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  • Josh Ramirez

The Hidden Hill house

Architect Robin Donaldson once remarked, "This isn’t the only Hill House out there," and indeed, he was onto something. From the Scottish Highlands to the deserts of Arizona, the title has graced historic homes, most famously in Shirley Jackson's Gothic masterpiece, The Haunting of Hill House. But fear not, for the Hill House nestled in Montecito, California, crafted by the renowned Southern California-based Donaldson + Partners, is far from eerie. Instead, it's a 10,720-square-foot marvel, brimming with whimsical secrets waiting to be uncovered.

Designed for art collectors Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinman, this Hill House is a beacon of cheerfulness. Its great room, adorned with sculptural plaster surfaces reminiscent of sand dollars, welcomes guests with warmth and comfort. From the bespoke sofa by Nina Edwards Anker to the mesmerizing metallic artwork by Anish Kapoor, every corner exudes a sense of artistic delight.

The journey to creating this architectural wonder was anything but conventional. After selling their online education business, Heavin and Weinman sought a lifestyle upgrade, enlisting Donaldson's expertise for a project that defied norms. Perched on a slender ridge overlooking the sea, the house is a testament to emotional exploration and design innovation.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a grand living and dining space, leading them through a desert-inspired central garden and into the depths of the building, where luxury amenities and surreal architectural marvels await. From a plush-seated movie theater to a garage with a full-size automobile turntable, every corner holds a surprise.

Interior designer Meg Joannides of MLK Studio faced the challenge of harmonizing the home's off-kilter charm with livability. Her meticulous attention to detail and global sourcing efforts resulted in a space that seamlessly blends functionality with eccentricity.

As if the architecture weren't captivating enough, the couple's burgeoning art collection adds another layer of intrigue. Optical illusions and technical wizardry abound, from Janet Echelman's multicolored fiber net to Anish Kapoor's mesmerizing fractal mirror.

Even after a year of residency, Heavin and Weinman find themselves continuously immersed in the mysteries of Hill House. Every day brings new discoveries, from the ever-changing reflections of the art pieces to the dramatic transformation of the outside world as day turns to night.

In the spirit of exploration and discovery, Hill House stands not as a haunted abode, but as a sanctuary where art, nature, and innovation converge to captivate and inspire all who enter its doors.

If your interested in finding your own architectural masterpiece nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Montecito or Santa Barbara lets connect, (805) 455-9066

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