secret place”   in Montecito.  Honestly;  even close neighbors barely know it is there!

One can only see it from the water……or walking on the beach going from the “Biltmore” east towards the “Miramar”!

 

It was the dream job of a lifetime for me!

In 1989, my client and dear friend in Pasadena, Molly Munger,  (her Italian villa by Reginald Johnson circa 1919 is pictured in my “work” section) , told me

that her father “Charlie Munger” had some property in Montecito that he wanted to develop for many years;  and he was

“getting close”!     “I think you want to go up there on Tuesday with Charlie and Nancy” (his wife, her stepmother)!

So I did!

His property  was originally part of a subdivision of a large estate owned by the Hammond family;  and it was slated to be more large condominium  buildings which were built in 1970.

The Montecito community was not happy about these buildings; and they went bankrupt.  Charlie and Warren Buffet (his partner at Berkshire-Hathaway) owned the bank

which had the second mortgage.  They knew that anything resembling the original buildings would be impossible to build.  Charlie also knew that Montecito

was a very special place.  He had been a guest at a very unusual development in Oceanside, California, called “St. Malo”.

It was developed  starting in 1929..(it was the first gated community in San Diego County)!

and a family with a “vision” (from Pasadena, where I grew up)  bought a big bunch of acres……and started a “development” with very strict architectural

restrictions.  This is seriously one of my favorite things I have ever seen on the coast of California.

 It resembles a fishing village of the same name  in the Brittany area of France. That village “St. Malo”

was the inspiration.   Many owners who built houses in Oceanside  traveled there

to take pictures and buy things.

 Many of the houses are extremely authentic;  the people who built them went to France and brought back materials.

The coast of California is not known for its fine architecture.  Far from it.  Frankly, it is pretty sad.  Even pathetic. Never mind!

  “St. Malo” is a jewel on the coast.

An article about it is on the “san diego travel tips”:

http://www.sandiegotraveltips.com/public/Saint_Malo_Oceanside_California.cfm

 Charlie;  being the visionary that he is, thought this would make sense in Montecito!

I went with Charlie and his lovely wife Nancy up to see this property!  YOWZERS!!

Beautiful!  28 acres.

It is a”flag lot”  meaning that the first part of it is behind some beachfront houses….

and then it opens up and there is a meadow and 11 lots around it with ocean views and frontage.  The plan had 23 “condominiums”

(forget every single condominium you have ever seen);  a common clubhouse with a tennis court, swimming pool, kitchen and a wonderful living room with poolhouse bathrooms!

This was in “the planning stages”

Charlie finally got the permits to build a “village” like St. Malo;  and he was starting to build it!

At first, I was hired to “decorate” the clubhouse! (which was not built yet).

Now.  Here is the clubhouse!  Originally, Charlie hired me just to do the “Clubhouse”!  My foot was “in the door”!!

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I designed it.  I showed him samples and presented it  all to him in his office.

(there is a farm table with red chairs that don’t show in this picture)…they are to the right!

He said,  “everything is ok here; except the red chairs.  They need to be dark wood color.”

I leapt up!  I jumped up and down!!!   I shrieked!  “NONONO!!  THEY NEED TO BE RED!  THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!”

“It will be so ordinary if they are brown wood!  This project just cannot be ‘ORDINARY’!”

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AND THEN I SAID……..(this is the God’s truth;  I could not make this up!)

“And, Charlie, there just needs to be one person doing all these houses you are building!  And it needs to be me!  I “get” your vision!

I  want you to hire me!  I know what to do here!”

And he did.  And I did.

And that is a true story of a dream job.

My title was “Aesthetic Director”!

So, for the next twenty years…….I chose all the “finishes” exterior and interior;  the light fixtures inside and out;

the cabinets, the colors, the floors, the tiles (87 bathrooms all different hand painted tile!

24 kitchens…….all different cabinets and tile!  Whew!!!)

for the 23 “condominiums…the clubhouse ..and for Charlie’s own house, and another house!

