By Lucy Searle
Rob Lowe recently sold the breath-taking mansion in Montecito near Santa Barbara he shares with his wife Sheryl – and while it took time to sell, the wait was more than worth it. The house was originally listed in 2018 at $47 million and with only one price cut in 2019 to $43 million, it just sold over the asking price at $45.5 million.
A classic East Coast style and a stand out from the general Mediterranean architecture in the area, the Lowe estate is sited on just over three acres. The main house was designed by architect Don Nulty, built in 2009 and encompasses 10,000 square feet.
With a total of 20 rooms, including large open formal living rooms, a huge white and cheerful family kitchen, a separate catering kitchen, eight bedrooms, 11 baths, an office, library-music room with bar, family room, various conversation rooms and nooks, movie theater, well-equipped gym and expansive wine cellar, this house is worth a tour. And, once you're done, you can see more of the world's best homes on our dedicated page.
In addition to the main house, the grounds contain a two-bedroom guest house, one-bedroom pool house with staff quarters and an outdoor kitchen. Also a pool and spa, tennis court with observation areas and lushly landscaped lawns large enough for team sports with mature trees and a vegetable garden.
The house is located in celebrity-studded Montecito; and the new owners will be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s biggest stars, including Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Gwyneth Paltrow. Montecito is a much-favored retreat away from the work-a-day world of filmdom, located 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County with spectacular hillside views, nearby whale watching and beautiful weather.
Lowe became one of Hollywood’s youngest hot shots in the 1980s in hit movies The Outsiders, St, Elmo’s Fire and Oxford Blues and later in his role in the popular TV drama The West Wing. More recently he has appeared in the comedy Parks and Recreation and reality-show adventures with his two sons in The Lowe Files.
The house, which has nine indoor fireplaces throughout, with one in the master suite, is a manifestation of the Lowes' smart but laid-back style, with many of the furnishings in natural materials.
One living room houses a nook with a bar with a mirrored back wall; this is a wonderfully sociable space, perfect for entertaining friends and family.
The living spaces lead out on to a deck that runs the length of the property, so that the connection between indoor and outdoor living is perfectly possible.
The colorful artworks that hang on the walls of the living spaces give each one its own distinct personality – and plenty of character.
Soft, muted, natural shades are a common theme throughout the house, which, paired with white walls, makes the house easy to live in.
Beautiful polished wood flooring runs throughout the house, with area rugs laid over it to provide a cozy focus, color, pattern and comfort.
The kitchen is light, bright and spacious, but it isn't the only one in the house: there is a catering kitchen, too, for special occasions.
The library houses a full-size pool table and, like many of the other rooms in the house, has a circular table that hints at how the Lowes love to create a sociable space at every opportunity.
The bedrooms have beautiful views out over the property's generous gardens – and access to the wide terraces.
Like the rest of the house, the bathrooms are decorated in white, with beautiful veined marble used around the bath and vanity units. Similarly, large mirrors have been fitted to enhance the feeling of light and space, even in the smaller rooms.
This bathroom has views on all three sides of the grounds beyond the house – and the mountains in the distance.
This bathroom houses a dressing room, with a chaise and rug that makes the space feel more like it's created for lounging than practical reasons.
Dressing room wardrobes have glazed doors to make accessing the right outfit easy.
The upper terraces capture not just the grounds of the mansion, but the Pacific Ocean beyond. The views are truly beautiful.
The Lowes' love of entertaining is obvious in the social spaces on the ground floor, so it is no surprise that the house has an impeccably designed wine cellar.
And, of course, as you would expect from any self-respecting movie star, there is a huge cinema room for viewing premieres, golden oldies and, no doubt, Rob's own projects.
The terrace at the back of the property runs its length, giving many of the rooms direct access to the outside spaces. It is furnished for socializing, with sets of armchairs grouped together and around tables.
The outdoor room has plenty of seating, a fireplace to gather around when the weather is a little cooler, and a TV screen for enjoying The West Wing (it's our favorite, anyway) outside.
There are two outside fireplaces, terraces, one that overlooks a tennis court, and loggias for relaxing or entertaining, a water serenade from fountains and a koi pond. Formal rose gardens overlook the lawn and from most any location, you can enjoy sunsets over the Pacific. Bliss.
The agents for the Lowe home were Eric Haskell of The Agency and Luke Ebbin of Compass. Thanks to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com for letting us share this amazing home.
My first job was writing a DIY column for a magazine for the over 50s (which seemed a long way off back then). I then moved to a DIY magazine as deputy ed, then freelanced my way around the homes departments of most women's magazines on the market before working on Your Home and Family Circle magazines as homes editor. From there, I went to Ideal Home magazine as associate editor, then launched 4Homes magazine for Channel 4, then the Channel 4 4Homes website before going back to freelancing and running a social media business (you can see where I had kids from the freelancing gaps!). I was tempted back to the world of big business by the chance to work with the great team at Realhomes.com, where I was Global Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years, taking it from a small website to a global entity. I've now handed the reins of the website to our American managing editor, while I take on a new challenge as Editor-in-Chief of Homes & Gardens.
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