COTE DE TEXAS: HOW THEY LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD: From Cottage to Mansion to Interim Mansion to Forever Mansion to Tear Down

HOW THEY LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD: From Cottage to Mansion to Interim Mansion to Forever Mansion to Tear Down

Last month, the media exploded with news that actor Rob Lowe and his wife Sheryl had finally sold their Montecito house after having it listed for over two years with several price changes.

When I read about the sale, I remembered his house.  It had been in Architectural Digest years ago and was so beautiful - French and dressy filled with French antiques.  I loved it and remembered it as being so wonderful. 

So, why did his newly sold house look so different from my memory of his house?????


Remember this???

Because, of course, it was a different house!!!  The Architectural Digest house that I remembered had been sold years ago and this new house, also shown in Architectural Digest, had been built in its place. 

Rob and Sheryl apparently like to build houses, sell them, then move on.  They aren’t quite as obsessed with real estate as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia, but the Lowes do have a reputation for buying and selling homes.  

Everyone in the world knows Rob Lowe, he’s been acting since he was a teenager.  For years he was most infamous for a sex tape that was leaked of him and an underaged girl.   Today he is over that scandal and is happily married to a former makeup artist who now designs jewelry.  The couple have two sons and many dogs,  including two German Shorthair Pointers

Such beautiful dogs – the owner isn’t too shabby himself.  My nephew Wills Webb has a GSP himself.

OK OK – enough about dogs! 

Let’s do a deep dive into the World Of Rob Lowe Interiors!


646 Romero Canyon Rd. Santa Barbara


How charming is this????!!!!  Those beds!!!!

This is not the Lowe’s furniture, it is from the new owners!!

                                                                                                                     The house desperately needs an update and an interior designer which I’m sure the Lowes had when they lived here.  Still, it’s hard to believe they lived here at all because this cottage is such a departure from their later houses.

Isn’t this a beautiful room?  I would paint it all and put in hardwood floors.

This room is much prettier.  I love the painted wood – and floors, but I would stain them dark.


Another view.


The dining room with the Saltillo tiles – again it needs wood floors and French doors instead of windows.

The breakfast room overlooks the gardens.   Another beautiful ceiling.

The master has the same majestic ceilings found throughout the house.   

I would hire Robert Kime to turn this into a wonderful English country house filled with antiques and patina.

My favorite room in the entire house is the master bathroom with its blue doors opening to the back yard.  Charming!

The Lowes lived here three years and moved out in 1997.

To see more photos from this house go here.


771 Garden Lane, Santa Barbara  2001-2005

The next house that the Lowes lived in was first seen on the cover of Architectural Digest.  I remember thinking “wow, this is so gorgeous!  Who knew Rob had such good taste??  In houses, that is!!!”

I don’t really follow Rob, so when I heard that they had sold their house for $40 million +  I assumed it was this house.   I had no idea that he and his wife had bought and sold many houses since this one!

Architectural Digest ran the story in July 2001.  Do you remember this house, too???

When the couple bought the six acres, there was an old, one story house on the property which they mostly torn down, save for a few walls.   

Rob and Sheryl had lived in an old manor house in Wales while Rob filmed a movie there.  They fell in love with their life there – the acreage, the wooly sheep, the warm fires.  Sheryl wanted to replicate that life in Santa Barbara and thus, she gave her designer photos of the Wales manor house.  They hired a Feng shui expert to give the house good energy.  Does anyone still do that today??!!!

From the original one story house came this ginormous two story house.  But this house was only a stepping store to bigger and better houses in the future.


The foyer was my favorite room and still is today !


The color is off from these Architectural Digest photos.


The living room, with touches of green and teal blue.  Very Frenchifried with its trumeau and screen.

More living room:  The two green velvet chairs with the Chinese coffee table.

The dining room with the reproduction antique table and cane chairs.  Yikes!  I really don't like this "set" although it looks like the host chairs are different. This pair of statues/pedestals is used in every house the Lowes owned since this one.

And this painting, one of a pair, ends up in a secluded guest house in their latest home which just sold.

   This was Rob’s study.   He had another one in the pool house.  Ralph Lauren leather furniture.


The sitting room off the second floor master bedroom.

The front of the Lowe’s 2001 house was not shown in Architectural Digest.  Here it is!  So pretty.


AD in 2001 when the Lowes owned the house.   They sold the house to one of the wealthiest families in the U.S.  who owned many other homes.   The upstairs balcony lead out from the master bedroom suite.  The new owners turned that room into another master bathroom.

When the Lowes owned the house before the new family made all the changes.