There are 11 “houses” (built by the owners….but subject to the architectural restrictions)  that surround the “common areas;

and the “condominiums ” which are all completely different from one another.

This has never been publicized.  So here we go!

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Here we are.  On one of the most “primo” surf beaches in the world.  “Hammond’s” is in every book about surfing beaches.  Charlie had to provide a special bridge and beach access to surfers!  He also

had to deal with the Chumash Indians;  who have a “sacred Indian burial ground” right on the ocean.  The following picture is the meadow (which cannot be landscaped); and the Chumash

have rituals here.  There is a monument honoring them.  This an multi- acre open meadow right on the ocean in honor of their ancestors!

Near  the center  to the left;  you can see the monument!

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Here is the monument…..and the Indians have celebrations sometimes in this meadow!

  

 Penny

 

  There are some very low-profile houses along the edge of this meadow.  They had to be low because of the two story condominium

buildings behind  them. ( They emerged from  bankruptcy;  and now sell for millions each!)

The views from these houses (not condominiums) go up and down the coastline;  and the surfing beach is right to the left of them!

This is looking at these  houses across the meadow…..and you can see the condominiums behind. 

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Now we return to the “condominiums”;   they all  have slate roofs;  and are French Normandy architecture. (different slate!!) My husband and I went to

Normandy to do research when I started this project!  I took  millions of pictures of every detail! 

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Charlie said;  “I have waited so long to build these houses;  I don’t even want deciduous trees!”

So the landscaping was incredible.  Every tree was huge, and it looked like the landscaping was there for a hundred years

immediately!

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They looked, even in the beginning, like they had been there forever!
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There are these charming roof ornaments I took pictures of in Normandy!  They are called “epis de faitage”

Charming!

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The attention to every detail is truly astonishing!  (It is the only “development I have ever worked on0;  so I did not know how completely

unusual it was until I listened very carefully to all the construction workers. ) They had never (and all said they will never) work  on

anything with the quality and details this entailed!

 

 

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The first bridge is in the “community”  can you see the second bridge just beyond? That is for the surfers!  Charlie said, “there must be something in the

water in Montecito!!”  Surfers, Indians, and the community who never wanted anything like

the other “condominiums” happening again!  It was such a challenge!  We went to lots of  Montecito Association

meetings!  They loved our plans….and they , I believe are grateful for this beautiful little community. 

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I was able to work with the architects (there were two) from the ground up!  Designing garage doors;  picking colors, floors, windows, and consulting on the

design of the houses.  (This is a duplex)  (two houses in one….so they stayed in “scale”!  Inside this duplex;   one would never guess there was a “common wall”!

 

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This one is actually part of a “triplex!”  Never would you know….inside.  Beautiful, beautiful architecture!!  One of the architects

went out with his camera on a big “stick” to make sure about the views from the second floor!

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Another condominium!  Have you ever seen a condominium look like this?  Every one completely individual in every way!

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Here is another!

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Another.  23 in all!! Only alike in the style of architecture!

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Here is a kitchen  of one of the “condominiums”  Yes, antique french pavers on the floor…….and red cabinets!  Yikes!

Revolutionary at the time!!!  I LOVE it to this day!!!

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Now we move on to the houses!  They are past  the “flagpole” of the flag lot!  Across the stone bridge.

Some are directly on the beach!

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This is a “house”  that is right on the beach!

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 This is one that overlooks the “meadow…..full ocean view!!  Antique windows!!

this is one of the two “houses” I decorated!

Charlie and Nancy took two lots (good for them!)  One is their garden;  and will someday be perhaps another house!

The following pictures are of their house!

 Here is their back courtyard.  Behind this is a large garden;  actually, another “lot”!

 Nancy’s father’s collection of beautiful botanicals!  Each one shows the seed, the plant, the entirety of the plant.  The most magnificent I have ever seen!

the bird hanging was my “housewarming present” to them!

It turns out to have a great story!

 The conservatory.

