Historic Ranch House Renovation

Lutah Maria Riggs Renovation

These owners wanted to renovate this Spanish Colonial Revival home, one of the last designed by renowned architect Lutah Maria Riggs, without changing the overall aesthetic. Working together with Deborah Campbell Interior Design, Allen Construction was tasked with modernizing the kitchen and baths and freshening finishes throughout, with minimal changes to the exterior and floor plan. Key Spanish Revival elements were not just preserved, but enhanced, as a result of the renovation. Windows, destroyed by moisture damage and dry rot over the years, were replaced and the exterior re-plastered. The small, dark kitchen and dining rooms were opened into one large room and the kitchen ceiling raised to 10 ft. The newly renovated great room allows the owners and guests to enjoy panoramic ocean and mountain views. Old carpeting was replaced with new walnut floors engineered with wood from the owners’ childhood home in Ohio.

Riggs (October 1896 – March 1984) was the first licensed female architect in Santa Barbara and the first California woman named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Known for her Spanish Revival designs and, in later years, more contemporary ones, Riggs was made partner in the firm of noted Spanish Revival architect George Washington Smith in 1924. In 1931, she started her own firm and worked throughout the Southern California region until her death. Riggs contributed significantly to the designs of many of Santa Barbara’s most well-known buildings. These clients inherited this home from their parents, who built the home in 1980. The fact that it was designed by Lutah Maria Riggs makes this both a locally significant and historic home.