Here is what the Frenchifried house looks like today – from the backside.

The home now has a lower level with a workshop, a safe room, fur storage and an eight-car garage, according to the listing agents. The grounds also include two kitchens – one professional, two guesthouses, 2 pools, a gym and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven.  There’s a schoolroom too!  There isn’t much this house doesn’t have.

The front door opens to the stair hall and on through the arched doorway straight to the living room with its view of the Pacific ocean.

The new owners really expanded the house.  The square footage went from 11,170 sq feet to 15,000 sq feet.  Only one bedroom was added but there are now six more bathrooms.

The Lowes spent several years building this house and lived in it for just a few years.   After they sold the Frenchifried house – they moved to an interim house while they built their Forever Home, “ Oakview.”  That too was sold just last month.

The owners who bought the Frenchifried house completely redid it and they just put it on the market.  Here are the photos of how the Frenchifried house looks today:

The entrance with its slate floors is so beautiful!  I love the staircase – it’s hard to believe this is the once overly French styled room that the Lowes had.


You can barely see the slate floors here.  The new railings update takes the space up a notch.

The Lowes considered this house English, an Americanized Colefax Fowler.   But to me, it’s just French, all the way.

The new owners turned it into a traditional décor house.

The living room with the dining room past the fireplace. While there are some French pieces, the casual seagrass rug and neutral fabrics tone down this room as opposed to how it was decorated by Rob Lowe – see below:

The Frenchifried Lowes 2001 living room.  Does this look English to you?

As it is today. Structurally this room and the dining room changed very little if at all.

And today, again.  The view from another angle.

And different photo coloring.


The living room from the opposite side of the room looking into the dining room through the two arches openings.

Today – I love the dining room with its skirted table and mixed chairs!!

I love these two accent chairs.  I think they may be the things I love most about the house, along with the slate floor entry hall.

Off the living room is this pretty sitting area with the fireplace.  There are several of these areas all around the house.

When you see the photos of the Lowes Forever House that they designed after this house, you will see a lot of similarities between the two houses – such as this porch, the foyer, the central hall, the layout.

Off the main kitchen is this professional kitchen.   I  think the Lowes may have installed this because there is a similar one in their new house.

The family kitchen with its two French ranges. Wow.  Gorgeous.

One blue range and one white one.   I don’t believe I’ve seen that before.

Off the kitchen is the breakfast room with matching fabric and the family room behind it. Cute wallpaper.

The family room.

Down the hall, past the staircase on the other side of the house are more rooms, some new.   Outside this area is a second, smaller pool on the front side of the house.

Here is the same office as it was seen in Architectural Digest’s Lowe story:

  This was Rob’s office.   But I think the new owners added all those shelves.

Past the foyer, the office, a bar, and this large room is one of the most unusual rooms below:

This room.  Hard to explain it with the ceiling and scalloped trim.

Outside this side of the house is the second pool – in the front courtyard.

And off the second pool is this fireplace and checkerboard floor.

Upstairs sitting area.

One of two children bedrooms upstairs.

The master bedroom overlooks the ocean in the far distance.

The new bathroom with its enlarged patio.

The Lowes master bedroom sitting area – it’s hard to locate where it is today because of the added bathrooms and closet.

But, it looks like where the new bathroom is even though the fireplace doesn’t match.

There is a clothes closet, but THIS is the SHOE closet!!!!  For SHOES!!!!!!!

There’s even room for a sofa in the SHOE closet!!

The main swimming pool with the pool house.  Inside is a living area, kitchen bathroom, a full weight room AND a school room!

So pretty.

Then there’s this place – an adult treehouse.

Through those doors is a bathroom with a shower room.


The Oriental room/bed.  It seems like every house in Montecito seems to have one of these.  Remember Prince Harry and Meghan’s?  Theirs was more of a yoga room.

I had to leave out a lot of details – Go view the beautiful real estate video HERE to see more of the house.

The house was sold by the Lowes for $25 million dollars.

After the Lowes sold this to the wealthy family, they had to find a place to live.  In 2005 they bought two properties in the area – one to live in and one to build their dream house on.

You now - that one dream house where you will live for the rest of your life.


Here's their interim house where they lived while their forever house was being built:

735 Fuera Ln, Santa Barbara

The interim house is quite beautiful and it would be most of ours forever house.  It's a typical Californian type of house, built in 1928 - it's a classic.

What a beauty!  With 5 beds/7 baths and at just 4950 sq. ft. the house is considerably much small than their Frenchifried that was over 11,000 when they lived there before the new owners added 4,000 sq.ft. more.

