The Butterfly Beach house by Maienza-+ Wilson Interior Design and Architecture gets its name from its Butterfly Roof, which is designed as such to hide the photovoltaic solar panels that cover it. Located in Montecito, Santa Barbara County California, USA, it is one of the first homes to receive Platinum Level LEED certification and some of the sustainable features that granted it this status are the Icynene spray foam insulation, the radiant floor heating, the 5,000 gallon rainwater cistern located beneath the home, the drought resistant gardens (watered by the cistern) and of course the roof top garden of drought resistant grasses that provide the residence with passive cooling and the solar panels which supply the home with enough electricity to operate the entire residence.
On first approach, the two-story home offers a humble and private façade that belies the luxurious and Zen like social zones within. A grass grouted concrete driveway leading up to the home allows for rainwater dispersal during rainy weather while lush plantings are chosen for their drought tolerance. Flanking the driveway are to buildings, the garage and the poolroom, both sporting rooftop gardens of drought resistant grasses.
The rooftop garden over the garage is overlooked by a private room complete with a laptop station.
From the entry way the roof gardens are hidden, as are the solar panels on the Butterfly roof.
The hidden roof garden to the right of the entry is accessed from the second story deck creating the perfect place for star gazing late in the evening.
The deck travels from the roof garden to the front of the home where the social zone is located.
The social zone takes place on the second volume to take advantage of the ocean views. Bringing an outdoor lifestyle to the space is a both a BBQ tucked against the far wall of the deck and a cozy seating arrangement that overlooks the pool below. When it get too hot, a cantilevered and slatted arbor offers shade.
The living area of the home is bathed in warm woods via the floors and wall treatment while the furnishings are slip covered in linen for a casually elegant decor.
The social zone of the Butterfly Beach House is a large and open floor plan with the living, dining and kitchen areas grouped to take advantage of the ocean views. Along the view wall is both the living and dining areas while the prep zone within the kitchen also has a direct visual to the views beyond.
The kitchen within the home and the BBQ on the deck flanks the dining area which features a large square table capable of seating 8. The wall between the two cooking zones features a gas fireplace with a stunning stainless steel surround.
The stainless steel surround of the fireplace creates a continuum of materials with the kitchen appliances (except for the refrigerator) and bar pendants. The stone facade of the fireplace is repeated on the counter tops and waterfall edges of the island and the floating wood shelves beside the fireplace are also repeated on either side of the stove vent while the choice of wood used within the dining room shelving is repeated on the face of the refrigerator. Switching up the materials to create a interesting visual is the horizontal grained pale wood on the face of the island bar.
The island is designed to line up with the dining room table, creating one continuous site line straight out to and past the deck where the views of lush vegetation and the Pacific Ocean create a sense of serenity and peace.
Even the intricate backsplash on the far wall of the kitchen brings a feeling of zen to the social zone. The various shades of grey that form an undulating pattern, merge to form a solid palette of calming grey and with the tiles covering the complete wall, the overall effect is a subtle contrast to the grey and white hues used elsewhere.
As day turns to evening and its time to turn in, or when its time to take a dip in the pool, a flight of stairs leads down from the upper level to a vestibule that lines up with the inside corner of the pool.
The stairs are a series of cantilevered solid blocks of wood framed by a clear glass balustrade and a wood dowel handrail. The organic expression of the stairs is repeated by the large boulder sculptures at the bottom of the stairwell.
The cantilevered treads are clear coated to show off the beauty of the natural graining.
The vestibule is a study of simplicity. The large boulder art forms offer perches to sit on and enjoy the sculptural figureform on the pedestal next to them and just outside a rockscape features contrasting hard edged rock pillars within a sea of smaller white an grey rocks that are surrounded by a drought resistant green ground cover. Bringing extra height and scale to the Zen garden is a deciduous tree of delicate leaves.
the Zen Garden offers a colourful moment against the backdrop of the decking and in the evening when the uplights are on, dramatic shadow lines dance across the deck.
The naturally landscaped areas just past the pool create the perfect foil against the geometry of the pool, deck and Zen Garden.
The pool has a series of 3 stepping platforms crossing the shallow end of the water and just past the deep end is an adjoining poolroom that inhabits the space below the roof top garden to the right of the entry way and a small passageway between the residence and the poolroom connect the backyard with the entryway.
The poolroom is filled with a large comfortable sectional layered with brightly patterned pillows as well as a few select pieces in white. The overall feeling is one of energy and fun. What an awesome place to hang out with friends or family after swimming a few laps!
Beside the pool and next to the Zen Garden is a guest suite complete with an outdoor seating area. Located next to the pool it’s the perfect place for guests to take advantage of the home’s amenities.
The guest bedroom is small but bears the essentials.
The Master Suite is next to the Guest Bedroom and looks out onto its own private firepit, complete with a sunken conversation area.
The fire pit overlooks a private garden setting.
The Master Suite features an ensuite clad in cafe mocha glass tiles laid in a vertical pattern creating almost a bamboo effect. With all the walls covered in tiles there is no need for barriers around the shower features.
The guest bathroom also features glass tiles, but this time in random sized pencil tiles of various brown hues. Here too, the shower area is clad in tiles and a simple glass panel separates the shower zone from the rest of the bathroom. Just past the shower is access to the pool deck.
The guest bathroom is easily accessible from the poolroom as well.
Whether enjoying the drought resistant gardens, the pool or the residence itself, this Platinum Certified LEED home is a place no guest will want to leave.
Maienza-+ Wilson Interior Design and Architecture
Photography by Narayanan Naranyanan, Andrew Petrich, Jim Bartsch Photography