 The dining room.  Quilting table and “Charlie” chairs!

from Richard Mulligan!

The dining room!  One day at the antique “Collective” in Summerland (next town)  Nancy and I were there when 8 boxes (big boxes) of French Quimper arrived

from an “estate sale”!  I said…….”BUY IT ALL!!!  We need it all!”  And she did.  And we did!  It is all over the house!

It had been collected by a woman in Montecito for over 50 years!

It was an incredible find!  And Nancy had faith in me!

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Charlie’s library!

to the right is a full-on ocean view over the meadow! 

 

The living room!  The French doors on the left overlook the meadow and the ocean!!

We purchased everything down to the silverware and can openers for this house before it was built!  Every now and then;  Nancy would say to me:

“What if when we move in, I don’t like it “?(or more often; “them”)!

I would make sure I was out of Adam’s earshot…….(he runs the business side)  and I said, “back on the truck it goes!  and you will be credited!

(Adam would have had a stroke if he had heard me say this literally hundreds of times!)

(after the installation….1 lamp and three plates ended up coming back to our house!  I still have them!!)

She liked them;  there just wasn’t the right place for them!

   

A guest room with headboards hand-painted by Radisha!  (see my post on him!)

Another guest room with beautiful toile and “redwork pillows”!

A guest bath with “children’s games” delft tile from Country Floors.

(all tiles in all houses and condominiums came from “Country Floors”!)

Now;  one of only 3 “condominiums” I did not get to select things for  (they were built by owners);  sold, and I DID get to!

This is the largest condominium of them all.

It is next door to the clubhouse;  and it is now on the market!

furnished !

(I also got to do this one down to the can openers!)

It was sold to the now owners with the stipulation that “everything stays……down to the can openers!”

And  it is for sale…….right down to the can openers!

sea meadow

This  entry was white with brown ceilings and railings!

It was too cold!!

“This entry hall wants to be red!!”  I said!

The husband said to me…..”how do you know?”  I said, “It told me!!”  And it did!

(By the way, quite honestly in a career with the most wonderful clients……..this one really had to be in the “Hall of Fame”!

He said…..”my Feng Shue consultant told me I needed more “red around me”!!”And he had had constant “remodeling” in his house in Los angeles;

I told him we could “fix” this house with “

NO REMODELING”!!

AND WE DID!

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This is the living room!  The wife was 9 months pregnant!  She said:

“I am going to the hospital to have a baby;  this is our second house.  I saw the clubhouse and Charlie’s house!  Please do it!”

I did!

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The kitchen and  family room!

Here is a description of “Sea Meadow” in “Santa Barbara Estates”  here:

http://www.santabarbaraestatehomes.com/beaches/montecito-real-estate/hammonds-beach-homes/

And that is a true story of a dream job.

I took the responsibility of this project  very seriously, quite honestly.

And I had the most wonderful time!

I hope you enjoy this story!  I sure had a “whee of a time”!!



 


 

 
 

 
  
 
   
 
 

78 thoughts on “Montecito Sea Meadow, my dream once-in-a-lifetime decorating job!! [repost]

  1. The Devoted Classicist
    Reply

    How charming, Penelope! I can see why it was such a satisfying project for you.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you! It was truly thrilling the entire time! I wish more people who are developing properties would treat their people the I was treated! the results would be better!
      In twenty years……I had one call from the “superintendent”! ONE!

      “Penny, we don’t want to cause a problem. You are selecting things beautifully; did you know that the tile you selected for bathroom #4 in unit # 16 (I am making the numbers up; but that is how it was) is two hundred and fifty dollars a tile? (Bob Sahm is his name! )
      My reply! “OH DEAR GOD NO!!” OOPS!
      I had forgotten to look at the price! (it can happen!) and I corrected it the next day!
      Seriously, one call…..in twenty years. I kid you NOT!
      Thank you for your comment. I so admire you and your work. I was lucky beyond!
      It was pure joy!

