An all-white single-story house—with multiple outdoor rooms, vibrant green accents, and modern-heirloom decor—stands out among neighboring mansions because of its simple perfection.

montecito ranch house Adirondack chairs Molly rose photography
Molly Rose Photography, Amanda Chappell Design

When Orange County-based interior designer Amanda Chappell got the call from her sister about a ranch house she and her husband purchased in Santa Barbara, Chappell knew she was about to have some fun.

Saarinen table vintage dhurrie rug montecito Molly Rose photo
A Saarinen table found on Chairish is surrounded by chairs bought from the clearance section at HD Buttercup. The dhurrie rug is from The Finde consignment shop in Newport, California.

Molly Rose

“She gave me free rein over the project, but it all had to be done for a dime,” says Chappell, who was ecstatic to get the green light to re-think this classic ranch house in the foothills with “peekaboo views” despite the financial restrictions. The budget was tight, but there were zero limits on her creativity. “Most of the people I work with let me sneak in a few consignment pieces here and there, but they’re mostly focused on new things that are trying to look old.”

Selamat basket pendants kitchen montecito
Chappell replaced upper cabinets with floating shelves and painted the rest of the kitchen white in a budget-conscious refresh. The tile backsplash is Clé rectangular Zellige tile in lagoon.

Molly Rose

When you think of Montecito, the storied neighborhood in Santa Barbara that Oprah and a certain former prince call home, “bargain” isn’t the first word that springs to mind. It’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world, studded with $50 million houses. So when a three-bedroom vintage ranch house like this one sells, the neighbors have come to expect the demolition crew to roll in and start construction on yet another fake-Tuscan villa.

montecito garden flagstone patio Adirondack chairs Molly Rose photography
A pair of modern Adirondack chairs from Home Depot are positioned to take in views of the manicured garden, laced with gravel pathways.

Molly Rose photography

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“They bought it from the original owners, and the interiors hadn’t been touched since the 1970s,” Chappell says. “I love a classic ranch house, so it was a fun challenge for me to update and furnish it on a shoestring, using as much vintage and secondhand as possible.”

Timothy Oulton sectional vintage rug
Accents of red from a vintage rug and pink from a Paule Marrot painting make the living room come alive. Sectional by Timothy Oulton.

Molly Rose

Chappell’s goal was to unify the interior space, create more of a flow between the rooms by punching through one of the walls, remodel the bathrooms, and start with a clean canvas of Simply White paint by Benjamin Moore.

Farrow & Ball Folly Green front door
The cheery front door, painted in Folly Green by Farrow & Ball, sets a free-spirited tone before you set foot inside.

Molly Rose Photography

The biggest expense was adding a third full bathroom, replacing the fixtures with Signature Hardware faucets and shower heads, and investing in Clé Zellige tile in ocean-inspired shades of blue and teal.

Cle tile black marble primary bathroom
Mirrors from CB2 hang over the double vanity in the primary bathroom. The tile in the shower and on the floor is by Clé.

Molly Ros

“We used one slab of black marble for two bathrooms,” Chappell explains. “And then we used a slab of white marble in the kitchen, taking the leftover remnants and putting it in that additional bathroom.”

The furniture is a mix of vintage and consignment pieces—paintings, bed frames, chairs, tables, and rugs—scavenged for a steal from local consignment shops in Newport, Chappell’s hometown, and nearby Summerland.

vintage desk pendant Anthropologie mirror primary bedroom
A consignment painting hangs over the bed in the primary bedroom. The desk and rush-seat stool are vintage, as is the pendant lamp. The mirror is from Anthropologie.

Molly Rose.

In the bedrooms, a mix of linens from West Elm are elevated by a few select pillows and coverlets from Blue Springs Home, and a handful of vintage Ralph Lauren pillows.

guest bedroom Kantha quilt montecito
A painting by Chappell’s mother hangs in a guest bedroom. The kantha quilt is made of repurposed saris. The pillow, side table, and lamp are consignment finds.

Molly Rose

door trim Folly Green Farrow & Ball Montecito
A back door, painted in Folly Green by Farrow & Ball, and patio connects the main house to the garage. Chappell installed hooks for beach gear and dog leashes, and a bench to clean sandy feet.

Molly Rose

But it’s the outdoor space that stops the show. There is one long veranda at the rear of the house that connects the primary bedroom to the main living area, and three smaller decks and patios furnished with lounge chairs, dining areas, and conversation circles.

outdoor dining Article furniture montecito
A table and four chairs from Article create a peaceful dining area on one of the decks.

Molly Rose

“We bought eight Adirondack chairs from Home Depot, of that composite material that’s meant to look like wood,” says Chappell. “They’re very low maintenance and well made. The rest of the outdoor pieces are from Article.”

article lounge chairs patio with vines
Two lounge chairs from Article sit on a patio off of the primary bedroom.

Molly Rose

Chappell advises anyone who’s intrigued by consignment shopping to trust their gut. If you love something, buy it. Then figure out how to make it work later.

framed Mexican folk art fabric over a vintage bar
Scraps of hand-embroidered Mexican folk art fabric are framed and hang over a small tequila bar.

Molly Rose

“If you surround yourself with things that you love, you’re going to be happier,” Chappell says. “If everything in a house is brand new, it’s flat and boring. There’s no life to it.”

As shipping delays and limited availability of new items continues, it’s getting harder to find bargains at secondhand and antique stores, Chappell says. But that shouldn’t deter you.

peg rail straw hats montecito
A series of paintings by LaMonte Lemoreux hangs over a piece of an antique bed frame, used to hold straw hats and market bags.

Molly Rose

“Mixing vintage into your home can show the beauty of old things, of mixing texture and color in unexpected ways,” she says. “This house is special to me because it’s the one and only project that I’ve been able to do exactly the way that I want. It’s a simple house in a gorgeous setting filled with interesting things.”

fire ring Adirondack chairs montecito Molly rose
A conversation circle around a fire pit, surrounded by fruit trees on the property. The chairs are from Home Depot, but the view is priceless.

Molly Rose


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