First, a caveat. Anyone hoping to find an array of caricatured, Goop-arific novelty features in the Montecito home that Gwyneth Paltrow shares with her husband, writer-producer Brad Falchuk, is sure to be disappointed. There’s no plant-based, toxin-leaching, zero-gravity pod, no fermenting cabana, no crystal-powered sweat lodge. There are, to be sure, myriad elements specifically designed to nurture mind, body, and soul; they just happen to be far more discreet—things like Vitruvian proportions, sacred geometries, and a host of finely crafted architectural details that together represent a nuanced interpretation of wellness by design.

Step inside Gwyneth Paltrow's tranquil California home

“The strength of the house is in the subtleties of light and space,” Paltrow says. “We spent a lot of time assessing family patterns, how we really live, what makes us most comfortable. The focus was on the experience, the emotion.”

Paltrow first fell under the spell of Montecito during her two semesters at UC Santa Barbara, before she decamped to pursue a career in acting. “I’ve always gravitated toward Santa Barbara. Even when I was living in London, we’d take the kids there for holidays. It was our sweet gem of an escape in the U.S.,” she says. On one visit in 2015, Paltrow checked in on Redfin, her “favorite pornography app,” and discovered a generous lot for sale with a teardown but tons of potential. “It was like Grey Gardens,” she recalls. “There were wild animals living there and swarms of bugs, but I fell in love with the land and the views.”

And so Paltrow set out to fulfill the dream of building her first ground-up house. “That was chapter one of a long and arduous journey,” she notes wryly, citing the many technical complexities, unforeseen setbacks, and existential quandaries that inevitably arise in the process of home building. To tackle the assignment, Paltrow tapped her longtime collaborators Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams, the AD100 firm that had previously designed the actress’s Tribeca loft, the first Goop pop-up shop, and the company’s first permanent boutique, in the Brentwood Country Mart. “Robin and Stephen brought a real elegance to a very spec-y New York apartment, and I wanted to replicate the feeling of serenity they managed to conjure,” Paltrow says. “The kids were much younger when I embarked on this project, and I wasn’t married to Brad, so I was ideating for a future self that didn’t exist yet,” she adds.