Massive Montecito ranch built by architect Cliff May listed for $19.5 million


The Cliff May-designed home in Montecito was originally built in 1952 for $125,000. Following a restoration and expansion, it’s now for sale at $19.5 million.

Plenty of A-list celebrities have inhabited homes built by architect Cliff May, and rightfully so. Considered the father of the California ranch style, May is noted for designing homes that erase the lines between indoors and outdoors.

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Sean Penn and Bea Arthur have all reportedly owned May-designed digs. The latest to hit the market, an expansive 9,454-square-foot estate in Montecito, is listed for $19.5 million.

The residence, designed in a horseshoe shape, was built for $125,000 in 1952. Since then, it has been updated, growing from four bedrooms to seven, but still maintains its original architecture.

The home is entered by a large courtyard with a palm tree island surrounded by colorful landscaping. There are sliding glass doors in nearly every bedroom and living space that bring the outdoors in, a signature of the architect.


High ceilings and open-beam skylights flood spaces with natural light, while the large chef’s kitchen features a butler’s pantry and three different rooms for storage.

The 4.2-acre plot, which sits near the ocean, contains a citrus orchard, multiple patios for entertaining, a sports court,and an oxygenated pool that the home wraps around. A guest house has been fashioned into a gym, and the garage has space for six cars.

Jill Reeder of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage holds the listing.


The seller is Natalya Pavchinsky, founder of the Sanchaya resort on the Indonesian island of Bintan. She purchased the property bout five years ago.

May, who died in 1989, is credited with creating the California ranch-style house in 1932. His homes blend Western and Hispanic hacienda styles with elements of modernism, and he designed over 1,000 custom residences and a few commercial buildings, such as the Robert Mondavi Winery, during his career.

Twitter: @jflem94



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