Monday, September 18, 2017

Mark D. Sikes in Santa Barbara

Some new photos emerged on Mark D. Sikes' website recently of a project he and his team completed in Santa Barbara. After some thorough digging, I found some great before photos of this project, and thought it'd be a wonderful opportunity to show the evolution of space and how Mark and his team have a real gift at transforming spaces into these finished rooms we all oo and ahh over in the magazines and in his book. 

First, a little back story. The house belongs to Hollye Jacobs, a sought after public speaker, social worker, nurse, child development specialist and best selling author of The Silver Lining. A breast cancer survivor, Hollye has devoted herself to women's health initiatives, providing a face to all women searching for guidance and perspective in this difficult and often insurmountable diagnosis. In addition to her book, Hollye writes the blog The Silver Pen, and contributes often to The Huffington Post. 

Hollye is also not a stranger to beautiful homes. She traded out of this Montecito compound for the house that Mark decorated in Santa Barbara:

Beautiful, right? While incredibly successful in her own right, Hollye's husband certainly contributes to their ability to have such wonderful real estate. Jeff Jacobs, Co-Founder of Harpo (yes, Oprah's Harpo) and the 18-year President and COO of that empire, has more than a few dollars to toss at unbelievable properties in Southern California. 

The couple bought the Santa Barbara house and immediately started work with Mark. 

Together they made some big changes. Through posts on her instagram, it looks like Hollye was a large part of the project, sending to Mark inspiration images she loved that were later uniquely realized. 

Before Mark, the large family room. This looks as if it were actually a porch at one time that was enclosed by prior residents, with exterior windows now part of the interior space. 

After, the professional photo (likely for Mark's second book) captured by photographer Amy Nuensinger. The walls were upholstered, finished in trim and bookcases were added along the wall shared with the interior rooms. 

Hollye sitting with her constant companion, Buzz. The detail on the bookcase doors were inspired by this photo Hollye shared on instagram shortly after she and Jeff bought the house: 

Since the room was finished, she's posted a few more of the space: 

Here you can see side chairs flanking the French doors. Lovely. Unsure why Mark chose not to have these in the finished shot for the website portfolio.

Opposite side of the room, a table and chairs for card games, etc.. 

A photo of the dining room in Hollye and Jeff's Montecito mansion. Mark may have had these chairs reupholstered for the new family room above.

Hollye with friends at a Holiday mixer. Adjacent to this room is a small library, seen in the photo of Hollye with Buzz. 

Mark shows us that room on his web portfolio here: 

A beautiful room with direct access to the courtyard just through French doors balanced by bookcases. Matching tufted settees sit below art flanked by Galeries des Lampes sconces.

While not shown on the website, the house has a very large entry hall, with a living room to the right and dining room to the left.

During the renovation process, this photo was taken of the scaffolding needed to make necessary repairs, and to remove the hand painted stencils from the wooden cathedral ceiling in the living room. 

A gorgeous space, right? 

After Mark. The painted stencils on the ceiling are gone, and the massive chandelier was switched out for three evenly spaced ornate lanterns. A card table, and requisite Mark D. Sikes banquette takes the place of the prior piano, and the Jacobs' piano from the dining room of their Montecito mansion is just behind this shot.

Here you see it, with family photos in a collection of sterling silver frames. Hollye looks like someone everyone would love to know, doesn't she?

Again with Buzz, to the left just behind him you'll see a matched banquette and leather arm chair. Because these two rooms can be viewed from the foyer, it makes sense that Mark wrapped green into the dining room.

Before, beautiful hardwood floors and a fireplace give great bones to this room.

This photo from the install shows that dining room and the living room have matching patterned carpets. Check out the trim on that silk drapery. Stunning. 

From his website. Upholstered walls in what looks to be green velvet and new upholstered chairs surround the couple's old dining room table. In the foyer, you can see Mark chose an octagonal skirted table for the center of the room. 

I believe the table is covered in Quadrille Veneto, and trimmed with braided silk trim. Hollye did share this vignette: 

In her study, Hollye was very inspired by this shot from Charlotte Moss, sending it to Mark for inspiration: 

And Mark followed suit, giving her a beautiful study:

This is where Hollye writes her blog and her conversation topics for speeches and discussions.

In her prior home office. Mark reused the chair, having it reupholstered in a moss green.

I loved this photo from Hollye's instagram of she and Buzz unloading the room. The house has 5 bedrooms total, and a little over 7,500 square feet.  

I'm not sure if this is the master suite or not, but it certainly could be. It was turned into the perfect little retreat for one of their four children:

And don't think that Mark designed a house without any of his famously used Gracie wallpaper:

Here it is - in a powder room, unfinished. There aren't many more photos of the space online, certainly not full photos anyway. 

A peek into the kitchen from the old owners.

And the other direction. There's also a large butler's pantry through that door, which leads out to the dining room beyond.

This shot of the kitchen mid-party shows that Mark wallpapered the room, and used roman shades in the windows:

Gone is the butcher block island, in favor of this white marble.

In fact, it looks like all of the counters were changed to white marble.

Hollye spiralizing zucchini in the kitchen. From this photo, it appears the appliances and the cabinets stayed, even the subway tile.

Here more of the green wallpaper peeking, with a hint at fabric colors for the room on the barstools, which were brought over from their Montecito kitchen: 

For everything else in the house, we will have to wait for Mark's book. I'm currently sitting on the edge of my seat, wishing he'd reach out and ask me to cover it first (not gonna happen, hence why I said WISH). I hope you enjoyed these few before and afters though. For more, follow Mark on Instagram, or Hollye on Instagram, and of course - you're welcome to follow me on Instagram, too!

To buy your copy of his first book, Beautiful, click below:


  1. bRILLIANT article! Mark would be LUCKY to have you review his book FIRST! LUcky! You are such a fabulous writer - great story!! Great detective work. I wish I knew Hollye - she sounds like such a special person. First class and definitely deserving of such beauty!!!!!! Love this so much.

  2. Love everything Mark D. Sikes. Great post!!!!

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  4. IMHO, beautiful in every aspect and being the 'fabric junkie' that I am; when its time to redecorate I will gladly take any castoffs like the silk curtains for starters. ;) That said; am sad though that the stencilled ceiling had to go. :/ Thanks for the tour sweetie. -Brenda-

  5. Oh, gorgeous!! Do you have any idea what the floral fabric on the dining room chairs is?? I'm in love!