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Cabana Home Designs a Montecito Masterpiece

A hilltop home with dramatic views strikes a balance between traditional and contemporary. The furniture is classic with a twist, a Cabana Home signature. The result is a residence that is both grand and welcoming, with interior textures and colors woven seamlessly throughout, creating a unified whole.




It is not unusual for potential clients to arrive at a meeting with Cabana Home’s Steve Thompson armed with clippings from glossy shelter magazines. But until recently, he never had a client proffer an object as the pivotal inspiration for a residential interior design project. But this client was unique. “She brought in her dishes,” recalls Steve with a smile, “three dishes. One was aqua blue, one was bright yellow, and the other was parrot green.”

Rising to the challenge, Steve and the project’s lead designer Zach Hollis, worked with the client to create an interior design program for her 12,000 square-foot Montecito residence based entirely on the color scheme of three glass dishes.

For design professionals, working on a large-scale residential interior project is both exciting and daunting. One of the biggest challenges is creating living spaces that feel intimate while respecting the formality of the architecture. In this case, the Cabana Home design team faced an additional challenge: incorporating the residence’s potentially overwhelming ocean and mountain views into the overall design scheme.




In the living room, a pair of oversized glazed blue-green hued lamps (custom converted jardenieres) flank the three arched windows framing the magnificent mountain view. A cream sateen wool upholstered Baker sofa, pair of chairs and a chair-and-a-half from Councill Furniture in silver damask velvet surround a Bolier Macassar ebony cocktail table.

The platinum Nepalese custom rug is by Cabana Home. Two Ruth Pastine paintings grace the walls reiterating the sea and sky color theme. By the fireplace, a wing chair by Baker is upholstered in Donghia Suzani fabric.

The front door opens into a high-ceilinged entryway with a centered custom walnut table from Taracea. On the wall across from the front door is a gilded antique silver sunburst mirror by Alden Parks overlooking a brilliant blue velvet-covered bench by Council Furniture.




A grand 17th Century style banquet dining table and Flemish dining chairs by Ebanista set the stage in the formal dining room. Respecting the client’s dedication to animal protection, the dining chairs are upholstered in a shade of pearl synthetic leather from Silver State Fabrics’ Enviro Hide Collection.

The family room is the heart of the residence. A comfortable Baker sectional with contrasting throw pillows provides views of the ocean and fireplace. A Portugese console by Pride Sasser is illuminated by wire urn-shaped table lamps from Currey and Company.




Cabana Home interiors strike a balance between traditional and contemporary elements. It is an approach frequently seen in European homes, where furniture and objects passed down through generations mingle with modern elements. Working room by room, Steve and Zach created a sophisticated design concept that references the client’s sea glass color palate throughout. To achieve continuity, the same fabrics appear in several rooms in different forms, as furniture coverings or as vibrant color accents on throw pillows or accessories.

In several rooms, Cabana Home used Designers Guild of London fabrics in vivid blue and green hues. The British, Steve notes “are not afraid of color and pattern.”




The daughter’s room is hip with its complementary color combination and pattern mix. With a retro chaise lounge covered in Trina Turk fabric from Schumacher and a brilliant blue lacquer side table from Bungalow 5. “This playful mix of colors and patterns was entirely selected by the daughter, with a design consultation and Cabana Home visit for her own custom design project” states Steve. The son’s room has an upholstered grey linen and matching ultra suede trimmed bed and a Cabana Home custom mustard duvet.

A dramatic example of Cabana Home’s signature style is the ultra-private master suite, which is defined by its unique color scheme of chocolate brown, vivid turquoise and warm ivory. The intricately carved bed, armoire and nightstands are reflected in a mahogany gilt-edged mirror.




The elegant chaise wrapped in turquoise flannel is a perfect place to contemplate the stunning mountain and ocean views. “We strive to create a comfortable mix of formal and casual, organic and polished, while being sensitive to the seamless flow from inside to outside.” states Steve.




Cabana Home is a home furnishings and accessories store, as well as interior design studio located in downtown Santa Barbara. Established in 2005, owners Caroline and Steve Thompson specialize in creating sophisticated home environments.

Story by L.D. Porter, Photography by Jim Bartsch

This home was featured in the spring/summer, 2011 issue of Dining and Destinations Magazine.



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