In 2006, Lowe and his wife, jewelry designer Sheryl Lowe, quietly purchased the vacant property for $8.5 million. Then they began construction on what would become Oakview, a six-bedroom, 11-bath, East Coast–inspired family compound.
“With our boys now out of the house, we’re looking forward to our next real estate adventure,” the “Parks and Recreation” actor told the Los Angeles Times. The couple’s two sons, Matthew and John Owen, are both in college (and shooting a paranormal TV series for A&E with their dad).
The design of Oakview was inspired by Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation in his home state of Virginia, Lowe told Architectural Digest in 2016 . The Virginia-born actor had lobbied his wife for a Mount Vernon–esque red roof, he said, “but that was a no-fly zone—our only argument” over the home’s design.
The home features a traditional living room with a fireplace, crown moldings, wood paneling, and three sets of French doors that open to the veranda and backyard. There’s a piano bar, with a fireplace and wet bar that includes a wine refrigerator, glass shelving, and mirrored backdrop.
The formal dining room also has a fireplace and French doors. The kitchen is anchored by a large, Carrara marble-topped island with seating for four. There are white Shaker-style cabinets, a walk-in pantry with a refrigerator, and Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Miele appliances. There’s a commercial kitchen downstairs for a catering team, with a dumbwaiter connecting the two kitchens.
There’s also a family room, morning room, library, 1,800-bottle wine room, home theater with 12-foot screen, home gym, and office with its own veranda, koi pond, and waterfall. The master bedroom has two bathrooms, and a walk-in closet with glass doors and a marble island.
Outside, the property was clearly designed to handle large parties. There’s a wide, rectangular lawn with views of the Pacific Ocean, and, behind the house, the Santa Ynez mountains. Elsewhere, there’s a tennis court with elevated viewing areas, a rose garden, a guesthouse, and a pool house.
“A house also has to be comfortable, able to withstand the simultaneous traffic of teenagers playing football on the lawn, barbecuing on the patio, me slipping off to write,” Lowe told Architectural Digest. “Our challenge was extrapolating our views on how to live our lives and raise our children into what we need in a home.”
Oakview was not without controversy. In 2006, next-door neighbor Fred Gluck, former McKinsey & Company chief executive, objected to Lowe’s plans to erect a 24-foot-high privacy fence around the property, saying it would block his ocean views.
The Santa Barbara News–Press published Lowe’s address in a subsequent story, and was sharply criticized by the paper’s publisher, Wendy McCaw. Five editors quit the paper in protest.
More recently, the home dodged the January mudslides that killed 21 people and destroyed 100 homes.
“Praying for all our friends and neighbors. Very bad situation in Montecito,” Lowe tweeted at the time, later adding: “Mourning the dead in our little town tonight. Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come.”
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