  2. The Devoted Classicist
    Reply

    How charming, Penelope! I can see why it was such a satisfying project for you.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you! It was truly thrilling the entire time! I wish more people who are developing properties would treat their people the I was treated! the results would be better!
      In twenty years……I had one call from the “superintendent”! ONE!

      “Penny, we don’t want to cause a problem. You are selecting things beautifully; did you know that the tile you selected for bathroom #4 in unit # 16 (I am making the numbers up; but that is how it was) is two hundred and fifty dollars a tile? (Bob Sahm is his name! )
      My reply! “OH DEAR GOD NO!!” OOPS!
      I had forgotten to look at the price! (it can happen!) and I corrected it the next day!
      Seriously, one call…..in twenty years. I kid you NOT!
      Thank you for your comment. I so admire you and your work. I was lucky beyond!
      It was pure joy!

  3. Cheryl
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I can only imagine living there. All so beautiful and charming. You are an incredibly talented designer with vision.

  4. Cheryl
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I can only imagine living there. All so beautiful and charming. You are an incredibly talented designer with vision.

  5. Sharon @ Roses and Rust
    Reply

    How lucky you were to work on such an amazing job. You must have been in a good mood for 20 years!! And how refreshing that there was such attention to detail and care taken in this age of mass production and cookie cutter homes. Wonderful. I also saw your gorgeous copper bathtub in your previous post – I can see why you are a bathtub person! xx Sharon

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Indeed; I am still in a good mood having been able to have such a fun and fulfilling career and be able to work on this job! I also want to add that my favorite nickname was given to me
      by Charlie! “Mrs. Mischief”!!

  6. Sharon @ Roses and Rust
    Reply

    How lucky you were to work on such an amazing job. You must have been in a good mood for 20 years!! And how refreshing that there was such attention to detail and care taken in this age of mass production and cookie cutter homes. Wonderful. I also saw your gorgeous copper bathtub in your previous post – I can see why you are a bathtub person! xx Sharon

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Indeed; I am still in a good mood having been able to have such a fun and fulfilling career and be able to work on this job! I also want to add that my favorite nickname was given to me
      by Charlie! “Mrs. Mischief”!!

  7. tara dillard
    Reply

    Only you would include the meadow when describing the ocean view. Love you more for that!

    Walked into a garden club lecture, the hostess greeted me and I said, “Your stair rails want to be black.” She stared long at me. I realized I was there to give a lecture, not design!

    She called me the next day and thanked me, they had hired a painter already.

    Trouble is there is only 1 Penny. Of course Susanne Hudson I mention all the time has your Pixie Dust too.

    Cannot imagine your timing with the estate sale load of ‘everything’.

    Saved pics of the bridges, roof finials…..

    Went back to a long time client today. She liked all I said in an hour and said, ‘draw it’. I said, ‘no, you know everything is self-evident, have a large party. Finish the hodge-podge things you’ve never touched. Include a few people that it would embarrass you if the hodge-podge were not done.”

    Great, great story and tooooooo rare.

    Garden & Be Wel, XO Tara

  8. tara dillard
    Reply

    Only you would include the meadow when describing the ocean view. Love you more for that!

    Walked into a garden club lecture, the hostess greeted me and I said, “Your stair rails want to be black.” She stared long at me. I realized I was there to give a lecture, not design!

    She called me the next day and thanked me, they had hired a painter already.

    Trouble is there is only 1 Penny. Of course Susanne Hudson I mention all the time has your Pixie Dust too.

    Cannot imagine your timing with the estate sale load of ‘everything’.

    Saved pics of the bridges, roof finials…..

    Went back to a long time client today. She liked all I said in an hour and said, ‘draw it’. I said, ‘no, you know everything is self-evident, have a large party. Finish the hodge-podge things you’ve never touched. Include a few people that it would embarrass you if the hodge-podge were not done.”

    Great, great story and tooooooo rare.

