PIONEERING ARCHITECT LUTAH MARIA RIGGS
How The First Female Architect Helped Shape Santa Barbara's Architectural Legacy
2023 COLOR OF THE YEAR: THE NEW YEAR’S TRENDS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU
In The Coming Year, It’s All About Self Expression
ELEMENTS OF SPANISH COLONIAL REVIVAL ARCHITECTURE
10 Characteristics of the Iconic Santa Barbara and Montecito Style
TELECOMMUTING: 13 TIPS ON WORKING FROM HOME
Minimize Procrastination and Maximize Productivity
MODERN VS CONTEMPORARY VS MID-CENTURY MODERN ARCHITECTURE
Santa Barbara homes include prime examples of modern, contemporary, and mid-century modern architecture. These styles, combined, create one of our city’s most defining features. There’s a deliberate consistency to the aesthetic here that city leaders have cultivated since the early 1920s.
SPOTLIGHT ON: ARCHITECT ANDY NEUMANN
Acclaimed local architect Andy Neumann has been creating a sense of place for fortunate homeowners since 1976 when he burst onto the scene as a founding partner of Seaside Union Architects here in Santa Barbara.
SPOTLIGHT ON: ARCHITECT GEORGE WASHINGTON SMITH
Iconic architect George Washington Smith is thought of as Montecito’s and Santa Barbara’s most admired commercial and residential designer, hands down.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Montecito Connection
Besides the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright Structures in Los Angeles and examples in San Francisco, the world-renowned architect built several other buildings in California, including one right here in Santa Barbara. Hence, the Frank Lloyd Wright Montecito connection.
2022 Interior Design Trends
Interior design trends in 2022 focus on the love and joy of decorating, creating an opportunity to see the spaces in your home through a new lens. Based on the philosophy that your home should honor the past, acknowledge the present, and leave room for the future, two new design trends have emerged.
Santa Barbara Landscape Design: Complementing Your Home’s Architecture
From Spanish Colonial Revival homes and Victorian and Craftsman beauties, to mid-century modern and contemporary residences, Santa Barbara’s distinctive architecture is greatly enhanced by complementary landscape design.
8 Steps to Creating the Minimalist Home Office
For most Montecito homeowners, their home is their castle. Today, your abode can also be the central command post for your business. As the king or queen of your castle, you are free to design and decorate the perfect home office to your exact specifications. But where do you start?
Santa Barbara and Montecito Landscape Design
An architectural style is a specific way a building was designed that is characterized by unique and notable qualities. Santa Barbara and Montecito landscape design styles include elements like form, method of construction, materials, and regional character.
Hygge and Friluftsliving: Danish Lifestyle Trends Embraced By Santa Barbara Homeowners
The Danish lifestyle trends of hygge and friluftsliving fit perfectly here in Santa Barbara thanks to our laid-back lifestyle and perfect year-round Mediterranean weather.
The Feng Shui House: Creating Balance and Flow in Your Santa Barbara Home
The Chinese words "feng" and "shui" translate to mean “wind” and “water," respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. The feng shui house should do the same.
The Luxury Home Aquarium: Out of This World Amenity for Your Pad
You’ve probably heard about the Pandemic Pet phenomenon. (You know, the dogs and cats people brought home to keep them company during the COVID-19 lockdown?)
“California Chic” is Alive and Well in Montecito
If you already live in Montecito or just about any of the communities in or around Santa Barbara, there’s a good chance you’re already embracing “California Chic.”
Social Media Influence on Interior Design in Santa Barbara and Montecito
Today’s consumers have become increasingly digital-savvy and social media-driven. I have blogged about Insta-worthy locations in Santa Barbara in the past. Now, it’s time to take a look at the ways social media is influencing design, even here in Montecito and Santa Barbara.
How to Decorate Your Mid-century modern Home
There are so many stunning Mid-century modern homes here in Santa Barbara. In fact, I sold six beauties in 2018 alone. One of my recent mid-century listings is pictured here, a Notable Architect’s Mid-century modern on E. Mountain Drive.
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- Home Values (5)
- Housing Market (15)
- Interior Design (29)
- Just for Fun (43)
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- Practical Advice (40)
- Real Estate Law (4)
- Realtor Tips (18)
- Remodeling (5)
- Selling (67)
“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”
- S.N. Decker Ph.D.
“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”
- Johan and Paula van den Berg
“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”
- John and Lacey Williams
“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”
- Michael & Nancy Lee
“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”
- Richard and Catherine Frinier
“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”
- Laurie Siegel
“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”
- Ken Saffir
“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”
- Michael & Susan Marquart
“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”
- Rob & Judi Kelch