The back side of the house with the pool and poolhouse.

The master bedroom is seen on the second floor behind the curved white balcony.  Above is a small arched, paned window, seen further below.

There are a few photos of the house from when Rob Lowe sold it and you can see their furniture that was once in the Architectural Digest Frenchifried house:

Here in the new living room of their Interim House you can see all their furniture from the Frenchifried house:  the two green velvet chairs.  The dotted sofa and the oriental coffee table.  The furniture was stuffed into the smallish room.

The new owners also recently put the house up for sale.  You can see how much brighter and bigger the living room looks without the Lowes' French furniture, although I do like it more.

The lanai.  I  suppose?

The dining room.

The dining room when Rob lived there.  Recognize the furniture from the Architectural Digest Frenchifried house?  Not my favorite.  All the paintings will be seen again in the Lowes Forever House – Oakview.  So will the console.  They will not use this table or the chairs.



Architectural Digest 2001.  The same furniture.  Hey!  I didn't like it even then.   It's too reproduction-looking when mixed with antiques.   The Lowes even talk about the reproductions they used mixed in with antiques so their boys can use them without worry.

  The kitchen under the Lowes.  The new owners completely remodeled it as seen below.   The throw on the white sofa is seen again in their newest  Forever house!

The kitchen today. 


The master bedroom is actually quite lovely.  I love the stained glassed window at the very top of the arch.  The Lowes will reuse this type of window in their next Forever House and their Beach House.

The daughter's room with a sitting area.  Cute!

And so when their Forever Home was completed, this Interim House on 1.85 acres was sold by the Lowes in 2009 for $7,600,000 - after it was initially listed for $12,398,000.   Without a doubt they still made a huge profit which helped to fuel their Forever Home.

After buying the land, the couple spent several years designing, then building their 'Forever' Home.   Their forever life in the home lasted just barely ten years – they JUST sold the house this year – 2020.  Not a very long Forever.

In 2010, the Forever House was shown in Architectural Digest.  Located at 700 Picacho Lane, the Lowes named the house "Oakview" because of two majestic oaks trees on the property. 

The Forever Home, Oakview, is on 3.4 acres and is 14,260 sq ft. It boasts six bedrooms and eight full/three partial bathrooms with a total of twenty rooms.  There are two guest houses each with kitchens!

Besides the master bedroom, there are two additional bedroom suites, each with their own sitting room. There is also an office, a screening room, a work out room, and a piano bar.

Although this was built to be their Forever Home, now with their two boys grown the Lowes say they don't need all this space!  Well HELLO!!  Who does?

And here it is!!!  An aerial view of the Lowes' Forever Home

There are two roads leading to the house – one to the front door behind this gate and another that leads to the garage/utility area.


An aerial shot - there are two driveways that lead to the house.  The red one is for guests and ends at the front door of the main house and the secluded guest house where the red circle is.  The blue road is for deliveries and maintenance and leads to the garages.  The blue circle is the pool house/tennis court guest house.


“I've always been drawn to a historic, East Coast American aesthetic,” the Virginian native Lowe said.   And what is more American than Mt. Vernon? 

Notice this tree at the entry court – it is one of the majestic oak trees on the property for which it was named.

When designing "Oakview," the couple and their team went to President George Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon, to study it.  Rob loved the white house and scarlet roof, which he wanted for his own house.    But, Sheryl was adamantly against the red - so much so that an argument ensued, their only one, since their tastes "are so in sync." 


Sheryl said that, like Rob, she wanted a big lawn that rolled up "to an understated manor house perfect for mud boots or high heels." 

The house was designed around this second majestic oak tree.  It's no wonder why they named the house Oakview.

I do think the house was built a little too close to the tree.  The roots need to be cleared of any building that surrounds the canopy.  Perhaps the builders took that into account when building the house’s foundation.

Above is a fountain that sits at the end of the property balancing the tennis court on one side and the main driveway on the other.

In the back yard, close up of the huge oak and the Pacific Ocean.

At the right side of the back yard and next to the driveway is the gorgeous rose garden that provides flowers for the house.

The estate is a bit pie shaped, ending with a fountain in the middle and a tennis court along with viewing stands at the net and at the back of the court.  At the far right, you can see the service driveway that leads to the garages.

Another view of the back yard.   Look at those gorgeous mountains.

But two years ago, these same mountains turned into rivers of mud.

The 2018 Mudslides, caused by unrelenting rain, were a horrific natural disaster.  The Lowes’ house just barely escaped harm, but close by neighbors Oprah and blog favorite @penelopebianchi were not so lucky.   Penny’s beautiful house and garden were destroyed and it took a year before they were inhabitable again.


