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California’s coastline has certain towns, as well known as prime wine varietals, with names that have become shorthand for wealth, luxury, golden light fading into soft rose at twilight, and sparkling off the water in the heat of the day. Montecito has drawn celebrities for decades, but what lures Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and a bevy of executives to Santa Barbara County?

Montecito’s unique position provides a host of microclimates, and some of the most prized real estate isn’t along the coast. Instead it’s above East Valley Road, where a combination of gentle breezes, warm sunshine, and ocean views provide an idyllic setting. In this area you will find the most extravagant estates often boasting exemplary gardens.

Montecito’s reputation as a garden paradise began at the end of the 19th century as the East Coast wealthy began to seek out the restorative effects of a Southern California winter.

A modern example that has a similar appeal to some the George Washington Smith homes in the areas is 710 Picacho Lane. The home was built in 1996 and has been created for modern living with commanding ocean and mountain views.

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I’m cheating on my house again, but it is totally worth it for this one. Oh my, oh my. I saw this house and it took my breath away. I cannot help my feelings. It was a total Jedediah Leland/Citizen Kane moment: this house is my “girl in the white dress”.  I immediately flashed back to Mies Van Der Roh’s Farnsworth House, near where I grew up. But this home is called The Glass Pavilion, designed by Steve Hermann, and it is almost 14,000 square feet! A little big but I am still head over heels in love!

Set within a 3.5+/- acre estate of oak groves in Montecito, this almost entirely glass home allows occupants to be enveloped by  nature. As you drive down the long gated driveway, it slowly comes into view.

And it appears weightless, through the use of massive structural steel beams, as if it hovers above the expansive lawn. As you can imagine, the budget to build this home was virtually limit-less and it took six years to complete — well, this is California. The glass panels are all created of Star Fire glass, an incredibly clear glass usually reserved for jewelry displays. Kitchens and baths by Varena, Poliform and Antonio Lupi. The home has five bedrooms, five and a half baths, grand hallway and large wine room. (Do you see that walk-through shower?) The glass pavilion includes an art gallery where the owners currently display their vintage car collection. The space is so generous that it is capable of holding up to 32 cars within its walnut lined walls. I mean, you could practically hold the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in there!

The price is $23,900,000 and it has been reduced. I have been telling you — this is a great time to buy a house. Or maybe just buy love! And for a real weekend treat, sit back with a crisp glass of Pinot and watch this video — from the “mahvelous” Kevin Day Media. Crank up the volume! Enjoy!