Ariana Grande. Jennifer Aniston. Ellen DeGeneres. The checklist of celebrities who’ve shelled out tens of tens of millions for a spot in Montecito, California, is lengthy and diverse, young and old. However even when you’ve solely heard of Montecito within the context of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s transfer, you’ve most likely questioned what precisely is so engaging a few small city that lower than 10,000 folks name dwelling.
Situated about 80 miles from the westside of LA, Montecito is the tiny neighbor of Santa Barbara, a metropolis which covers roughly 4 occasions as a lot land and has a inhabitants ten occasions the dimensions. Colonized by Spain within the 18th century, Santa Barbara’s wealthy historical past and culturally vital constructions entice loads of guests, however since few Spanish settlers in-built Montecito, it’s traditionally obtained fewer vacationers. It appears the city—for probably the most half—wish to hold it that approach. Regardless of elevated consideration in recent times, there are far fewer lodging choices in Montecito than in Santa Barbara. The motels that do exist are likely to run upwards of $1,000 an evening.
Even when the outsized superstar inhabitants is barely perplexing, (Meg Ryan and Natalie Portman have additionally owned Montecito properties, simply to call a pair extra), it’s not precisely out of the blue. Attracting America’s most glamorous figures is definitely a longstanding custom of the city—actually, Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy honeymooned there on the still-operating San Ysidero Ranch. Again in 1999, Los Angeles Journal reported on one thing of a “turf conflict” between Montecito locals and the “LA sorts” who had been flooding their humble city. Celebrities—like Rob Lowe, who’s talked about within the piece—had begun to settle there (reasonably than merely go to) in a lot greater numbers.
Quite a few waves of celeb settlers have rolled in throughout the 23 years since that article, and with youthful A-listers like Ariana Grande making Montecito dwelling, it doesn’t appear like the city is merely a fad. As Insider reported in a narrative on Montecito final 12 months, locals are usually unfazed by the presence of well-known folks. That is possible a draw for celebrities looking for a calmer life-style, plus, the truth that the city is lower than two hours from Hollywood by automotive doesn’t damage. Montecito might not have fairly as vivid of a historical past as Santa Barbara, however the two share a connection to architect George Washington Smith. Smith left an indelible mark on the world throughout the early twentieth century, creating dozens of residential tasks in Santa Barbara County, all within the Spanish Colonial fashion that also dominates within the area as we speak. Loads of Smith’s properties nonetheless exist—together with a cottage Larry David paid $5.7 million for earlier this 12 months.
Whether or not or not celebs go for a real 100-year-old dwelling, most of the new builds within the space recreate the refined but relaxed environment of the world’s historic residences. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Montecito pad, which was featured in AD earlier this 12 months, seems stately sufficient to be from the early 1900s, but it’s truly a model new. AD100 companies Roman and Williams and Romanek Design Studio labored on the undertaking, choosing vintage mantels, hand-painted wallpapers, and pewter-finished bronze doorways to make sure the home spoke to the soul of its setting.
The entire architectural great thing about the area is a mere additional advantage to the pure splendor of the area. The California city enjoys a Mediterranean local weather, which permits for year-round gardening. Scooter Braun’s Montecito dwelling, which AD toured in 2018, may simply be the proper instance—from its century-old timber to its completely manicured rose bushes.