             In an act of gratitude, the Lowes invited the first responder fire fighters in for a dinner!  See this kitchen below!!!

Their Forever Home was first put up for sale in 2018, but it is not known if the mud slide was the impetus.   It took two years to sell!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Here, a view of the tennis court.  Behind the tall bushes on the right is the service driveway that leads to the garages.

The tennis court viewing balcony backs up to the guest house, which opens up onto the swimming pool house on its other side.

The Viewing Stand overlooking the tennis courts. Two standing heaters keep the viewers warm in both winter and summer.  The Pacific Ocean can be so cold that the winds cause the ocean to act as a natural air conditioner.


The Pool House:   What a darling guest house.   The living room opens to both the tennis court viewing stand shown here, and the swimming pool on the opposite side.

NOTE:  The furniture in many of the house photos moves around quite a bit.  For instance, these coffee tables are also shown in Rob's main house’s office.  Photos for this story are taken from early Architectural Digest photoshoots and from two real estate brochures.


The view towards the guest house bedroom with the earlier coffee table  and lamps. 

So cute!  This guest house is one of my favorite designed spaces in the house.

The dining room – as it is today.  You can see there was once a wood table here.   This table was formerly in the main house’s library.

I have to say – this Saarinen table is one of my favorite pieces of modern furniture.  This table in small or larger sizes, in oval or round shapes, allows it to be used in a formal dining room or casual eating space, in a foyer or in a library, as a side table between two arm chairs or next to a bed.

The kitchen includes a wonderful farm sink.  Notice that antique towel rack!   Love that!!!

This pool house has one guest room, while the second secluded guest house has two.   The swimming pool is seen through the French doors.

The Guest House:   When you drive down the main entry to the house, hidden behind the trees, off in the corner, is this darling guest house – isolated from the main house, the swimming pool, and the tennis court. 

At the corner are stone stairs leading up to the private guest house.

Sheryl initially decorated the house in shades of black and white.  Later she added accents of caramel.  Here is the early décor of the secluded guest house.

Sheryl describes her color scheme before she later added the caramel to the mix.

“My mantra was that it reflect my non-conformity: a black, white and gray palette, lots of different rooms for the gypsy in me who has traveled the world. And loving entertainment, I wanted a place not so much to entertain friends as ourselves.”

Blurry scan shows the tiny kitchenette found in the Guest House!!  It’s much smaller than the Pool Guest House kitchen, which does make sense since the Pool Guest House probably has much more traffic than this secluded guest house.

And here is the same living room with the newer décor - black and white and caramel accents. This color scheme shows up again and again.   Love the prints!!

I LOVE the firescreen with the heart.

One of the two bedrooms.

The second bedroom.  

Out from the secluded guest house is this fountain that aligns with the front door.  The stucco type fence surrounds the front courtyard.

And, let’s go inside the main house.

The front foyer.   I love the window above the door.  Remember this same window in the Interim House’s bedroom?  It will show up again in the couple’s beach house. 

from the small, Interim House?  In front of the fireplace is the sane antique chaise, now recovered - it sits in the foyer.     

Another view looking down the entry hall.   Does this remind you of the Lowes’ other house in Architectural Digest,  with the long front hall that ran from one side of the house to the other with the living room opening off the middle of the hall.

The original Architectural Digest Lowe house.

The couple had both these houses designed for them and it is very obvious they love a long, grand entry hall that runs the width of the house.   Both houses are very similar in layout and the foyer especially gives off the same feel.   Very classic.  

Another view of the entry with modern lamps and console.

The living room which is aligned with the front door.   From the open door, the view goes down to the middle French door and out to the rolling lawn and ocean beyond.

Another view of the living room with its mix of classic and modern furniture.

BEFORE:  The Lowes’ first Architectural Digest house with its highly French designed living room.  Quite a change from today!  I still love the way the original house’s décor looked.

The Lowes used much of the same furniture through each house.  These chandeliers are in the current living room, and the grand piano is located in the piano bar.

A side view of fireplace area of the living room.

The other side of the living room showcases two modern pieces of art.   All the rooms on the back side of the house open onto the back patio.

BEFORE:  From Architectural Digest 2010.  When the Lowes first moved in they originally used their oriental coffee table and the art work over the desk is now located in the secluded guest house.

Did you notice the statue and pedestal through the dining room doorway on the left? This decorative element has been seen in almost all of the Lowes’ houses:

From the Lowes’ first Architectural Digest house – one of a pair – the pedestal and statue.