    Garden & Be Wel, XO Tara

  9. Kris
    Reply

    Penny this is stunning I love ALL OF IT! Hubby and I are such RED people and this is so cozy and warm. I will hire you to do our house in Charleston and Oregon- we need you! Kris in Seattle

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      I accept!!! Kris in Seattle!

  10. Kris
    Reply

    Penny this is stunning I love ALL OF IT! Hubby and I are such RED people and this is so cozy and warm. I will hire you to do our house in Charleston and Oregon- we need you! Kris in Seattle

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      I accept!!! Kris in Seattle!

  11. Sandra Jonas
    Reply

    So, so fabulous! Those rooms are so inviting and comfortable! I could live very happily in any of them!!

    You have an incredible gift! Lucky clients!

    Love the meadow and the Indian monument.

    Would have loved to see those $250.oo tiles.

    xoxo

  12. Sandra Jonas
    Reply

    So, so fabulous! Those rooms are so inviting and comfortable! I could live very happily in any of them!!

    You have an incredible gift! Lucky clients!

    Love the meadow and the Indian monument.

    Would have loved to see those $250.oo tiles.

    xoxo

  13. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via email:

    Oh my! Now I suppose we’ll have to go to Normandy when we go to France next month!
    Lovely blogpost!
    xoxox
    Gail

  14. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via email:

    Oh my! Now I suppose we’ll have to go to Normandy when we go to France next month!
    Lovely blogpost!
    xoxox
    Gail

  15. Keri - Ivy Clad
    Reply

    This post was thrilling to me. This is my absolute favorite style of architecture, & I read the post twice to soak up every detail.

    You did a fantastic job & what an experience! Would you happen to remember what the paint color is for that beautiful shade of blue-gray that is used on the exterior window trim & shutters in several of the photos (photos 1, 9 & Charlie & Nancy’s back courtyard)?

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you so much! Yikes! So many beloved bloggers! We mixed the paints on site…..but I will look through “Farrow and Ball” (I recommend them without restriction!!)

      (and don’t believe other paint companies who claim to reproduce their colors! But; NO NO!!

      American paints do not use enough pigments!)

      (I have no economic tie to any business on this blog. I just beg you to use Farrow and Ball Paints!)

      I will find the closest to the outdoor furniture color request about “Old Westbury Gardens”; to the colors you requested!
      I will respond!!

      Penelope

  16. Keri - Ivy Clad
    Reply

    This post was thrilling to me. This is my absolute favorite style of architecture, & I read the post twice to soak up every detail.

    You did a fantastic job & what an experience! Would you happen to remember what the paint color is for that beautiful shade of blue-gray that is used on the exterior window trim & shutters in several of the photos (photos 1, 9 & Charlie & Nancy’s back courtyard)?

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Thank you so much! Yikes! So many beloved bloggers! We mixed the paints on site…..but I will look through “Farrow and Ball” (I recommend them without restriction!!)

      (and don’t believe other paint companies who claim to reproduce their colors! But; NO NO!!

      American paints do not use enough pigments!)

      (I have no economic tie to any business on this blog. I just beg you to use Farrow and Ball Paints!)

      I will find the closest to the outdoor furniture color request about “Old Westbury Gardens”; to the colors you requested!
      I will respond!!

      Penelope

  17. LA CONTESSA
    Reply

    Well, I recognize the first photo from my walk from the BILTMORE the days we were there in Montecito when I got to meet you!I know exactly where this is………close to the cemetery right?That has an ocean view to die for!What a job……….Congratulations…………no wonder you are in high demand!It’s good to know people listen to you!
    XXXX

  18. LA CONTESSA
    Reply

    Well, I recognize the first photo from my walk from the BILTMORE the days we were there in Montecito when I got to meet you!I know exactly where this is………close to the cemetery right?That has an ocean view to die for!What a job……….Congratulations…………no wonder you are in high demand!It’s good to know people listen to you!
    XXXX

