Monday, November 5, 2018

Before and After (sort of)

So, I bet we are all aware of the house that Mark D. Sikes designed for fashion designer Karen Kane and her family in Montecito a couple of years ago, right? The ocean front mansion in Montecito is the primary family residence, but they also have homes in Los Angeles, New York, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, 2 of which Mark also designed, and I'm sure will feature in his new book.

The Montecito house was built and designed by Sorrell Design USA, located in California, who - like most builders - didn't seem to destroy the plans after it was built for the Kanes. In fact, there is nearly an exact replica of the Kane house located about 14-minutes away in the Birnam Wood golf club, and it is for sale.

I thought it'd be fun to look at the houses side by side ... a little before and after-ish post. It's certainly not a true before and after as it's two totally different houses, but it is interesting to see what can be achieved with the exact same floorplan. So here we go:

The exterior front of the Kane Estate

The exterior front of the Kane copy. Now, it might not be fair to call this a copy, but for the sake of this post and keeping it all together, I gotta call it something. No offense meant. You can see though, everything - EVERYTHING - is the same, architecturally anyway. It does appear that while the Kane Estate has the garage doors open to the courtard, the Kane copy does not - which I actually prefer. How about you?

The house was photographed for Veranda Magazine, as you all very well know. Here you can see the back of the house, which faces the ocean.

The Kane copy. No pergolas, and with a different lot, they didn't have the need for a patio at the same level as the Kane's, but once again - same house, with pretty much the same plan. Three sets of french doors opening onto a patio, leading down to a rectangular pool. Where the Kane's have grass between their pavers, the Kane copy has bricks. Ready to move inside?

First, the Kane copy. Whether or not there was a designer used for this home, I'm not sure.

From the Veranda article, the Kane estate. It's my estimation that Mark changed out the original fireplace mantel for the version you see here. Certainly we know he added the matching chandeliers, and likely removed the doors leading into the media room from the formal living (right).

The Kane copy has the same doors and palladian windows, beams and structural arches and niches.

The Kane estate. This is a beautiful view, isn't it? Rather than choose a pattern for drapery, Mark went with a linen the same color as the walls, banding the lead edge with an embroidered tape trim. I like this far more than the patterned drape. The layout isn't all that dissimilar really. Two seating groups, but far more options for seating in Mark's design.

When I read the Veranda article, it mentioned that Mark had done some redesign, including moving some walls. But I couldn't figure out where that happened - til' now.

Here, in the Kane copy, you see that the arch to the left of the living room lead into a formal dining room.

The dining room then lead into a kitchen and family breakfast area with a fireplace. Mark completely changed this layout, instead giving them a large kitchen and family room.

A huge change, right? So just to make it all line up ... what was once a dining room like this:

Became a family room adjacent to a kitchen like this:

The beams were likely added by Mark to help tie the room into the new architecture of the kitchen.

The copy kitchen. Now, from the layout above, if you were standing here, the entire left side of the kitchen is a solid wall, housing the refrigerator and pantry, as well as offering a desk.

Here, Mark opens everything up. The fridge moves to where the old opening for the hall was, and the island becomes much more rectangular.

The breakfast room of the Kane copy.

And the Kane estate as decorated by Mark. No fireplace here, which I think is a good move on Mark's part. Windows were added to the left side above where the fireplace would have been letting loads more light in on the family dining space.

On the opposite side of the house, the paneled library. There is a media room between the living room and the library, a space that Mark never shows - not in his portfolio or in the Veranda article. As finished as the rest of the house was, I'm sure it's a beautiful room. I find it odd that it wasn't photographed and shared. Anyway, this one was.

Mark has commented that this is his favorite room he's ever designed. I'm not sure if that still stands, but it is quite a difference from the Kane copy seeing it furnished like this, don't you think?

Moving upstairs, the Kane copy's master bedroom:

And the Kane Estate:

Wow, right? Another new fireplace mantel, and expanded fireplace wall, new built ins, and a better furniture layout. Isn't it crazy what good decor can do for a space?

The listing of the Kane copy doesn't show any other rooms of the house for comparison, so this is sorta where we get to end the tour, unfortunately. It would have been fun to poke around some of the other rooms.

At any rate, I hope you enjoyed seeing how different the "same house" can look. If you wanna see more of this house, and others that Mark has designed, you can buy a copy of his book "Beautiful" below:

I hear rumblings that his new book will be out mid-spring 2019. Can't wait to see that one! 


  1. The architecture is nice enough, but it's the interior design that makes the house gorgeous. I think Mark could make a shoebox look beautiful!

  2. Gahhhhh, it's so incredible. Thank you for giving us the really showcases Sikes' abilities even further.