Gwyneth Paltrow gives fans a look at her stunning Montecito, Calif. home as she opens her doors to Architectural Digest.

The lifestyle guru explains how she built the home from the ground up after falling in love with the area.

“The strength of the house is in the subtleties of light and space,” Paltrow tells the publication. “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.”

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s house. Photography by Yoshihiro Makino
Gwyneth Paltrow’s house. Photography by Yoshihiro Makino

Paltrow describes the design of the house as “a Parisian apartment set within an old European barn, something with high ceilings, flooded with light, a place that feels generous yet manageable at the same time.”

She tells the magazine of her move to the lavish house, which includes a spa, featuring a cold plunge and hot tub, “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.”

Paltrow originally planned to decorate the house herself, but ended up getting some help.

“I thought I’d get a few great pieces and it would all be fine, but as time went by, I realized that there were so many layers, so many things that needed attention, that I couldn’t pull it off by myself,” she shares.

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Gwyneth Paltrow. Photography by Yoshihiro Makino
Gwyneth Paltrow. Photography by Yoshihiro Makino

She ended up calling upon her close designer friend Brigette Romanek for help.

“Brigette’s more contemporary than I am, but I wanted to push myself. Plus, I knew it would be fun,” the actress says.

She adds when asked of her takeaways from the six-year project: “There will always be pain points in a project like this, but keep your eyes on the big picture.

“This house has taught me so much about patience and gratitude. If you commit to design integrity and character, you’ll never be sorry.”