Patio with view of ocean

Combining timeless architecture with the comforts of modern living, Santa Barbara style homes are popular in Orange County for their spacious layouts and eye-catching exteriors that serve as perfect complements to the hilly Californian landscape. 

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas in Orange County to find homes modeled after the popular Santa Barbara style. 

But before we get into where to find these elegant, sought after houses, let's cover some basics:

What Is Santa Barbara Style?

Houses modeled after Santa Barbara style have a unique and distinctive look to them, and chances are they’re the first thing you think of when you think about the luxurious Orange County lifestyle.

Pulling influence from Tuscan, Mediterranean and Spanish styles but built in Colonial style, these houses usually contain stucco exteriors with great bay windows, large pillars supporting second story balconies, and dramatic staircases and exposed wooden-beam ceilings inside.
Santa Barbara style homes are easily identified by their red tiled terracotta roofs, often with matching red tiled floors, contrasted by stark white walls. 

Pools, striking fountain features and elegant tropical gardens are typical features found in the backyards and courtyards of these homes as well, as Santa Barbara style homes are built to accentuate the tropical climate these homes are built for.

Summed up, there are four main features of Santa Barbara style homes:

  • White stucco walls

  • Red tile roofs, usually terracotta

  • Exposed wooden-beam ceilings

  • Use of arches, balconies and asymmetric design

With these few features in mind, let's look at some of the best communities that contain Santa Barbara style homes in Orange County:

Shady Canyon

With its incredible views of rolling hills and scenic parkland typical of the Orange County area, Shady Canyon is ideally located to the east of Turtle Ridge and just south of Quail Hill. 

Sports enthusiasts love being directly north of Shady Canyon Golf Club, east of Strawberry Farms Golf Club, and just to the west of Crystal Cove State Park, where hiking and biking trails abound for over 2,400 acres.

With so much parkland all around Shady Canyon, it’s easy to see how the Santa Barbara architecture of these palatial estates fits in so well with the rolling hills of Orange County.

Corona del Mar

Located right next to the Pacific Ocean, this seaside neighborhood in Newport Beach is located on the sea-facing side of the San Joaquin Hills, so many of these beautiful homes have both city and ocean views, making them among the most desirable in Orange County. This paradisiacal hybrid of both land and water landscapes pairs perfectly with the mediterranean aspects of the many Santa Barbara homes that reside here. 

Laguna Beach

Also located on ocean facing hills on the southeast side of Crystal Cove State Park, this popular city is known for its mix of thriving art culture and natural beauty provided by its many beaches.

With almost six miles of coastline, this popular Orange County city doesn’t lack for Santa Barbara style houses boasting stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from their front yards, living rooms, balconies, and even swimming pools. 

Laguna Beach residents are part of an exclusive community of less than 25,000 people, with many large luxury properties, a perfect match for the magnificent life that awaits homeowners in this Orange County town.

Newport Coast

Located in the area between Buck Gully Reserve to the northwest and Crystal Cove State Park to the southeast, Newport Coast is situated around an abundance of ocean and parkland views.

These factors combine to make this yet another Orange County neighborhood with a natural backdrop that complements the Santa Barbara style well.

Are you interested in learning more about Santa Barbara style homes? Contact Jacqueline Thompson to find out where these luxurious houses are available in Orange County today!

Posted by Jacqueline Thompson on


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