Sue Grafton, beloved author of best-selling mysteries, was known for weaving an intriguing tale. The late writer also managed to whip up an intriguing home.
She and husband Steve Humphrey designed a beautiful mansion on a hill in Montecito, CA. It’s listed with a new price of $6,999,000, after going on the market earlier this year with an $8.5 million price tag.
The five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home was completed in 2010. Grafton, who also spent time in her native Kentucky, where she owned another stylish estate, filled the coastal California property with a distinctive mix of SoCal cool and Southern charm. The author died in late 2017, after completing “Y is for Yesterday,” her last novel in the series.
“Showcasing a Southern flair, this traditional home is filled with Martha Stewart’s collection of colors and does not have a single white wall,” says listing agent Crysta Metzger.
“The eaves of the home are painted in Haint Blue to keep the spirits and haints out, which is the Southern pronunciation of ‘haunt,’” says Metzger. “Mixing Southern California living with Southern hospitality, the home’s attention to detail and careful choice of materials offer a timeless elegance that does not disappoint.”
Tucked away on 2.04 hillside acres, the property includes a 5,790-square-foot main residence and a 800-square-foot guesthouse situated above a three-car garage.
Elegant and expansive porches with lattice railings wrap much of the exterior. They’re the perfect place for rocking chairs, swings, and tall glasses of sweet tea. There’s even a fireplace on the front porch for those chilly coastal nights.
There are three more fireplaces inside, in the formal living room, formal dining room, and master suite.
The spacious master suite also features French doors opening to a balcony with a view of the hills and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The luxurious marble bathroom comes with a soaking tub, separate shower, and dual sinks.
As you would expect from a prolific writer, there are plenty of built-in bookcases, as well as reading nooks situated to take advantage of the sunlight coming in from large windows.
There’s also plenty of room for cookbooks in the chef’s kitchen with its double islands, marble countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and large pantry.
Outdoors, walking paths wind past ponds and fountains under mature oak trees for which the area is famous. A long, gated driveway is lined with specimen fruit and other ornamental trees.
It’s easy to see how the lovely setting informed her lead character, private investigator Kinsey Millhone, whom Grafton based in Santa Teresa, a fictionalized version of Santa Barbara.
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