Home & Garden

The Santos home in Pismo Beach: Ranch life on the coast

Rustic elegance is the theme for the dining area in the Santos home.
Rustic elegance is the theme for the dining area in the Santos home. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Every few weeks, Mike and Kerri Santos leave the daily rigors of their Tulare family farm and escape to the coast. But their Pismo Beach home isn’t entirely removed from ranch life.

They purchased the 1970s-built home in 1999 for its sweeping ocean views and its generous 3,100 square feet, which offers enough space for their large extended family.

The house was in dire need of a facelift, however.

So the Santos family took on a major remodel that would restyle the exterior of the house, revamp landscaping, update their décor, and transform their dated kitchen. Pat Campbell of Pony Express Construction was general contractor for much of the project. Tyler and Alli Addison were the driving force behind the exterior remodel, through their landscaping company Addison Landscape, and Alli’s company, Alli Addison Branding + Design. Alli, an interior designer, also assisted with the interior decorating.

The remodel unfolded in stages over the past two years. The Santoses’ goal was beach-house-meets-ranch-house style, blending the ease of coastal living with their preference for traditional design and Western accents.The beach references are subtle. “My husband didn’t want anything too nautical,” said Kerri Santos. So they drenched their space in a color palette reminiscent of warm sand. Serene and understated, it keeps the focus on the spectacular view.

As it turns out, ranch and beach styles coexist nicely. Textural fabrics, weathered woods and other natural materials live well in both worlds. The living room chairs, made from aged wood and clad in nubby linen fabric, are both coastal casual and well-suited to contemporary ranch style. The large piece of twisted wood hung above the entry to the kitchen, purchased from Habitat in San Luis Obispo, could be a fallen tree from a ranch — or a piece of driftwood.

The couple balanced rustic with refined throughout the house. In the kitchen, leathered, black granite countertops contrast with the backsplash, which is clad in elegant, subtly crackle-finished ceramic tile from the Walker Zanger Gramercy Park line. The color is a taupe-gray, which Alli Addison said is “approachable” and inspired the palette of the rest of the house.

The old brick fireplace wasn’t a good fit for the updated traditional look the family sought. So they had it coated in plaster with a finish that resembles stone. The new, sleeker hearth is a fine backdrop for rustic accents, including a large, weathered antique wagon axle.

There are numerous references to the family’s ranching background. In the living room, a cowhide rug anchors the seating area, spurs sit on a shelf, and wood salvaged from one of their old barns is framed and hung on the wall. Pewter metal ceiling tiles bring Western ambience to the kitchen, and antique jugs sit atop the dining room buffet. A huge, weathered metal clock over the newly revamped fireplace is a focal point for the entire great room.

Alli Addison redesigned the exterior, which, she said, used to be “very brown — brown stucco, brown fascia, old oak and brass-detailed front door, etc. It was time to lighten it up.”

Lighten up they did with a breezy color palette of taupe and white. They replaced the old windows, doors, light fixtures, decks and railings. They opted for cable-wire railings to avoid obstructing views. New gutters are dark bronze to “contrast against the clean, white fascia and trim,” said Addison. They replaced the dated, oversized oak front double doors with a single Dutch door and two illuminating sidelights. The color for the door is, appropriately, Sherwin Williams’ “Red Barn.”

The Santoses and their extended family plan to use their beach house frequently this summer to retreat from the heat of the Central Valley. And while the view may not be the same as their vistas in Tulare, the feel is as down home and comfortable as the family ranch.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune