The homepage: wild weather, walls and windows



Credit: Courtesy of John Fritsche

I love it when our Great House detective, Betsy J. Green, researches and writes about downtown homes. I always drive or walk to see the featured house “in real life” after reading its story. This week, I was thrilled that the house she had chosen was right in my neighborhood — on a sunny little cul-de-sac that Scout and I walk almost every day.

Betsy introduces us to William Warren Higgins, a local photographer who lived in the house with his wife, Marion, and their six children at the turn of the 20th century. In January 1913, Higgins captured the above photo of a fountain by the beach with long icicles hanging from it. He commemorated the moment by creating postcards using the image. Betsy recounts that “the Chamber of Commerce froze in horror and bought up all the postcards lest the world be informed that we sometimes had real weather here in Santa Barbara.”

I did my own research – using Betsy’s Own Way back when books — and recognized the building seen behind the fountain as the Neal Hotel at 217 State Street. Although the building was renovated after the 1925 earthquake, it still stands at this same address today.

This edition of The Home Page was originally emailed to subscribers on February 6, 2022. To get Sarah Sinclair’s real estate newsletter delivered to your inbox every Sunday, sign up at


Credit: Courtesy

Ever since I mentioned my love of wallpaper in last week’s newsletter, I’ve noticed some funny examples left and right. Local real estate agent Erin Timmerman entertains us with a collection of wonderfully upholstered toilets on instagram, including the boot-iful turquoise number shown above. And just today an article fell on my desk featuring this collection by Max Humphrey, whose style is described as “living and layered”. Some of his designs include denim jackets, horseshoes, and my favorite: “cowboy canvas.” By golly, I think we have a theme here. Yeah !


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We have a lot of celebrities among us here on the American Riviera. Some are familiar faces from the silver screen; others are slightly more discreet. The incredible property at 810 Toro Canyon Road, currently for sale in Montecito – striking enough in itself – has attracted national attention because it is the house of Bloom County designer designer Berkeley Breathed. Set on 25 acres of oak groves, meadows and horse trails, with a 6,000+ square foot home, plus a guest house, the 365 degree views, as shown above, are breathtaking. Discover the bay windows in the master bedroom, and just imagine waking up to that view. Offered by Luc Ebbin.

May your sight be clear, whether you are looking through a lens or out the window on this beautiful Sunday. Take a look at this week’s issue while you enjoy your weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!

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