Inspiration & Information Every Wednesday and Thursday I participate in Broker's Caravan.  Caravan is a tour of new residential listings in the area: Wednesday is Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria: Thursday is Santa Barbara.  I not only love to see what's new on the market, but I look forward to seeing new forms of building, architecture and overall design elements.  This is where I will share what I find along with stories that I think are of interest. &nbsp Enjoy! &nbsp You can also click on each of the following categories to take you right to that posting with photographs: &nbsp Ranges; Stone work; Lighting; Barn Doors; Bathroom trends; Closets; Chicken Coops; Outdoor Fireplaces; Flooring; Water-wise Gardens;
Sep
07

Frig Fab

One of the most asked questions I get from clients and friends when considering a kitchen remodel is, “what is the best refrigerator to buy”?  A good question with no great answer.  Do you want built-in, free-standing, french doors, side by side, water/ice dispenser in door, counter dept, and on and on and on?  Some swear by SubZero while others confess that they only splurged on a Sub because that’s what hot and what sells in resale.  Some people believe all appliances should be consistent in brand, while others think that each one should be top of the line no matter what label is prominent.  Whether it be KitchenAid, Thermador, Viking, SubZero, Bosch, Jenn-Air, or a vintage gem, ask yourself key questions and then determine what suits your needs. How will you use it? What are your daily needs? What’s your long term goal in terms of living in the house? I will begin to photograph refrigerators in wonderful Santa Barbara and Montecito homes, as I caravan each week, and post them here.  My guess is that the sheer number of choices will be staggering. I’m starting with this vintage beauty.

refrigerator

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Jun
20

Turn On

Electrical outlets, switches and USB ports need never again be eyesores in your home design.  They grace your walls and floors by the dozens so why in the world would you settle for the same old unattractive plug in.  Here are couple of examples of stylin’ connections.

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May
17

Paper Roses

toilet paper rose

Yes, that’s right.  It’s a toilet paper rose for your viewing pleasure while you go.  Makes a chocolate on your pillow seems rather drab, doesn’t it?

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We all know that first impressions set the tone for most things, and houses are no exception.  Here is mature palm tree that guarded the entrance of a newly constructed home near Miramar Beach in Montecito.  The clever builder/designer nestled beautiful succulents within this majectic palm creating the wow factor at the approach to the front door.  I knew, I just knew, the house was going to be a gem…and it was!

Palm succulants

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Mar
14

Floored

When it comes to creative design ideas in a home, what’s under foot can be over the top fun. Flooring can have the wow factor just like this rug made of tile in this dining area, or this black and white painted wood kitchen floor.

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Tile Rug

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Painted wood floor

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There is a misconception that drought tolerant landscape is dull. Just look at this kaleidoscopic of living art and tell me if there is any truth to that.  Simply gorgeous, smart and responsible.

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Aug
01

Hearth Felt

California style homes are not just about the architecture.  They are about lifestyle.  We live inside and out most of the year so our outside space is as an essential part of our living space as is our living room and bedrooms. Outdoor rooms with a fireplace focal point not only add to the ambiance, but also add great value to your home.

Take a look at some of my favorites.

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This is a story with a difficult beginning but wonderful end.

First and foremost, I am very fortunate to have such great clients…clients that will be lifelong friends.

Here’s how it unfolded…

My clients were first time home buyers on a strict budge. Their price range was right there where so many first time home buyers are so we had some stiff competition in a market with limited inventory.  We looked at house after house after house where we were outbid on some, fell to cash offers on others and were even deceived on others.  My clients made a full price offer on one home that needed so much work that the garage was about to fall down.  The listing agents reply to our offer was simply this…”we both know that this house will go over asking price”.  What? Then why did he list it lower?  My clients were not only devastated but they were utterly confused as to how this system actually works.  Try after try my clients learned that the process of purchasing a home is not so black and white.  There are egos and attitudes involved at every corner.  My job is to help navigate those obstacles and get the client what they want.  I was on top of every listing in their price range either before it hit the market or just as it came on.  We finally found a house that they believed they could call their own.  Our timing was perfect (we made our offer immediately after it hit the mls) and the listing agent was a real pro.  The combination of those two things set the tone for the rest of the transaction.  We (buyer, seller, listing agent and me) worked so well together in getting everyone where they needed to be and what they wanted in a timely manner.  Toward the end, we all understood and trusted one another enough to have seller meet buyer (that doesn’t often happen).  The stage had been set.  They loved one another.  After meeting the seller, my buyers felt that this house was truly meant to be for them.  They knew that this was the home they were waiting for.  The last week before close of escrow, I met my clients at the house to do their final walk-through.  The seller had moved everything out of the house except the wonderful brand new shabby chic couch and coffee table which my clients asked to purchase.  The seller had left the two items as a house warming gift along with the flowers and the note in the photo below.

Just when you think you’ve been defeated by the system, this happens…

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Apr
17

Whimsy

Adding a bit of whimsy can turn a quality, yet ordinary, housing design into something more notable.

Here is a 15 million dollar home that pulled it off:

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Mar
21

Chicken Coops

Backyard chickens are not a trend here in Montecito–they are a part of a lifestyle.  These beautiful, colorful animals produce fresh eggs and make great family pets. These creative, whimsical, and functional structures compliment our architectural landscape.

 

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