As you might know from my Instagram, I have a new column with Horse & Style Magazine – “Horse & Style Home.” As I mentioned in Part I, I’m breaking the article up into a few parts so I can post more pictures (some exclusives that weren’t in the magazine)! To read the whole article in entirety though, click here. (Photos via Taylor Rea Photography).
The Milton Menasco Influence
Santa Barbara has a definite style, but from a design perspective, basically anything goes on the California coast. While Spanish ranches and custom Mediterranean homes abound, Alli knew she wanted something more unique for her own personal residence. She would, of course, honor her family’s rich heritage, but she admits to two additional style influences: her great great uncle, well-known equestrian artist Milton Menasco’s work, as well as her love for Kentucky.
“When I was 15, I took a break from competing on horseback and got involved in a horse judging program that took me all over the country, and primarily to Kentucky. I was so taken by the landscape there, the farms, the style, the way of living, and the horses. Additionally, my late Aunt Florence Menasco, wife to my Uncle Milton Menasco, was now living in California in a quaint little Kentucky-style home. I loved visiting her at her home, and taking in the mid-century classicism of her space. The art, the mill work, the colors, the furnishings, the shutters, and the board and batten exterior.”
Alli believes that her relation to the artist and her upbringing with his family influenced her style in a very classical way. In her home, Menasco’s work is mainly surrounded by traditional elements, but she does, at times, push the boundaries. “I’ve long told clients that classical art can exist in both traditional and modern settings. The juxtaposition can be a very good thing. But for my own personal style, I find myself developing a deep appreciation for soft, natural colors, similar to those you find in Menasco’s pieces. His landscapes in the background of his subjects are stunning. His use of terrain, skyscapes, etc. – all the colors are soft yet true. I find myself pulling a lot of blues, greens, greys, and browns into my space because of those works.”
Alli’s home also features traditional elements such as heavy base, crown, and raised paneling on interior doors, and to appease her equestrian-obsessed design aesthetic, she drew upon the classic cross buck detail on her doors and the z-style shutters surrounding the windows. On the exterior, a cupola was added. “It is certainly a nod to the famous horse farms and barns of Kentucky, but it’s also a nod to my Spanish-California roots. My great x3 grandparents’ Casa de Dana Adobe features a cupola.”