  19. Gina - Willow Decor
    Reply

    Penny,
    Absolutely stunning. This style is a dream of mine. Re read this four times and I soaked in every single dormer and roof line. Such attention to detail that is usually overlooked in new construction. I find really good subs love to work on something with character and bring their best work forward with enthusiasm. It shows in this project – the care, pride and love on so many levels. I am in love with the interior design as I am with all your work. Your rooms are beautiful and welcoming, they say come in and enjoy, not don’t touch. A great gift. I can not imagine how thrilled you were to take on this project. What a wonderful project for you (and for them!). I concur with you on the F&B paints. I just painted the entire Annisquam beach house with them – just lovely.
    xxx Gina

  20. Gina - Willow Decor
    Reply

    Penny,
    Absolutely stunning. This style is a dream of mine. Re read this four times and I soaked in every single dormer and roof line. Such attention to detail that is usually overlooked in new construction. I find really good subs love to work on something with character and bring their best work forward with enthusiasm. It shows in this project – the care, pride and love on so many levels. I am in love with the interior design as I am with all your work. Your rooms are beautiful and welcoming, they say come in and enjoy, not don’t touch. A great gift. I can not imagine how thrilled you were to take on this project. What a wonderful project for you (and for them!). I concur with you on the F&B paints. I just painted the entire Annisquam beach house with them – just lovely.
    xxx Gina

  21. PigtownDesign
    Reply

    May I just say how amazing you are!!!

  22. PigtownDesign
    Reply

    May I just say how amazing you are!!!

  23. Keri - Ivy Clad
    Reply

    Thank you so much for the info!

  24. Keri - Ivy Clad
    Reply

    Thank you so much for the info!

  25. velvet and linen
    Reply

    I’m so glad that you finally shared this with your readers, including me 🙂

    You are such an amazing talent, and so generous and lovely. Such an uncommon combination.

    My only question is… when is the tour?

    xo xo

    Brooke

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh, Brooke! You are heavenly! Thank you!!!

  26. velvet and linen
    Reply

    I’m so glad that you finally shared this with your readers, including me 🙂

    You are such an amazing talent, and so generous and lovely. Such an uncommon combination.

    My only question is… when is the tour?

    xo xo

    Brooke

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh, Brooke! You are heavenly! Thank you!!!

  27. Marianne
    Reply

    Peneople, so beautiful homes. Reminds me of some homes on Sea Island. Would love to know more about the hanging bird – is it a Danish antique?

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      I forgot to tell the story! No! It’s French; and I have Sotheby’s to thank! When Sister Parish’s auction (after she died) happened in New York; I flew back to go to it!
      She had the exact same hanging bird! For a debutante party in France; the decorations included those birds hanging from the trees! I think there were 28 of them! Sotheby’s did the research!

  28. Marianne
    Reply

    Peneople, so beautiful homes. Reminds me of some homes on Sea Island. Would love to know more about the hanging bird – is it a Danish antique?

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      I forgot to tell the story! No! It’s French; and I have Sotheby’s to thank! When Sister Parish’s auction (after she died) happened in New York; I flew back to go to it!
      She had the exact same hanging bird! For a debutante party in France; the decorations included those birds hanging from the trees! I think there were 28 of them! Sotheby’s did the research!

  29. Heather in Arles
    Reply

    Penelope, I have been saving reading this “for a rainy day” and I loved every minute of it. So inspiring, so warm and just plain amazing.
    Merci!!!

  30. Heather in Arles
    Reply

    Penelope, I have been saving reading this “for a rainy day” and I loved every minute of it. So inspiring, so warm and just plain amazing.
    Merci!!!

  31. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    received via email:

    Penny, I love this story! You are a true story-teller at heart! Thanks for sharing so much of your passion for what you do. And what an amazing place you and your friends have created! Makes my heart swell big.

    Day

  32. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    received via email:

    Penny, I love this story! You are a true story-teller at heart! Thanks for sharing so much of your passion for what you do. And what an amazing place you and your friends have created! Makes my heart swell big.

    Day

  33. Marietta
    Reply

    YOU know how I feel about Sea Meadow……Heaven.

