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The Ambiance of a French Country Estate in Montecito


French Country Estate in Montecito for sale by Cristal ClarkeIn a recent article in Mansion Global, the editors caught up with Paris-based designer Dorothee Boissier, co-owner of acclaimed firm Gilles & Boissier, to find out how to create the ambiance of a French Country Estate anywhere in the world, including right here in Montecito. Here’s a portion of the interview:

Mansion Global: Describe your personal dream property

Dorothee Boissier: I think I have it, and I can’t believe it. We’re currently renovating an apartment in Paris’s eighth arrondissement. We have a garden and there’s a key that lets you into a park, called Park Monceau. There’s no road between your garden and the park. It’s amazing.

MG: What does luxury mean to you?

DB: It’s linked to freedom, and feeling protected, too. It’s also something that brings you wellness. It can be simple, but it makes you feel well.

Read: Today’s Top 6 Luxury Real Estate Trends                                             

Interior design couple wearing black against white wall. They look hip!

Image courtesy of

DB: A boat is the most incredible way of being hidden but still being in the city, to travel the world and be able to stay in great luxury. When I was a child, my father had a sailboat and we went almost all over the world. And after that, I was in hotels all the time, and it never compared to a boat. The boat design business is booming. The yacht industry is booming.

Read: Ready for a Channel Islands Cruise?

MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?

DB: Anywhere with incredible views and an incredible lifestyle; but it depends on individual taste.

Read: Santa Barbara Living: Testament to Why It’s a Top 100 City

MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?

DB: My bedroom, because it’s where I read and where I relax. It’s the most cozy room. Maybe in our next house, it’ll be another room where I feel as protected as in my bedroom. The best room is one where I feel protected, calm and relaxed—with a nice view.

Read: Maintaining a Healthy Home Begins in the Bedrooms and Bathrooms

MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?

DB: It’s very French because of its architecture. Both houses are from the end of the 19th century so they have beautiful moldings, nice ceiling height, and beautiful floors. I love when a home has history and you can imagine the people who lived there.

MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?

DB: I don’t give great value to material things. There’s a French artist that we love, Christian Astuguevieille, and we have a lot of sculptures and paintings from him. I can’t say they’re incredibly valuable, but we know the man and we know the story behind them.

MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?

DB: For me, it’s the garden.

Read: Around The World Ideas for Santa Barbara Gardens

MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?

DB: The most important thing is the layout. When we started working on apartments, we would first start with the layout. It’s important that the layout is right, and it gives quality to the place. That’s before you start with materials and decorations.

In France, when you go to a castle, there are rules about how things should be laid out. Comfort is key. It feels like every room is in the right position. If I had to buy an apartment and I knew I couldn’t change the position of the walls, I would look at the layout and see how you enter it and how you live in it. It’s what we call in France, interior architecture, and it’s very important.

I’d love to hear what Dorothee Boissier thinks about my portfolio of amazing estate listings on my comprehensive website. For instance, this Premier Montecito Estate pictured at the top of this blog post exudes the ambiance of a French country estate. Nestled on more than 4 spectacular acres, this magnificent manor represents the epitome of classic design, prestige, and privilege those of us who live in Montecito enjoy.

This property embraces all the things this leading interior director appreciates. First, throughout the property, walking paths and seating invite quiet contemplation; often under mature trees or surrounded by the estate’s exquisite landscaping. There is even a pond, embraced by emerald green lawns. It’s a focal point shared by many rooms of the estate as well as the sprawling multi-level terrace of the main residence. In winter, ducks arrive to enjoy the aquatic tranquility and charming waterfall. Beyond the pond, a pool, tennis court and orchard await. The property can accommodate equestrian facilities.

The original main residence was built in 1947, and the home has undergone a major renovation and expansion, as well as multiple upgrades. The resulting nearly 11,000 sq. ft. main residence, designed by noted architect Don Nulty, AIA, is now complemented by a separate guest studio, cabaña, multiple garages, a storage barn, pool, the large pond, tennis court, and beautiful landscaping. Stunning views, from many rooms as well as most areas of the grounds, are of the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountain Range.

If you are considering selling in Montecito, Hope Ranch or another of the Santa Barbara area’s upscale communities, give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at I’ll happily add your home to my portfolio of fine properties and find you the perfect place to call home at the same time. If it is true that luxury is what makes you feel well then you can’t go wrong by choosing to buy any of my amazing listings, including the Premier Montecito Estate featured in this post that will remind you of a French country estate.


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