The Ennisbrook Adobe

Posted on Mon, 21 Feb 2022 by KiM

This home speaks to me on sooooo many levels. Having a history and rustic vibe yet simple, modern architecture on the inside. That dichotomy as well as white vs black makes this home have so much energy and evokes emotion. I am completely smitten. Designed by Hallworth.

Nestled on ten acres in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains, is the quintessential Adobe of Montecito, named by an early owner, Ennisbrook, an Irish word meaning land by a river. Dating back in parts to the mid-1800s, it is an early architectural darling of the town it inhabits. The Adobe was left gutted with dust floors, essentially derelict as a result of an abandoned renovation when my clients acquired the property. The property had a heavy, mature, gravitas in juxtaposition to the young newlywed owners. The seriousness of the building required subtle strong detailing. However, the primary design inspiration came from Notre Dame du Ronschamp.  Corbusier’s masterpiece has an air of brutal honesty. The space is monastic and meditative, heavy-lidded and softly lit.   Architecturally we had similar conditions. Ennisbrook has limited fenestration and dark timber, hewn trussed ceiling original to the building.  Ronschamp’s walls are stark white, yet ethereal.  We similarly employed white reflective plaster and floors cast in integral white concrete, which speckled and crazed like a bird’s eggshell. Our light is restricted, but serene.  The kitchen blackened as a hearth itself is the heart of the home. Three years later the client moved into a home that was entirely realized, furnished with brutal simplicity, comfortable and negligently sexy, redolent of the past but infinitely modern, a perfect hillside retreat.

Jen says:

This is so beautiful, stylish, calm and curated. Thank you for sharing.

Miriam says:

A vulgar kind of sterility. This isn’t style—this is just an assertion of how much money the owners can afford to spend on help to keep all that white clean, and that kitchen range so shiny.

martine says:

so so beautiful!!

Beth Heatongrindel says:

If this is vulgar, dip me in it and call me a bag of chips. I adore this.

KiM says:


Ryan says:

“Brutal simplicity”, “monastic”. Absolutely. This looks like the kind of place I would want to visit for a weeklong meditation retreat. It also looks like a breeze to clean. Nothing to dust, open the doors and sweep any dirt outside (or turn on the roomba), and polish the range once a month. Guess I’m vulgar also

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