  34. Marietta
    Reply

    YOU know how I feel about Sea Meadow……Heaven.

  35. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via email! Yikes! this means so much to me!

    Here it is:

    Message I just wanted to tell you I just discovered your blog and discovered this post on sea meadows I have always wondered about those homes. I never could find anything on them . I was there twice , years ago . I cant even remember why. .. and i watched a couple of them being built. I used to live on danielson in a beach cottage duplex right next to the vancant estate … (empty then) and before that i lived in a moodt cottage up on middle road. It was Natalie daily’s cottage. I used to walk those hidden paths that go around sea meadows almost every day. Anyway I loved learning more about them and I love knowing who was involved. I no longer live in Montecito. I cant think of it because it will cause me to miss it too much. You did a beautiful job . it is one of my favorite places … and what I saw of your home on your blog is amazing too !!! JEANNE hOLBROOK

    than you Jeanne!!

    It means more than I can say!

    I know many people lived near here……and I tried to meet them!

    However; I was way busy working on those houses!

    I love hearing this story! I hope I hear some more!

    I am delighted, Jeanne, that you wrote to me! I am sure it is because of this blog!

    This is the great beauty of the internet……None of this could have happened before!

    I hope this communication continue!

    Jeanne, please stay in touch!

    Where are you now? Thanks so much for writing! Yowzers!

    Penelope

  36. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    via email! Yikes! this means so much to me!

    Here it is:

    Message I just wanted to tell you I just discovered your blog and discovered this post on sea meadows I have always wondered about those homes. I never could find anything on them . I was there twice , years ago . I cant even remember why. .. and i watched a couple of them being built. I used to live on danielson in a beach cottage duplex right next to the vancant estate … (empty then) and before that i lived in a moodt cottage up on middle road. It was Natalie daily’s cottage. I used to walk those hidden paths that go around sea meadows almost every day. Anyway I loved learning more about them and I love knowing who was involved. I no longer live in Montecito. I cant think of it because it will cause me to miss it too much. You did a beautiful job . it is one of my favorite places … and what I saw of your home on your blog is amazing too !!! JEANNE hOLBROOK

    than you Jeanne!!

    It means more than I can say!

    I know many people lived near here……and I tried to meet them!

    However; I was way busy working on those houses!

    I love hearing this story! I hope I hear some more!

    I am delighted, Jeanne, that you wrote to me! I am sure it is because of this blog!

    This is the great beauty of the internet……None of this could have happened before!

    I hope this communication continue!

    Jeanne, please stay in touch!

    Where are you now? Thanks so much for writing! Yowzers!

    Penelope

  37. Susan S
    Reply

    Lord, have mercy!! This makes me weep and I have envy like I’ve never experienced before!
    Doesn’t even seem real. I just keep gasping!
    Makes one wonder if you slept much during those 20 years!

    P.S. Funny story about “shrieking” over the red chairs. I can relate.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      (reply to Susan S)

      I actually did “shriek” and jump up and down! Charlie is so conservative…….he just agreed to the red chairs…….(from John Hall furniture….still making fabulous furniture) to get me to stop!!!

      funny! I am happy you can relate!!! (I couldn’t help it!!!)

  38. Susan S
    Reply

    Lord, have mercy!! This makes me weep and I have envy like I’ve never experienced before!
    Doesn’t even seem real. I just keep gasping!
    Makes one wonder if you slept much during those 20 years!

    P.S. Funny story about “shrieking” over the red chairs. I can relate.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      (reply to Susan S)

      I actually did “shriek” and jump up and down! Charlie is so conservative…….he just agreed to the red chairs…….(from John Hall furniture….still making fabulous furniture) to get me to stop!!!

      funny! I am happy you can relate!!! (I couldn’t help it!!!)

  39. Joni Webb
    Reply

    Penny – how did I miss this story? This is unreal!!! I love your aesthetic so much! So charming – and truly a dream job of a lifetime. I would have been too scared to tackle such a job !! If I ever make it to montecito – I’m going to try to find it !!!!!

