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Two Lavish Med-Style Manses Duke it Out in the Deathcage

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Imagine you have millions to spend on a home and you've narrowed it down to two exorbitant Riviera-style abodes in Santa Barbara, Calif. How do you make up your mind? The answer is simple: you shove them into a metaphorical cage and let them battle it out until one emerges victorious. Yep, that's right: it's time for a Real Estate Deathmatch.

Left: Casa LeoLinda; right: Montecito Mediterranean

Here are two equally grandiose Mediterranean-style escapes in Santa Barbara, Calif., a wine-imbued, sun-soaked city nicknamed "the American Riviera." Both estates sprawl across several acres stretched between mountains and ocean, and boast lush gardens, tennis courts, pool promenades, and koi ponds. Oh, how is one to choose? Before throwing yet another into the deathcage, first, the stats:

Title Casa LeoLinda Montecito Mediterranean
Price $16.95M $19.5M
Size 6BR, 8BA 8BR, 9BA
Outdoor Bonus Feature Pool cabana Ocean view solarium

? Casa LeoLinda has the requisite ornate, rich furnishings of any crazy-expensive faux Mediterranean. Outside: a resort-style pool dotted with umbrellas, a cabana, and a hedged garden. Inside? Inside, wood flooring, arched doorways, ornate side tables, and plush cushions are all seen throughout. The multi-story entryway features "stone" columns under a faux-frescoed dome. The grand finale: a kitchen that distills the Tuscan feel of the rest of the house and unleashes it in a flurry of stained wood, tan tile, and potted plants.

? This Montecito manse is similarly profuse, but in a way that's more refined. Walls are not textured, there's a noted lack of columns, and the pool, frankly, looks a lot less fabulous. But the place brags a horseshoe staircase entrance (also with a painted dome), a rather lovely fireplace in the dining room—and perhaps a secret entrance of some kind?—and a large, open kitchen. The brokerbabble also mentions an antique Murano glass chandelier and a solarium with ocean views.

Poll results

· Casa LeoLinda [Sotheby's International Realty]
· Montecito Mediterranean Style Estate [Sotheby's International Realty]
· All Real Estate Deathmatches [Curbed National]