Tomorrow at home today | Carpinteria Magazine Features


The head-turning, sustainably-built home on 8th Street in the heart of downtown Carpinteria is the fulfillment of a ten-year dream for owners Deborah Dentler and Tony Segall. The last pieces of construction were completed just as Covid-19 made its terrifying entry onto the world stage, which for Dentler and Segall meant unexpectedly sheltering in a location that had recently grown from two to three. dimensions.

Before the pandemic, the couple divided their time between Carpinteria and Pasadena, where they are both practicing lawyers. For the past 12 years, Dentler and Segall have lived part-time in a condominium located next to the 8th Street property they purchased for their dream home.

They expected that in a few years retirement would move them full-time to the new home and provide the children and grandchildren with plenty of opportunities to run around with sandy feet and laugh. Next, Covid-19 brought their professional and personal lives together under one roof, revamping plans for full-time living and shifting expectations of creating extended family memory.

“It was a remarkable experience to suddenly live and get to know a house that we had watched go up, but we weren’t expecting to be living full time,” says Dentler, “Living and working together in our brand new home has turned a house into a house overnight.

The two-story, 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home enjoys maximum interior space, with an outdoor patio on the second floor. Architect David Ferrin wisely made the most of the small batch by artfully designing the couple’s vision of green living.

“Our goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, conserve water and help replenish the groundwater supply,” Dentler said.

The house elegantly achieves these noble objectives. The ground floor features an open-air living room and kitchen anchored by a sculptural fire orb that burns corn-based biofuel. Integrated LED lighting is used throughout, as well as a dual-flush toilet and a tankless water heater. Several rooms have individual energy efficient air conditioning units which are only used when needed. These elements, along with the rest of the home’s electrical needs, are powered by the Carpinteria sun.

Dentler put his environmental passion into the project. Reveling in every detail, she and Segall examined the impact of each material and searched for creative ways to stay on a budget without increasing their impact on the planet, right down to the kitchen counters, which are made of bottles and seashells. recycled and equipped with an insert. stainless steel food waste composter.

Upstairs, the outdoor patio flooring is custom concrete slabs that float on shapes and allow water to flow through the patio into the gutters. Deck runoff and exterior wall rainscreen design directs water to native landscaping selected for its tolerance to dry spells. Gravel infiltration beds were installed under the landscaping to promote groundwater recharge.

An old garage behind the house has been structurally preserved but updated to match the house. A loft in the independent building offers a play area for the grandchildren. Above it, a living roof planted with a carpet of sedum succulents increases the property’s green area, decreases water runoff, extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and reduces heat-reflecting surfaces.

Dentler acted as the resource person for the project, while Segall chose the interior colors, including the curry yellow backsplash tiles in the kitchen and Benjamin Moore Calla Lily yellow on the interior doors. Segall also selected the designs and color palette for the molded cement floor tiles in the upstairs master.

The vision shared by Dentler and Segall of a beautiful home with a minimal environmental footprint was brought to life by David Ferrin of arketype architects at Ventura. Founded in 2001, the design firm specializes in “eco-friendly, value-driven design”. Ferrin noted that Dentler and Segall’s commitment to activism and the environment fit well with his own philosophy. This common ground would be very useful to them throughout the design phase.

However, not everyone in the neighborhood liked the couple’s forward-looking plans. The striking design, with its butterfly-shaped roof and bright accents, wowed city council with neighbors who argued that it was incompatible with surrounding designs. In the end, city leaders gave the green light to the project and its modern take on the California Craftsman style.

“We were faced with many constraints, remembers Ferrin, in particular the aisles with easements on both sides. The living room / kitchen / diner was to be a straight line with windows to the front and back allowing as much light as possible.

The exterior bright orange shadow boxes are colorful accents that are both functional and eye-catching; they shade the windows and also provide privacy from neighboring condominiums. Some windows are frosted for privacy, others, like the stairwell windows, are clear.

After all their hard work, Dentler and Segall find great joy in their new home. They were eager to share their excitement with the community by hosting a stop on the upcoming Carpinteria Beautiful Home and Garden tour, which has been postponed until next year.

“While some members of the community opposed our plan, others mobilized to support the project. As a result, we made so many new friends in town! I hope our house will continue to stimulate community dialogue, especially on sustainable building practices, ”Dentler said.


Amanda P. Whitten

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