To the left of the living room is the dining room and past that – there is another sitting room, a breakfast room, and two kitchens – one for commercial cooking.

The Lowes got a new table and chairs for this house.  They kept the console but it looks like they stained it darker.

Here is their dining room in the Interim House with the lighter console:

Terrible photo of Interim House dining room.  Chairs and table were sold when they moved to Oakview.

And, outside the dining room at Oakview.  I love this particular photo.  Notice the two arched wood stores and the matching arched window.   Remember this photo – it will come up again in a later house!

The long back porch runs from end to end, alternating between covered and uncovered areas.

AFTER:    All the outdoor furniture was changed during the time the Lowes lived here.  It went from cream painted furniture to teak with grey cushions.

Outside every room and along all the porches – are seating groups.  I wonder, has anyone ever sat in all these many vignettes?  The outdoor seating areas alone tally up to 2000 sq. ft!!!  

Before:  The former beige furniture and cushions.  I have to say I like the darker teak furniture better with the gray cushions.  Do you?


BEFORE:   Outside the master bedroom this was the wicker that was once there.  It’s so much more charming than the wicker that is there now and everywhere outside the house.

The back porch during the day:  An all American looking house!  The only thing missing are the red, white & blue flags.

Back inside, lets go to the right side of the house – the more private end – and the domain of Rob Lowe:

Before:    The room to the right of the living room is Rob’s Piano Bar.  This shows the first décor scheme which was later greatly improved upon.  Here, a velvet tufted sofa blends into the reproduction leather chairs.

Notice how much of an improvement the pair of beautiful leather chairs are over the reproduction pairs.

  The antique portrait above the fireplace was replaced by this modern piece – I prefer the portrait.

Still, all and all – the Piano Bar is one of my favorite rooms  in the house, Oakview.

Sheryl said: “Building everything we've experienced, loved, wanted to have or do under one roof—a meld of our personalities. Besides sleeping,” she laughs, “my husband's favorite things are reading, writing and music. Who else would have a piano bar.”

The bar.

The incredibly stocked bar inside the Piano Bar.

And looking the other direction in the Piano Bar.  Love the chandelier.

Past the Piano Bar on the right side of the house is this workout room, which is the exact same size as the sitting room next to the dining room on the other side of the house.  For about a week I was convinced these two rooms were one and the same.

And at the very end of the hall on the right side is Rob’s office in caramel leather and the live edge coffee tables, now in the Pool Guest House. 

And the opposite side of the office with the different coffee table.  Hard to know which table came first.  I gave up trying to figure it all out – it was exhausting!!  The furniture changes from room to room in all the different photoshoots.

The office looks out on this koi pond.   I can’t imagine how much money the Lowes spent on all this outside furniture, a small fortune, I’m sure.    Across is a koi pond and past the koi pond is the long driveway that runs up the side of the house.  The bigger question is has anyone actually ever sat out here?

The koi pond with a large amethyst crystal watching over the koi. Only in California.  LOL. 

Huge pavers lead the way from the front yard to koi pond to the back yard.

Inside are several powder rooms.  This one is quite formal and really beautiful.  It belongs back in the original Frenchifried  house.  That portrait – does it make you want one or two or three???  A portrait adds such a touch of elegance and mystery too.  Love this powder room!

This powder room is completely different than the previous one! Where is this though?  Outside the media room or wine cellar?  



   Let's turn around from Rob's area on the right side of the house and head back to the living room and dining room.  Right past the dining room is this family room. It's the same decorative scheme - white black and caramel.  I should say - linen, black, and caramel - instead.

   It is also the same exact size of the work-out room and I was convinced they were the same room - just redecorated.  lol I even thought they boarded up the fireplace when they changed this room to the exercise room!!!!  LOL.   I even looked at the air condition vents and lighting to prove this was the same room as the work out room.

Later I found this particular photograph that placed this room right next to the kitchen and I then realized there were two rooms that were the exact same size - this and the exercise room.


One of four kitchen on the estate.  Of course it's gorgeous.  Towards the back on the right are another set of stairs.  That slab of marble is phenomenal.


  The breakfast room.  Don't like that light fixture at all!!!!

Through the doors on the right is the outdoors kitchen and seating area.

                                                                                                                                                        Looking from the opposite direction via screenshot.  To the right through the French door is the family room seen in the previous photos.

The island has two sinks and at least two dishwashers, if not more.  So, on Monday – Thursday they use the sink and dishwasher near the ranges and on the weekends they use the sink and dishwasher nearer the refrigerator!!   

And through this French Door is the dining room - a more casual dining room than the formal dining room.

