House Tour: A Laid Back Renovated California Home

Name: Jillian Gould Allstadt and John Allstadt, kids Mia and Bodhi, and dogs Bella and Milo
Location: Mission Canyon — Santa Barbara, California
Size: 1,650 square feet on a 10,000 square foot lot
Years lived in: 8 months (bought gutted and designed from NYC); owned

Jill and her husband John are New Yorkers who left Brooklyn behind for a West Coast dream. When they first started house hunting in California, they weren’t looking for a major renovation project per se — after all, they were still living on the East Coast at the time. That changed once Jill caught sight of the seventies era split-level fixer upper intended to be a broker’s flip for their agent. Set high above the street, the contemporary architecture offered huge windows perfect for taking in the treetop views of the oaks and surrounding Mission Canyon neighborhood of Santa Barbara. Jill knew managing a renovation from across the country was not going to be easy, but she also knew it would be worth it.

Jill’s a designer, so envisioning the space was not going to be a problem. She grew up in a house with a lot of fine antiques and things you were not allowed to touch. She wanted the opposite for her spirited family…a highly livable home where nothing is too precious and everything is to be enjoyed. Jill’s husband John is a personal fitness trainer, and another house goal they shared was a commitment to designing a home that stimulates wellness in all ways — from a steam shower in the bath to using carefully considered materials that live well. The natural fiber rugs and pebble stone shower floors were selected for aesthetics as much as for the feel. “It’s like a little everyday reflexology built into our lives,” Jill explained, “these are materials that feel good to be barefoot around on.”

Inside, there’s a bohemian modern feel grounded within the contemporary foundation and set aglow with modern and experimental lighting. Jill definitely knows where to IKEA and where to splurge, and how to bring a space to life without any high-minded dictates necessary. And she’ll tell you that’s intentional — her own home is a nod to the kind of creative, functional and accessible design she brings to her work with clients at Gale Design Studio.

Out back, the yard is terraced into the hillside offering views and an expansive feeling. The family has begun transforming the yard into a sustainable garden with native plants and edibles. “There’s going to be a hot tub over there eventually,” Jill, shared, gesturing towards the platform she created out of crates that is currently functioning as a rather righteous yoga space. “Life is hard enough as it is,” Jill continued, “your home should feel like a retreat; it should help you be the person you want to be.”

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