Seattle architect David Leavengood is widely regarded as a ranch architecture authority in the U.S. It’s no wonder, then, that the owner of the impressive Southern California estate known as Rancho Latigo turned to him for the design of a majestic new retreat that would be the centerpiece some 4,600 acres of expansive rolling terrain.
Inspired by Spanish colonial styles of South America, California adobe homes, and early-20th-century California country estates, Leavengood designed a hacienda that, in traditional style, is centered around a courtyard, accessible from every room. That cool space beckons with lush native flora—Chinese elm, camellia, jasmine, and sage—and the serene sounds of a Moroccan fountain.
Also enlisted were local artisans, who helped fill the home with handcrafted details, from wrought-iron railings and carved corbels to blacksmith-fashioned lanterns. Ceiling beams formed from reclaimed railroad trestles contribute to a rustic Western feel, but overall, the ambience is urbane and Old World, beginning with a dramatic entry porte cochère with regal pillars and continuing in interiors outfitted with custom chandeliers and ornately carved fireplace surrounds.
Throughout the roughly 12,000-square-foot residence, spaces are serene and inviting, designed for conversation and relaxation. With Walker Zanger marble countertops, Rohl faucets and sinks, and superior appliances, the kitchen was engineered with an accomplished cook in mind.
A 10,000-bottle wine cellar, a home theater, and a covered patio with a dignified river rock fireplace will appeal to the entertainer.
Outdoors, an enticing swimming pool can accommodate laps for fitness or, with its clever built-in diving boulders, spontaneous childlike fun. A relaxing poolhouse is nearby, and a sunny terrace gazes out over the pool; across idyllic rolling hills dotted with mature native willows, bunch grass, lupines, and poppies; and toward rugged mountains beyond.
The property also includes a guesthouse and a manager’s residence. Miles of horse trails meander through the acreage.
Because ultimately, Rancho Latigo was created as much for horses as for humans. The estate’s 10,000-square-foot barn has a stately profile that rivals many an Old World residence. It can accommodate up to 11 horses in stalls—that equates to roughly 900 square feet per equine friend—and features rubber mat flooring and motorized clerestory windows, among other thoughtful appointments.
Further out are paddocks, riding arenas, shady arbors, and fieldstone watering pools.
This is a place where both man and animal can unwind in a private natural paradise.