           The casual dining room - off the back patio with views of the ocean.    Love those pops of chartreuse.


Just like in the Frenchifried house, there is a stainless catering kitchen - one of four kitchens on the property.

Off the kitchen is the outdoor kitchen, along with a pizza oven.

Next to the outdoor kitchen is this sitting and dining area.

And an earlier photo shows the older white and cream outdoor furniture that was once used throughout the open air areas.

This table sits next to the outdoor kitchen and the swimming pool.

Of course there is a media room filled with Hermes blankets. I think every Hollywood person has a media room filled with these blankets.  It’s a must!!


A blurry screenshot with a glance into the gilded and black bar through the open door on the left.

Not sure if the bottles came with the house????


Upstairs - just like the other house the Lowes designed, all the bedrooms are upstairs.

And just like their last home, there is a window seat that overlooks the ocean.

Black wood floors and white walls.  Through the door is the back porch.  Yet another Hermes blanket!!

  The master bedroom suite has such a nice bathroom.  You enter the closet through this beautiful octagon with clothes hanging behind mirrored French doors.  A marble topped round table anchors the room while an antique gilt bench and mirror add a luxe touch.


Past the octagon closet lobby is another room with a wonderfully tall chest of drawers in a dark black that matches the floors wood stain.


  Sheryl’s  walk in closet continues the theme of black and stark white with white marble.

Sheryl’s bathtub overlooks the side of the house.  French doors open up to a balcony where there is even MORE of the outdoor furniture waiting for someone, anyone to come sit down on it.


The bath’s window overlooks another balcony here.


Outside Sheryl’s bathroom is yet another set of wicker furniture.  Through the window is her tub.

Heading to the main hall on the second story are the two Lowes boys private spaces.   First – their library:


Before:   The library had the Saarinen table that is now in the Pool Guest House.   This pool table was moved to the 2nd floor outdoor balcony.

I can see why they wanted to change it – not much room to lounge around.  

Love the book in the corner!

   AFTER: And ready for TV lounging rather than pool playing. 

The second floor balcony.  At the far side is the master bedroom and at this end are the two Lowe sons’ bedrooms.

Each son has a bedroom and a sitting room and bathroom.

One of the sitting rooms with the door leading to the end of the house balcony over the koi pond.

The second bedroom with the sitting room over the koi pond/office on the first floor.

Each bathroom in the house has the same marble and classic touches.


The Lowes' forever home - Oakview – was for sale for over two years.   In 2018, the asking price was $63 million, but the price was dropped a few times when there were no bites.  It finally did sell, surprisingly, during the Pandemic and for two million over the final asking price at $47 million. 


But Oakview was not the only good luck that the Lowes had in recent real estate sales.  Even though Oakview had majestic ocean views, it was not on the water.  So….what to do but to buy a beach house?

Their water front house was in Carpinteria – just 6.5 miles from Oakview.  Perfect for a quick ocean swim.   It was bought in 2004 and sold in 2011.  The house was only 2,073 sq ft but imagine – it was but 18’ feet wide!!!!

When the beach house was sold, its décor matched Oakview’s perfectly, a sort of hip Restoration Hardware mixed with a few antiques here and there.  But before the renovation, the furniture was more matched to the Frenchifried house. 

There are just a few rather small, blurry photos of the beach house online:

  The white house on the right is the 18’ wide beach house once owned by Rob Lowe. 

          Blurry Screenshot of Rob entering house off the beachside.

The front of the house is actually on the beachside.  The front door is smack in the middle of one side.  Past the living area is the kitchen/dining room.  There is another living area on the opposite side of the kitchen.


                    Looking from the kitchen to the beachside living room.  Because the house next door is so close, the windows have leaded glass.

                                                                                                                                    Opposite view of kitchen and banquette dining room – the windows are the same glass as seen in the Interim House and the Forever House.

 Before the renovation – the living room was decorated with antiques – more like their Frenchifried house as opposed to Oakview’s décor.


And finally, when it sold,  here is the beach side living room with its fireplace flanked by arched wood stores.

Does it look familiar?   I was so surprised to see this!

Remember this photo of the covered porch outside the dining room at Oakview?  It appears the exact same arched wood stores were recreated inside the beach house.

A close up of the wood store and fireplace in the beach house.  I suppose this is the area of the beach house that was added onto. 


And here, at the front of the house facing the highway instead of the beach is the second living room with its corner fireplace.  Again, it looks just like Oakview.


After the Lowes sold their estate, the media was all about the house and how they had finally sold it and for such a great price.

