Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 4:48 pm | Fair 60º


Dwell on Design Inspires Montecito Couple’s Green Dream Home

Celeste Koeberl and John Gostovich dreamed of one day owning a home on the California coast that reflected their long-held values of living sustainably.

Overwhelmed by the design possibilities for their “green” dream home, the couple devoured information from Dwell print and online content as well as attended Dwell on Design L.A. in 2008 to synthesize their vision and ultimately convert an aged ranch style home and neglected 11-acre estate into an eco-friendly compound.

Every year, thousands flock to Los Angeles for Dwell on Design L.A. — the largest design event in the United States — seeking education, inspiration and resources for modern home design. This year, organizers expected 30,000 to attend the event held over the weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“Dwell Magazine and the Dwell on Design event was very helpful to us during our design process," Koeberl said. "We found both inspiration and practical information on modern residential architecture, sustainable development, universal design, green building, green roofs, energy efficiency, solar energy systems, geothermal heating and cooling, windows and doors, kitchens and baths, lighting, appliances, furnishings, and just about every other topic that arises when designing and building a modern green home.”

Six years after they first attended Dwell on Design L.A., Koeberl and Gostovich have nearly completed their dream home: a three structure, purpose-built "green" compound that successfully blends modern design in a pastoral setting, offering an exciting, modern take on agricultural vernacular architecture while maximizing the sustainable principles upon which it was designed.

Cradled in a private nook overlooking the Pacific Ocean within Montecito’s Toro Canyon, the estate includes a 5,000-plus-square-foot main house, a 700-square-foot guest house and a 2,000-plus-square-foot barn.

Thoughtfully planned and developed over the course of a decade, the estate was designed for a life lived intentionally, one that acknowledges and appreciates the desire for modern amenities while respecting the resources required in order to sustain that lifestyle. As such, the property was purpose-built with the environment in mind, utilizing when possible locally sourced, recycled/recyclable and low thermal conductivity building materials. The orientation and placement of the structures and gardens maximize natural resources and the use of environmental technologies help produce and conserve energy, including Solar Photovoltaics, Geothermal Zoned Radiant Heat and Evaporative Cooling technologies.

The 5,000-plus-square foot main home reflects how design and contemporary lifestyle can merge to reinterpret a rural classic, at once stimulating excitement for something new with the natural comfort of a familiar icon — The Farmhouse. Corrugated metal siding gives authenticity to the structure and an industrial edge while providing a barrier to fire and other natural elements — over time, the patina maturing. The alternating slump stone adds visual interest. Metal stairs climax to fabulous views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and to your surprise, a rooftop built for gardening.

Adjacent to the main home, and situated on top of the three-car garage, is the similarly styled green guesthouse. Fancy yourself a horse or two? The barn can accommodate. Comprising more than 2,000 square feet on two levels, this fire-resistant steel building structure a workshop, two horse stalls, tack room, office and room for storage.

A private well supplies an automated irrigation system for the orchards (including 200 avocado trees, 36 assorted citrus trees and 36 other fruit trees), gardens and other landscaping. Native boulders and flagstone were used in the design and borders of the orchard, gardens, terraces, driveways and paths.

Nearly complete, the interior of the main home is the last remaining component to be finished, and much to their dismay, Koeberl and her husband have decided to sell the property and permanently remain in their home state of Wisconsin.

Maurie McGuire and Scott Westlotorn of Coldwell Banker Previews International in Montecito represent the property, which is listed for sale for $4.8 million.

“This magnificent property is ideally suited for the contemporary design aficionado who values a sustainable lifestyle," McGuire said. "Make it your own micro-farm, extended family compound or luxury retreat. Produce your own energy and food and go 'off the grid' or travel just a short distance to the quaint villages of Montecito or Summerland. This property offers it all — exceptional views and luxurious living, without the guilt!”

McGuire and Westlotorn are located at 1290 Coast Village Road in Montecito. McGuire can be reached at 805.403.8816 or [email protected]. Westlotorn can be reached at 805.403.4313 or [email protected]. Click here for more information.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Dianne and Brianna Johnson
Dianne and Brianna Johnson
"We are committed to making our clients feel special by providing the concierge level service they deserve."

Full Profile >