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Are you kidding??? If you come to Montecito; you let me know and I will show it to you myself!!! And we will have some fun!!!!

    2. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Please, Joni!! Come visit! I have the teeniest guest house! Please come! You will like it! You and Ben/ or daughter……will fit!!

      P

  40. Joni Webb
    Reply

    Penny – how did I miss this story? This is unreal!!! I love your aesthetic so much! So charming – and truly a dream job of a lifetime. I would have been too scared to tackle such a job !! If I ever make it to montecito – I’m going to try to find it !!!!!

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Are you kidding??? If you come to Montecito; you let me know and I will show it to you myself!!! And we will have some fun!!!!

    2. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Please, Joni!! Come visit! I have the teeniest guest house! Please come! You will like it! You and Ben/ or daughter……will fit!!

      P

  41. Marsha @ Splenderosa
    Reply

    To The World’s Greatest, Penelope! Goodness, the things you have done! This is surely a “dream job” for anyone. Just brilliant, my love. I’m going to do serious research on this development. I just read the listing information about the last home being sold for $22,000.000. I can see “you” in every detail, especially the beautiful Persian rugs. I am overwhelmed by your talent and your amazing personality. You are a star!

  42. Marsha @ Splenderosa
    Reply

    To The World’s Greatest, Penelope! Goodness, the things you have done! This is surely a “dream job” for anyone. Just brilliant, my love. I’m going to do serious research on this development. I just read the listing information about the last home being sold for $22,000.000. I can see “you” in every detail, especially the beautiful Persian rugs. I am overwhelmed by your talent and your amazing personality. You are a star!

  43. Carolyn Finn
    Reply

    Penelope, thank you so much for sharing this magical story with all your fans out here in “blogger land”. You have created masterpieces……Oh the fortunate people who get to live in them. I envy them so!!

    XXO Carolyn

  44. Carolyn Finn
    Reply

    Penelope, thank you so much for sharing this magical story with all your fans out here in “blogger land”. You have created masterpieces……Oh the fortunate people who get to live in them. I envy them so!!

    XXO Carolyn

  45. Sarah K
    Reply

    I am simply in awe! Amazing opportunity and your incredible results. Brava!
    Are there publications on Sea Meadow?

  46. Sarah K
    Reply

    I am simply in awe! Amazing opportunity and your incredible results. Brava!
    Are there publications on Sea Meadow?

  47. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Thank you!! No publications!! I am delighted that so many people loved it!

  48. Penelope Bianchi
    Reply

    Thank you!! No publications!! I am delighted that so many people loved it!

  49. Jennings & Gates
    Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. How did the Lord pack all of that talent into one person? You are just amazing. xo, N.G.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh goody! twice!! Love it and love you guys!!!@

  50. Jennings & Gates
    Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. How did the Lord pack all of that talent into one person? You are just amazing. xo, N.G.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh goody! twice!! Love it and love you guys!!!@

  51. Jennings & Gates
    Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. How did the Lord pack all of that talent into one person? You are just amazing. xo, N.G.

    P.S. WordPress was malfunctioning and duplicating, so hopefully this won’t be published 10 times.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh I hope 10 times!! TEE HEE!!!!

  52. Jennings & Gates
    Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. How did the Lord pack all of that talent into one person? You are just amazing. xo, N.G.

    P.S. WordPress was malfunctioning and duplicating, so hopefully this won’t be published 10 times.

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      Oh I hope 10 times!! TEE HEE!!!!

  53. PatriciaEi
    Reply

    I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  54. Jennifer
    Reply

    Wowza. What an amazing place. You’re so talented!!

    1. Penelope Bianchi
      Reply

      I love how you talk! And thank you! SOOOO much!!!!!

  55. Rié|Portobello Design
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this amazing design story; I loved every line and photo! You were and are the perfect designer for this project… so charming, warm and inviting. And I love the “nonono” “red chairs.” You are a very talented designer, and such a nice person! xx Rié

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