Cristal's Blog


January 11, 2024

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In the dynamic landscape of real estate, 2024 is shaping up to be a year of diverse tastes and unique preferences. Here’s a comprehensive guide to 15 home trends for 2024 that offers insight into the features that resonate with today's discerning homebuyers. By blending a top realtor’s expertise with that of other leading experts in the industry, this guide serves as a compass for navigating the intricate landscape of modern real estate. 

The living room of a luxury home with high end furniture, wood beamed ceiling and hardwood floor, with an ocean view through a wall of windows and doors.

1. Artisanal Craftsmanship: A Return to Handcrafted Excellence

In the midst of technological advancements, there's a growing trend towards artisanal craftsmanship in home design. Discerning buyers are seeking homes that showcase handcrafted elements, like this Magical Toro Canyon Estate listing pictured above. Whether it's bespoke furniture, custom-built fixtures, or artisanal finishes, this trend emphasizes a return to uniqueness and individuality, steering away from mass-produced aesthetics.

2. Brutalism Redefined: The Modern Revival of Raw Elegance

Brutalism, the 1950s architectural style characterized by minimalist construction featuring bare building materials and structural elements over decorative design, is making a comeback with a modern twist. No longer the stark monoliths, today's Brutalist interiors blend raw form with a softer, organic design. The infusion of concrete with wood, iron, brass, and greenery creates a minimalist yet warm aesthetic.

The table is set for al fresco dining on this luxury patio with a lit fireplace, pergola, and hills in the distance.

3. Outdoor Entertainment Areas: Alfresco Living Redefined

Beyond traditional patios, the desire for outdoor living spaces has evolved. Properties boasting outdoor entertainment areas like this Magnificent Marc Whitman Designed Ojai Estate illustrates. From chic dining areas to cozy fireplaces, these amenities redefine alfresco living, providing the perfect setting for entertainment or quiet evenings under the stars.

4. Sustainable Living Spaces: Where Eco-Friendliness Meets Elegance

Sustainability remains a crucial focus for homebuyers, with eco-friendly features like solar panels and green roofs taking center stage. This commitment to responsible living aligns with the desire for a harmonious blend of luxury and eco-consciousness. The modern home is not just a retreat; it's a statement of environmental stewardship.

A white-walled home office at the top of a flight of stairs, with a high end seat and slim desk.

5. Home Offices and Flexible Spaces: Adapting to New Work Realities

Remote work is here to stay, and homes are evolving to accommodate this shift. Buyers prioritize properties with dedicated home offices and flexible spaces, like the one in this Charming Cape-Cod Style Residence, which illustrates a seamless transition between work and leisure. Transforming areas into functional home offices is a trend that meets the growing demand for adaptable work-from-home solutions.

6. Multi-Generational Living Spaces: Embracing Togetherness with Independence

Among rising home trends in 2024 is the demand for multi-generational living spaces. Whether it's a separate guest suite, an in-law apartment, or a purpose-built casita, modern homes aim to provide privacy and independence for extended family members while fostering a sense of togetherness.

7. Private Fitness Studios: Elevating Wellness at Home

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is evident in the demand for homes with dedicated fitness studios. From yoga rooms to fully equipped gyms, the emphasis on well-being transforms residences into personal wellness sanctuaries.

8. Tech-Enabled Security Systems: A High-Tech Shield for Peace of Mind

Security is a top priority, and homes with advanced security systems are highly sought after. Smart doorbell cameras, full-home surveillance, and AI and machine learning integration contribute to sophisticated security measures, offering residents peace of mind.

9. Vertical Gardens: Urban Oases Inside Your Home

For urban dwellers, the desire to bring nature indoors has given rise to vertical gardens. Properties featuring innovative green walls not only enhance visual appeal but also contribute to improved air quality, creating a tranquil haven within urban spaces.

Looking down at a serene oasis in the backyard of a luxury home, with comfy seating, a fire pit, plants and trees at the end of a designer gravel-covered path.

10. Sensory Gardens: Engaging All Five Senses for Serenity

Sensory gardens have become a therapeutic oasis for homebuyers, engaging all five senses for a serene living experience. Listings featuring sensory gardens or pathways have surged by 314%. Homes featuring amenities like the Zen-like serenity pictured above in this Idyllic Montecito Contemporary Ocean View Haven are in demand today more than ever.

11. Cold Plunge Pools: The New Wellness Oasis

Stealing the spotlight from hot tubs, cold plunge pools are a wellness oasis in 2024. Claimed to reduce inflammation and improve circulation, these pools are up by 130%, according to Zillow. Many of today's homebuyers are looking for a cold plunge tub in addition to heated pools.

Aerial view of pickelball and tennis courts at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, surrounded by lush greenery with the ocean in the background.

12. Pickleball Courts: A Sporty Addition to Your Home

Pickleball continues its reign among home trends in 2024 as the unofficial sport of choice. Buyers are now seeking properties with pickleball courts, turning it into a sought-after amenity. As you can see in the image above, this Luxurious Polo Field Condo includes access to the club's courts.

13. Murano Glass Chandeliers: Maximalism's Comeback in Style

Maximalism enthusiasts have reason to rejoice as Murano glass chandeliers from Italy, dating back to the 1700s, make a comeback. Listings on Zillow showcase these quirky fixtures 58% more often. Murano glass chandeliers are perfect for a private wine cellar or a dining room and can make a statement when complementing unique ceiling molding.

14. Murals: Hand-Painted Personality for a Unique Touch

Hand-painted murals appear in more listings today. They’re a creative way for homeowners to add a personalized and artistic touch to their spaces, creating a unique and memorable living experience.

15. Smart Home Integration: The Pinnacle of Modern Living

Home trends in 2024 emphasize homes as intelligent spaces. Smart home integration has evolved from a luxury to a necessity, offering automated lighting, thermostats, and security systems that redefine convenience. The ability to control your home with a tap on your smartphone represents the pinnacle of modern living, aligning seamlessly with the tech-savvy preferences of today's homebuyers.

If you find yourself on the lookout for a new home in the area in which to incorporate any of these home trends for 2024, explore the wealth of information on my extensive website. For tailored assistance, feel free to reach out to me directly at (805) 886-9378 or via email at Embrace the enriching journey of discovering your ideal home and may the residence of your dreams beautifully mirror your distinct taste and lifestyle. Happy house hunting!

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“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