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Ensberg Jacobs Design Architects Kitchen Remodel

This house in the Samarkand neighborhood was originally part of the 1928 Sansum Estate, located just west of Oak Park in Santa Barbara. The property was divided and sold and the 2 story Caretaker’s House and Guest Cottage were split off as a separate parcel and private residence, located just down the drive from the main house




The current owner, a costume designer and a lover of Mexican and early California design, collects pottery, art and artifacts from that period. The house was in need of attention and she set to work to bring out its Spanish roots and character. Although it is substantially different from what it once was, the house still feels original with defined detailing.

The kitchen was the last piece of the home to be reworked. It was a dysfunctional space, divided by an old exterior wall with an arched opening and step down into the teeny enclosed porch, and out to the Garden Patio. The ceiling in the main part of the kitchen was flat but lower and vaulted in the teeny Porch area. The cabinets didn’t function well and were too low for a dishwasher. The fixtures and all the finishes needed replacement.

The interior design involved selective reworking of the plan – keeping some components and replacing others.





The owner found the hand painted Mexican tiles for the back splash and counters and wonderful wrought iron light fixtures for above the wood butcher block island table and in the Inglenook – the perfect decorative elements working with the architecture to create this classic Spanish style.


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The desire was to create an authentic looking Early California Spanish style kitchen – fully functional, not too big but open with the essential connection to the patio garden, a place to enjoy the romance and outdoor magic of Santa Barbara.


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Ensberg Jacobs Architect’s design involved removal of the old porch and construction of a new addition, – designed higher for a continuous flat ceiling and to eliminate the step down. The addition was also designed 3 feet bigger to enlarge the room slightly, while not negatively impacting the patio and garden.


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The owner, architect and builder’s team effort resulted in this jewel that celebrates and preserves Santa Barbara’s celebrated signature style and a part of an important Santa Barbara estate.



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Thomas Jacobs, A.I.A. Architect and Cassandra Ensberg, A.I.A. LEED A.P. Architect, the two principals of this partnership, have over forty years of combined professional experience in architecture and interior design. Their completed projects include a full spectrum of work in the public and private realms.

Tom Jacobs:
Cass Ensberg:

VISIT THE WEBSITE to view portfolio:

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