And now?  What now?

It didn't take long for the reporters to write about their new house, actually houses.  

First it was said that Rob and Sheryl had bought a house in Beverly Hills for $3.75 million - quite a profit.  Recently remodeled, its a contemporary house, upside down, with bedrooms on the bottom floor and living areas at the top.  Small, the house is just under 3,000 sq ft.  Quite different from their 10,000+ sq. ft.   Another surprise is the new house is in Beverly Hills?   It's been ages since they have lived anywhere but Montecito.   The house was listed for just one day - by Bravo Realty stars James Harris and David Parnes - when the Lowes bought it for above asking price.

I have my thoughts on why they bought this house - in my opinion - this is another Interim House, a nice place to live while the build their next Forever House.

It's an upside house with the public rooms on the top floor.  It's on a hillside, so the front door opens right onto the second floor.  Here, you can actually see straight into the kitchen.

The front door opens to the main living room and dining room, with the kitchen off to the side behind the row of bar stools.  Straight ahead are walls of metal doors and windows which lead to a large balcony overlooking the ground floor with the pool. 

A look back towards the dining room and the front door.  The vaulted ceiling makes the room appear larger.

Hmmm.  I really am not a fan of this light fixture.  Either get a modern one or a chandelier.  But that is just my opinion!

Off the balcony (with glass side walls) is the view right back into the living/dining room and kitchen.

  The eye catching balcony which overlooks the swimming pool on the ground floor below.           


View of the architecturally striking balcony with its glass sides.  Contemporary tiles line the balcony upstairs and downstairs.  To the left of the balcony is a permanent firepit with stone banquette seats.  Guests rooms overlook the pool on the ground floor.  The master bedroom is above on the second floor.

The ground floor with its metal doors and windows.  The family room shares space with a bar and a wine cellar right behind the sofa.

And looking back at the bar area with the wine cellar behind the wall.

The reason why I think this might be just an Interim House is because two weeks after it was announced that the Lowes' bought this house, they purchased yet ANOTHER house, this time in Montecito.

The house is on the street above this charming area of shops in downtown Montecito on Coast Village Road.  It's much closer to the ocean than their previous home. 

The house has been updated a bit, but not much.  It's another small house but its location on the hill with close up ocean views make the house more expensive than their other new one at 5.2 million.


The house has some charm, it's ceiling mostly.  Here is the living room.

And the family room.

Despite the nice ceilings, the house is probably a tear down and that's why I think they bought the house in Beverly Hills to live in while they build a new house here in Montecito.

 The view of the ocean.

Full circle, from the early cottage to the large mansion to the interim house - to the forever house and now back to the two small houses.

The message???

The Hollywood people live differently than us.  They need 10,000+ sq. ft. houses for just 4 people.   Most Americans are perfectly happy in 3,000 sq. ft.

Less is more?


I think so and learned that lesson last year when my family downsized.   

Finally, during this troubled time - wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. 



  1. Hello Joni, I am sorry but I am quite disappointed in these houses. Without even sorting out the various houses, owners, and phases, these are so overblown, meretricious, uncomfortable, and cliché-ridden that it is no wonder that the owners moved house every ten minutes. Who needs five of each room and twelve burners in the "family" kitchen? And what exactly is the point of bathrooms opening up to the outside? Houses need to be lived in to achieve true comfort and domesticity, but the owners seemed to need to run away from these. Reading between the lines however, I think we might be in agreement that even though these houses are enormous messes , there are individual items of interest, and we would like to pick and choose if they had a moving sale.

    1. Exactly. Why? The same house over and over. So why move ?

    2. Yes, Jim - I concur on your observation 100%. Thank you.

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  2. Your posts never cease to amaze me. Thank you again, you’re the best!

  3. another of your outstanding posts ... so many homes ... in such beautiful settings .. I am grateful for my own small home this difficult Thanksgiving and wish everyone a safe day

  4. I was wondering where you were and no posts since last I know why, what research you do! I always look forward to your posts. I, too remember the AD magazine featuring their home. I loved how they used vintage wicker for their porch at the time. Out of all the homes they have lived in and sold, I would gladly make the interim home my "forever" home. Also, have to comment the Hermes blankets...I lost count, but I think you could buy a car for the same amount of money lol!Stay well, and Happy Holidays to you and yours :)

  5. Well Instagram is a nice way to comment on things quickly. But I’m going to try to be quicker. Try. Try.

  6. So happy to receive a post from you. I always drop everything to get lost in your research and photos. They're always interesting and usually make me a little envious with their fabulous antiques and expensive soft goods. But these made me happy I'm living smaller. And the Hollywood bunch are the ones who chastise the rest of us for wasting earth's resources.

