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C At Home

Natural Beauty

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz creates a rustic sanctuary at her Carpinteria ranch.

On her Spanish-tiled deck set above the treetops, Tatjana Patitz takes in the surrounding ocean and mountains. Not a single neighbor is visible from the remote 200-acre property: A black bear is more likely to wander up to the house than a person. Coyotes, bobcats, chipmunks, birds and peacocks provide an ambient chorus in this wildlife corridor she’s come to call home, an oasis she moved into in April with her son Jonah, age 11, and their three dogs, cat and pet doves.

“I feel like I’m in India here,” says the self-described nature lover, who posts mostly animal pictures on her Instagram account and spends five mornings a week riding her horses, which she keeps in a barn north of Santa Barbara.

Patitz, one of the original supermodels, spent decades in the spotlight gracing glossy magazines, including the famous Peter Lindbergh-shot British Vogue cover alongside Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista—the same iconic team who starred in George Michael’s “Freedom” video. Today she does most of her modeling work in Europe and has purposefully created a home life in California that is private, relaxed and rural. “I was never the red carpet girl,” she confesses.

After living in Malibu for 22 years, she watched the neighborhood change as beach homes made way for 20,000-square-foot mansions and the paparazzi moved in on the community. “I wanted to pitch a tent on top of a mountain and become Jeremiah Johnson,” Patitz says with a laugh. Once her son was born she started exploring north of Malibu, and fell in love with the Santa Barbara area and its accompanying lifestyle.

Now working on downsizing her homes,  she traded properties in Montecito and Santa Ynez for her current 1,500-square-foot retreat in Carpinteria, a place drenched in that sleepy beach-town vibe she loves.

Wood beams, oversized windows and earthy tiles serve as a backdrop for her bohemian style. Inside and out, Moroccan lanterns mingle with Mexican blankets and hand-carved furniture—much of which was collected on her travels. (Next up, she hopes to take a safari with Jonah in Kenya in conjunction with her elephant conservation work with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and maybe bring home a few choice African fabrics to add to the milieu.) In the kitchen, simple, open shelving nods to her childhood in Sweden, while the lack of a pantry forces her to cook and eat fresh. Drums and guitars are everyday fixtures in the living room, where a couch is layered with muted pillows—catering to people and dogs alike. “I like things cozy, warm and not too precious,” she says. “ ‘User-friendly’ is my motto.”

Written by  Jennifer Blaise Kramer.
Photography by  Lisa Romerein.
Interiors Styling by Amanda Masters.
Styling by  Shadi Beccai.

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