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by James Buckley
n response to what has been a difficult economic climate, people in
the real-estate renovation and rehabilitation business have had to be-
come more creative in finding suitable properties to take on, and in
what they then do with those properties once purchased. Along these lines,
the husband-and-wife team of Jon and Mary Lou Sorrell, who purchased a
million-dollar property and turned it into a two-million-dollar property, recently
completed one of the more creative developments in Montecito.
The Sorrells, who’ve been renovating and building homes for over 25 years,
took what had been a small, dark, flat-topped nondescript 1970’s-era
home of approximately 2,200 square feet on a third of an acre and – to
the delight of neighbors and regular passersby – transformed it into an
eye-popping, curb-appealing 18th-century French Country delight. The
turnaround took less than nine months, and, based upon the swiftness of
its sale, the Sorrells thoroughly and accurately judged their market: it sold
From Nondescript Modern to French Country
The textured limestone exterior on the Sorrells’ French Country
farmhouse was expertly applied by Rex Pratt, who has worked
with White House decorator Michael Smith