  7. Well, I have to say, that was fun. What beautiful homes, and ideas. I appreciate the time it must have taken to post all these photos, and I thank you for that. I really enjoy seeing how the wealthy live, but as the comment above states, I am happy with my very very much smaller home. Thanks again for sharing with all of us.

  8. Some very amazing houses, for sure, but I can' help but think how the interiors are so, well, I'm just going to say it - underwhelming, except for the very large French-ified/British Colonial style foyer, to me many of them just seem so lacking in style, color, everything - especially since the owners have the financial means to make them look fabulous. Maybe some of these pictures were taken by real estate agents? (I hope they didn't pay interior designers for these looks!) Many of the exteriors are quite lovely. I especially love the house on Fuera Lane - just gorgeous! I'm not especially a lover of enormous houses, unless they are houses that were built in a previous era, and have a sense of grandeur that is reflective of a more gracious and genteel time. I don't think bigger is necessarily better. To me, many of them just look over-built, but if that's what you need or want, and can afford it, then that's what you can get, but that's just my personal preference. To each his own. The last house looks like a very average ranch style house that you see all over California.

  9. Well, that was a marathon. I have to admit I do not understand the desire for these monster size houses. Admittedly, I live in a very small house. How can a family ever use that much space unless they have hordes of visiting family or guests to entertain? So many sitting rooms and areas, indoors and out, however beautiful, that you'd probably never make use of. And why a family kitchen with two large ranges, as well as a professional kitchen??? Is it keeping up with the Hollywood Joneses? Trying to make your stamp as Hollywood royalty? The need to obviously display your wealth? And I have to wonder at what cost to the environment. I thought the first house had lots of charm potential. I loved the exterior of the 1928 interim house, though it's interior, the little I saw, was wanting. The 2001 house was beautiful architecturally, but its massiveness put me off. The Mount Vernon style home seemed out of place. The last new purchase will undoubtedly be a tear-down. In these times the wasteful extravagance is a turn-off for me. But such is human nature. And how many extravagant homes of past decades and centuries have fed our imagination? They stood in stark contrast to their times as well. You're making me philosophize, Joni!

    1. As I scrolled through the homes I thought the same thing; beautiful ideas; a third of the size, or even less would provide a warm, attractive home; it just seems sad like they're trying to fill something empty they're unable to appease.

    2. In today's times with the virus, doesn't it seem so so so excessive??? and why? what a waste of money.

  10. Fascinating! Beautifully researched! It is just astounding that the last house they sold for $49 million. Not that many acres. The real steal in my view around here is the 265 acre Jackson Ranch, with the most beautiful Reginald Johnson house you have ever seen in your life. Also, barns, guest houses, etc. Groves of citrus and avacado trees. It was built in the 1930's, and needs updating, but you have never seen such architecture. It is a large house, but lovely proportions, and irreplaceable paneling, etc. That sold for 63 million. It has belonged to the same family for 100 years. I am delighted that it will be kept as a family compound, and not subdivided. It is a Montecito treasure. There are deer and even bears on it. One of the bears has been wandering around our neighborhood!
    I like the Lowe's houses, I just cannot bear all those can lights in traditional houses. YUCK. And, the venetian blinds??? I cannot bear those either.
    Her lack of color doesn't appeal to me either. She is her own decorator. Just my opinion.
    Things are selling here for crazy prices, people want to move here from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
    When we built our house, we had friends building big houses.....and they all asked why we were building a small house. Now they all are selling those big houses because they want smaller houses. We love the size of our house. One bedroom, and an office with a full bath on the other side of the house. I called it "the nurse's room" when we designed it. I hope we won't need one, but it would work! And a very small guest house.
    We use every inch.
    By the way, the mudslide was nightmarish. But Oprah did not have any damage; and our main house didn't have any damage either. Our garden was destroyed, except for the trees, and our guest house and garage had to be restored from major damage. Our garden has recovered so fast it makes my head spin! We were only out of our property for 7 months, which was amazingly fast. Most of the houses on our lane had to be torn down.

    1. I know that ranch - amazing it sold for almost the same money??? well 20 million more. LOL. I ADORE your house and it's the perfect house! The absolute right size for the empty nest couple. The nurses room. My parents had to turn their office into one with a blow up bed. Not perfect, but it works. Time goes so fast.

      HOpe you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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  14. Jane (a long-time fan)November 23, 2020 at 4:45 PM

    Happy Thanksgiving, Joni, to you and yours!

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